Thursday, July 14, 2011

The End of an Era

Irony - I've spent the last few weeks at a writing project, writing several pages everyday, none of which made it onto my blog.  I absolutely loved the experience, and if anyone is in the mood for some writing, I have some prompts ready to go for you.  It's also been a very busy few weeks - a new job for me, a promotion for Matt, and a new house that is my little house of dreams.  But in thinking about all this adulthood, today becomes even more cheesily poignant. 

I'm 26 years old.  That means that Harry Potter has been a part of just about half of my life.  Tonight I will see the last movie at midnight, and it feels like the end of something very grand.  I have years of memories wrapped around the books and movies, spanning from middle to high school to college.  Now, I talk about the books with my students who are reading them for the first time - who weren't even born when the madness started!  I've been to midnight movie premieres and midnight book launches.  I'm only a little ashamed to admit that for some of them I've been in costume, and I'm happier to say that I've always gone with good friends. I reread the books, I rewatch the movies, and that's something I share with a lot of my generation. 

I remember the agitation as I waited for the books, especially 7, and the heated discussions with friends - was Dumbledore really dead?  Was Snape good or evil?  Who is the Half-Blood Prince?  Who all is going to live and die?  We made our predictions, we were  shocked and surprised, and everything ended so much better than I thought it could.  I think J.K. Rowling is an amazing author.  The best part for me about reading the books is seeing how brilliantly she connected all the pieces.

When the last book came out, I had just graduated from college, the end of another era.  Matt and I each bought a copy at the midnight launch, and then went back to the apartment I shared with Katie.  We spent all day reading in three separate rooms, pausing only briefly to scarf a granola bar or something else that only required one hand to eat.  Towards the end, I had to put it down and step away for a moment because I was too emotionally involved.  I was the first one to finish, and I honest to God hugged the book.  The only time I've ever even come close to hugging a book is when I read Northanger Abbey knowing it would be the last time I read a Jane Austen book for the first time.  I don't know if I'll ever be that involved in a series again.

And now the movie tonight - I have something of a love/hate relationship with the movies, because there's so much that just doesn't make it onto the screen.  I'm a purist.  But there's still a lot more love than hate, and I'm incredibly excited for the last one.  I have a heart of steel, and only 2 movies to date have wrung tears from my flinty soul:  Eight Below and Marley and Me.  Tonight could be number 3.

In reading this over, I sound like a pretty silly fan girl.  I'm not to the level of some - I don't write fan fiction, my future children will not be Harry and Ron, and I don't have any plans for a Deathly Hallows tattoo.  But tonight at 11:00, I'm going to draw an eyeliner scar on Matt's forehead, fill my purse with snacks, and sit in a theater with hundreds of other fans.  And if you judge me for that, maybe you're just a Muggle.