The Pitch and the Panel

Lessons about dating and relationships through quidditch. Complete with a question and answer panel from the great hall.

If you grew up in the Harry Potter generation, like I did, it’s likely that the characters and themes have followed you well into young adulthood. The series teaches lessons about bravery, friendship, and overcoming obstacles. But more recently, it has also illuminated something to me about relationships. Because in regards to romance, almost everyone, aware of it or not, assumes a specific role on the quidditch pitch.

Part I: The Pitch

The CHASERS, play the pitch with one intention: to take the quaffle, and score.  They are the stereotypical “bad boys” and heartbreakers of the field, and the“good girls,” often enchanted by their recklessness, fall for them again and again.

The QUAFFLE,  leathery and football sized, spends the game tossed between the possession of different chasers. Everyone has at least one quaffle friend. Terrified of singleness, they settle to bounce from one short term relationship to the next, instead of keeping to a high standard.

The SPECTATORS, or romantic redshirts, opt off the market but still remain supportive or involved in their friend’s love lives. Some intentionally choose to spectate, but others live vicariously on the sidelines due to an intense fear of flying, or more specifically, falling.

The KEEPERS, or the goalies of the field, guard their hearts so fiercely, that no one can enter. Due to insecurity, or hurts from the past, they build high walls of defense through excuses, overly busy lives, or long lists of impossible standards.

The BEATERS of the team hurl iron bludgers at other players in attempts to knock them off their brooms. In dating, they compete for people in a jealous fight. Whether classic literature love triangles, or popular culture TV shows such as The Bachelor, beaters provide the competition that the spectators crave.

The BLUDGER, steely and bewitched for destruction, is, the wrecking ball.  

Yikes. At this point,  I can sense my dismayed readership asking,  is there even any hope for functional monogamy out on the pitch?

Why YES, of course! Afterall we do walk the path of the hero’s journey, and I have yet to describe the dynamics of seeker and the snitch.

The SEEKER,  flies in a focused pursuit of a silver winged, golden sphere known as the SNITCH.  Catching the snitch earns 150 points, and leads the team to victory.Uninterested in messing around with floozy quaffles, and fleeing from wrecking ball bludgers, the best seekers know what they want and go after it.  Now, I know this may come across as controversial to some, but I believe, that in the relational realm, the seeker position is best left for the men.  Because when a female chases, she develops a habit of constant prompting, that sets her up to lead through the entire relationship. But on the other hand,  a female acting as a golden snitch, allows the seeker to initiate, and therefore bypasses much of the over analysis and manipulative mind games. For all we know, during the mid-match bloodbath of bludgers and broken hearts, she could secretly  fly to the village of  Hogsmeade, fetch a flask of fire whiskey, and return ready to go.

Part II: The Panel

Apparently, according to my idea sounding board crew, this whole “seeker and snitch” concept can seem a bit mind boggling. And since I am unable to bear the thought of even one reader left behind in confusion, I organized a question panel in the great hall to clear up some misconceptions. Please take a seat at your chosen house table, and help yourself to some tea and biscuits. *Fire whiskey is available upon request but the house elves will be asking for ID so please drink responsibly.*

Top 4 FAQs from the Men of the Field

Q1: I can only afford to drive a 2002 Camry that’s slow as a comet 260 broomstick, does this negatively affect my league status?   

A:Here’s a secret; the broom you fly, or car you drive, does not matter NEARLY as much as YOU think.  One time, I returned home from a date, and my younger brother immediately inquired about the car the guy drove. Much to  his bewilderment, I only noticed that it was gray and clean. So don’t fret about your comet260ish Camry. The firebolt Ferrari will not woo the lady to the same degree as your quality time, loyalty, and character attributes, anyway. If it does, question her motives and proceed with caution.

Q2: Where should I look if I’ve been searching but the women of my dreams is nowhere in sight?                                                                                                                                             

A: Well, you could check your local hardware store for a golden compass to locate that elusive golden girl. But sometimes all it takes is opening your eyes and donning a new pair of glasses; spectacles are in, and they work great for Harry!

Q3: I’m afraid of both  rejection and commitment; can I simply hang tight with my golden gal pal until a lightning bolt of divine decisiveness strikes me?  

A: Hmm. Close your eyes for a minute, (or fake in squint so you can still read), and imagine this scene. Hundreds of feet above ground,  Harry soars through a torrential rainstorm in a courageous pursuit. His heart races as he dodges bludgers and barrel rolls through the air, but finally his eyes meet the glimmer of the golden snitch. Risking his life to stand on his broom, like only a lionhearted Gryffindor could do, he stretches out his hand.  But just then, as the crowd sits on the edge of their seats—Harry sticks his hands in pockets. With an err of leisure he says to the snitch, “eh, let’s just hang out indefinitely. I need a sign that you’re really my soulmate.”  Yes, by now your eyeballs have surely rolled backwards beneath your squinty lids; you can go ahead and open them. Gentlemen, unless you desire to get booed off the pitch  by the entire Hogwarts stadium, then it would behoove you to be intentional.

Q4: After bicep curls, I chug protein shakes with my bro science buddies, because we pattern our #bodygoals after the bulky Bulgarian seeker, Viktor Krum.  Are we on the right track to irresistible physiques?

A: I applaud your efforts for strength, and good health; ten points for Gryffindor! But honestly, this one is similar to your worries about the comet260. The oversized bicep and chicken leg combination only impresses  your gym buddies. Functional movements, like squatting heavy goblets of fire for instance, typically yield the best results. But regardless, don’t let short stature or skinny arms stop you from asking your crush to the Yule Ball!

Top 4 FAQs from the Ladies

Q1: Does playing as the snitch mean I must remain silent and expect my gentleman caller will automatically understand me?  

A: That would be lovely. But it turns out, contrary to Hollywood portrayal, that human men are merely muggles, NOT mind reading wizards. The snitch plays  neither a passive nor avoidant part, and your intuition shall not be undermined. Instead of playing guessing games of trickery, try to communicate your thoughts and feelings. 

Q2: After unofficially “seeing” a certain seeker for a while, I noticed he also likes to stroll about the Hogsmeade village with another woman. What can I do to win his exclusive and committal affections?                                                                                            

A: I raise my yellow flag. Yes, these days the practice of juggling many hearts at once runs commonplace, but be honest with both yourself and the guy about whether or not you’re okay with that.  Rather than try and change yourself to win commitment,  give him the freedom to choose. And keep in mind, not all quidditch players are as heroic as Harry. Gilderoy Lockhart played seeker, and so did Draco Malfoy. He fell in love with a girl named Pansy, and competing with Pansy is not worth your time.

Q3: Are you suggesting that I should avoid the company of men, and dress as a raged house elf?

Nonsense. Prolonged time periods of estrogen dominance cause severe headaches in the human body. The same can be true in people groups, so aim for balance. And I suppose you could  pass off the tattered house elf look as hipster, but wear what you like, regardless. As for me, even if I vacationed alone in Bora Bora, I’d still paint my toenails teal to match my favorite notebook, in which I’d transcribe my island journeys.

Q4: I’m scared that if I give up the chase, he won’t come after me. How long should I wait?

Ahh, my heart is sympathetic about your difficult dilemma. Unfortunately two people rarely agree on mutual attraction at the exact same moment. Sometimes the guy requires some patience to catch up with your futuristic  bullet train of thought. My parents, among many other couples, serve as an excellent case in point. However, if you have started to operate from a place of fear, consider changing course. I know the choice to turn around, and trust in unknown things to come, can be incredibly difficult. But as Dumbledore says, at some point “we must all face the choice between what is right and what is easy.”  Hold true to your standards, let go of the illusion of control, and see if he steps it up.

 

Personally, I’m willing to wait, for a guy who treats me not as a quaffle, but as a GAME WINNING catch.  I’m talking— fist pumping, Lee Jordan gone wild on the loudspeaker, and all our friends brandishing flags in cherry merriment—kind of catch. Plus, everyone celebrates with butterbeer and confetti while wearing robes during the after party in the common room. That’s a festivity most worthy of positive anticipation!

“Now I want a nice clean game from all of you.” – Madam Hooch, quidditch referee.

Alright, before the panel concludes and you exit the great hall to step out onto the pitch, I’ll leave you with my final charge. I know everyone has different approaches on these matters, but these are my personal recommendation for the ladies. Quit quaffling around, and fly as a catch. Soar above the chaos, and passionately pursue your life, with a radiant confidence that you are indeed a catch to one very lucky seeker.  Run the race set before you; do what makes you come alive, spread your wings, and fly.

PS- For those neurotic about the details, I am aware this analogy certainly has a few holes. Try not to extrapolate beyond the big picture.Thanks 😉

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