Blogging Eclipse: Part 12
Chapter Twelve: Time
Better Title: If You Marry a Vampire in High School, You Might be a Redneck
After blogging Chapter Eleven, I was exhausted and on the verge of giving up. But I'm not a quitter. I may be lazy, tiny-wristed, stubborn, loud, tall, roguishly handsome, and sometimes thirsty. But I'm not a quitter. So I shall push on. For the sake of motivation, after I complete each blog, I will reward myself with ten minutes of free time and a bowl of celebratory ice cream soup (recipe: Slowly mash regular ice cream into a thick paste. Eat.)
This chapter starts with Alice and Edward teasing Bella. The Cullens are going to throw her a graduation party, and she isn't thrilled with the idea. Bella's idea of fun is sitting in the dark, toying with Jacob's emotions, or making lasagna for her dad. Going to parties isn't her cup of tea. But the Cullens are forcing her to have a party, because the Cullens love to manipulate and enslave their pet Bella.
Alice thanks Bella for the lovely graduation gift, which is odd since Bella hasn't bought Alice anything yet. Oh, wait—Alice used her powers to see the future and saw what Bella is getting her. Ho-ho! Alice is so playful and cute. (I'm rolling my eyes with annoyance…and trying to wiggle my ears with annoyance as well.) Hey Alice, can you see the present I'm going to give you? No, it's not my ring finger. But you're very close.
Bella thinks graduation is a month or more away. Alice points to a poster in the school hallway, and Bella is shocked to learn that graduation is in two weeks. I know Bella has had many wild adventures the past year, from going to Italy, to…um…that's about it. Anyway, Bella lost track of time somehow.
She is scared because after she graduates, Carlisle will turn her into a vampire. And she isn't sure if she's ready for the big change. Wha-wha-wha-WHAT?
For the past two and half books, all Belly did was whine about being human, and whine that no one will transform her into a vampire, and whine that everyone is better than her. And now she's not sure she wants to be a vampire?
I can relate. When I was little, I really wanted a Snoopy Sno-Cone Machine. It was this toy that would crush ice cubes and dump the resulting ice chunks into a paper cup. You would then add flavored syrup to the ice and enjoy. I begged for it like a maniac. Finally my parents said I was going to get one for Christmas. But on Christmas morning, I cried in my bed because I knew I wasn't ready to make Sno-Cones. I couldn't handle the pressure, the responsibility, the lifestyle change. It was all too much. So Bella, I feel your pain. (Sarcasm hand raised.)
Of course I didn't cry! You know what I did that Christmas? I ran downstairs before anyone else was awake, tore open the Snoopy Sno-Cone Maker, and gorged myself on homemade snow cones and melted ice cube water for hours. It was bliss!
Argh! I hate you, Bella Swan! I hate you. I hate you. I hate you.
I hate your stupid mood swings. I hate that you think Edward is neat. I hate that you can't see how rad Jacob is. I hate that one moment you're the smartest girl in all the land, and the next moment you can't remember what month it is. I hate that you're mature enough to take care of your parents, but so immature that you think it's flipping awesome when someone kidnaps you.
I hate that you want to throw away your education, your future, your entire life just for the sake of some good-looking smelly monster. I hate your thoughts. I hate your dependence on others. I hate that you never scream and yell at Edward for treating you like a hamster. I hate that you left the Volturi Victims to die, and have never mentioned them or lost sleep over it since. I hate your shoes, because they're probably stupid. I hate the way you probably add an extra syllable to the word "theater." I hate you so much it hurts my hair. Agh!
And now, after saying something negative, most therapists agree it's important to say something positive. So Bella, I like your truck very much. And I bet your lasagna doesn't taste bad. We cool?
Anyway, Bella isn't sure she's prepared to become a vampire. She doesn't know how she will leave her dad, tell her mom goodbye, and ditch Jacob. Entering this new life terrifies her, but on the other hand, she doesn't have much of a choice. If she stays human, Victoria (who I cannot believe hasn't been killed yet), the Volturi, or the Seattle vampire will probably murder her. Plus, as a human, Bella is getting older, and she can't stand the idea of getting older.
So silly Bella sits and stares off into space as she thinks about the situation. Finally, Edward snaps her out of it, and she tells him she's scared of becoming a vampire. He says that's a clear sign that she's not ready. Wait. Are we talking about becoming a vampire, or are we talking about having s-e-x for the first time? Ohmygosh! Did you guys realize that becoming a vampire is kind of, sort of, a metaphor for losing one's virginity? Wow…this is deep, and will help flesh out my doctoral thesis entitled, Vampires Are All Symbolic and Crap.
Edward is confident that the Cullens will handle any threat against Bella, so she shouldn't feel pressured into becoming a vampire just because she's worried about being attacked. In fact, he wants Bella to wait until all this mess with the bad vamps has blown over. (Which, judging by the pace of these books, won't happen until Twilight Volume 23: Lazy Mid-Afternoon.)
Bella feels more at ease knowing her transformation may be postponed. She asks if Edward knows about Alice's vision concerning the gift Bella will be giving her. Edward says in the vision, Bella bought Edward and Alice concert tickets. Though it's not revealed what concert they will be attending, I think it's safe to assume the only music these vampires enjoy is either harpsichord tunes or some non-threatening pop band such as Mandy Moore or The Wiggles. (Though I suspect Emmett listens to classic rock, hardcore metal, and Justin Timberlake. What? JT has some good songs. Stop looking at me like that. And no, you cannot see what's on my iPod. Forget I brought this up, OK?)
She then asks a more serious question: Why doesn't Edward want her to become a vampire? He gives an explanation, and I don't really pay attention. His reason probably has something to do with desire or innocence. It has nothing to do with robots, because I would have noticed that.
Edward then asks Bella why she won't marry him. In her mind, getting married at the age of 18 is what white trash, dumb girls do. Whoa! Nice stereotyping, Bella. I'm surprised she didn't add, "On, and by the way, I think all Irish people drink too much, and every Asian is good at math."
Bella goes on about how she never wanted to be "that girl," the one who gets married right after high school. She says in the modern world, only immature, stupid rednecks are married at the age of 18 (paraphrasing), and she doesn't want society to look down on her. Um…yeah. If society is going to look down on you, Bella, it won't be because you were a teen bride. It will be because you now belong to a race of monsters responsible for countless murders of innocent people.
I love the idea of a redneck Bella and Edward living in a trailer and fighting over money.
BELLA: Edward, you get a job today?
EDWARD: I can't get no job with my back. You know that! Where's my bear blood, I'm starving.
BELLA: We out of bear blood. Gonna have squirrel blood for dinner. Put a shirt on!
EDWARD: I wish I married Angela...
And then someone would wrestle something.
Edward doesn't understand Bella's reasoning, and I see his point. He brings up the same argument I made a few blogs ago, that if Bella is willing to spend eternity with him, what difference does it make to marry him too? Besides, everyone she knows will be dead and buried soon. She shouldn't care what they think. If Edward and Bella get married, they can spend the rest of existence walking through magical meadows, playing loud baseball, and finally touching more than just faces.
He says that if they both were human, and 18, he would still ask Bella to marry him right away. Hmm. It seems that Stephenie Meyer is promoting teen weddings. That's a bit odd.
I've received messages and comments from readers who point out the Stephenie Meyer is a Mormon and that she is pushing her religious views throughout the book. Frankly, I don't see it. If there is any religious subtext, it's so vague that you could argue the book is about any (or every) religion, from Christianity to Buddhism.
And even if Ms. Meyer was trying to preach the word of Mormon, it wouldn't bug me, just as it wouldn't bug me if the book was about Islam or Judaism or Atheism. To each his own. This isn't the time or place to debate religion. (The time is 10:45 a.m., the place is the bowling alley. Be there!)
What I find troublesome is that Ms. Meyer is telling her readers, most of whom are young women, that marrying young is fun and great and the only way to true happiness. It's what Edward wants to do. And it's what Bella wants to do too, if only society didn’t frown on it. Of course, I think these two should get married right away because I'm tired of hearing about it. But in reality, it's probably a bad idea.
While there are many loving couples who married young, I would encourage everyone to get a little life experience under their belts before saying, "I do." Call me unromantic. Call me too pragmatic. Call me Danny Coldheart or Lt. LaserMind, but I think people who wait a bit before marriage will have a better chance of staying together. (And I would very much enjoy being called that last name, BTW.)
The next morning, Bella wakes up and looks through the paper to see if the concert tickets are still on sale. She notices a story about the Seattle murders, and the chapter includes an excerpt of the article.
The gist is that the serial killer is killing more people. I'm not sure why we needed to read the entire article to figure this out. Stephenie Meyer could have saved us all some time by having Bella tell us:
I glowered at the newspaper intensely with my intense eyes. My desire to passionately read the inky black words was overpowering. I felt a tugging on my aching heart as I peered down at the dry, non-wet paper. I was shocked by the shocking article which stated that the killer in Seattle was adding more victims to his devious list of unfortunate victims. My eyes danced across the page like two tiny dancers, as the news entered my brain like a train entering a brain-thing. "Uh-oh," I murmured.
Instead, a page and half of the chapter is devoted to this article. A page and a half that could have been used to show us Emmett doing cool things with a slingshot and snakes.
As Bella is finishing the article, Edward walks into her house. She shows him the newspaper, and he frowns. He doesn't like how things are progressing in Seattle, and tells Bella that Alice's powers aren't being much help. No way! That's weird, huh?
The Cullens were waiting for Alice to see what will happen with this newborn vampire, before they head to the city. But the psychic Alice, the one who is responsible for keeping Bella safe, is having trouble seeing visions of Seattle. How bloody convenient. I hate Alice. She is as reliable as an indoor sundial. She is the fool who sees nothing. She is the worthless secondary character who only exists to shove the story forward. She is Alice "The Plot Device" Cullen! [CUE THE SOUND OF A SLIDE WHISTLE]
With Alice's powers in question, Edward thinks the Cullens will need to go to Seattle and handle the situation "blind." Then, for reasons I cannot explain, he asks Bella to skip school today. His explanation for the truancy? "I want to talk to Jasper."
What the hell? Doesn’t Jasper go to school too? Can't you pass him a note in Chemistry? Or why not talk to him after school? And why does Bella need to come along? Things seems to be getting worse in Seattle, but the Cullens never cared about all the innocent people dying up there. So why not wait a few hours and let Bella get an education?
But Edward needs Bella to skip school, so she skips. They go to the Cullen house, where everyone is hanging out. Even Emmett! Hi Emmett!
Edward shows Carlisle the newspaper, and Dr. C is worried. Emmett suggest they go to Seattle right away. His reason: "I'm dead bored." Emmett, you're so cool! Can I be your Facebook friend? We can Farmville together…whatever that is.
The Cullens talk about what to do with the Seattle situation. Esme is clearly upset, and says, "And all those innocent humans in Seattle. It's not right to let them die this way."
You're right, Esme. It's not cool to let your beloved humans become vampire cocktails. You should put a stop to it, and then—I don't know—maybe fly to Italy and save the humans that will be killed by the Volturi vampires. Remember those guys? The innocent citizens and tourists of Volterra who are killed daily, one of whom was probably a lovely middle-aged man who dressed as Santa every year and gave presents out to the less fortunate? Yeah, maybe you could save some of those folks, too. What do you say? Maybe? Just kidding. You can go ahead and ignore the genocide in Italy, as you play loud baseball and…Wait. Does Esme do anything else? Esme, you're going on my list. (I don't know what this means, but I like the sound of it.)
Since this is Twilight, no one can do anything unless someone tells a damn story. So instead of saving lives, everyone gathers 'round, as Ol' Jasper tells us all a spooky tale.
For some reason, it's very important that Bella understands newborn vampires. I'm not sure why. Is Bella going to fight this Seattle vampire herself? Why would they even take Bella to Seattle? Why do anything with Bella right now? Just go to Seattle, kill this new vampire, and come back. Bella doesn't need to be involved. I hate the overdramatic Cullens.
You never hear Superman tell Lois Lane, "OK. I’m going to stop the bank robber. But before I do, it's important that you understand how banking works. See, the costumer will deposit money into an account…"
Before Jasper starts his story, he shows Bella a scar on his wrists, similar to the scar on Bella's wrist. It's clear that he was bitten by a vampire. At first Bella thinks it's cool that she has a scar-buddy. But then Jasper reveals more of his body, and Bella sees more and more bite marks. His arm is littered with scars. Something tells me the Jasper story isn't going to be happy…nor will it feature robots.
Glowers: 0 (Book total 10 )
Murmurs: 1 (Book total 34)
Jasper tells Bella his origin story.
JASPER: Once upon a time, in a lawless town, there was a—
BELLA: Um, I'm sorry. Why are you telling me this?
JASPER: It's my origin story.
BELLA: I understand. But is this really the right time?
JASPER: You don't want to hear my origin story? It's pretty good…
BELLA: I'm sure it's great. But people are dying in Seattle. The longer we sit here, the worse things will become, right?
JASPER: But…but it's my turn to tell a story.
BELLA: Plus, don't you guys want to find out who was snooping around my dirty clothes? Did y'all forget about that?
EDWARD: Jasper wants to tell you his story. He's been practicing all morning.
JASPER: I even wrote it out on note cards…
ESME: He made a visual aid, too. Didn't you Jasper?
JASPER: (SHEEPISHLY) No, it's OK. Bella doesn't want to see it.
EMSE: No, show her your chart.
JASPER: Mom! Stop it! Don't make me. Bella doesn’t care. (HIDES HIS TEARS)
BELLA: Jasper, I would love to see your visual aid and listen to your speech. Honest. But I think there are more pressing issues.
EMMETT: (TO HIMSELF) I should make a pair of stilts that are also swords. Then I could kick and stab at the same time.
JASPER: Everyone else got to tell a story. Rose even told her a story, and Rose hates Bella. And mom told Bella about her dead baby. And Alice gets to have sleepovers with Bella. And…it's not fair! (WEEPS UNCONTROLLABLY)
CARLISLE: I know, son. I know. Maybe you can tell us on the way to Seattle.
JASPER: (SNIFFS) Re…Really? Can I bring the chart, too?
CARLISLE: Of course you can.
JASPER: And does Emmett have to listen and be quiet?
ESME: Yes, he does.
EMMETT: (UNDER HIS BREATH) Crybaby. I'm gonna kick-stab the crap out of you with my stilt-swords.
BELLA: Isn't going to Seattle putting me in great danger?
CULLENS IN UNISON: Shut up, Bella, and get in your damn cage!
Can't get enough Dan? Reread previous posts here!