Tuesday, December 8, 2009

FandomFluff: Any Given Saturday

Any Given Saturday

Hoosier Mama

"There's a time and place for everything, and I believe it’s called 'fan fiction'." — Joss Whedon

I barely have enough time to stop at the ATM. I brake at the machine, realize that not only don’t I have money for lunch; I don’t have my ATM card or my driver’s license. Crap. So, I drive on to the high school realizing once again that I’m a lousy excuse for a mom. I drive fast, suddenly in a panic that the buses I’m supposed to be chaperoning may already have left. Damn fan fiction. I park the car relieved to see the line of yellow buses still parked at the curb.

My son, who’s been practicing with the marching band all morning, approaches me, hungry. Other moms are handing over lovingly prepared lunch bags full of nutritious food. I give the boy what I had grabbed in a frenzied rush from our kitchen: an apple and a breakfast bar. He rolls his eyes, the universal sign that teenagers of the species use to convey contempt and exasperation toward the adults of the species. He takes the food, with a knowing look and walks away.

I’m pretty sure I just lost the mother-of-the-year award.

It occurs to me that the other chaperones look…great: put-together, hair well-coifed, make-up perfect, rice krispy treats in hand, ready to distribute. I’ll bet none of them are obsessed with fan fiction. I’m going to be spending hours sitting on high school football stadium bleachers during a crisp Midwestern October afternoon and I didn’t bring either a jacket or a blanket. What is wrong with me??

I know what’s wrong with me; I’m obsessed. I made the mistake of checking for chapter updates this morning. What was I supposed to do? Ignore a “
” chapter update? And “
”? You can’t be serious! No obsessed fan could possibly walk away from those two particular chapter updates. Trust me. They had to be read.

We get on our assigned buses and head for this Saturday’s band competition.

I hear some girls farther back on the bus talking about Twilight. I feel a tingling as a shot of adrenaline courses through my body, but I hide it successfully and casually turn my head in their direction. It surprises me how often I overhear comments among teenagers that include the words, “Twilight”, “New Moon”, and “Edward and Bella”. Unfortunately, at this point a boy interrupts loudly and in a high falsetto moans, “Oh Edward!” before he completes his thought in his own voice, saying viciously, “Bite me.” The boys around him all loudly guffaw in disgusted agreement. To defuse the situation I turn to the trombone player and tell him coolly, “Congratulations, you’ve reduced the plots of four books into four words.” He snorts at me and nods his head in agreement.

Immediately all the girls start backpedaling from their previously stated admiration for the stories. “The movie was pretty lousy.” “The books weren’t all that great.” I want to stand up and shout at them, “Don’t let some bully of a boy make you downplay your feelings about something you clearly love! Support your convictions!” But of course I don’t, and the moment dissolves into several one-on-one conversations. I’m left to ponder the ways of teenage boys. Why do they always do that? Do they feel threatened by Edward? And why do girls always crumble into believing their likes are subpar to what the boys like? Why can’t boys let us have our obsession, whether or not they understand it, and leave us alone?

I think about how my daughter and I would never consider that trombone player “an Edward”. Before she left for college, we used to play that game a lot. Of course, “an Edward” to us had more to do with a guy’s old-fashioned good manners, and his intelligence. His looks were a secondary issue. (Sadly, there are so few Calvin Klein underwear models around these days…) I think about how Edward called Bella out for her love of Wuthering Heights. He never maliciously mocked her for it in public. They had a reasonable literary discussion, in the end, agreeing to disagree.

One of the other chaperones interrupts my writing saying, “Don’t tell me you have homework you’re working on too?” Nearly finished now, I quickly put my yellow lined pad of paper away and tell her no, no, it’s just a shopping list. I look out the bus window at all the vibrant fall colors passing by, so I miss her curious glances.

Wasn’t I just a few moments ago internally shouting at the girls on the bus to stand up for their convictions? And now here I am, hiding the fact that I’m writing an article for TLYDF…a Twilight fan fiction website. Boys and girls, can you say…hypocrite? There’s just something about our love of the books and fan fiction that makes us want to protect it, cocoon that feeling, and keep it safe from the damning influences of the outside world.

As long as I’m happy with who I am (including my super secret identity as fanfic obsessed) I don’t really care what people think of me, but I wonder for a moment. What would the others on the bus say if they knew why I looked like I just rolled out of bed; why I was so unprepared for the day? What would they think if they knew what I was sitting here writing?

Some might be impressed; some might think I’m completely insane. And the boys sitting around me? I know for a fact that they would roll their eyes and loudly guffaw in disgust.

There’s clearly not “an Edward” among them.

(Author’s note: I saw that “Oh Edward. Bite me” trombone player the weekend New Moon came out. He saw the movie with his girlfriend and…he liked it. HA!)

This has been a Fandom Fluffy Moment brought to you by
Hoosier Mama


  1. rofl. peer pressure makes me hide my... fanliness. the disparity between twilighters and non-twi people is so... conscious.. this doesn't really happen with manga or harry potter or other similarly full-blown franchise. not that it's bad but it makes life less comfortable not being able to talk things out in rl.

  2. I am laughing so hard right now because I can TOTALLY relate to this!!! Coworkers and friends ask me what I'm reading and I'll sheepishly reply, "fanfiction". And the conversations end there! I'll happily place gazebos and lemon trees all over my farmville on facebook - and only a select few understand the real reason!

  3. So many people are so anti-twilight. I read somewhere that twilight is for 13 year old girls and women who have the mentality of 13 year olds. But whoever reasoned that is the one who has a 13 year old mentality because they so prejudiced and can't understand why people like something they don't.

    that article made me laugh :) Especially the trombone player. these people never really mean what they say.

  4. HM, I'm laughing so hard right now...

    "the other chaperones look…great: put-together, hair well-coifed, make-up perfect, rice krispy treats in hand, ready to distribute."

    lmao. So very true!

    It's funny, everyone at my hubby's work has been raving about Twilight and he keeps telling me I should send them the links to some of my favortie fics, but I just can't do it. I don't really know why, I just can't.

    Plus, the decreased productivity that would undoubtedly result would probably mean he'd end up with more work to do. Which would mean longer days at the office. More time alone for me. More time for reading!


  5. I think the reason we hide our Twilight 'cocoon it' as you might say, is because we don't like to hear people making fun of it. It's special to us, it's more than just another book. We've met great people through this, formed communities...

    So I reckon the reason why some don't outwardly exhibit their Twilight obsession is because they dont' want it made fun of.

    I agree with this article. However, I've made a stand and I tell anyone who will listen how much I love Twilght. My whole entire office knows I'm in love with Edward/Rob Pattinson. My boyfriend understands that Edward/RPatzz is a very close second to him.

    My family makes fun of me too, but I don't care. Because I've found people in my real life world that like Twilight too from expressing my interest in it. So it makes it worth it.

  6. Love your story, LOL. I think we can all relate to the experiences of something in our RL falling through the cracks because of crack that is FF. :) No one knows I read fanfic (no one I know would even know what the heck it is) or my love of Twilight, or how much time I spend reading/writing (mostly reading :) FF. I have spent the occasional weekend afternoon just reading and/or writing FF and when asked by my mom or a friend, "what did you do today?" the answer is always "oh...not much." :)

    {Which I guess is not really a lie, since I really wasn't getting much done except laying on the couch reading FF! :)

  7. I can totally relate to this story. I will proudly tell anybody about my love for Twilight and have had countless conversations with people about it with no shame. However, to talk about my love for fanfic is a whole different thing. Only two people in my life know about that.

  8. I can completely relate to this article. There were several times since I discovered the wonderful world of Twific that I've rushed to class unprepared or let RL things slip because I was reading a really incredible fanfic. And when I get to class and get these sympathetic looks because I apologize that I was "busy" and "didn't have time" to grab whatever before I ran out the door. And I wonder if I would get those same sympathetic looks if they knew I was reading Twilight fanfiction instead of getting myself ready for class.
    I gush about my love of Twilight to other Twilighters and will defend it when people bash it online, but it's harder when RL people bash it. If it's a friend that already knows about my obsession, I defend it. But if it's someone I don't know as well, I always feel the need to downplay Twi-love. I worry that people will stereotype me as some tweeny fangirl.


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