It's all me, me, me...

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Vivre Sa Vie
London, United Kingdom
Well hello there. My name is Viv (well, it's not really), and, like a lot of people, I'm ever so slightly neurotic... I have panic attacks and anxiety (ranging from mild to pretty intense), on and off. I also have an amazing and quite high-profile job, so I'm choosing to remain anonymous on here. Not because I'm ashamed of the aforementioned neuroses, but because I don't want to be googled and for my colleagues to read bizarre posts about me breathing into a paper bag and popping lorazepam. I've worked for bookshops, mixed arts festivals and charities, and have met (and still meet!) a lot of famous, fetching and fantabulous people for my job. (See, anxiety doesn't need to stop you being AWESOME and doing what you want to do) Here's hoping you'll find some helpful hints and tips on here which will help you tackle the evil panic heebiejeebs... PS. I'm an Australian, but I live in the UK, and have adopted tea-drinking, pubs, Wodehouse, and a Welsh man.
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Wednesday, 4 April 2012

In which I come out of the Potter closet...

Ok guys. This is it. I'm going to do it. I'm going to come out of the closet. Today is the day I embrace a dark and shameful side of myself that I've been hiding from everyone apart from my boyfriend. 

Deep breath. Here goes...
My name is Viv, and I love the Harry Potter books

Now hang on, before you start protesting - I know you think this isn't a big deal, and that loads of people read them blah blah blah and anyway, it's all totally passe now in any case.

But I'm not loads of people. I'm a snob. I'm a big, fat intellectual snob. I did an English and Philosophy degree, and I worked in a bookstore for years and years, and I only read difficult, impenetrable novels with no punctuation, and no plot, and no ending (I did once have a guy come into the bookshop to try to return a book because he thought it was missing some pages at the end, and I had to break it to him that it just had a really shit and abrupt ending because it was avant-garde).

I have sniffed at the Potter sensation for years. I worked a Potter launch party and staunchly avoided even looking at the first page of the book. I fielded thousands of European students asking for 'arry potterrrrr' every five seconds of the day. I groaningly listened to millions of middle-aged women who said I really should read them. I avoided every single film and scoffed at my friends who went. I mercilessly tormented my boyfriend for having read them, and made him hide his shame (the boxset) in the spare room, on the very bottom shelf, so that my Samuel Becketts and Hans Falladas and Richard Yates' would not be sullied by association, and so that our guests would not think we were seriously mentally challenged or illiterate.

And then one night, one very dark night, I woke up with a huge-ass panic attack, and I couldn't sleep. And I was weak, and tired, and all my books loomed at me with their big themes and domestic rape scenes and I realised I had nothing non-threatening or comforting to read. And then I saw it - on the bottom shelf in the spare bedroom - gleaming at me in all its shiny foiled glory - Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone.

I thought I'd just read a few pages to lull me back to sleep. I'm now on the second to last book, and I'm absolutely, helplessly, haplessly, hopelessly addicted. I'm also ten years late. Daniel Radcliffe is almost a bloody pensioner. Everyone has got over it. The kids who loved them are all grown up and getting into Beckett now. So it's just me, apologising to my boyfriend, admitting I was wrong (that never happens), and making excuses so I can go to bed really early and keep reading. Because I conscientiously avoided it all there have been absolutely no spoilers, so I genuinely don't know what's going to happen next. I'm in a fantasy time-warp.

Guys - they're amazing (I know you know this, but let me say it). They are calming panic attack fodder. They have all sorts of amazing metaphors about fighting demons and darkness and bad things. They are sublime. I am going to have a complete breakdown when I finish them.

But then I can start on the films...

Moral(s) of the story:

1. Sometimes (not often) I'm REALLY, REALLY wrong. About EVERYTHING. Apart from holiday camps
2. You should read them too (if you haven't already, which you probably have).

This post is humbly dedicated to my wonderful boyfriend who is most definitely NOT a big loser for reading children's books. Consider this a (very small) official retraction.


Rosie said...

I did love Potter and then on the second to last book it really started to annoy me but I am thinking of starting again from the beginning.

My big book confession is always that i secretly quite like the Twilight saga, alot, it is appallingly written but it just takes me back to my teenage gothic vampire loving days....

Vivre Sa Vie said...

Oh, Rosie, I hear you about teen goth nostalgia - I think I have successfully destroyed all of my sullen goth period pics, but the memories still remain...

I would like to try the Twilight series though - but maybe not in the middle of the night!

Vivre Sa Vie said...
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