(If you have never read Harry Potter, I warn you that there are some spoilers in this)
I’ve always been a big fan of Neville Longbottom, from the very first time I encountered him in the very first Harry Potter book. I felt immensely sympathetic towards Neville, because he was a geeky underdog. He was chubby, and awkward, and homely, but he still tried really hard at everything he did, even though most of the time a wall of shit was going to fall on him and he would be a laughingstock … even among his friends. Neville loved Herbology and sucked six kinds of goat when it came to sports. Worse, the poor kid clearly had some species of ADD that made his memory extremely sketchy. Here’s a picture of Neville clutching a Rememberall, which he promptly lost because he forgot where he put it.
I was thrilled when he eventually became one of the major heroic figures in the series. I was ecstatic when he made such a dramatic stand in the final book, and slayed the evil snake, Nagini, with Godric Gryffindor’s Sword, a magical weapon which only appeared to the most worthy of brave champions. Woot! I am such a big fan of Neville Longbottom’s that I even recently got a shirt from Think Geek with “Team Neville” emblazoned on it.
Anyway, this weekend I was wearing that shirt when Sweet Babou and I decided to take the daughters to Hobby Lobby in a quest for Gnomes. The girls had seen the animated movie, Gnomeo and Juliet, which was pretty cute by the way, and were now clamoring to have gnomes and flamingos in our yard. Since I love that kind of tacky 50’s-esque yard ornamentation with all my heart, I was more than happy to meet their gnome/flamingo needs.
We not only found gnomes, we actually found gnomes who were Gnomeo and Juliet. Greatness. Since the Hobby Lobby was right next to Kroger, we also trooped over there to pick up a few groceries. That was fine, except the baby decided that she needed to nap right now, so I wound up carrying a sleeping baby all over the store. Fortunately my Sweet Babou was able to push the cart and load in the groceries as needed. Moreover I could put my purse, my big bright purple purse, into the back of the cart, so that all I was carrying was Spock. Easy Peasy.
After purchase, we meandered back into the parking lot, where Sweet Babou unloaded the back of the cart into the van while I loaded children into car seats (well, two are self-loading models, but I strapped in the sleeping toddler and supervised the older two). Among the items in the back of the cart, not the part of the cart where kids sit, mind you, but the back of the cart with the grocery bags was my big bright purple purse. Seriously, this should bag is not only large, it is the color of grape kool-aid. It isn’t exactly an easy-to-overlook item.
Nevertheless, my Sweet Babou managed to overlook it anyway. We drive off to another store, and when I get into the back of the van to find my big bright purple purse it is not there. I knew what had happened the minute Sweet Babou said, “Your purse was in the cart?”
I drove frantically back to Kroger, where, thankfully, my big bright purple purse was still in the back of the cart, which was still in one of the little cart corrals. Even though my big bright purple purse was found with no harm done, I was still really pissed off at Sweet Babou. I couldn’t believe that someone could miss such an eye-catching object without willful and malicious self-absorption blinding them. Sweet Babou kept insisting, in a very contrite manner, that he was just a dipshit who had his head up his own ass. I refused to accept it. I knew he was smart man and there was no excuse for that numbskullery; it was simply a lack of caring about anything not his personal concern. He kept swearing that he DID care, he was just dim as a 3 watt bulb.
We still needed to swing by the local organic co-op store, so he stayed in the van with the sleeping Spock, while I took Lilo and Stitch inside the store with me. I was desperately trying to cool off. I didn’t want to spoil the whole day by my irked grudge-keeping. It was inside, while selecting the least-bruised Fuji apples, that someone complemented me on my shirt. I said thank you, and then stopped, thunderstruck.
Didn’t I love Neville because he was a geek who couldn’t remember anything? Wasn’t my own beloved simply a grown up Neville? Loyal and wonderful and loving and a great person and yet daffy as a drunk duck?
On my way out of the store, I stopped in the beer section and got Sweet Babou a Stone Ruination IPA, which is a favorite treat he only gets occasionally because it is pricey. I got it to show him that even if he does try to lose my purse through chronic inattention to his surroundings, I still love him very much.
Sweet Babou was very appreciative of the gift, and that night we made up again … more than once, thank you very much.
Things also worked out well for Neville. Not only did he do well in the Potter Universe, the actor who played him on the silver screen, Matthew Lewis, morphed into a cutie-pie … just like my Sweet Babou. Behold, for he (Matthew Lewis, not Sweet Babou of course) is the one furthest on the left:
I do love a happy ending.