It began early last Saturday morning. Although I had done some planning, having been through the experience six times before, I’ve never been quite fully psyched up….and this time was no exception. My other half is reading “Harry Potter And The Deathly Hollows”. He was going to go up to Kroger’s at midnight (the milk had gone sour anyway, as if he really needed an independent excuse), but he fell asleep on the couch and Saturday morning he was up bright and early to make what proved to be a successful purchase at the nearby CVS. The enforced silence in our house began within the hour.
Since he’s the cook in our household, my contingency plan included stocking up on several boxes of breakfast cereal, chunky soup, and several bags of Frito’s Scoops to get me through the over 750 pages. Or I really should say to get ME through HIS getting through them. I haven’t read any of the Harry Potter books myself, although we’ve now seen all five of the resulting flicks, first in the theater and then on an addition to our DVD collection. I like the latter viewing forum because in our family room there are no teenagers behind us chatting on their cell phones and paying absolutely not attention to Ron Weasely, Sirius Black, or anybody else on the big screen. I guess they DID technically comply with the rules and put their $650 gadgets on “silent” or “vibrate”, and I’m sure that if the voice over the popcorn ad had explicitly asked them not to actually USE their devices during the movie they would have complied. Yeah, sure.
But back to the seventh and final spousal book read and its impact on my daily routine this week:
As I said, I personally haven’t read any of J.K Rowling’s best-selling works on the young wizard and his doings. For that matter, although I loved movies like the like Lord of the Rings, especially the ones without the teenagers and their cell phones, I’ve just not gotten into that kind of reading. Back in the 1950’s in high school I had to do a book report when I was in high school on Tolstoy’s “War and Peace”, with its scores of main characters, and the Holy Cross Brothers at Cathedral told us it was a mortal sin to use Cliff Notes. (Only a venial one to just THINK about using them.) Give me books by the Washington Post’s Bob Woodward any day. If they make a movie from those I’ll bet there won’t be many teenagers, cell phones or not. But maybe I ought to broaden my reading horizons, because I really do like books. When I was in elementary school more than a half-century ago I handled “Fun With Dick and Jane” with ease. (Don’t even ask which was more fun in that series….I hold SOME truths to be VERY self-evident.)
I’m hoping that this time around we won’t have a repeat of something that occurred about halfway through Jerry’s reading of the fifth book. After trying to get his attention for half an hour after the dishwasher started making noises I hadn’t heard since our neighbor’s boy backed over their cocker spaniel, I finally stood right in front of him, firmly grasping the seventh volume, and attempted to pull him away from Dumbledore for a few seconds. Instead, clearly irritated, he picked up a pencil, waved it squarely in my face, and uttered something like “Expecto penaltamus!” That scared the living p—s out of me, but I survived without any visible scars. No physical ones, anyway. But when I glanced outside and the automatic pool cover was rapidly opening and closing. There’s something to this magic stuff after all.
My Harry Potter widower-dom will come to an end in another day or so; in my heart of hearts I just know it will. It has, six times before. I need to have patience. I need to resist the temptation to glance at the last page or reading a review that spoils the ending and says whether Harry survives the series or not, and then hand my preoccupied honey a note ruining his (and then mine) day. I’ve not been able to find anything on the Internet, CNN, MSNBC or the Indianapolis Star that indicates whether or not Harry will survive. But who cares about Harry? It’s MY survival that’s at issue here.
Just don’t make me slap you for telling me there’s an eighth Rowling volume in the works to again occupy my beloved’s attention. Neither our dishwasher nor the pool cover is that indestructible. And my own extended warranty ran out half way through the Order of the Phoenix. Or was it the Half-Blood Prince? It couldn’t have been The Prisoner of Azkaban….I know, because for two weeks a couple of years ago, that prisoner was me.