Happy Valentines, Harry Potter

I’ve written before about my desire and failures to surprise Holly. I love surprises, often can’t fathom why someone wouldn’t, and I project that love onto others. Luckily, Holly does like to be surprised, though I can’t imagine how badly my romantic gestures would go if she didn’t.

(However, I like to think that there’s something in the attraction of our personalities that leads to the eventuality of a love of surprises.)

In an effort to mislead Holly, I gave her a present a day early, preempting Valentines in mutual excitement. Because I worked on Thursday night, I promised her dinner on Saturday.

ImageAll the while, I planned to take her to a showing of Potted Potter, a Shakespeare-Abridged-type show that runs through all seven Harry Potter books in seventy minutes. The show is a two-man affair, a British duo that purportedly began as an impromptu entertainment at a midnight book release. Holly loves live theater in the big auditorium at the Walton Arts Center, and she loves Harry Potter. A perfect surprise.

However, Holly has a such a clear track record with uncovering surprises. In fact, she is such a great detective, I would trust her to solve my murder, provided that she did not commit it. So when we got into the car on Saturday night, I said with a sigh, “So you probably know where we’re going…”

“No I don’t,” she replied. However, I had given her the scent. “Wait – are we going to a play.”

“Dang it…”

“Tell me what play.”

“…so stupid…”

“I’ll just Google it.”

“Potted Potter! We’re going to Potted Potter.”

Neither of us had great expectations for the play. Holly had none. In fact, when I told her of my logic – she loves theater and Hogwarts – she said, “I didn’t love Harry Potter. I only read them because of you.”

I panicked about my date choice as Holly continued. “You gave me the final book. I had to read it, even after we broke up. But I love the books now, trust me.”

The play, though spoiled, was still fantastic. It was simple and hilarious, with a quidditch game played among the crowd and one actor presenting twenty characters. Though it didn’t deconstruct the story or add any understanding of the books, it reminded me of how well Harry Potter caters to children. Much of the audience on Saturday night weren’t yet teenagers, and they laughed the loudest. That made the jokes much funnier.

On our way out, as both Holly and I talked excitedly about the show, Holly remarked on how neat the shirts at the merchandise table appeared. I missed her comment and walked her out the door, offering dessert at a local yogurt shop. “I tell you what,” she said. “Let’s skip dessert and instead go back inside and buy that shirt.”

Holly has worn it all day as we’ve watched the first and second Harry Potter movies. I expect we’ll finish the third by tonight.

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