I've been in a funk the past few days, and not just from jet lag and a sudden and unexpected sickness.
I have always loved to read. Even as a small child, my favorite pastime was to curl up in my bed with a good book. But my life was permanently changed in 2000 when I read the first Harry Potter book.
I was not the first of my friends to read the book. I wasn't even the first in my family to read it. In fact, I spent two days in my cousin's bedroom in Saginaw basically devouring her copies. Immediately, I felt a connection. From that day on, I was a Harry Potter fanatic.
When the final book, Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, came out in 2007, I took the day off work. I had the book special delivered to my house. I finished it in twelve hours, and cried the last three. It was the last book. My only consolation was that there were still movies to come out.
Besides the first movie and the first part of the last movie, I've attended all of the midnight premieres. My record for seeing a movie in the theaters is five times, for Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix.
So the fact that I was in China for the premiere of the final Harry Potter movie was crushing. It may not seem like a big deal for most, but for me, it was devastating. I stayed off of the internet for days, not wanting anything to remind me of what I was missing.
photo credit here
I went to see the movie the day after I got back from China, and I had to restrain the audible sobs. Sure, I was crying because the last book makes me cry no matter how many times I read it -- but I was also crying because this is the last one. Never again will I dress up as Luna Lovegood for a midnight premiere. Never again will I host a Harry Potter party, complete with the House Banners, Chocolate Frogs, and butterbeer.
Why does Harry Potter resonate so much with me? I can't say, exactly. Like thousands of other people, I feel like I've grown up with Harry, Ron, and Hermione. I'm more jealous of their friendship than their wizarding skills. (Though I mean, duh, I want to be a wizard.) The complicated balance of truth, loyalty, and good vs. evil that J.K. Rowling weaves throughout the seven books is mesmerizing, as is the attention to detail -- I discover something new each time I read the book.
I think above all, though, is that many people can identify on a fundamental level with Harry's journey. Maybe he's not a regular human (I mean, he's a wizard), but he's just a young boy at the beginning of the novels with the weight of his whole world on his shoulders, and on top of all of that he has to deal with normal growing pains like problems with friends, girls, and doing what's right, even if it's not popular. Harry's mistakes, as well as his triumphs, endear him to me. And the loyalty and love he displays in spite of all of that is astounding.
I realize that not everyone feels this way about Harry Potter (EVEN THOUGH YOU SHOULD!) (kidding) (maybe) This post may not be about finance and budgeting, but feel free to leave your comments. Have you ever felt strongly about something fictional? Let your nerd flag fly here or on Facebook!