Madam Puddifoot’s: The Laws of Attraction

by E.M. Ellison

My first husband had sandy-blond hair and blue eyes like my father. He was also the personality combination of that irresponsible, neglectful father and an abusive stepfather. My second husband is a physical and behavioral representative of several decent father figures in my life, plus some positive aspects (there actually were a few) of the two I mentioned before. Why am I sharing my personal life with the reading public? To show you, the readers, that our trio and their friends will respond similarly with regard to which people attract them. It’s scientific.


It has been observed by many a behavioral and psychological expert that people (I think this mostly applies to heterosexuals, but I’m sure there are exceptions) are attracted to those that remind them of the opposite sex parent or parental figure in some way. My own experience has shown this, as I said earlier. Even those attracted to people of different races will find someone that reminds them in some way of a very significant parental representative.

The influence of a negative parent can be obviously countered if a strong enough substitute or substitutes are present. This is especially true if the negative parent is removed. But, unfortunately, the opposite can be true as well.

The most famous example I can think of regarding parental influence of attraction is former U.S. President Clinton. Now don’t send me any hate mail. I think he is basically a decent guy and made a good president. But, while he made a good politcal choice with Hillary (not to say he doesn’t love her), he seemed to always be drawn to people more like his mother. Think about it. Hillary is independent and understated. But Paula (yeah, I believe her), Monica, and some of the others whose names I forget are southern, flashy, voluptuous and/or slightly vulnerable. And yes, his mother was vulnerable. What can be more vulnerable than a widow with a baby?

Now, as an aside, I think most of his problems with women stem from addiction. Just as his stepfather was an alcoholic (more parental influence) Clinton’s drug of choice is sex.

Now, on to the next branch of science:

BIOLOGY (Genetics, specifically)

It has been observed–once again by respected professionals–that people are attracted to those genetically opposite them in some way. Now this varies in degree. Some will find an opposite in one characteristic such as eye color or face shape. Others will be much more extreme and be attracted to different races. For example, if the Weasley’s were real, Mum and Dad would differ only in eye color and shades of red hair. At the other extreme, I know a couple in which one is German and the other African-American. Their children have very different characteristics but all three are beautiful.

The reason, say scientists, for this genetic “opposites attract” is that variation helps perpetuate the species. Like Mr. Weasley said in CoS, “If we hadn’t started marrying Muggles we would have died out long ago.”

So, my theories are as follows: Ron is attracted to Hermione because she has a strong, almost over-bearing personality like his mother. She is also the brown-haired, brown-eyed genetic opposite to Ron’s red hair and blue eyes. We don’t really know what her father is like but Ron is obviously her opposite genetically as well.

My thoughts about Harry and Ginny are similar. Mr. Weasley is kind, humble and stands up for what he believes. (He could have stopped defending Muggles long ago and been higher up in the Ministry.) These are all traits Harry possesses. The black hair counters the red and the bright green eyes, while not blue like Dad’s, are nonetheless very different from deep brown. Ginny is very much like Lily in that she stands up for people (Neville) just as Lily did (Snape). Ginny also doesn’t put up with Harry’s moodiness anymore than Lily put up with James’ cockiness and immaturity. To Harry, Ginny’s red hair is both a parental reminder (Lily) and genetic opposite. And, of course, we’ve already been over their eye color.

All this being said, there can only be one conclusion: Ron belongs with Hermione and Harry with Ginny. It’s scientific.