The Fabulous Familiar

Taking the ordinary and making it extraordinary...

Wednesday, June 30, 2010

The Vampire/Werewolf Experiment



If you have turned on your television in the last 6 months you are bound to have seen a trailer advertising the rental release of "New Moon" or that "Eclipse" is out in theaters. With the release of such a phenomenon comes the natural tendency for the American audience to divide into two: Team Edward or Team Jacob. Grown women don their Jacob or Edward apparel and head to the theater to support their character--even though we all know who is triumphant in the end.

What is it about us that loves useless teams? I, too, am guilty as charged. The reason I watch "The Bachelorette" and such shows is because I love to get on Facebook and analyze the show and its characters with fellow followers. I think this is what has happened with the Jacob and Edward mania. We always have to be rooting for someone; and perhaps, in the process, we are rooting for ourselves. We pick the character we most identify with and then we shamelessly live vicariously through them.

I decided to humble myself for this one entry and really think about the ridiculousness of it all. I have decided to step away from the madness and the feeling that I must pick a side and contemplate life as it would stand if I really had to choose one or the other. What I have come to find might surprise you. If faced with two strange and very different paths, I may be tempted to walk away from both of them. Why? Because both options are just plain weird. Both would complicate my life. Both would make day-to-day life nearly impossible. Thus, I am wanting to conduct an experiment.

I want to take 5 male volunteers and test my hypothesis that girls really don't want to date deep, dark creatures of the night. They may think they want an Edward or a Jacob, but how would they react to such behavior if it happened in their place of work or at their school?

Experiment 1: The snarl followed by the stomp out -- In true Edward fashion, Male model 1 sits down next to his chemistry lab partner. As they are measuring liquid into their beaker, he looks at her as if she smelled like death. His nose wrinkles up like he has just whiffed a horrendous odor and then he races from the classroom, never to return. If Girl test subject number 1 is incredibly flattered by this and follows Male model 1 out the door to kiss him, my hypothesis is a failure.

Experiment 2: The rip-off-shirt routine -- As Jacob would do in any given situation, Male model 2 will find every opportunity to rip off his shirt in a public place. If he is standing in the line at Starbucks and a girl spills her coffee, he immediately rips off his T-shirt to wipe up the mess. If a girl sneezes, before she can reach for a tissue, his shirt is already being held out for her to take instead. If Girl test subject 2 is incredibly impressed by this gesture and doesn't see the necessity of the nearby napkins and paper towels, my hypothesis is a failure and perhaps girls really do want vain werewolves.

Experiment 3: Sandman the sleep watcher-- Male model 3, in true Edward fashion, makes it his goal to be sitting across the room watching a girl sleep without her knowledge. If Girl test subject 3 wakes up to him staring at her and doesn't immediately scream bloody murder, then my hypothesis has indeed been proven void. Add a line like Edward's, "Sleep, my Bella. Dream happy dreams. You are the only one who has ever touched my heart. It will always be yours. Sleep, my only love" and you have the true test of a female's creepy endurance level.

Experiment 4: Growl and go -- Like Jacob, male model 4 will prove once and for all if girls find bursts of post-anger growling attractive. For this experiment, he will engage Girl test subject 4 in a serious conversation that will eventually become heated. When she finally states her opinion on whether peanut butter or jelly makes the sandwich complete, he will arch his back, get on all fours and growl until the room rumbles beneath their feet. If male model 4 is immediately clenched in a tight lover's embrace, we have a null hypothesis.

Experiment 5: The mind reader -- For this final experiment, male model 5 will take the time, on every date, to read the minds of everyone else around Girl test subject 5. Interestingly enough, though, he will fail to read her social cues. She may hint that she wants to hold hands, but he will ignore it because the man at table 15 is thinking about robbing a bank. Every time a new thought like this comes, he perks up, his eyes widen and he says, "But you don't know what he's thinking like I do." If girl test subject 5 makes it through this entire date and agrees to go on another one, I have once again been proven incorrect.

What this experiment goes to show is that--while girls may get all caught up and have fun picking their little teams--that in reality, neither is a group they want to be a part of. When getting wrapped up in fantasy and literary romance, I try to step back and realize that if real-life guys acted like that I would be considerably turned off. I don't want a guy to spout sappy poetry or leave me heart-broken to "protect me." I don't want him to rip off his shirt in the middle of Wal-Mart. If he watched me sleep from a rocking chair, I think I would punch him.

Enjoy the fun, enjoy the drama, but don't think that's the man you're really rooting for. Root for the guy who will actually sit by you in Chemistry and help you with your homework; root for the guy who may not spout poetry but may be trying his best to tell you how he feels. I am learning quickly in my advancing age (Ok, I'm still young), but I am learning that the spectacular isn't so spectacular anymore. I used to let romantic comedies and movies carry over into my expectations, but I have realized, however, that real men are blissfully average--and that is totally something I am willing to sink my teeth into. (Pun intended).

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