Hmm … a friend on Facebook posts about going to dinner at Christ Church in Oxford, England, where Harry Potter scenes were filmed. I, on the other hand, take a Facebook quiz about which Harry Potter character I am, although the typos and misspellings in those quizzes drive me so crazy that I WANT TO MAKE A QUIZ ABOUT WHY CAN’T YOU PEOPLE SPELL AND PUT APOSTROPHES IN THE RIGHT PLACES???? And then that puts me in such a contrary mood that I think I’ll write about other things that make me crazy — things that other people absolutely adore … such as the book “Eat, Pray, Love” by Elizabeth Gilbert. Many, many friends whose opinions I respect and recommendations I follow love this book. Love, love, love it. They think it’s a powerfully female story about one woman’s journey to discover and accept who she is. They kind of get all starry-eyed when they talk about it. And listen, I’m all for everybody having their own opinions and liking what they like for their own reasons. So with all due respect to everybody who puts this book in the you-gotta-read-this pile, I think that instead of a classic, it actually is a powerfully narcissistic story about one woman’s self-indulgent justifications and her ability to come up with something that validated her $200,000 book advance. I despise books in which everybody loves the narrator/main character and thinks the narrator/main character is the best thing since sliced white bread for no discernible reason whatsoever. Such as in this book. Such as in the fan club that Ms. Gilbert gathers around her everywhere she goes with no effort on her part. Such as everyone who meets her falls in love with her and wants to do things for her. Or so she says, as she journeys around the world and dabbles in other cultures to erase the pain of a failed marriage and love affair. Look, when faced with broken relationships, most of the rest of us women learn about our submerged talents and unknown strengths and authentic selves by going to work and getting the kids ready for school and fixing the leaky toilet every day on our own all by ourselves. I’m just saying.
And which Harry Potter character am I? Harry! According to the quiz (corrected for spelling and grammar), I’m “destined to do great things and highly ambitious. Sometimes, in order to go after your dreams, you seem to disregard rules — there is a slight haze (?) in your sense of right or wrong but in the end, you’re a good person.” Phew! That’s a relief.