In my early years I just couldn’t understand the fascination with vampires. They were blood-sucking evil pointy-teethed undead folk who needed to be driven away with garlic and holy water. I couldn’t understand how they could exist and so I deemed them to be unworthy of my precious time.
To be fair though, I always had a problem with anything which seemed fantastical and beyond the definition of ‘normal’. Musicals? I liked them, but couldn’t get my pretty little head round why the characters within them felt the need to break into song every three minutes; the stories tended to be fine without the music. To this very day I find it difficult to watch anything where the characters enjoy the sounds of their own (often truly irritating) lyrical sing-song voices. I LOVE Glee, but always fast forward through the songs because the show works well as an insight into the wacky trials and tribulations of being a cheerleader/teenage parent/geek/idiot/narcissist; why spoil it with songs and random dancing in odd places like shopping centres and coffee shops?
I was never able to get into fantasy books either. On my first attempt at reading a Discworld novel I gave up in disgust after just four pages. I think I’ve now read nearly all of them, but it wasn’t until I met Pratchett fan Blokey (and had a couple of Harry Potter books under my belt) that I was able to begin liking them. He let me borrow a book he knew I would enjoy, and I did, so it made me hungry for more.
In my early teens I became obsessed with horror. I don’t mean gruesome, ghoulish, your head has twisted all the way around and your dreams can kill you horror … I became obsessed with what I would term as ‘real-life’ horror; that which I believed could actually happen. Vampires couldn’t really happen so they were completely off my radar. To digress slightly, one of the only films which truly scares the poopy out of me is Halloween. It gives me chills and forces me to sleep with the light on.
It will come as no surprise therefore that when Buffy started I didn’t watch it. This was partly because I was in my early twenties and so it wasn’t directly aimed at me, but it was mostly because of the whole vampire malarkey. And I really didn’t get vampires. And then something most peculiar occured; vampires became the Next Big Thing. I wasn’t dragged into the Cool Club kicking and screaming. I didn’t even meander slowly into it. I simply woke up one day and realised that actually vampires were okay because they were everywhere.
True Blood, Being Human, The Vampire Diaries, Twilight … I suddenly realised that I was enjoying the whole vampire concept. I am nothing if not a follower of fashion. Ho-hum. I will be honest though; I think it has something to do with men. True Blood has Eric, Being Human had Mitchell, The Vampire Diaries has Damon and Twilight has Edward (yes, so shoot me.) They’re all easy on the eye, and verily delectable. My perfect vampire would have to be Damon’s personality in Eric’s body with Edward’s intense love and Mitchell’s dress sense.
Last summer Syfy decided they were going to show Buffy in its entirety on a daily basis, from the first episode of Season 1 through to the final episode of Season 7. As I’d just taken voluntary redundancy and had months of nothingness looming ahead of me I decided to throw caution to the wind and see what all the fuss was about. And I became well and truly hooked. I didn’t really like Buffy herself, nor Angel, but I did have a soft spot for Willow and Xander, Anya and Spike. Oh, and I fell very much in lust with both Seth Green and his character Oz (despite the fact that I didn’t like it when he turned into a werewolf.) Some of the acting was rather wooden, the fighting laughable and the make-up ridiculous but I still couldn’t tear myself away from it.
This morning I still had four episodes left to watch. This afternoon I have none. Yes, I shed a tear when Buffy told Spike she loved him and yes, I was pretty annoyed that Anya’s death barely registered. I REALLY detested that girl who threw herself at Willow, but I LOVED that Spike turned all lovely and world-saving.
This post is a very long-winded way of me saying that I’ve had to learn that reality can be suspended for an hour or two each day. I still don’t ‘get it’ and I have no intention of trying to wrap my head around it but I don’t need to understand it in order to enjoy it anymore.
I’m a big girl now.