I think I’m gay.
And I’m convinced some of you women out there are to blame. Thanks a lot. My husband is going to be totally frosted about this. He’s pretty sure I like guys.
What’s crazy is, until yesterday, I was pretty sure I liked guys, too.
But, while wandering through Borders looking for something my kid could read which is at his “lexile level” and at the same time not written for 30 year-olds, I started mentally composing this post.
And the next thing I knew, I was out of the closet.
Perhaps I should back up a little. Establish the mise en scene, as it were. (I think it means ‘set the stage,’ but since ‘ginormous’ became a real word, I haven’t been sure of anything.)
Our middle school uses a reading program called “Reading Counts.” Kids take a test to determine how well they read, as defined by a Lexile number. Then they are required to choose a book from the library that has been rated at their same level, read it, and take a computerized test about it.
The problem is, once you get past a certain level, the books which are difficult enough to challenge the readers are not necessarily appropriate for, say, 7th grade boys. And if the 7th grade boy in question has ADD to the degree that prescription medication and extreme maternal vigilance are required for him to read anything longer than the ingredients on a frozen pizza, well, the situation becomes even more difficult.
So I was stomping around Borders, grumbling about books my kid can read versus books he should read, and my thoughts drifted to the larger question of what ‘age-appropriate’ reading really is, whether it is limited to books or could be extended to other forms of entertainment, and if kids are the only ones who should be required to stay within certain boundaries.
Now, as every sentient being on the planet is by now undoubtedly aware, the “Twilight” video burst forth from the forehead of Zeus a couple of weeks ago, landing in a gooey, sparkly mess at Wal Marts, truck stops, doctor’s offices, mausoleums – pretty much anywhere that might have a counter and a cash register.
This, of course, led to a resurgence of slobbering, chest-heaving vapidity from that segment of the population which behaved in exactly the same pubescent way back when the movie first premiered:
I gotta tell you, ladies. Hanging out with some of y’all is getting embarrassing. Seemingly sane and rational gals from all walks of life are inexplicably hosting parties, developing web sites, and writing articles dedicated to the hunky, romantic awesomeness of Edward, the forever-young but old-when-it-counts protagonist of what has to be the greatest monument to mediocre writing since the dark years of the “Harry Potter” dominion.
Recently, I read a couple of posts by the “Normal Mormon Husband”, wherein he attempts, among many things, to answer one question folks brave enough to risk a virtual lynching are asking, namely, “What proof is there that Edward the Vampire is capable of flatulence?”
I won’t go into detail regarding his insights. But, holy saddle-bags, Trigger! You want to see some rabid defenses of the “Twilight” books, the movie, and its stars? Perhaps even sign a petition supporting every 40 year-old’s constitutionally protected right to sleep with a picture of a 17 year-old boy tucked into her nightie? Read the comments on NMH’s posts.
The thing is, I thought to myself as I shopped, if the scenario were somehow reversed, if, instead of “Twilight,” we had “Sunrise,” a wildly popular book and movie series about an eternally youthful and perpetually sexy girl, and men in their 30’s, 40’s, even their 50’s were salivating all over themselves, fawning and drooling with every mention and image of the hot little number playing 17 year-old “Saffron,” how long do you think it would take us women to brand the guys a bunch of pervert creeps and call for their 'biblical farm animals' on a pike?
I’m thinking the answer to that absurdly long question is, “Not very.”
I’d write a poem about it, but I can’t find a word that rhymes with “hypocrite.”
However, just as I was about to drown in this sea of self-righteousness, that voice inside my head whose entire purpose, it seems, is to keep me from imploding under the crushing weight of my own sanctimony, piped up and said, “Um, DeNae? Does this mean we have to break up with Orlando Bloom?”
Whoa, whoa, whoa. Just hold the phone, little voice in my head. There is NO need for crazy talk. Our relationship with Orlando Bloom is a completely different matter. Completely. No comparison. Goodness, where do you come up with these things?
But the more I thought about it, I feared that sassy little voice might, just might, have a point. While it’s true that Mr. Bloom is significantly older than Robert Pattison, and he portrays characters that presumably have started to shave, there is no denying the fact that Orlando is more than a decade younger than my middle-earth self.
And when his movies cause my tongue to snap off its roller, I admit I should at least have the decency to look embarrassed.
But, dang, I argued with myself, he is just too swashbucklingly charming in those “Pirates” movies not to have the occasional non-sexual fantasy of working alongside him, maybe as a part time pillager or something. I realize the only way I could fill one of those “buxom wench” dresses would be to shop at NASA’s Gravity Defying Lingerie Emporium, but a girl can dream, can’t she?
And of course, I continued, there’s Legolas, the gorgeous warrior-elf in the “Lord of the Rings” historical documentary series. Who could resist that beautiful, flawless face? Those thick, dark eyelashes? That long flowing blond mane subtly braided in the Alice in Wonderland style? That adorable…um…mini skirt…and…and leggings combination? That….er…that…well…
And then it hit me. How could I have missed it the first eighty-six times I watched all 13 extended hours of the movies (the only true and living version of LOTR on the earth today I so testify)??
Throw in a flaming baton routine and a pair of stilettos, and Legolas could be Miss Universe! For cryin’ out loud the guy even wears a TIARA! He’s prettier than most of the women I know!!
Hell, in the right light, HE’S the buxom wench!
What the heck am I doing, finding him all attractive and stuff?
“Oh, he’s so cute! Oh, he’s so romantic! Oh, he’s such a freaking GIRL!!”
See? The facts speak for themselves. I’m a lesbian. And I am totally chagrined about the whole thing, let me tell you. Particularly since you ladies started it all. That’s right, I’m talking to YOU, you sparkly vampire loving cradle robbers.
Don’t you think it’s high time you joined us in the real world where women of our demographic are expected to swoon over thick-waisted CPAs who have a better chance of braiding the hair growing out of their ears than the stuff attempting to cover their heads?
Our own Hottie McHotsters may not know much about swashbuckling, but they could certainly fill volumes on un-buckling, particularly after a heavy meal.
My hero may never take down an Oliphant with a quiver full of magical elf-arrows, but he can sure make a t-bone wish it had never been born.
And he pretty much sparkles all over the place, especially when he comes in from mowing the lawn.
But more than anything, ladies, these fellas love and indulge and put up with us even when we develop unseemly crushes on young men far more lovely and fair than we, in all our middle-aged glory, could ever hope to be. That’s got to count for something.
If nothing else, it makes me wish I still liked guys.