Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Edward

Um, please reread the original posting here before reading on.

So, ladies and (at least one) gentlemen. Edward. I've already touched on him, very slightly and sympathetically, elsewhere, but a comment today triggered this pensée.

The comment was in the mode of the following: "Well, geophf, Edward loves Bella, obviously, so ..."

One thing those who have worked with me, is that, just as one must never say "never" in this Eternal Now, one must never say "obviously" to geophf ... unless it is obviously so.

My poor, poor beta can attest very well to that. She's a young thing, but has the constitution of iron. She needs it, working with me. Poor girl.

Back on point.

"Edward loves Bella, obviously."

Edward "loves" Bella.

Hm.

Pardon me for deconstructing the obviousness of this statement, but, I am a bear of very little brain, and to understand something, I must take the meal in in small bites.

The first bite is this one. I had thought that for someone to love someone else, that they must respect them? And, yes, I had said in my other post that Edward treats Bella with respect and had given examples, ... but does he?

Allow me to play my own devil's advocate for a moment here, okay?

Okay.

So, poor me, but I thought a part of respecting somebody else is to listen to them and to consider what they say?

I mean, if our pastor can mention my man Martin in a homily, then I suppose it's okay to mention something about Ich und Du here, no?

So, is there one example, at all, in the canon where Edward listens to Bella and considers what she says?

Anyone? Anyone at all? Bueller?

Hm. No voluteers? So I guess I'll volunteer the canon.
  • Twilight: Bella begs Edward to hear her out on the race to escape James. Does Edward listen? I answer that: no. Alice and Emmett do, but not Edward. Only by force majeure does he turn the vehicle away from a reckless dash to nowhere with no plan.

  • New Moon, pre-catatonic-Bella: Bella begs Edward not to leave her, saying that she'd die without him. Does he listen? I answer that: no. We could have skipped both New Moon and Eclipse if he did.

    And, just now, coming off a reread of New Moon, I have to say: thanks for that, Edward.

  • New Moon, post-attempted-suicide-Bella: Bella begs Edward to change her, again, for the thousandth time. Does he listen? I answer that: no. So she puts it to a vote of the family, and she gets force majeure. Does he listen then? I answer that: no. Jasper's and Emmett's wrecked plasma TV wishes he did, though. And Alice wishes that, too (nice vision that: Bella sucked dry because Alice was unable to control the blood lust).

  • Eclipse: Bella begs Edward to stay with her in the big fight with Victoria's newborns, the Cullens and the wolves. Does he listen? I answer that: no. She had to tell him that catatonia à la New Moon (that is "New Moon II: Fuller and Bluer") awaited to get him to stop brushing her off. She, by her self-admission, has to become a monster, something alien to herself, to get Edward to stop and take in what she is begging him. And if she didn't do this? Victoria and Riley against just Seth? Hm. Well that would have saved us all from Breaking Dawn (a book I happen to like but that some do not, I am told) and the next two points ...

  • Breaking Dawn, Book I: Bella begs Edward not to destroy the fœtus, her baby ... their baby. Does he listen? I answer that: no. So instead he offers up his wife to Jacob, the "No doesn't mean no so I'll just assaultkiss you right now because that's what you really want" rival for Bella's affections when he can't get force majeure from his family to perform a forced, non-consensual, abortion on the girl.
    À propos de rein, is Rosalie the only character in the canon who ever listened to Bella and who helped her? Is that why Rosalie is so reviled, because she listened to our girl and stood up to the whole world to stand by Bella? Selfishly listened, yes, but listened and then acted on that listening?

    I mean, not even Alice, who considers Bella her BFF and all that, took Bella in Twilight because of listening to Bella. And all those make-overs, kidnappings and shopping trips? Did Rosalie ever force her will on Bella? No. But did Alice? Hm. And Alice is the good girl and Rosalie the bitc-... well, you know, because Rosalie's not "nice" and Alice "is." Hm.

  • Breaking Dawn, Book III: Bella begs Edward to teach her some techniques for the impending Volturi confrontation. Does he listen? I answer that: no. So now she decides to attack Alec and then, for the love of G-d, Demetri, as an undisciplined newborn because it's too hard for Edward contemplating teaching her fighting because he doesn't want to see her in that light. See her shredded by Demetri? Oh, that's fine, but see her as ... what? Capable? Strong? A warrior who can fight back? Perish that thought! His Bella must be that Anne of Green Gables that she so did not wish to be (cf Eclipse, ch 20 "Compromise") and that he only ever saw her as.

Your counter-arguments are as follows, aren't they:
  • Oh, but Edward loves Bella because he says he does.

    I answer that: no.

    So everything everybody says all the time is the truth, eh? I'll give you that Edward believes what he says here, but I will not give you that he loves Bella. No, he loves what he thinks that he thinks who Bella is, not Bella, herself, at all. There is a difference between love and infatuation. Edward was drawn to her because of her singing blood and then intrigued by the silence of her mind. But love? Show me that he shows her real respect, and then let's talk about love, baybee.

  • Oh, but Edward wanted to marry her and everything before they, well, you know.

    I answer that: no.

    So, Bella was eager for the Altar? Edward wanted to marry Bella because Edward wanted to marry Bella. Bella's thoughts and feelings on this matter were brusquely brushed off.

  • Oh, but Edward loves Bella because he knew he was bad for her and left her in New Moon! See, he does love her, because he does something totally unselfish, something entirely for her good, even as it crushes him to do it.

    I answer that: no.

    I actually already answered this one, but let's reopen this case.

    Edward left Bella because he thought he knew what was in her best interest. Obviously, he thought, she being a young mortal clueless girl, she has no idea what's good for her. After all, he has nearly a century on her. He's wise; she's not.

    The thing about wisdom ... it doesn't come for free because of some passage of some number of years. And wisdom might just be saying that "ya know, she was right, Edward, and you were wrong the last time, so you just may consider thinking outside your self-absorption ..." But wise Edward knows best. Knows this so well that he goes against what every single person tells him, leaving her defenseless with Victoria out and about with a definite grudge and an easy target. Hm. So, yah, he "loves" her because he (it turns out, literally) throws her to the wolves.

  • Oh, but Edward really loved Bella after they were married and after she was changed because he became this lovey-dovey doormat that she was throughout the series and unrecognizable as Edward was in the three previous books and the first half of Breaking Dawn.

    I answer that: no.

    Love changes you? Sure. Love removes your spinal column? Sure, at times.

    Love blinds you to the person you love? No. That, my dear readers, is not love.

    Love is not blind. Only blind fools who have never loved say that. Love opens your eyes to the beloved, and you begin to see her, for the first time, every time, even just a little bit, for who she really is, and you love that person, because that person is real, not the chimera you've been deluding yourself into chasing.

    Spineless Edward, in Breaking Dawn, Book III, was just as guilty as self-absorbed Edward was, because Spineless Edward was just as blinded as self-absorbed Edward was to (now) his Bella. They both put her up on a pedestal.

    Sure, admire your beloved, but for what she is, how she is and who she is. Adore her, however? Idols are adored; persons are not. Idols are objects, but your beloved should not be objectified, for she is a person. Adore her, and you objectify her.

Sorry, folks, but "Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It is not rude, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always preserves." [1 Cor 13:4-7]

So, I ask you, did Edward do any of these things? Or did he always and everywhere do the opposite?

Edward.

Men everywhere are so jealous of him because twenty-two million girls are saying to their BFs "But Edward would do ..."

Here's how to out-Edward Edward.

Your GF likes fig newtons. She doesn't care about the flowers. You like getting your girl flowers. Sure, get her flowers, but realize who you are getting the flowers for. You. So get her the fig newtons when you get her the flowers (which is, oh, at least monthly after you've been married for fourteen years ... not saying that I would know this from personal experience or anything ...).

Here's how to out-Edward Edward.

When your GF is talking to you about something, then think, for a second, that it means something to her, perhaps it's something important to her, even if she's talking about, not football, but, ick, girlie-girl stuff ... ya know, about relationships or some girl thing like that. Listen to her. Hear what she says. Say it back to her, so she knows somebody, oh, my G-d! listened to her for once in her life. Then consider what she said, and maybe not watch ESPN tonight but ... um, do the dishes after supper (I know! The horror!) and talk about her day for a change. And maybe not do what she's begging you, because, in this particular case, you must make a decision against her judgment or desire, but do consider her in your decision. Do. Edward never did, so when you do consider her words, you've done something for her that makes you better than she could possibly imagine.

Here's how to out-Edward Edward.

She likes to dress up and go to prom (exactly unlike Bella). You'd rather grind WoW. Get a tux and take her to prom, and turn off the cell phone, and, you know, hang with her. And dance with her. "Oh, but I can't dance." I "can't," either. They do have classes, you know. And you do love your girl, so you'll go to classes to teach yourself how to dance, and you'll do it for her, because you love her.

Here's how to out-Edward Edward.

Read her fan fiction and leave a positive review. For everybody to read. Even though you'd rather bathe in salt water and mustard after diving into a pool filled with broken glass.

Ich und Du.

Listening means more than letting the sound waves touch your ears ... even Edward does that. The person speaking is a person ... treat her as such, and you will out-Edward Edward.

Every single time.

2 comments:

Diane said...

Whew! I read ALL THAT! Now I know why I can't get mustard out of my head.

And hey, here's another one -- think back 15 years ago and all the stuff you did for your GF, like street festivals, jazz concerts, basking under the sun, freezing in the snow, cooking Chinese dinner (hold the hot peppers please), walking (just because) ... then add a bunch of kids, take the entertainment rating down to G, and woo her again :-)

Oh, was that too forward?

Eclipsed said...

You make excellent points. How do I convince my husband to read that?

(Oh, and reading Diane's comment makes it even better...)