Saturday, May 28, 2011

My Family, Harry Potter Style

Ok, I wrote the following post a few days ago.  I've been debating whether or not to publish it, for reasons which should be apparent to anyone who reads it.  It might disappear soon, so read it quick.  I'm not sure if i should keep it up.

In the good news department - my high fever of the last 5 days has been replaced with a lower fever and less chills and pain.  So I think we are going in the right direction.

Oh, and Happy Memorial Day!!

So every year my family makes a barbecue for close friends on Memorial Day Sunday.  Not, heaven forbid, because we celebrate an American Holiday, because we don't.  Rather, it's simply a day where everyone (including my psychotically overworked dad) is off the next day as well - so there's a nice, relaxed feel to it.  And my mother's BBQ's cannot be rushed affairs.

This year?  No different.  Cymbaline half dead?  The show must go on.  Don't worry, my mother assures her friends, she will be in her room the whole time anyway, not spreading her evil germs all over the backyard.

And the funny thing is, you all think I'm joking.  That really happened.

I've been thinking about my family a lot lately. Dunno why, possibly because I have so much time on my hands, possibly because I'm ready to enter a new phase in my life and I need to understand close connections to me before I can make new connections.

So regarding Harry Potter.  I haven't read the books.  But I've dutifully seen all the movies (including Deathly Hallows, Part 1 the other night).  I even liked some of them (Sorcerer's Stone, Order of the Phoenix and Half Blood Prince to name three).  So I'm not what you would call a huge fan.  But it's all fresh in my head and there certainly are alot of characters to reference.  So here it goes.  A brief description of each family member, who they most remind me of from HP, and my Closeness Scale to that member.  So please HP nuts, if I screw up a character description, it was totally accidental and the result of a non-professional.  No insult meant.

The Closeness Scale is a scale of 1 to 10 to how close i am to a family member, with 10 being the love Dobby has for Harry Potter (ok, ok, the love of Hermoine and Ron - happy?)) and 1 being the hate Harry and Voldemort have for one another.

So here we go.

My older sister.  A clone of my mother.  Or she will be in 20 years.  Right now she's more of a clone of my mother at 25.  Thin, well put together and vapid.  Also without many a redeeming quality.  Mean spirited and possibly slightly crazy as well.  She and I grew up opposites - she'd spend every waking hour kissing up to my mother and deriding me for not doing the same.  Now she rules her weak willed husband, goes to the gym, gets her nails done, shops and raises the next generation of evil women.  My poor niece.  Her idea of a compliment is something backhanded or passive aggressive. 

Character reference - a better put together Bellatrix - only she's less likely to yell "I killed Sirius Black" and more likely to yell "I bought a $1,000 Hermes bag!".

Closeness Scale - 2.

My brother in law.  From a well heeled, "yichusdik" family.  Totally empty in every way.  He gets henpecked by my sister but doesn't seem to care all that much.  Spends way too much time with his friends, away from his family.  Emotionally detached.  Annoying. Way too smug for what he actually brings to the table.
Character reference - Draco Malfoy, only taller and with less hair.

Closeness Scale - 2.

My Older Brother - My older brother is a typical older brother.  He can be awesome, but he can also be annoying.  He's rebellious but in a more controlled way than his younger sister (i.e. me).  He's handsome and extremely outgoing; the girls all line up to date him.  He's good at sports.  He can play the religious game, but truth be told, I dunno if he really talks the way he walks. He's a good guy if a bit directionless.  No doubt it's because he's focused on finding that hot, rich wife so he can get a fake job and skate through life.  I don't say that meanly - he's just lazy.  He'd tell you the same thing if asked.

He's the closest thing to a wing man I have in my family. He's my Justified watcher companion and we share laughs together when the only other alternative is to cry.  But he's smart enough to never take my side, lest he lose Most Favored Son status with his mother (and he hates her too, by the way). 

Character Reference - Fred/George Weasley, with a little Hagrid thrown in for good measure.

Closeness Scale - 6

My Younger Brother.  Sigh.  This is where we get to the sadder story. 

See, the older my mother gets, the crazier she becomes.  My older siblings had it easier.  My younger two - they get beaten down alot more.  My younger brother is quiet, sensitive and serious.  I think he's the smartest sibling for sure (and we aint a dumb family, at least on my father's side).  He learns with my dad and while I have no idea what they hell they are talking about, I know he's really good at it.

My younger brother never smiles.  He never seems happy.  He never really talks to me.  I think he thinks of me as some sort of cosmic stain on our family.  Judaism is very important to him and my lack of frumness  - well I think he is very turned off by it.  Whenever I think about him it makes me cry a little.  I secretly love him to pieces.  I think he's been emotionally damaged.  My mother was so hard on him and my younger sister.  I think he internalized it - ate it all up, turned in to himself and his religion.  Next year he will go to Yeshiva in Israel and get away from his family.  Good.  Maybe he can smile there.

Character most like - The truth is, I really have no comparison.  Any suggestions would be most welcome.

Closeness Scale - Sadly, a 4.  If it were up to him, 2.

My younger sister - another sigh here.  Another soul tormented.  But she kinda flipped another way than my brother.  Where he internalizes everything, she is completely "outside".  She smiles alot, but it seems to just be a way for her to mask her pain.  She is cowed by my mother and she never fights back.  She just takes it and moves on.  But I know the amount of psychological scarring it must do to her.  I talk about it with her sometimes, but she doesn't really want to.  She's somewhat of a loner at school far as I can tell, though she does extremely well.  Also keeps her distance from me when my mother is home (smart girl).  I think she needs a therapist but I have no idea how to suggest this to my mother in such a way that it will actually happen.

Character reference - Luna Lovegood.

Closeness Scale - 5.

My dad.  My father, the overworked hero.  He's really smart, a good listener.  His biggest mistake in life was allowing other to choose his bride for him.  He's extremely successful, learned, well respected and kind.  I think he works so hard despite of his great success because he doesn't want to be home.  In fact, I don't think this, I know it.

In recent months, we have reached an understanding of sorts.  He knows I cannot become the daughter he wants - but I think he finally knows the person I am underneath.  And we've been talking more.  He got me the internship (assuming I don't lose it to the cruel jaws of pneumonia) and he's just been...closer to me lately.  It hurts me to know I'll always be somewhat of a disappointment to him,  but I cannot change who I am.

Character reference - Albus Dumbledore, of course.

Closeness Scale - 6.  Sadly, I cannot ever totally forgive him for leaving me so...unprotected from her while he was always working.  He knew what  was going on at home and he pretended it was a smaller deal than it was.  That was selfish.

Mother.  I could write a whole series of posts on her.  Maybe one day I will.  In the meantime, I'll just say she can take credit for making me the person _ am today - Rebellious, angry, lost and confused.  As far as i can tell, she really started going off the deep end around the time I was born.  Perhaps she still suffers from Post-partum depression, 20 years later.  All I know is that from the time I can remember, she was constantly.....on me.  Telling me all the things I was doing wrong, telling me I wasn't good.  That I couldn't follow orders or be a good girl.  I saw the way she treated my older sister and I couldn't understand why it was different with me.  And the more I gave it back to her, the more I questioned, the worse it got. 

Finally I realized, she could never love anyone who didn't fit into her fold.  Who didn't agree with her way of thinking.  Who didn't get in line. 


Character reference - Lord Voldemort/Tom Riddle

Closeness Scale - Negative 12.


  1. Don't know anything about Harry Potter, but you still managed to paint a vivid pic of your family. Since your blog is anonymous, don't see the harm in leaving it up here. Perhaps later on, it'll be helpful to you in some way.

  2. Which character are you?

    I used to be a huge Harry Potter fan, but college and other responsibilities kind of sucked the obsession (and HP info-base) out of me :(

    And ha, I also have a sister who reminds me of Luna Lovegood.

  3. That's so ironic that you just posted a HP character reference based off of your family's character traits. My dira just did that for our sem's yearbook page! I'm Fred, my roommate's George, and the other girls are: Sirius Black, Luna Lovegood, Hermione, Fleur, Ron and Ginny.

  4. I think it helps to bring a little fairy tale into your/my/anyone's life.... cuz it some ways, you can pretend it isn't real.... or rewrite the story...
    fanfiction anyone?

  5. Your little bro could be Longbottom of 5th year?

    If i may defend your dad. He is married to Lord Voldemort, and needs to remain that way. It may hurt you but you have sibs.
    The needs of the many, outweigh the needs of the few or the one.
    I have met many like that. you must see the big picture, the world does revolve around you, but it also revolves around others that you love very much.

  6. Irina - maybe, who knows?

    Frummy - i'm all about irony. I feel bad for the female sirius black??

    Rachelli - Fairy taslr is what you make of it

    Noam - it wasbnt just me who was left unprotected. it was all of us.

  7. So your dad sounds very much like the literary version of Dumbledore, a quiet wise man who allows others to live their lives and face dangers on their own because even though it hurts, even though they will suffer, they grow. Not saying its fair, and not saying you don't have a reason to be upset by his lack of guardianship, but you do realize that he is the man who has to share the bedroom with your mother (and im not talking about the activities in them, im referring to the fact that he has to deal with her when all of you are safely ensconced in your beds)

    You should try reading the books. I found them to be quiet...escapist and fantastical for the imaginative mind.

  8. Btw, it was fascinating to read about your descriptions of your siblings. The MaHaRaL writes that siblings have unique perspectives on their siblings precisely because they don't need to see the best in them, but they also know what has gone on in their lives. They know who the people they hang out with, they know what they've done, better than parents do.