Tomorrow night at 12:05, I'll be in a crowded movie theater, probably applauding and whispering excitedly to the person sitting next to me as the movie starts. And if you have to ask what movie, you just might have been living in a box without windows, phone, or computer for the past ten or so years.
Okay, so I might be exaggerating.
And when I start to get practical about my obligations and needs, it really doesn't make any sense to go at midnight at all. I have to be at work (which is tiring) at 8:15 the next day. And I'm not the sort of person who can get by on just a few hours of sleep. Besides, the very same movie will be playing throughout the next day. And on Wednesday afternoon, I might even still be able to find people in costume in the movie theater.
But I wouldn't consider skipping the midnight showing. Not now. Because for those of us who grew up as fans of Harry Potter know that perhaps the greatest part of the adrenaline comes from waiting.
With the books, the waiting took one to two years. First, we would finish a book, and start to form theories on what would happen in the next installment. And then gradually, we'd be given small rewards for our patience: the title of the next book. . . a release date. . . interviews with JKR, which gave us clues as to what the next unknown in hard cover may contain.
During each wait, fanfiction and online discussion grew more popular, as did Harry Potter related merchandice. And somehow, the actual books never seemed to disapoint, even after all of the buildup.
And because Harry Potter attained such widespread popularity, none of us had to feel embarrassed by our complete and total obsession. And those of us who did want to seem unique and out-nerd everyone else could just brag about amounts of time spent reading each book, eg: they could say something like, "I finished the Order of the Pheonix in less than 24 hours straight with no sleep. And it was fantastic!"
Reaching the end of the movies, we try to relive the experience of the books, and keep it going for as long as is humanly possible. Because although I've definitely had more significant experiences, I haven't stopped waiting since I was nine years old. And I know that not being able to wait for that familiar series will be one of my reminders that I've really grown up.
So as tomorrow begins and progresses, I will savor every moment. I will wait for the same exact hour on the clock as millions of other people; and we will all form our opinions of this movie at exactly the same time (though sometimes in different timezones). I'll probably arrive early, to get good seats, and as I'll watch the hundreds of other people's excitement build as the minutes disappear.
Yes, I'll experience being outraged or impressed, and enjoying talking about what I've seen. But half of the memory will be formed by the wait before hand. And there are about 26 hours left before the world can start anticipating the seventh movie :).