Tonight marks the beginning of the end of one of the most incredible journeys of my life, and the lives of millions of fans: Breaking Dawn Part 2 is released in theatres.
So what better way to celebrate than to join 2,000-plus Twilight diehards from all over the world for a five-day camp out in the streets of downtown Los Angeles, all of us hoping for a chance to see Kristen Stewart, Robert Pattinson and Taylor Lautner walk the black carpet one last time.
Yes, I lived in a Twilight fan camp. For most of a week.
I laughed, I cried and I roughed it. But it was all worth it. The memories will last forever (just like Bella and Edward!), and here are the 10 most important lessons I learned:
1. Twi-hards is an understatement: Cullen Crest tattoos, trips to Forks and Vancouver, red contact lenses, glitter makeup to sparkle like a vampire, breaking and entering at Bella Swan's house. These are all things that take a Twilight fan into Twi-hard territory. These fans are not messing around. Believe me.
2. K.Stew has a hot bodyguard, and her hot bodyguard has a fan club: He even has a nickname, HBG. These girls in my fan camp even have a life-sized cut out of HBG, and came prepared and handed out Team HBG T-shirts, pins, and even fans to keep everyone cool after being subjected to HBG's hotness. I do not kid. (Follow them on Twitter @KStewsHBG.)
3. Guys, being a Twilight fan is a great way pick up girls: I was surprised to see all the testosterone walking around fan camp. I had to do a few double takes to make sure these hotties didn't get lost on their way to ESPN Zone. I asked one male Twilight fan (who was dressed up as Edward, sparkling in the sunlight) why guys should like the Saga. Fake Edward said, "If they are single, they would be stupid not too."
4. Rob has soft hands: Robert Pattinson and I held hands. Which means we are practically dating now. Scandal. Well, maybe that's not exactly what happened.
Here's what really happened.
During the Breaking Dawn Part 2 premiere this week, Rob was making his way down the line, and I was being crushed by the screaming, seizing Twi-hards behind the barricades. But I was ready. Flipcam? Check. Camera? Check. Breaking Dawn DVD and Shoupie (yes, there is an off-brand for a Sharpie)? Check.
The rest basically plays out in mind in slow-mo, on a loop. My future husband walks right in front of me and smiles. I raise my DVD up for him to sign it. Rob looks at me and puts his hand on top of mine. Our fingers interlock (I actually think my fingers got caught in his while trying to give him the Shoupie). This boy moisturizes. And I think he, like me, felt the sparks.
Anyway. Call me!
5. No shower? No problem! Five days of sleeping in a tent in downtown L.A., and you learn how to improvise. When my camper buddy had greasy hair we headed to the parking lot with a jug of water and a mini bottle of shampoo. We learned that hand sanitizer and antibacterial towelettes are your best friend. Also, don't forget to pack the deodorant. For everyone's sake.
6. Twilight turns us all into teenage girl: Seriously. At any given moment, someone somewhere in the tent city is sitting with a marker in hand ready to cover a poster board with slogans like "Team Edward" or "Imprint On Me, Taylor." Also, there isn't a tent in sight that isn't decorated like a 13-year-old girl's room.
7. Rob has soft hands: Oh wait. Did we cover that already? I think we did. So soft, though.
8. Fans share campfire confessions: Well, we weren't allowed to start fires at fan camp, but we did spend a lot of time at night talking about our favorite Twilight memories, speculating about the next day and talking about which stars would surprise us with a visit and T-shirts and memorabilia.
9. Watching with the stars is the best way to watch: To top off this once-in-a-lifetime experience, I scored a ticket inside the premiere. AH-MAZ-ING!!! I breathed the same air as Robert Pattinson and his hands. Be jealous. Oh and the movie was perfection.
10. Twi-harding is global: Never have I seen a more diverse group of people. Husbands and wives. Best friends. Sons and mothers. Brothers and sisters. Young and old. Even fans who met at previous Twilight events were camping together. Australia, London, New Hampshire, Venezuela were all representing. There is something for everyone in Forks, and in the last of the great Los Angeles Twilight fan camps.