I came home to go see the midnight premiere of ‘New Moon’ (the second movie of the ‘Twilight’ series) with my best friend and her family. That’s right. I said it. And I am only mildly to moderately ashamed. But to clarify, my shame is not a genuine, innate shame but rather an external, societally inflicted shame forced upon me by our quick-to-mock culture. So it doesn’t really count as real shame. (For an example of authentic, legitimate, justified shame, see Crocs.)
My best friend and I are midnight premiere pros (or, as we are sometimes called, dorks). We’ve been to every ‘Harry Potter’ midnight show (not to mention ‘Twilight,’ ‘Pirates of the Caribbean,’ and a few ‘X-Men’ and ‘Spider-Man’ premieres) since our junior year of high school when we learned we could still make it to school the next day after getting only four hours of sleep, running on adrenaline and the rapture of literary junkies seeing their favorite books brought to life. After so many years, we’ve pretty much mastered the art of the midnight premiere. We get to the mall around seven, get dinner, and then brave the hoards of squealing tweens to get our space in line. Some midnight premiere necessities: snacks, pillows (the tile floor of the mall is unsurprisingly hard and cold…not unlike a vampire), a deck of cards or board game (we recommend Balderdash), magazines, folding chairs (this can be logistically challenging as someone has to run the chair back to the car before entering the theater—timing is key, this is for experienced midnight-movie-goers only), sunscreen, WD-40, saline solution, Red Bull (or Speed if you prefer), and of course your tickets. Then you wait in line for two to three hours until the ushers shepherd everyone into theaters. This is where the rioting begins. The excited high-pitched screams of adolescent girls will signal that it’s time for to get up, shake the circulation back into your limbs, and move your ass in the direction of the theater. Once you cross the threshold, it’s pretty much a mad dash to the theater. Nominate two people from the group to run (or “walk with haste”) to the theater, pushing and shoving other patrons if necessary, in order to ensure quality seats. Meanwhile, the rest of the group alternates between concessions duty and bathroom breaks. After you’ve claimed your seats using articles of outerwear or bags to mark your territory you can pretty much relax until the previews start. Of course, every time the lights dim, or a preview comes on, or a certain pale, bed-headed Brit whose name rhymes with Shmobert Fattinson comes onscreen the crowd will inevitably squeal with glee. This gets irritating once the movie actually starts and the audience feels the need to punctuate any remotely exciting scene (i.e. shirtless Taylor Lautner, which occurs approximately every five to seven minutes) with their piercing screams. This is the price you pay for seeing the midnight premiere.
I’d like to state for the record that I was a huge fan of the books before it was a cultural phenomenon that had invaded every facet of American life. Back when I fell in love with ‘Twilight’ there was only one book in the series and the thought of a movie adaptation was little more than wishful thinking from Stephenie (the author) and her small-but-devoted fan base. That was three and a half years and more than $500 million ago. So, to all you haters out there, you can mock us all you want, but those sparkly vampires and werewolves and their rabid fans are saving our economy. You’re welcome.