The week leading up to Valentine's Day, 2001.
Hallmark store, Provo Towne Centre Mall.
My brother reaches for, of all things, a Harry Potter-themed 'retro' metal lunch box.
Examining it in his hands, he explains, "She's really into Harry Potter."
"Well, she is. I haven't read them, either, but she seems to really like the books."
I don't remember if he got her the lunchbox.
Late June, 2003; a phone call.
"Hi, Lisa, it's Jenny. I'm wondering if I could borrow the first Harry Potter book from you. ... Nope, I've never read any of them. Monica has long loved them, and I . . . I just want to see."
In truth, I want to read it to prove it all stupid. Give some credence to my ridicule. Then I could give them a message, maybe as a joke, a part of what I write to them in their wedding card: I read the stupid books. They're actually stupid.
August 15, 2003.
I have a different message.
The books? I can't put them down.
I read the first five books in six weeks.
In the middle of the night, while the rest of my family sleeps, I sit in my bed, shaking with sobs at the revelation of Snape's memories. I always trusted him.
15 July, 2011 -- Friday afternoon.
Cinemark, Provo Towne Centre Mall.
Kacy, Lisa, and I are first into the theater for the 3:55 p.m. showing of the final movie. I had waited in line since 12:30 that afternoon. My back hurts, and I have to go to the bathroom for nearly the entire movie (and it's a long one). But I watch. And I quietly cry. Cry because it's ending, cry because of Snape, cry at Narcissa's motivations, cry because of Fred. And such. I feel disappointed in the lack of battle between Bellatrix and Sister Weasley, but conclude that it can be Our Little Secret, a shared experience for those who have read the books. (My only other disappointment (and it is small) is in Sister Weasley's non-reaction to Professor McGonagall's excitement at being able to dispatch the Suits of Armor.) Overall, I am riveted, melancholy, and satisfied. A very little, I'm embarrassed at being 34 and crying about the Fake Boy Wizard movie.
Only a little.