Valentine’s Day Smackdown

As published in The Rye Record on February 10, 2012

My kids watch this unbelievably ridiculous show, “The Deadliest Warrior”, where modern day super nerds re-enact fantasy battles between warriors from various times in history. Examples include Attila the Hun vs. Alexander the Great or Joan of Arc vs. William the Conqueror. I’m not making this up; it’s really on TV. So in honor of Valentine’s Day, I’d like to create my own smackdown, a battle of the lovers, “The Ultimate Mate: Edward Cullen vs. Your Husband”. If your heart’s already racing, this article is for you. If you are wondering who Edward Cullen is, well, you have my sympathies and can skip straight to the Police Blotter. No judgment.

For those of you who are still with me, I’m guessing you’re Twilight fans too. Some of you, like me, read all 2,458 pages of the saga in a week, pausing only occasionally to order your kids pizza or take a cold shower. You probably feel a bit of shame about your preoccupation with an eternally 19-year-old vampire — who’s not real. Hey, I’m here for you.

But on with the battle…

Round 1: Beauty

Stephenie Meyer has been criticized for her overuse of adjectives like beautiful and gorgeous in Twilight. I’m here to argue she didn’t use enough. Edward Cullen is depicted as the handsomest specimen of a man ever to be born, bitten, and sent to eternal death/life. He’s tall and chiseled, with skin that even shimmers in the sunlight. I haven’t met your husband, but I’m pretty sure this category works out like this: Score 10 points for Edward.

Round 2: Devotion

Edward is completely devoted to Bella (I like to superimpose my face, nicely airbrushed, over hers) and is committed to her protection no matter what. And I mean no matter what. For example, one time he came across Bella in the woods making out with Jacob, his romantic rival. Let’s all pause and imagine how our husbands would react. Well, Edward was totally okay with this because, after all, he realizes this isn’t really about him. He just wants Bella to be happy. Score 12 points for Edward.

Round 3: Helpfulness

Edward is fabulously wealthy without all that pesky going-to-work and then complaining about it later. He never needs to be driven to the train, has no dry cleaning to be picked up, and requires no dinner. He also doesn’t sleep and likes to spend the wee hours of the night watching Bella sleep and lightly stroking her hair. In my fantasy, he just strokes my hair a couple of times and then sneaks down to the basement to do laundry until the sun comes up. Let’s give him points for that, because you know he’d do it. Score 15 points for Edward.

The battle seems a bit uneven, I admit. I mean how in the world is your mortal, aging husband going to compete with this? He’s confined by that darn time-space continuum and can’t fly at all. Well, I’ve given this a lot of thought, mainly because I really like my husband and I’d hate to have to leave him for a vampire (who’s not even real and may not be interested in me). Here’s where Your Husband measures up…

Round 4: Conversation

Edward only has two topics of conversation – how beautiful Bella is and how he wants to be with her forever. I can see how this would be pretty fun for the first few weeks of a relationship, but I imagine Bella would get a bit bored after a while. “Yeah, yeah, I’m beautiful, you love me. What else have you got? Do you know any jokes?” And the truth is that for a guy who’s been alive for more than 200 years, he really should have a lot more to say. Hey, Edward, what can you tell me about World War II? “Not much, but you sure are pretty.” See how this would get to you after a while? I’ll take topics like gridlock in the senate, real estate taxes, or the NFL draft any day. Score 18 points for Your Husband.

Round 5: The Nitty Gritty

Believe it or not, there are a few physical drawbacks to Edward. First of all, his body temperature is 32 degrees. No matter how handsome an ice sculpture is, I’m not going to want to snuggle up with one on a cold night. Not even in August. And, besides the obvious perks, it would be awkward to grow old with someone who remained 19 forever. There’s sympathy in nature, where my husband’s eyesight gets a little worse every year, as I get a little less easy on the eyes. Furthermore, there is really no amount of Aquafresh that could convince me that all that blood has really been washed off of his teeth. I mean blood is blood, right? It stains. Another 20 points for Your Husband.

Game over.

So it’s decided. In the match up of Edward Cullen vs. Your Husband, Your Husband wins, 38-37. Happy Valentine’s Day, and eat your heart out, Bella.

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