I have a feeling that the reactions to this article will, in fact, only result in more awkward moments as I’ll have to board up my front door or travel to the most distant shady island-hotel I can find in order to avoid the impending bombardment of Harry Potter books magically finding their way to wherever I am. Yes, I realize I just incidentally compared myself to the horrible uncle in the Harry Potter world (I saw the movies recently); I’m not proud of it either.
Nonetheless, I’m putting myself out there for the sake of my fellow Harry Potter abstainers, whether incidental or fully intentional. Maybe my confession will help them breathe easier knowing they are not alone as one of the freakish few who somehow managed to not read Harry Potter... despite the worldwide hysteria that has all but insisted that we haven’t truly lived until we’ve read about a boy wizard and a whole bunch of essentially racist murderers that he and his friends have to stop.
Indeed, dear fellow Potterless souls, you are not alone. Some others of us have experienced the awkward moments, the gaping surprise faces, the outrage, and the Potter shaming of being among the last vestiges of the population who have not yet fallen under the spell of —er… what’s the school’s name again? Griffen-something? Pottermore? Erm… I’m only making it worse, aren’t I? Welp. I’ll just go ahead and add this sentence to the list of awkward moments, too.. If, like me, you’ve kept Harry Potter and co. out of your TBR pile, you’re probably perfectly familiar with at least a few of these awkward moments.
1. That Time You Saw a Bunch of People Running Around On Brooms
For me, it was college. The previous year, I’d been surprised by what I learned was called Ultimate Frisbee taking place in the freshmen courtyard. The very next year, when I saw what looked like broomstick rugby, I just kind of assumed the new batch of freshmen had gone a little crazy or were making a bizarre political statement about housecleaning… I’ve since been enlightened, and yet, it’s no less weird.
2. “What House Are You? I Bet You’re a [Insert Ridiculous-Sounding Name Here]”
“Huh? A what-a-dor?” This one was extra awkward for me because my university actually had “houses” that you could belong to. So, when I answered with my residential house, there was confusion all over the place.
3. That Time You Geeked Out on Ursula K. LeGuin’s Earthsea Series and Tried to Introduce All Your Friends To This Awesome, Innovative Series About a Boy Wizard Who Saves the World…
I mean, technically Earthsea was published first, but, uh, yeah, you look a little foolish when you try to explain the plot of Earthsea to your Potter-fan (is Potterhead the official term?) friends.
4.. That Time You Got an Instant Cold Shoulder From a Newbie Friend When She Found Out You Haven't Read Harry Potter
You guys totally hit it off in every other way and you were totally about to be besties for life. And then she showed you the full-sized tattoo of some obscure Harry Potter reference on her back and you had no idea what it was. You’ve never seen such utter disappointment and condemnation on a human face before.
5. When Everyone Sets Off a Five-Minute Round of Harry Potter Jokes and References And You're Like...
So you just sit there and awkwardly chuckle when everyone else does.
6. When the Last Book Came Out and You Were The Only One Not Crying
You didn’t know! Well...you still don’t really know, but, thanks to the glory of the Internet, you’ve at least stopped laughing whenever someone tells you how much the last book destroyed them. I mean, kid death is sad, even if they’re fictional wizard kids you don’t know anything about.
7. That Time Your Potterhead Friend Lent You Her Precious Copy of Book One… And Then You Had to Avoid Her for a Year Because You Still Haven't Read It
I mean, come on, there are just so many books in the world. Your TBR pile is huge… At this point, you should probably stop hoping she'll forget (she so won't) and just give it back to her before she has a mental breakdown.
8. That Time You Found Out the Early Editions of the Harry Potter Books Might Be Worth Enough for You to Pay Off Your Student Loans
Images: Giphy (9); Warner Bros.