One time I was talking to a neighbor about an idea I had. We could hold a Harry Potter festival at the cohousing and get lots of people interested. At that time, houses weren’t selling and it was hard to find new members. (since then the housing market has gone crazy and even in cohousing, you can sell quickly which has helped all the members who have decided ot move).
The neighbors response was, and I quote, “We don’t want all those Harry Potter nerds living here.”
I laughed and thought, “that ship has sailed.” Or should I say, “that hippogriff has flown away.” I love Harry Potter and have had success running camps with that theme and seen towns throw parties with that theme and being overwhelmed with traffic. My feelings were not hurt and I”m still trying to figure out how Harry Potter became associated with nerds. Is it the glasses? My impression was it got lots of kids to read. The movies sell millions of tickets. The amusement parks cost too much but people go (me included). So, it can’t just be “nerds”.
I fell in love with the books when I decided to see what all the hoopla was about and wanted my kids to read it before the movies came out. Then I laughed my head off at the humor in the books (not always in the movies which focus more on the adventure) and I was hooked myself. Then I tried to beat the kids like my niece who seemed to know every detail and kept re-reading or listening to the books (also with my children as they grew at different times) so that, finally, I think I can keep up a conversation at least about Harry Potter.
However, at cohousing, it does tend to attract “nerds”. Most cohos are filled with white people so that is high on the nerd stereotype and many are in some sort of engineering or software industry (also a nerd stereotype). The truth is, we are in the age of the nerd. Forget hanging out with the jock in high school, they will go nowhere. It’s nerds that have given us facebook, microsoft, and this blog I am writing on.
Also, my cohousing wasn’t seeming so “cool” anyhow. I was looking forward to listening to music playing on the porches. One neighbor was a great guitarist and I liked their music. But once when a group tried to jam together, they looked sad. It was three middle aged men, two with electronic keyboards. It wasn’t what I imagined. Before coho I had a neighbor play one time on his porch and he could rock. In fact, he was offered a big contract but turned it down to raise his family and now that they are grown, he is literally winning contests and back to being a rising rock star. That’s what I imagined. Not this depressing scene of men trying to be back in their glory days of high school.
Another great reason not to live in an intentional community, you can spend your time with people and groups you really want to – even if they are Hogwarts nerds!