My Present for my 38th Birthday



When I turned 38 all I wanted for my birthday was to have the day to read the last Harry Potter book.  Here’s how my present turned out.

Friday, July 20, 2007

11:45 p.m. Decide to go to Wal-Mart instead of Barnes & Noble to get Harry Potter 7, because I can't wait until the postman delivers the one I ordered in February. 

Saturday, July 21, 2007

12:00 a.m.  Arrive at Wal-Mart and discover that you can't get in line to get the book, you have to get a wristband telling you whether you are a Griffindor, Hufflepuff, Ravenclaw or Slytherin and then get in the appropriate line.

12:02 a.m. Regret having not gone to Barnes & Noble.

12:05 a.m. Get in Ravenclaw line because it looks to be the shortest and tell kids to get Mommy a blue Ravenclaw wristband. Start chatting with nice people in line who remind me that Ravenclaws were the smartest.

12:07 a.m.  Son informs me that they are out of Ravenclaws and only Hufflepuffs are left.  Get a strange sense of empathy for those at Hogwarts who were told by the Sorting Hat that they were in the lamest group.

12:08 a.m. Get in Hufflepuff (lame) line and begin chatting with nice people in line.  Learn that people at Barnes & Noble were lined outside the door and down the block at 9:00 p.m.

12:09 a.m.  Be grateful for having not gone to Barnes & Noble.

12:10 a.m. Watch people with Griffindor (the cool group) red wristbands purchase their books and leave Wal-Mart. 

12:11 a.m. Develop a jealousy for all Griffindors.

12:25 a.m. Watch more people with red wristbands walk out the store reading the book as they go.

12:35 a.m. Develop an understanding for Draco Malfoy for hating Harry Potter for being a Griffindor.

12:40 a.m.  See a person I barely recognize wearing a red wristband and buying her book with two camp chairs slung over her shoulder.

12:41 a.m. Call out her name and pretend we are life long friends (pretty sure she doesn't even remember my name) and ask if we can borrow her camp chairs while we wait.

12:42 a.m. Leave my 7-year old in line alone while I go run and get him a jacket at Wal-Mart because he is cold.

12:43 a.m. Realize that Wal-Mart is not going to sell jackets in July.  Pick out a cheap Hanes sweatshirt instead.

12:44 a.m. Give sweatshirt to son so that he can curl up in camp chair and get warm while we wait.

12:50 a.m. Decide to use second camp chair to sit in because it looks like it's going to be a long wait.

12:52 a.m. Collapse camp chairs because a woman in a blue vest is telling us we can now buy our books.

12:55 a.m. Walk out of Wal-Mart with Harry Potter 7.  Laugh that there are still some Ravenclaws who haven't bought their books yet.

1:00 a.m. Arrive at IHOP for a pancake breakfast with my husband and sons.  Start reading book on the way, thankful for map light in Yukon.

1:05 a.m.  Barely look up from book to read menu, tell husband I'll have whatever he's having. Keep reading.

1:15 a.m. Listen to husband order our meals.  Explain to him that an egg cannot be cooked "sunnyside over" because that is a contradiction in terms and will confuse the cooks. 

1:16 a.m. Resent husband for taking away precious Harry Potter 7 reading time to explain something so obvious about eggs.

1:20 a.m. Table next to us fills with young adults who have just purchased Harry Potter 7. 
Listen to guy threaten to read the ending out loud while the girls around him giggle, "no don't... stop it, I'm serious".

1:22 a.m. Listen to guy read each chapter heading, while constantly threatening to read the epilogue.

1:23 a.m. Wonder if using physical harm to prevent this kid from reading the ending would hold up in court.

1:25 a.m. Decide to set the book down, and ask my son's friend very loudly what kind of Norwegian recipes his mother likes to make and which ones are his favorites.  Look over at  aforementioned kid to see if he gets my point.

1:26 a.m. Relieved to see point taken as kid shuts up and eats his dumb pancakes.

1:30 a.m. Food arrives, wolf it down so that I can get back to reading.

2:00 a.m. Drop off son's friend and crawl into bed to settle down to read Harry Potter 7 all the way through.

3:10 a.m.  Fall asleep.

9:10 a.m. Wake up, look at clock and regret all those hours wasted sleeping.  Pick up Harry Potter 7 and start reading.

9:30 a.m. Thank husband for breakfast he brings me in bed so that I can keep reading.  Offer to make him a grocery list so that he can go to Costco without me.

10:12 a.m. Darling child walks in and asks if he can play with a friend.

10:24 a.m. Same dear child walks in and says his friend can't play, can he play with a different friend.

10:35 a.m. Same stinking child walks in and says that friend can't play either and that he's bored.

10:52 a.m.  Same inconsiderate punk barges in. "What?" I yell.  "Never mind" he says as he backs out of my room.

11:14 a.m. Another child barges in and complains that the laptop has pictures of sister's rabbit that died over a year ago on the wallpaper.  Explain to son that he can use the laptop too.

11:20 a.m. Same son comes in and says that I promised he could have that laptop over 18 months ago.

11:46 a.m. Daughter comes in and says I promised 2 years ago that she could have the laptop. 

12:15 p.m. Son comes in and says that daughter won't let him have the laptop.  Explain to son that we have 3 other computers, and that said laptop doesn't have access to Internet, can't play CD's, movies or print anything.

12:45 p.m. Husband comes home from errands and asks how far I'm into the book.  Grip book tightly to prevent from throwing at him.

1:17 p.m. Son barges in and asks if there is a way he can get Internet access on the old laptop.  Scream "My birthday is tomorrow and the only gift I have asked for is to have a whole complete day to read Harry Potter 7 without any interruptions.  Do you want to take my birthday present away?"  Watch son slowly back out of bedroom.

1:30 p.m. Husband comes in bringing lunch in bed, asks what page I'm on.  grrrrrrrrrrr

3:05 p.m. Son's friend comes over to play.  Ask him what page his mother is on.  "Oh she's just finished" he says.  "Could that be because you weren't interrupting her every half hour?" I ask.  Son says, "He didn't interrupt her because he was playing Zelda on his Wii, if you bought me a Wii I wouldn't interrupt you either." 

3:06 p.m. Wonder how buying my son a Wii counts as one of MY birthday presents.

3:47 p.m. Make second grocery list for husband as he leaves to purchase items for tonight's neighborhood BBQ.

4:48 p.m. Go downstairs to see the damage on the house.  Decide it's nothing a day of cleaning can't fix and go back to book.  See second Harry Potter 7 book lying on the couch unopened.  Call oldest son on his cell phone to see if he wants to start on Harry Potter 7.

5:15 p.m. Stop reading on page 366 (more than half way) and make blueberry trifle and corn casserole and marinade for BBQ at 6:00 p.m.

6:00 p.m. Leave for BBQ.  Visit with friends while eating.  Receive lots of compliments on my corn dish.  Wonder whether to tell them about pioneerwomancooks.com

6:15 p.m. Decide that they don't need to know about pioneerwomancooks.com and keep it to myself.

7:00 p.m.  Start getting ancy about getting back to Harry Potter 7

7:30 p.m. Realize that people are more important than books and that I should stay with my friends.

7:45 p.m. Get more ancy about getting back to Harry Potter 7

8:00 p.m. No, friends are more important

8:10 p.m. Harry Potter 7

8:15 p.m. Friends!

8:17 p.m. Harry!

8:20 p.m. Real people!

8:25 p.m. Get up, thank the host, and sit in the Yukon waiting for husband to get our butts home so that I can go back to Harry.

8:49 p.m. Ahh.... Harry!

Sunday, July 22, 2007

1:27 a.m.  Get to page 677 and freak out over first sentence on page.  Tell husband to ask oldest son what page he's on.

1:29 a.m. Find out he's only 90 pages behind, tell him he has to finish the book in my room so that I can ask him questions.

2:49 a.m.  Finish Harry Potter 7!  All 759 pages.  Start telling husband everything that happens knowing he'll never read the book.

4:47 a.m. Fall asleep remembering that I'm supposed to get sustained in the new YW presidency tomorrow.  Wonder if my Harry hangover will show.

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