So it appears that there’s a Harry Potter marathon on TV this weekend.
Of course, upon making this discovery, we immediately abandoned our plans (which, admittedly, weren’t any more ambitious than to order takeout and to bingewatch Season 4 of Friends. But Friends is on Netflix ANY time, right? Okay, Harry Potter probably is, too, but it’s just DIFFERENT when you can’t pause it AND it’s peppered with commercials for fast food, pharmaceuticals, and feminine hygiene products, and it’s ONLY THIS WEEKEND so we HAVE to watch it NOW NOW NOW!)
Since we’re ordering takeout today, I’ve already wasted much of the morning agonizing over THAT Big Life-Changing Decision – what to get, how much to get, do I splurge on pizza or stick to steamed veggies and chicken, and don’t even THINK about ice cream….
If you live in this hell, you know the drill.
<strums guitar> Come on and join me in the campfire singalong!
Can I eat this many calories today?
Will the sodium bloat me for a week?
Will the kids notice if I only eat half of it?
Will I be able to only eat half of it? (HAHAHAHAHA no)
How long will it take to run this off?
Can’t you all just shut up and let me freaking EAT?
Um…What’s for dessert?
Compounding the struggle to complete this mental exercise is the painful guilt bruise I’m sporting courtesy of last night’s food bender. In addition to a balanced, healthy dinner (OK, it was Taco Bell, SHADDUP) I managed to stuff both a 6-serving bag of cheese popcorn AND two Hershey bars down my pie hole. (This dalliance will take at least three runs to burn off. UGH.) So I shouldn’t be eating much today. But I should eat SOMETHING, but I don’t know what, or how much, and I’m
not even have no right to be hungry anyway, right? RIGHT?!?
And dammit, none of this is worth the energy I spend on it. It’s just food, not deciding which kid to feed to the dragons first. (Although today one is sporting a significant ‘tude that might make THAT selection pretty simple.)
While I was arguing passionately with the voices in my head, a scene from the movie (Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone) interrupted the melee and momentarily silenced the crowd.
Harry’s skulking along under a camo tarp that makes him invisible, spying on his teachers (we ALL wanted a peek at what REALLY goes on in the mysterious Teacher’s Lounge, didn’t we?) when he stumbles upon a magical mirror. When he peers into it, what he sees reflected back is an image of himself – WITH his parents. Now, Harry’s parents were killed by the Main Scary Evil Villain Dude when Harry was a baby, so he actually has no memory of his parents…but there they are in the mirror, looking back at him, smiling away all normal like they’re ready to toss him a football and bake him some cookies or something.
Harry eagerly brings his token redhead buddy to the mirror, excited to show proof that he didn’t self-generate from an unfortunate chemical spill. But Copper Mop doesn’t see Harry’s folks in the mirror. Instead, he sees himself actually passing gym class, or something. (Lame.)
But it wasn’t some evil ginger magic that broke the mirror. We learn this from the Grand Poobah Wizard Bro, who swings by in a few and says when he looks in the mirror, he only gets to see himself holding a pair of socks. (Lame, but less lame than gym class. I mean, socks can have, like, penguins on them. Penguins trump gym class any day.)
So it turns out that the mirror is rigged to reflect “only the deepest desire of our hearts.”
But now that the cool trick is revealed, the Head Honcho in a Poncho says he’s going to go off and hide the thing in a land far, far away. Because people are stupid, and lack willpower, and will sit in front of the blasted contraption for hours, days, even WEEKS, going bonkers, dying of starvation, or both, while obsessively staring into the glass, seeing exactly what they want to see.
(So, basically…it’s TV tuned to Say Yes to the Dress, or Keeping Up with the Kardashians. Come on, TELL me you haven’t lost HOURS of your life riveted to that drivel. Ah well. Since so many establishments deliver food via text or emoji nowadays, at least we won’t starve to death.)
(AND AND AND. Come on, Dumbledore. “I’m gonna hide it, but don’t you dare try to find it, because it’s bad for you.” Dude, that didn’t work on any kid, EVER, for shiz like Christmas gifts or Halloween candy; how exactly do you picture this working for something as SUPER AWESOME as an enchanted mirror? Clearly you don’t have much experience with the prepubescent set. I guess that’s why your magic school doesn’t start with pre-K.)
So it’s clear that this mirror is powerful, but dangerous. Dumbledore says something fairly profound about it:
<insert the brrrrrrrpt of a needle being abruptly dragged across an LP>
“It does not do to dwell on dreams and forget to live. Remember that.“
Whoa there, Sorcerer Santa Man. That hits pretty close to home.
All this extraneous noise in my head – how big are my thighs, how much food did I eat, what do I weigh today, can I eat anything else, when can I eat again, when will I get a grip and stick to a diet and finally lose weight – isn’t that dwelling on dreams? Shooting for a fictional figure, a meaningless number? Aiming for a target that darts and hides, and gets smaller and smaller, shrinking and reducing itself as I do?
Aren’t all these voices – with their commands and beratings, with their taunts and threats – distracting me from real life? From what should truly matter? From what I really could be?
I’ve been staring into this mirror for the better part of thirty years. It’s a permanent fixture in my spiritual home; it has a featured spot right in the entryway to my funhouse.
And it’s kept me from truly living.
I understand now why Professor DumbleD was trying to hide this thing. It’s been a major time-suck and hasn’t done me a lick of good. I’ve wasted years of my life stuck right in front of it, starving myself and sacrificing my sanity in an attempt to match the reflection.
If only I could get my hands on a house elf. Maybe, when he gets a break from washing the windows, he could get that sucker unloaded on eBay or something, and buy me a nice, benign, limited-edition Kinkade to hang in its place. A painting that, when you pass it, lets you stop and gaze for just a moment, recharging your spiritual batteries instead of draining them. A thing of beauty that gives you a small serving of light and peace, packed lovingly in a to-go box so you can carry it with you, taking small nibbles as you need them as you go about living your day.
That sounds like a nice change. Soothing. Healing.
If only I could tear this mirror out.
Breaking a mirror is rumored to bring you seven years of bad luck.
I’m holding a sledgehammer and preparing to swing.
You may want to back up a bit. This might get messy.