If you’re wondering what Harry Potter and Beanie Babies have in common, you’re probably not the only one.
When my daughter–now twenty-seven–was a teen, she had a profound influence on my life. Most of it was good.
Although she introduced me to some interesting movies like “10 Things I Hate about You” (early Heath Ledger) and “Center Stage,” she also got me hooked on several things I’ve never lost my interest in.
Yep, you guessed it. The Harry Potter books (the movies didn’t exist yet) and those cute little Beanie Babies that became such popular collectables for a while.
The Harry Potter books proved to be the less expensive interest since we had to wait–seemingly forever–for the next one to come out. (Okay, so that proved true of the movies as well, but at least we didn’t depend on the movies to know what the Hogwarts gang was up to.) I reached the point where I once arranged for the next book to be shipped to my in-laws’ home, where we would be vacationing on release day. (I finished reading it the next day.)
Beanie Babies, although less expensive individually, proved more dangerous. New ones came along more often.
Sure, five or six dollars doesn’t sound like much, but the addiction quickly grew costly. Like other BB addicts, I was constantly on the lookout for a new source of the little critters. Strangely–or so it seemed at the time–Cracker Barrel often had Beanie Babies when other places had completely run out of them.
The craze finally died–or at least shrank considerably–and my addiction shrank, too. But I still had a number of Beanie Babies, and I had no interest in trying to sell them. (Boy! What would’ve happened if I’d donated them to the local Goodwill Store?)
I still had my collection when I married Kathleen. I don’t think she’d ever had the interest in Beanie Babies I did. Nonetheless, she was understanding about my love of those little critters and agreed they were less expensive, safer, and more easily aligned with my Christian faith than smoking or drinking. She understood and condoned my occasionally adding another BB to my collection. (Yes, the collection belongs to both of us, but I doubt seriously that she thinks of it as hers.)
In fact, she was so understanding that she agreed we needed something to display our collection in. We ended up buying the cabinet you see in the middle picture above. (Although it has a built-in light, we seldom turn it on.)
As you can well imagine, however, no way could we display them all nice and neat. So we grouped them (cats , dogs , and everything else ) and dumped them on the four highest shelves, one of which you can see in photo number four. We also have a couple of them lounging playfully on top of the cabinet. See picture five.
Beanie Babies also proved less controversial than Harry Potter. Kathleen and I sometimes have to bite our tongues to keep from criticizing ultra-conservative Christians who condemn the Harry Potter books without ever having read one of them. As strong conservative Christians ourselves, we see nothing wrong with the books or the movies. Fiction is fiction, and fantasy is fantasy.
As many hours of pleasure as Harry Potter and the Beanie Babies (Ms. Rowling, wouldn’t that make an interesting book title?) have brought me, I feel it was money well spent. And something I owe my daughter a big hug of thanks for.
What about you? Do you have something you’d like to share about Harry Potter or Beanie Babies? Or do you have some similar addiction you’d like to mention? We’d love to hear about it in a comment.
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“On Aging Gracelessly” isn’t my only blog. I post lyrics of the Christian songs I’ve written over the last fifty years on “As I Come Singing”–check it out HERE. Free lead sheets (tune, words, and chords) are available for many of them. View the list HERE.