The Trouble with Twilight AKA The Baboon who Loved Me

Originally published at Chicago Moms Blog in April 2009.

I finally read Twilight, the book that has millions of moms, not to mention teenage girls, going ga-ga over a good looking group of vampires. Meh, I'm not impressed. In fact, I'm especially bothered by one particular oversight.

Edward Cullen, the vampire so desired by Bella, a mere mortal high school student, has an equally strong pull toward her. He's intrigued by Bella as a person, a love interest, and, you know, also in that blood-sucking vampire way.

There are many points in the story in which Edward, who has a vampire's supernatural ultra-sensitive sense of smell, mentions Bella's special scent. How he craves and is crazed by it. That caused a big problem for me. If Edward found Bella's scent irresistible on a normal day, don't you think he must have gone nuts when she had her period? Or even when she was ovulating? As hormone levels in a woman's body fluctuate during her cycle so do her, um, special scents. And this can impact the males around them. I have personal experience with this.

He was short, but incredibly strong. He had mysterious, mesmerizing dark brown eyes, short hair that ranged from mocha to cafe au lait, and oh, those teeth. When I walked by him he was instantly and obviously aroused. He was a baboon.

Literally, a baboon.

I was a college student volunteering at what passed for a zoo in a tiny Texas town. Mostly I shoveled poop from tiny cages. One day as I walked by the male baboon's cage he gave me the ultimate salute.

The zoo's caregiver, an old man, followed steps behind me. "You must be on your period," he observed as I turned several shades of crimson. "They're sensitive to that kind of thing."
It was an odd feeling, embarrassment mixed with a slight pride in my ability to arouse males of many species simultaneously.

Certainly a book like Twilight requires a suspension of belief, but the smell thing kept bringing me back down to Earth. My interest in that book series is as fleeting as that baboon's desire for me. Hmmm. That gives me an idea for a new teen novel....

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