Some friends think I got into the Kool-Aid.

Others think I’m going through a strange phase, that I’ve embraced the latest fad.

But it’s no cultish, passing fancy. And I’m not joining the latest media craze because, well, because it’s there. No, this is the real deal. I absolutely LOVE the Twilight films.

The weekend that the latest film opened in theaters, I went to a going-out-of-business video store and got the first film for $5 (Yes, I probably could have found it on Amazon for a buck, but timing is everything).” I watched it, and I was mesmerized. For nearly two hours, I was 17 again, exploring the idea and angst of first real love.

And I was dying to know what happened next. So I grabbed the remote and ordered the sequel film On Demand. I barely moved, riveted by the second chapter of an entirely engrossing love story.

When that film was over, I grabbed the car keys and headed to my favorite movie theater to see the latest in the saga of Bella Swan and Edward Cullen, one 17 only through the second film, the other 17 for nearly a century. A gaggle of teenage girls sat behind me as the previews rolled. When the movie began, and they continued to talk, I turned and said in my closest imitation of a 17-year-old: “Seriously?!”

They stopped talking, and I was back in Forks, the tiny, town that is damp and overcast enough for a family of vampires to live, and live according to their strange creed: They eat only animals, not people.

In the days since, I’ve watched scenes from the first film over and over: the first moment that Edward speaks to Bella in biology class and she tells him she hates “any cold wet thing,” the first time he saves her and the look they share, the moment she reveals that she knows what he is.

As I spent the past two weeks embracing Twilight, I thought back to the days when my daughter was cuckoo for Harry Potter, and how we were in that midnight line for the first sales of every book in the series.

I missed that with Twilight, but I’m glad. It makes me more certain that I love these films for me, not because of the hype. I love them for their ability to bring up memories of young love and first kisses.

Kudos to Stephenie Meyer for finding in her head characters that can carry a franchise on their shoulders. Kudos to me for not caring that I’m drinking the Kool-Aid. I can’t wait for the fourth installment, Breaking Dawn.

I might even go back and read the books.