"I can't stand that series," the other wife said. "Such terrible writing! I can't believe this kind of thing passes muster at book publishers these days."
The husband was equally dismissive. "Yes. A really good example of the dumbing down of American culture. Not that it needed any help in that direction," he sniffed.
I can't remember the rest of the conversation, but I do recall phrases like "adolescent wish-fulfillment," "anti-feminist" and "utter trite."
I was about to point out that many of the Twilight blogs and fan sites my wife has been forcing me to read are terribly witty, remarkably self-aware and often delightfully self-deprecating, when I felt a sharp pain in my shins. I looked at my wife. She was giving me her strongest warning look.
I suddenly realized that my wife was ashamed of being a Twilight fan. The same woman who hasn't watched any other movie but Twilight for the last 6 months, and signs off her emails with "xx days until New Moon!" was suddenly unwilling to identify herself as a Twi-hard .
My wife was in Twilight Denial. And I realized this was not the first time. She told the clerk at the video store that she was buying the Twilight DVD for her niece. The only problem is - she has no niece. She bought the books "for our son" when our son hadn't shown the slightest interest in the series at all. And I suspect that she is not the only Twilight Addict to be in denial about the depths of her problem.
Somehow, up until now, I had missed all the classic signs of Twilight Denial:
- Refusal by your wife to acknowledge any previous interest in Twilight whenever it is brought up in public.
- Wife claims that she did not enjoy the film when subject is broached, or weakly admit "it wasn't too bad."
- When guests comes to your house, your wife spends the previous afternoon hiding any Twilight paraphernalia.
- Wife makes concerted efforts to suppress any emotional response whenever the words "Robert Pattinson" are uttered.
- You begin to get e-mails from Twilight bloggers asking if she is okay because she hasn't logged on or commented in days.
Once your wife has been exposed to normal society's disdain for Twilight, she is bound to be conflicted, and you may decide to use her confusion and shame to your advantage by suggesting she permanently remove all of the Twilight merchandise from the house, or threatening to "out" her to friends and family not yet in the know.
This is the most dangerous you can do.
As with any crisis of faith, there will come what is called the "Moment of Truth." When this time comes, your wife will be forced to choose between returning to normal society and rushing back to Forks with her arms spread wide.
While I encourage all my fellow Widowers to be optimistic, odds are she will once again choose Edward over you. Since you have become accustomed to the familiar feelings of rejection this will arouse in you, I want to assure you that you will recover (I urge you to look at your motivational posters again if need be).
However, if you tried to take advantage of her momentary crisis by removing her access to all things Twilight, or exposing her to potential ridicule, odds are she will hold this against you for some time.