Everything I Know About Relationships I Learned From Harry Potter

Last fall, Emma Watson, being her amazing usual self (she makes the rest of us 20-somethings look like terrible slackers) interviewed my personal hero, J.K. Rowling for Wonderland Magazine. You can read the text of the interview here.  And while you’ll find–if you read the article–that what Rowling and Watson actually discuss is not quite what the media made it out to be, journalists–and subsequently fans–were in an uproar because a quote leaked from the interview seemed to suggest that Rowling thought she had made a mistake in pairing Ron and Hermione together. Instead, it seemed as though Rowling thought Harry and Hermione should have wound up together.

I’ll admit, I was one of those fans that immediately felt the need to state to the entire world of social media that I was very upset by this suggestion. It wasn’t that I didn’t think Harry and Hermione, as characters, could have worked well as a couple. It was more the whole principle of the thing. Now, having read the entire interview, I am much less offended (I get very emotionally attached to the works of literature that I love, if you can’t tell) by Rowling’s comments. The whole ordeal has led me to consider why I felt so strongly about this bit of news, however, and this is what I realized:

Everything I know about relationships I learned from the Harry Potter series.

I think part of the reason Harry Potter became such a big hit was the thought that Rowling put into her characters and the Wizarding World. Every character had a background, story, and flaws. Rowling put a lot of thought into who would wind up with who according to compatibility and personality, not just because of she’d seen it in literature structure before, or because she thought certain characters needed or deserved love.

Though, apparently, this was less the case with Ron and Hermione.

I like Ron and Hermione together, though. Not just because that relationship was a long-time coming throughout the books. I like Ron and Hermione together because they aren’t perfect, and their relationship certainly isn’t perfect. So often stories get written as though romance is really a giant bandage that heals all wounds and covers all flaws. But it doesn’t. If anything, it fleshes out these flaws and brings them to the surface. Successful relationships are the ones that can acknowledge, work-through, and move-on from these flaws, accepting that these things are just a part of life. They aren’t going away.

People want to pair Hermione and Harry together because they are both strong, talented, independent and confident in their abilities, and that makes sense. But to me, that’s like when I was four and I would pair my ken dolls to my barbies according to hair color. It doesn’t matter. You could say that Ron and Hermione should be together because they balance each other out: Hermione is a confident, logical thinker, and Ron is a supportive, emotional thinker.

What Rowling’s novels taught me is that there is no right or wrong answer. There is simply knowing yourself well enough to know what’s right and wrong for you. Relationships are about accepting what you can’t change and working through it, like Lupin and Tonks; Honoring one another in decisions, like Ginny and Harry; and Supporting each other in everything else, like Mr. and Mrs. Weasley.

Oh, it also taught me that finding a date to the Yule Ball is a stressful affair and often winds up not living up to the hype.

Still, I think these are pretty good take-aways for a 20-something potterhead like myself trying to navigate this whole dating thing. Then again, if I’m taking dating lessons from a children’s book series, perhaps I need to re-evaluate a few priorities in my life right now.

-tlc

 

What I’ve Been Up To

In the last few weeks, my life has been crazy, so as I attempt to get ahead on these posts again (I had the whole day off and I’ve spent most of it watching TV, so I guess it’s my own fault I haven’t been more proactive) I just thought I would very quickly catch you up on my life right now. So without further introduction (and sadly, zero comedic whimsies because TIME!!) here are five things that have happened in the last month:

 

#1: I got a job! I repeat: I GOT A JOB. Let the gods of employment rejoice because I GOT A JOB. Drinks on me! (Just kidding because I’m still poor and LA is still expensive. If you want to invite me out to celebrate I’ll be brown-bagging it, as per-usual.)

 

#2: The job I was working before getting a JOB (yeah, it’s that amazing) that I guess you would technically consider employment and was paying me a fair dime but I didn’t announce to anyone because it was semi-short term and also reality TV (nothing wrong with that, I just would like to work more in scripted) pretty much consumed my life day and night. 12 hour days, 5 days a week is hard.

 

#3: My car died and was resurrected. I almost had to pay $1800 to get it fixed because the Cadillac converter went out in it. Shout out to Ramy, the dealership Service Rep, who found the federal warranty that covered most of the repair costs. Yeah!

 

Also, I don’t know a single thing about cars, but why in the world does my car need a Cadillac converter? I don’t even like Cadillacs.

 

#4: I started vlogging again. I’m trying desperately to not fall into the abyss of off-again, on-again  posting, so we’ll see how well this twice-a-month thing goes. I will also attempt to set this site up in the upcoming months so that I have a page that links straight to my Youtube channel, but until then, you can check the videos out here.

 

#5: And finally, I just spent like an hour giving my roommate a crash-course in comedic musicians like Ylvis, Flight of the Conchords, and The Lonely Island. You’re welcome, Meaghan.

 

-tlc

Reasons Why I Will Never Grow Up

I’m currently 23 years old. At this point in my life, I’ve permanently (well, fingers crossed) moved out of my parents’ home, graduated from college, and am living off of the sporadic income that I’m making for myself by attempting to find grown-up work. Life is both miserable and exciting on rotation. But, try as I might to pretend that I am a full-grown adult with the maturity of someone who is independent and living on her own away from her family, everyday I am reminded why I am still, and will always be, that five year-old little girl:

1) I am still an obsessive fan of Disney. To this day, I can sing more Disney songs by heart than recognize music on the radio.

2) Even though I live a thousand miles away from them, I still talk to my parents everyday. Sometimes multiple times a day. I know a lot of people talk to their parents regularly, but somedays I call my mother and think, wow, I’m 23 years old and I talk to my mom more than I’ve ever talked to a single guy I’ve dated. This may be a problem, I’m not sure. Therapists please feel free to weigh-in in the comments.*

*I welcome all professional advice, but just know that I will not pay you.

3) Applesauce is still the greatest invention of mankind.

4) I really like sparkly things.

5) Bawling your eyes out when life is even just a little bit hard is the adult version of throwing a tantrum.

6) I still like to be the center of attention.

7) I am ALWAYS right. No, I don’t care what you say, I just am. Because it’s the rules.

8) I ALWAYS win. ALWAYS. No, you don’t get to win because I said so, and it’s the rules.

9) I need a bedtime. If I’m too tired, the world starts to fall apart. It’s not pretty. You might be thinking, “I’ve seen you groggy, it’s not so bad.” But you haven’t seen me sleep deprived. Oh-oh-oh, sir, you have not seen me sleep deprived.

10) I still think that everything I do is more work than anything else anyone anywhere could be doing. My life is hard, what can I say? Feel bad for me.

This list could go on and on, but I think you get my point. I used to think that eventually I would grow out of these things, and start being a mature, independent adult. I used to assume this would come when I finally settled into a long-term, consistent big-kid job with health and benefits. Slowly, however, I am realizing that job or not, this is who I am, and I am never growing up. I’m not sure about this, but I think Peter Pan would think I was pretty cool.

A Random Open Letter to Taylor Swift

Dear Taylor,

I’m going to be straight up with you, I’ve always been skeptical of being your fan. Mainly because I’ve never really liked the idea of publicly shaming ex-partners for monetary gain. Of course, that’s a really harsh way of looking at it, and I have no idea what you’ve had to put up with in your relationships, so I’m guessing you feel justified in writing names. Also, clearly these dudes don’t mind the attention, because if they did, I think they’d be a little more wary of dating you, since they must know that being written about is part of the deal. I’ve also been skeptical ever since the “Love Story” lyric where you call yourself the scarlet letter, simply because I’m a big lit geek and I feel that reference was a bit of a stretch.

I will say that I appreciate and admire your openness about wanting to be independent and choosing to take time off from dating. I hate how Hollywood media is like an exaggerated form of high school where all anyone can do is gossip about other people’s relationships and private lives. (I say this hypocritically, since I just admitted that most of my skepticism comes from opinions about your dating life.) It’s nice to see a young woman navigate through all the BS of business and do well–even better than well, kick ass–at building a successful career and marketing herself. In that way, I think you are a great inspiration.

I also really admire how nice you are to your fans and how genuine you seem to be with everyone you meet (I say seem to be because obviously I don’t know you, so how can I really know one way or another?) and the fact that you have amazing style, yet somehow don’t let your appearance become everything about you. In my opinion, that rocks.

So, after years of skepticism, you have won me over, T-Swift. I think you would be an amazing friend (though this open letter to you may have killed any chance of you wanting to be my friend) and if there was ever a zombie apocalypse, I would definitely choose you to be a part of my zombie-killing posse. Along with J-Law, Emma Watson,  and Benedict Cumberbatch (I’m sorry, but that last name is just the most awesome, isn’t it?), of course.

P.S. I still won’t be buying 1989, though, because as much as I love Blank Space and Shake It Off, (as well as the ’80’s, and in general, any reference to the ’80’s, whether directly related or not) I am poor (like, really tight-budget, no spending on things other than necessities poor) and just can’t justify the purchase, sorry. I’m sure with your business savvy you’ve got enough stored away to make due without the profits of my purchase. I agree that arts are valuable, particularly in maintaining and fueling a sense of culture and self expression, which is vital in living a happy, healthy life, but I also think that because art is cultural, it should also be accessible, because it is so valuable it is invaluable, so I teeter on the edge of this debate. Basically I’m saying I agree that artists should be compensated fairly, but I also think that it’s unreasonable to ask consumers to spend $15 on music every time they want to listen to new music or a different artist. (Granted, if a consumer has that kind of money, then by all means, but I don’t think most of us do.) I do think pirating music is wrong, but I also like Spotify because it lets me listen to a range of talented artists, especially smaller indie artists I wouldn’t be exposed to from the radio without putting myself in debt.

I think this is a rough argument on either side, and, as usual, the consumer winds up being nothing but a tool on both ends. And that, I think, is unfortunate. However, I wish you the best of luck in standing up for what you think is right, and maybe someday when I have more money I’ll be able to enjoy the full 1989 experience.

Your new (but still slightly skeptical) fan,

tlc