So recently I bit the bullet, swallowed my pride, and began reading the first Harry Potter book. For years, I had promised myself that I never would read the series. I figured I only had room in my heart for ONE wizard, and his name is Gandalf… But being a fan of the fantasy genre, I figured I owed it to myself to be at least FAMILIAR with the biggest thing to come along since Narnia, so I decided to give it a shot even if I ended up hating it.
I am now prepared to admit that I have been a fool, I should have read the books YEARS ago, and I have misjudged Potter fans for over a decade. Mea culpa, mea culpa.
However, as a (now) adult fan of a series of books meant for kids, I feel the need to address the situation. Although I like the story, I feel that there are some responsibilities that come with my fandom. Following is a list of things I am allowed and NOT allowed to do as a grown-up Harry Potter fan.
- I am allowed to discuss the books with interested family, friends, and associates as it may be appropriate.
- I am allowed to recommend the books to family, friends, and associates if I think they will enjoy the series, or if I know they are on the fence about the series.
- I am allowed to defend the books up to a point, stating my appreciation of the works, while knowing that they are not for everybody.
- I am NOT allowed to say things like, “What do you MEAN you don’t like Harry Potter?!?” or to use my fandom of the series as a litmus test for existing or future friendships/relationships.
- I am NOT allowed under ANY circumstances to have a Harry Potter themed wedding.
- I am allowed to compare and contrast differences between the books and the movies, should I choose to ever view the latter.
- I am NOT allowed to wish death upon any actor, producer, writer, or other involved party if the movies are not to my personal satisfaction.
- I am allowed to state my fondness for the series on various social media pages (eg – Facebook, blogs, twitter, etc).
- I am NOT allowed to assume an e-mail address or screen-name that directly references a character name–with all due respect to all of the Dumbledores who may wish to dispute that in the comments section.
- I am allowed to make casual references to the series, particularly in a joking manner, or if it topically relates to the conversation at hand.
- I am NOT allowed to console a friend in a time of need with any sentence beginning with, “It’s like in Harry Potter…”
- I am NOT allowed to describe any party as a “Muggle” or memorize any spells from the books. (In fairness, I practice a similar rule in the reading of H. P. Lovecraft and his use of the Necronomicon. Just seems logical.)
- I am allowed to attend a fan gathering and/or theme party if others of my appropriate age-range will be taking part.
- I am NOT allowed to join a locally organized society of “wizards,” carry a wand, or refer to Quidditch as though it is an actual sport.
- I am allowed to express my disappointment or pleasure at any given major plot turn.
- I am NOT allowed to throw my books into the fire as a result of the same–or for that matter give a crap that Rowling stated after the end of the series that Dumbledore is gay, as though that mattered at ALL.
- I am allowed, if appropriate for a theme party or Halloween costume, to cosplay Hagrid. After all, there are so FEW costumes for a heavy-set, bearded gentleman…and really, who WOULDN’T want to walk around like that, if you’ve got the chance???
- I am NOT allowed to cosplay Harry Potter or (let’s face it) Ron Weasley under any circumstance. (And I’d really appreciate it if this were the LAST I heard of the Ron Weasley comparisons, by the way.)
- And–perhaps MOST importantly–I am not allowed to ever, EVER own an owl. That would just be an extremely irresponsible thing to do at this point in my life.
Thanks for indulging me.
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