I started reading the Harry Potter books when I was in college. It was only slightly mortifying at the time to be caught with what were seen — at the time — as children’s books. But I noticed that other people were also reading them on the sly, and that this whole “Harry Potter thing” really seemed to be catching fire, so my embarassment was mostly tempered by these occurrences.
By the time the last Harry Potter book came out, I was on a downhill slide — not the big fan I once was — from when the books really hit their stride with The Goblet of Fire and The Order of the Phoenix. Half-Blood Prince had been a mild disappointment for me and I was really only anticipating the last book because I felt that I needed closure for characters in which I’d been invested for almost seven years.
So, it was with a deep sense of irony and self-effacing humor that my friends and I went down to the West Alabama Bookstop (& Theatre!) for the midnight release party of The Deathly Hallows. Even the release party itself was deflated and tired and smaller than the riotous release party had been for Half-Blood Prince. Clearly, I was not the only one hanging on by a thread, ready to end this marathon.
After reading The Deathly Hallows, I managed to come away even more disappointed. And not just with the book, but with the way that the entire series ended. And also a little disappointed in myself for getting so interested in what eventually turned out to be mostly sound and fury.
But what struck me this morning as I perused the gossip websites was the news that the final book will be released as two movies — and will be released when I am 31 years old.
I am not comfortable contemplating the idea that I will eventually turn 30 years old, much less 31. That’s one step closer to 40 and then 50 and then 60 and then diapers, bedpans and death. Say what you will. Mock me. But I’m not ready to get any older than I already am, especially since I’ve accomplished about three out of one hundred things that I had hoped to accomplish at this point in my life.
Also…there’s the nagging feeling that perhaps 31 is too old to see a Harry Potter movie without the benefit of Netflix. Someone please tell me that I’m wrong and being foolish. And that it’s normal for a 27 year old to be having an overly-early-midlife, Harry Potter-induced crisis.
I always knew that Harry Potter would turn out to be evil in some way…