I am a love junky.
I will do just about anything for affection, especially our daughters’ affection. When Emily was little, I read to her almost every night —Laura Ingles Wilder, C.S. Lewis and J.K. Rowling.
Eventually, she became a Harry Potter addict, listening to narrator Jim Dale's recordings as gray noise for years while she worked on homework and art projects.
When I that Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, II midnight premier tickets were selling fast, I logged onto the Alameda Theatre website, dug out my credit card and bought tickets.
What was I thinking?
Well, first I thought that a Friday premier at midnight meant after work on a Friday night. Wrong. It means 12 a.m. Friday morning, which in my book is Thursday night. I work on Friday. Good thing I don’t operate heavy machinery for a living.
But the charge processed, the tickets were mine, and I was determined to have a good time. I poured myself a cocktail after work, went to bed immediately after dinner for an evening nap, and got back up at 10 p.m.
I dug in the attic Halloween boxes and pulled out a black-feathered witch’s hat with matching boa, an owl from , my graduation robe and an official Harry Potter wooden wand. I talked Em’s black-spectacled fiancé, Marshall, into letting her draw a bolt of lightening on his forehead and we were good to go. (Points for Marshall. He must be a love junky, too.)
We arrived at Alameda Theatre just before 10:30 p.m. There was no line outside, so I considered rounding the corner to kill time playing games at the . But Emily said she would be happier getting our seats, so we headed inside.
The theater was packed! We were lucky to get three seats together. As we traversed the aisles, I saw that most of the audience was dressed in street clothes. People stared blankly at me in my witch costume. I had a flashback of a childhood dream involving a middle school auditorium and my pajamas. I put on my 3D glasses hoping no one would recognize me.
What was the matter with these people? Obviously they were way too young to remember midnight showings of Rocky Horror Picture Show at the U.C. Theatre on University Avenue in Berkeley. If you’re going to go to a cult midnight movie, you need a costume. It should be mandatory.
I placed my hat and boa discretely in my lap and settled in for Alameda’s Got Talent, with acts ranging from Indie rock musicians to magicians. There was a pair of jugglers, Brie and Brian, who were quite good and downright adorable.
The magician who followed asked someone in the crowd for their birth year, and the fellow answered, “1981.” I graduated from Cal in 1981. It’s just wrong that someone born in 1981 could be 30, and it explains why so few in the crowd knew the Rocky Horror costume requirement.
When did I get so chronologically old, when I am still young enough at heart to dress in theme? Maybe it’s like my Facebook buddy, Martin, posted, “You’re only young once, but you can be immature forever.”
The lights went down and the previews went on and on. Finally, text on the big screen prompted us to turn off our cell phones and don our 3D glasses, and the crowd roared.
I was wide awake, alert and enthusiastic, even way past my bedtime.
Alameda Theatre has a brand new projector and boasts the largest 3D screen in the Bay Area. It looks good! The special effects were magnificent and, along with Rowling’s brilliant story, it was a really good movie and worth a little lost sleep.
When I was a little girl in San Francisco in the 1960s, I had a record of the soundtrack from the Wizard of Oz. Just listening to that LP gave me wicked bad dreams.
My parents confiscated the album when I started waking my older sister, Beth, to make her walk me down the long foreboding hall past the boogeyman to the safety of my parents' bedroom in the middle of the night. (Bless you, Beth, for never once complaining.)
Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows would have kept me awake for months as a child. An imagination like mine is both a blessing and a curse.