Madam Puddifoot’s: Am I Pathetic?
by Adam D. Bram
“Judy, Betty, Josie and those hot pussycats
They made me horny
On Saturday morny
Girls in cartoons
Will leave me in ruins
I want to be Betty’s Barney
Jane… get me off this crazy thing… called love”
~ Charlie Mackenzie (Mike Myers), So I Married an Axe Murderer
I’m almost positive that this has happened to everyone at least once in their lives, at least for a moment, whether or not they’ll admit it. While entertaining yourself with media of some sort, you’ll form an attraction to a character of the opposite sex (or same sex, if that’s your thing). It’s easy to deny this when watching a live action film/TV show because you can say that the attraction is to the actor/actress and not to the specific character (and I don’t doubt this happens just as frequently). But when it deals with an animated film or a book, then you’ve got to keep it secret, don’t you? Well… err… I don’t think you do.
Sure, some people would ridicule you, but an attraction is normal. At least you know it’s fiction… right? Right. These clever writers crafted a character that you could see yourself with (and are almost always physically attractive in the crusher’s opinion). When you get a huge universe like LotR or (the subject of this editorial) Harry Potter, the choices are limitless on both ends. In the Potterverse, in particular, are some shippers living vicariously through JKR’s characters when suggesting possible hook-ups? In some cases, I wouldn’t be surprised.
Now, before I give you the impression that I’m some middle-aged lecherous cretin, let me tell you the facts. I am 18 years old (7/27/86) and, yes, I am a heterosexual male. However, I tend to differ from my peers in the sense that I look more for personality in a woman instead of just physicality (which is a factor as well, just not as important as the actual person). This will make more sense as to why I have a crush on who I do (more on that later). In addition, the general consensus is that PS/SS takes place circa 1991. If this is the case, then at present the characters in question would be in their respective 20s and therefore (in addition to being older than I am) well above the legal adult age (in the US at least).
Also, I’ve noticed that the majority of people I know of who’ve admitted to thinking so-and-so at Hogwarts is cute/hot/etc. are women, and surprisingly enough many of these are fascinated with secondary characters (as stated above, one could also argue that it’s the actors and not the characters, but I’ve seen these people refer to the characters themselves). It seems that from what I’ve seen (which isn’t nearly as much as I should, since I frequent only one or two message boards), the two most popular Hogwarts crushes for the women of the real world seem to be Oliver Wood and Draco Malfoy.
I would like to pause again and state that the following is just my theory. Being a man (and a straight one at that) I have just as much understanding of the female mind as other men, which is equal to about zilch.
I can kind of understand Oliver Wood. He certainly seems like a personable chap and the kind of person you want as a friend (unless he’s off on a Quidditch rant – then he’s just dangerous). He’s also not described as being remotely bad-looking. But what of Draco Malfoy? He’s snotty, generally evil, and is described as having the classic villain face (sharp, pointed features). I see how the character would be desirable from an acting standpoint (it’s always much more fun to play villains), but why would a woman in the real world want a relationship with Malfoy? When you actually think about it, it’s not that surprising. In the real world, many women will choose a man with a personality like a certain orifice leaving the so-called “Nice Guys”, to which group I belong, in the dust (of course, we’re the ones they marry in our 30s, but we like instant gratification too). One of the many signs that men and women may never fully understand one another.
A popular guy on the staff side is Remus Lupin, and I am convinced that his secret admirers are indeed admiring the character and not David Thewlis (largely due to the as yet unidentified small furry mammal residing on his upper lip in the film). Again, I can see personality-wise how this can occur while failing to understand why some women prefer Snape. I expect some of the ladies like Severus for whatever reason some like Draco (with a bit of the tall, dark, and mysterious cliché thrown in for good measure).
Some ask me why I’m only talking about the women’s eye-candy. Well, as I’ve stated before, the women are some of the only ones in my recollection to admit to having a Potterverse crush. I have yet to see a man other than myself admit to a crush on the females of the books (though, admittedly, my memory isn’t 100%). Therefore, I can only give you my honest opinion and no one else’s.
As Hermione is described in the books, she’s fairly pretty, and she has a very strong personality. I like her a lot, but she’s not my main crush (I will say this: when I saw the film version of SS/PS, I said to myself “That girl playing Hermione will be really pretty when she grows up.” And after seeing PoA, I feel I was right). Cho Chang seemed attractive enough, and I was actually rooting for a Harry/Cho pairing until she showed her true unstable colors in the final act of OotP. Ginny does indeed have many desirable qualities as well.
You sense I’m stalling, aren’t you? Very well. The moment of truth. The woman in the Potterverse who really lights my fire more than any other is…
Yes. That’s right. You heard me. Well, actually, you just read me, but I digress. I am infatuated with Luna Lovegood. “Sure,” you say, “Judging by the book’s descriptions and chapter illustrations, Luna is fairly attractive-looking, but how could you put up with her?” To answer this, I shall give you a window into my own personality.
I am very very very (did I mention very?) Anti-Drug. I have never tried them, and I never will. However, when I tell people this, they don’t believe me. You see what I’m getting at? I am a grade-A all-natural nutboy. I try to be nice to people and I am eager to please, but it’s frightening where my mind may go when I let it.
Therefore, I am attracted to many different personality types, but the ones that really fuel my engine are the ones who are just as incredibly (yet harmlessly) bonkers as I am. So I have a particular soft spot for Luna (note that I am refraining from mentioning the other end of that particular spectrum). I hope JKR uses her more in the future and, yes, I am living vicariously through Harry when I say that I hope they get together.
Then again, when a fictional character hooks up with a fictional character I like, I’m not bothered as I would be in the real world because the fact is this particular object of my affections is indeed fictional so there’s no chance to be had here.
Attractions to fictional characters can be good in helping to decide criteria (personality types) you want in a real mate. I admit I’m a hopeless romantic fool. Let us hope we can find pieces of our fictional crushes in the real world. In the meantime, we can always arrange a special meeting in the Room of Requirement of our dreams.