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Nature vs. Nurture

My daughter is a Slytherin.

For those of you who don’t live and breathe Harry Potter, Slytherin is one of the four houses of Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry.  A few of the less savory characters in this series hailed from Slytherin – including the main villain, Lord Voldemort.  In other words, if Hitler had attended Hogwarts, it’s a pretty good bet that he would have been in Slytherin.

Dimples joined the virtual world of Harry Potter at last week, and worked her way through buying important school supplies like cauldrons and glass vials (Hogwarts does not have Trapper Keepers on their school supply list, either), getting a wand assigned to her, and, after much suspense, getting sorted into a House.

She eagerly called me into the room, so I could watch her carefully answer the questions that would lead to her final sorting.

When she got assigned to Slytherin, I got a hint of the disappointment to come if she ever gets hate mail from Harvard.

“It’s okay,” I said.  “Remember? We talked about how there were some good characters in Slytherin, and this is your opportunity to prove that not all Slytherins are out to destroy the world.”

She glared at me, a glimmer of tears in her eyes.  It was clear to both of us that this was all my fault.

The obvious solution to this problem was for me to get sorted too.

So, I logged in to the site, went through my school supply purchases, earned my unicorn wand, and made my way to the sorting.  Dimples raced to the computer when I announced that the moment was at hand.

The first question appeared, and Dimples almost dissolved.  “The questions aren’t the same,” she said, obviously having expected me to get the exact same set of questions – and to answer them the same.

I told her that I was going to answer them honestly anyway.  A few of the questions were identical to hers, and I answered 2 of them the same way she had.  As I answered each question, I tried to go with my first instinct, instead of trying to second-guess what House it would lead to.

At what I imagined to be the final question, I hesitated before sending my answer to cyberspace.

What would it mean to Dimples if I got sorted into Gryffindor, the House of Heroes?  What would it mean to me?

I finally clicked the mouse, and we both waited for the Determination of my Destiny.


Which makes perfect sense, given my snake-handling skills (Slytherin’s mascot is a serpent) and my unabashed attempts to become a legend in my own mind. (“Slytherin will help you on your way to greatness” is the house motto.)

After consulting the Slytherin Psychology tumblr, I realized that the Sorting Hat probably knew exactly what it was doing.

That explains a lot.

But, hey, at least I made it into Hogwarts, unlike poor Stephen Colbert (commiserating with a student who claims she was refused entrance to the University of Texas based on the fact that she is not a minority):

Don’t Stand So Close To Me

I am a heathen and a Bad Person.

I mentioned a while ago that I was a bit apprehensive about the upcoming Christmas decorating season.  This will be Wonderbutt’s first Christmas with us, as he came into our household last December 26th.  As a little tyke, he was crated whenever unsupervised, so the tree that was up for the couple of days of overlap last year did not suffer any damage.

However, this year is a different story.  Our family is still debating the appropriate placement of the tree in order to avoid the Wrath of Wonderbutt.  So, unlike most seasons, we did not get all of our decorating done Thanksgiving weekend.

We did break out a few small items in order to start getting into the spirit of things – decorations that could easily be situated far North of Wonderbutt territory.  This light sprinkling of Christmas cheer in odd spots around the house mixed with my apparent disregard for the Reason for the Season probably contributed to MILlie’s confusion the other night.

MILlie, for those of you who just arrived at this party, is an elderly woman who is close to our family.  We were having her over for dinner a few days ago, and she commented, “Oh, I see you got your Nativity scene set up.”

From MILlie’s vantage point, this is what one would see:

As you will no doubt note, this is not a Nativity Scene.  It is our Harry Potter shelf.  Dimples and I are Harry Potter fiends, and we have dedicated this shelf to our collection.  The shelf has been this way since July when we were fortunate enough to visit the Wizarding World of Harry Potter in Florida.

Hagrid, Dumbledore, and Harry - The Three Wise Men

In MILlie’s defense, this is the shelf where we usually set up the Nativity.

In MY defense, MILlie was wearing her OLD pair of glasses, the ones that she “hates”, the ones that are the complete wrong prescription – not one of the two new pairs that I took her to the eye doctor and the eyeglass store to get three separate times in order to get the prescription, fit, and balance exactly, precisely correct.

In MILlie’s defense, it’s Christmas time, and I should have a Nativity scene set up first, above all other decorations.

In MY defense, and I realize that this is not a good defense at all, I am still trying to figure out where I want to put it.  Because of Wonderbutt.  And because I don’t want to disturb the Harry Potter shelf.

I know.  That sounds bad, doesn’t it?  It sounds bad, even to me as I’m typing it, that I am reluctant to remove Hogwarts to replace it with the birthplace of the Baby Jesus.

I suppose it would not be a good compromise to place the stable next to Hogwarts, would it?

I just hope, when the lightning strikes me, that it gives me a cute little scar on my forehead like Harry’s.

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