I was talking about this with a friend, and I finally really could articulate the one, huge, horrible thing that bothers me about Bella.  It does, however, require a little bit of personal history, so bear with me.

In the middle of my sophomore year in high school, my brother could no longer deal with the living situation.  I don’t want to go into details, that would be somewhat epic, but suffice it to say no 13 year old should feel unsafe in his own home.  My mother decided that she was going to take him to live in Oklahoma, where most of her side of the family is.  We were living in Plano, Texas at the time.

I was 16 at the time, and I was given a choice: I could stay in Texas with Dad and my sister, or I could go to Oklahoma with my mother and my brother.

To further exaggerate the similarity between my moving situation and Bella’s: I spent several weeks every summer in Oklahoma at Grandma and Grandpa’s house, I had lived in Norman when I was very little, and I did occasionally see it as I grew older even after we moved.  So my situation with mostly growing up in Plano, all my school friends and my social life there, the fact that I had roots in Norman but hadn’t really lived there since I was little and had only seen it in tiny snapshots since I had, and had family and so forth in Norman- this really parallels Bella’s situation in a lot of ways.

The TL; DR version: I made a conscience decision to move to a place I hadn’t been since I was little at around the same age as Bella.  Sharing personality traits that Bella is supposed to have (I am actually AM plain, I am intelligent and am a voracious bookworm, always have been).  I also was socially awkward and left behind only a few people worth continuing to speak with.

She never, not once, while living in Forks does ANY of the things I did after the move.  Things other people ALSO do after a big move.  Here is a small sampling:

1: There were nights when I would ruminate on a vague acquaintance, and wonder which school I knew them from.

2: For the first two weeks of being at the new school, every time I walked out of the orchestra room I turned the wrong direction and walked straight into a wall.  I still did it, every once in a while, for years.

3: I would see someone from behind at my new school, and call them by an old acquaintances name before realizing I had no clue who the person was.

4: I would dial the incorrect home phone number.

5: I would recite my address as the Plano address, and when asked where I lived I would tell people Texas before remembering that I was IN Norman.

6: I got lost in a school by turning down the wrong hallway during lunch.  It took me five minutes to find someone to reorient myself- I am very good with direction, and rarely get lost.

7: Every once in a while I would smell something that would, for some reason or another, remind me so strongly of home that I would feel sick to my stomach.

8: People and places that reminded me of Plano became fixations for me.  When I got my license, I often spent time in Wal-Mart, just because it was exactly like the Wal-Mart in Texas. (I know, that’s what Wal-Mart DOES but still). There were also classrooms at school that were a lot like classrooms in Texas, which I spent time in every day.

9: Every day, every single day for months (and still, idly, to this day) I wondered if I had made the right decision.  There were many days were I sat and daydreamed about what I’d be doing if I had stayed in Texas, who I would be hanging out with, what we would be doing.

While Bella bitches about the weather difference, she does NONE of the things that would indicate she is grieving her former life.  She claims to be whiny and not want any company, but I can tell you what a whiny, emo bookworm who doesn’t want any company might do for lunch: she bolts down lunch and spends it in the library.

I did that for almost ALL of my sophomore year.  Bought popcorn chicken (it was available a la carte) and wolfed it real quick, swigged something real quick and spent the rest of lunch in the library.

For all her talk of being a bookworm, I’d like to point out, she visits a bookstore once that I know of, and it was for a plot point, not because she wanted to pick something up.

I’m not saying that Bella had to do all (or ANY) of the things above, what I’m saying is that Stephanie Meyer at no point makes it clear that Bella has lived somewhere else for most of her life except have Bella fuckin’ whine about it.  I realize that this kind of grief will manifest differently in different people, but the point is that we don’t SEE this grief.  She’s whiny, but she never does any of the things that tells you she’s grieving her former life.

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