So, I’m listening to the audiobook for Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince. Every time I read this book, I feel bad for one of the characters. Not Harry, Ginny, Ron, or Hermione, though they have the bulk of the unfortunate events.
No, my heart goes out to Romilda Vane. You know her, she’s the one who spiked a box of chocolate cauldrons with love potion.
I know what you’re thinking: Why waste emotions on her? She’s doing the magical equivalent of dropping roofies in someone’s drink. That’s a very big no-no in today’s playbook.
I waste emotion on her as a character because she feels the pain a lot of guys get. We see glimpses of her trying to get his attention, but his eyes are elsewhere and it seems like she doesn’t even get an honest shot. When I watched the movies, she’s definitely attractive, she made decent efforts at getting his attention, but none of it seemed to work and it wasn’t entirely her fault. What was her fault was that she was dropping hints when she should have been outright asking for what it was she desired, but that’s another story.
I’m not suggesting that we overlook her trying to drug the poor Chosen One, I’m just thinking that this is a symptom of a problem that we aren’t wanting to deal with.
If you want the most obvious example of overnecessary extravagance, we need only look to the courting and mating rituals of the young adult human male. The proposition to attend prom or homecoming is often met with ridiculous amounts of creativity and expenditure of already limited funds. A pizza delivered with the words “Will you go to prom/homecoming with me, or is this too cheesy?” inscribed under the lid of the box.
Should any of that go well and they move on to the idea of marriage, then the male has to drop a significant amount of money on a ring, then a romantic, heartfelt situation with which to propose, and it had better be particular to the significant other’s taste or clearly he doesn’t love her enough.
So, what would I have done in young Harry’s shoes had I learned that an attractive female wants my attention to the point of being willing to drug me?
I’d have drugged her first.
Okay, that may make me a horrible person, but hear me out first. I’d have used veritaserum, that most potente of truth potions. invite her over share drinks with her, then have her spill her guts. Not any deep, intimate secret, just a lot of rapid-fire questions that lets me know if she’s sincere or sincerely shallow. Then hey, the love potion wouldn’t have mattered. I’d even offer to take a shot of veritaserum and let her fire away.
How do I know I’d do that? Because that’s basically what Megan and I did. We don’t have access to veritaserum, but we spent six months being able to ask each other everything.
I found out her views on adopting if we needed to. She found out about what I thought of serving a mission in Canada for the LDS church. I found out that she is more introverted than I had previously suspected, and she found out that I do still watch anime and cartoons. She found out about some of my fears, my hatreds (as much as I like to say that I don’t hate stuff, per se), and I learned the same of her.
We had promised each other that if it got to be too much, if we learned something about the other that we couldn’t accept in a relationship, we could walk away, no hard feelings. After all, relationships and even engagements weren’t set in stone. Nowadays I begin to wonder how many people still feel that marriages can be set in stone.
Oh, we still did the dating thing. We went and saw Wicked when they came to Denver. We spent a day baking, another date we took sidewalk chalk to my parents’ back patio. All the while if a question came to us, we could ask it. This worked better than veritaserum because that takes a long time to brew and could be catastrophic if not done correctly. If Megan’s making the effort and I’m willing to make the effort, then we’ve got something that’s going to last longer, even if it’s never going to be as perfect as a potion.