"Look," I said, "skip to page 18 and start there. It's just 'Woe, I am so pale and slim and whiny in a new town' until then. And stop once you get to vampire baseball. That's when the plot shows up, and you're not really concerned with that. Bella's unconscious for most of it anyway."
So Faramir One started off with the Zomg Hotties in the Caf, Pretty Boy Is So Meen to Me chapter, and Faramir Two picked up with chapter two ("In summary, Edward looks like a movie star in a hair gel commercial. Tag, you're it"). I didn't stick around for the whole back-and-forth recap, but I did hear a bit here and there while I was working.
"Well, it's coming back in. It's a modest, neutral color in a bad economy where flash and excess seems tacky."
"But--the sleeveless shirt? Come on, his family can afford sleeves. That's just girly."
"Actually, it sounds quite butch. In a Village People kind of way."
So Faramir One was cramming Twilight by night and courting Eowyn by day, and it started to really show in his face, with the dark circles under his eyes and all (Faramir Two, helpfully: "Hey, you're starting to like a sparklepire"). Eowyn, meanwhile, had finished New Moon. As horrifying as the whole Jacob thing was to her, she went back into a Teen Beat swoon for the attempted suicide by sparkle part. So now she's moved on to Eclipse (and asking if I've heard any news updates about Tonner possibly making an Alice Dollen). Now that Eowyn's actually got some prospects of romance, I'm afraid she's going to shift from identifying with Jacob to identifying with Bella, and Bella at the height of her fuckwittery at that, and let me tell you, I would rather not get an Edward Dollen at all than see Faramir shunted aside like Teen Wolf Too, so this is a concern.
"Oh, man. Chapter fourteen. He admits to sneaking into her room and watching her sleep."
"That is WRONG. That is SO WRONG. He's so concerned about chivalry and he would do that? I don't know about sparklepires, but that is certainly unbefitting of a Ranger of Ithilien, I'll tell you that much."
"I would put nothing past this kid at this point."
"And I would never watch the Lady Eowyn while she slept. Not unless she said I could."
Meanwhile, Iorek was still very upset about the whole archery incident, pointing out (very reasonably) that his dignity would not have suffered such injury if he'd had his armor. And I've been meaning to take care of that, and it sounded like a good way to make it up to him, so I trooped him and Lyra and Eowyn (as a way of making amends) down to the kitchen to look for some skyfoil.
"You think this is enough?"
"THAT IS NOT SKYFOIL."
So I crumpled it up into a ball and threw it up in the air. It landed with a tiny flat thwack on the table. "How's that?"
"THAT IS ACCEPTABLE."
So then they helped him put the panser back in his bjørn--Iorek would have, should have, wanted to do it himself, but he does not have thumbs. I won't even say "like a proper armored bear," because God knows his feelings have been hurt enough. Instead, he let Lyra and Eowyn work on fitting the skyfoil, with frequent instructions and asides ("SHINY SIDE DOWN, PLEASE. I WOULD LIKE IT A BIT TIGHTER AROUND MY HINDQUARTERS. DON'T FORGET MY NOSE").
I wasn't so sure he'd be happy with it, but he seemed satisfied for the moment: "I WILL CONTINUE TO IMPROVE THIS." And if nothing else, it'll protect him from Cupid's wayward arrows for the time being.
(I think I'm going to get him some heavy-duty foil, maybe a little poster board, and work on some plate-style armor. Because... really. He kind of looks like a baked potato right now. A panserbjørn deserves better than this.)
By the time I got back upstairs, the secret reading marathon was complete. Faramir Two was rubbing his eyes; Faramir One was slumped back in his box.
"This is what she likes. This. Beige turtlenecks and Adonis beauty and godlike cupcake sparkles. Well. I'm just going to go kill myself now."
"Look, you have time on your side. Of course the whole thing is ridiculous, and quite honestly, after reading all that, I question whether he really likes girls at all, but he's not here right now, is he? She's warmed up to you, things are going great, and Valentine's Day is at the the end of the week--"
"Ohhhhh no. Oh, dude. I really think you should avoid that. The expectations would be way too high. The pressure--"
"But what if he doesn't do anything? How's she going to like that?"
"But what am I supposed to do?"
"You could give her all the poetry you've written."
"No! NO! My writing is private!"
"Simmer down, Shakespeare. We'll think of something."
"What about jewelry?" Faramir Two turned to me: "Surely you've got something...?"
I looked over at my dresser, which is, in fact, littered with beads and bobs and odds and ends. In fact, I have a number of seed bead stretch bracelets that would actually make pretty good necklaces. But... "It's too soon for jewelry. Way, way too soon."
Faramir One sighed. "See, Aragorn has it easy. The whole Evenstar thing--it's right there in the books--"
"It's hardly in the books, it's really more a movie thing--"
"Whatever. He knows it's important, he's told it's important. And it's hers anyway, he doesn't even have to pony it up himself. Meanwhile, I'm over here..." He ran his hands through (well, over, I guess) his molded plastic hair in frustration and kicked the copy of Lord of the Rings that I lent him. It wobbled a little. "I keep reading the book to figure out what I'm supposed to do, and this starry mantle thing is a great idea, but where am I supposed to get one of those?"
I sat back in my chair, struck by a thought: "You know... I do have this scarf."
It's a fairly common scarf--you see it a lot in the kind of catalogue that sells tarot cards and celtic jewelry and books on Wicca. It's a deep blue, printed with stars and moons--gold on one side and silver on the other. (I've seen them sold in several colors, in fact.) So after asking y'all to think findy thoughts, I plunged back into my closet and found it... right on top of the drawers I'd already looked in. So we're going to have a fitting tonight with White Arwen--her dress is the same color as Eowyn's, after all, and she's pretty good at keeping secrets, what with the not talking much and all. Wish us luck, then.
(More from the Secret Life of Dolls.)