Monday, August 01, 2005

Midnight Run for Harry Potter

We went out to a local Barnes and Noble bookstore the other night to acquire the new Harry Potter novel. I have been staying indoors during the past few weeks because of the heat here in San Jose and because Sir felt it might be judicious for me to not appear too much given the recent events in London. However, we have been going out at night, that is, he and I, and we have had no trouble.
I have enjoyed all the previous HP books and Sir decided that we should go to the 12:01 first sale party at our local B & N. I dressed up in my grey victorian latex dress, and black hood, gloves, and boots. I really must see about getting grey gloves and hood to match.
I wore the black burqa, and chose not to wear a gag under it for this excursion. We drove to the store and went inside about 11.30.
By the way, just to re-iterate, and because there was some wuery about this in the comments to a previous posting, the primary reason I wear the burqa now is because to appear in public with a black, full face hood on, would get me stopped, harassed, and possibly arrested. While not officially illegal in the state of California, full face hoods or masks are considered threatening. But burqas and niqabs and such veils are considered acceptable (most of the time) and that is why I wear it in public so that I can be fully hooded underneath.
The store was full with about 250 children and an almost equivalent number of parents. They were boisterous, noisy, and quite wonderful. All were waiting for the magic Harry Potter witching hour.
I willsay we created a sort of bubble of quiet as we walked in. We walked over to the cafe section admidst about 100 open mouths and pairs of eyes. The children were amazed and I think the parents were a bit stunned.
Sir had me sit at a table while he acquired some drinks for us. I picked up a magazine along the way and sat reading it, glancing surreptitiously through my perforations at the people around me.
The mothers were cautiously curious but not too much. Pretty much, they began to ignore me. Not so the kids. The word must have flashed around the store very quickly because within about two minutes I noticed a steady stream of children passing by the cafe entrance lookig at me.
Sir brought our drinks back (an iced tea for me) and we sat for a few minutes enjoying them. I commented to him about the children and he said he had noticed them too. We chuckled about the stir we had made.
A few minutes before midnight we finished up our drinks and wandered over to the place where I got in line to collect my copy of the book. Sir wandered around and then took up a spot in the stacks where he could watch.
I was between two little girls, each about 12, I think. They were obviously intrigued by the black cloaked woman, but it was me that was most surpirased when the girl in front turned around and looked at my face and said, "are you a witch?"
I nearly died laughing. I told her no, I just liked Harry and wanted to get a copy as quickly as possible just like her. She asked why I was dressed "like that" and I told her I was required to cover myself. she said, "oh. Like the sisters at school?"
"Yes", I replied, "something like that." Then she surprised me again by asking which character I liked best in the books.
Suffice it to say that for the next 15 minutes we had a nice conversation about the intricacies of plot and character in the previous 5 books. The girl behind me joined in as well and we were chatting about it quite comfortably.
The service clerk was taken a bit aback when it was my turn to pick up a book. I think he was not expecting a Texan accent when I asked for just one copy (they were letting people buy up to 2).
After that we stood in line again to pay and I once more had to deal with a service clerk and hand over my credit card. The girls were still standing around and they wanted to know if I had to wear gloves all the time too when they saw my hands. I said, "yes, we're not supposed to show any skin."
A few minutes later I wandered over to where Sir was watching, grinnig from ear to ear. A few minutes later, we left the store, wandered out to the car and headed home. Sir just kept laughing all the way home. I was giggling too thinking about how easily the girls and I met on the plane of Harry Potter fandom.

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