Vampiracally Speaking

I have never been one for vampires.

There was that one class in college my senior year, when I needed a diversion from thesis writing and Honors seminars. It was memorable mostly for the professor, a youngish, spry fellow who you just knew would someday end up in bed with a student. One example of his questionable judgment: On the day that specs — i.e., high schoolers — were sitting in on the class, he showed us a long clip from an NC-17, campy Andy Warhol romp.

Anyway, I have no real complaints about that class. I ended up with an A and got to read Dracula for the first time, which I recommend as a perfect Victorian artifact.

Years before, as a young teenager, I read Memnoch the Devil, about which I only recall that two lovers bond when — spoiler alert! — the undead man laps up the woman’s menstrual blood. That would never fly in an age of AIDS education.

One Twilight movie was quite enough for me, thank you. The closest I’ve come to the books has been listening to Alex rip hilariously through them.

And so on. Vampires? Eh. They’re strong, I guess, generally European and high-class; they dress well. I remain unmoved.

Why then have I gotten so drawn into Buffy the Vampire Slayer over the last month? And how embarrassing is this to even admit? It’s a TV show (check) that aired on the WB (check) aimed at teenage girls (double check) featuring witches, vampires, and a sci-fi / fantasy plot (KILL ME NOW).

Even worse: I developed serious flutterings for one of the characters. You know which one. The one with the cheekbones and the (okay, fake, but still unfathomably sexy) British accent. Watching Spike — his name is Spike, for christ’s sake! what is he, a pit bull? — I felt like a 15 year old again unable to look away from Titanic.

I cried during Titanic. Then I went to the theater to cry through it again. Only on the third viewing, this time on HBO, did I notice how awful the script was. Sure, it was sad that the Irish moppets died, and the sweet old couple, and those noble musicians, but mostly I watched Leonardo DiCaprio and Kate Winslet and I cried because I thought I would never have a love that pure.

Spike is a much darker protagonist than Jack, of course, more in the line of merry, amoral Rhett Butler for whom I also nursed a teenage devotion. When push came to shove, though, Rhett Butler was willing to walk away from a passion that was killing him. Spike and Jack, bless their tragic hearts, see it through like characters in Italian opera, expiring to save the woman they love.

I’ve been in a happy relationship for almost ten years now, and apparently, for some reason, that moony 15 year old lives on. I am no better than the girls participating in the endless “Spike or Angel?” debates. To which, btw, I say, Are you kidding? One of them stomps around looking sullen all the time. The other?

The other is a funny, lanky, sex-obsessed, cheerfully profane Brit. You hear me, out there in tween land? NO CONTEST.

And now I’m telling you about it, because I have not even a smidgen of pride left.

6 thoughts on “Vampiracally Speaking”

  1. I know I rebuff the Buffy whenever it comes up, but after reading this post, I’m tempted to give it one more shot. If you are eh about vampires and somehow managed to get sucked into the Buffy empire, maybe it could happen to me?

  2. Ester- We’ve discussed this. I looooved Buffy when it came out. My sister watched it all over again on netflix months ago also. I finally started watching True Blood. I am in it for Lafayette, such a great actor.

    1. I’ve heard True Blood is a deliciously campy Southern gothic hot mess. Maybe in honor of my upcoming trip to New Orleans, I’ll try it.

  3. The fellow who played Spike is now a recurring character on “Hawaii Five-O,” a show that I know I shouldn’t like but I really enjoy. His hair is brown, his accent this time is Irish, and he’s still smoking hot. But back to vampires (who, btw, do nothing for me, either), you really should watch “True Blood.” It’s not a perfect show, but it’s a *lot* of fun.

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