Oh Edward, how I adore thee! But alas, you were not my first vampire love. No, long before you became the object of desire for thousands of swooning females, my heart belonged to another creature of the night - Angel.
Angel, the original brooding vampire with a conscious, who was hopelessly in love with a human girl, the Vampire Slayer no less. With his long duster coat, wickedly sarcastic sense of humor, and smoldering gaze, sigh - what girl didn't dig him?
I watched him deal with the Slayer and friends on "Buffy" and enjoyed his eponymously named television show. How could you not get a kick out his squabbles with Spike? And the tortuous love affair with Buffy - dude, I cried when she had to send him to Hell just as he got his soul back. And the time when he got to briefly experience life as a human again with Buffy only to have her and the rest of the world forget it happened - sob! In my mind, he and Buffy end up together some day. Joss Whedon, I know you are busy with "Doll House", but get crackin' on my dream, man!
Even though the shows are off the air, I still got my Angel fix with a little help from DVDs. The giant Buffy/Angel poster that one of my sisters bought for me and the cardboard cut-out of Angel a friend gave me provided the strength I needed to soldier on.
Then I discovered Edward and the Cullens. It started with me begrudgingly reading the first book at the absolute insistence of my younger sister. I am a stubborn cuss and finally gave in one day. "You'll really like it," she said. "Not likely," I thought.
As with most people, I do not enjoy admitting when I am wrong. But in this case... I was SO VERY WRONG!
The first book sucked me in and I read straight through so I was done within a day. I got the occasional call from my sister, Little T, to see what part I was at. We would chat for a minute and then I'd dive back in, relishing the story. I was hooked and there was no looking back. Of course I wanted to continue with the rest of the series, but no, I had classes that needed to be finished, so I had Little T make sure to take the copy of New Moon I purchased and hide it for me. Once free of college coursework, right back to Forks, Washington for me. After taking three consecutive days of my Winter Break to power through all of Bella and Edward's triumphs and tribulations, my brain was mush and full of vampire goodness.
There are many, many differences between traditional vamp stories and the world Stephenie Meyer created. Yes, I lean towards the more well-known vampire ideas that sunlight equals Kentucky fried deadness and little pieces of sharp wood are not a bloodsuckers best friend. But really, who cares if someone adds something different to the folklore mix?
And so I sit atop this fence with my Buffy/Angel gang on one side and my Bella/Edward clan on the other. It can be a struggle sometimes to balance my devotion when having a friendly debate with fellow Twilight or Buffy fans, but that is the burden I have to bear. Though, I wouldn't mind if Joss and Stephenie decided to do a little collaborating some day. Imagine it...a tablespoon of singing, a cup of sarcasm, a healthy dash of gut-wrenching drama, and a pop culture reference or two wrapped up in a yummy vampiric shell. What more could a vampire fan (Twilight or otherwise) ask for?