Christmas morning revealed a hardcover set of the Hunger Games trilogy under the tree for yours truly. I didn’t get to them right away but once I did, like most geeks reading a story set in a dystopian future, I was absolutely hooked twenty pages in and burned through all three volumes pretty quickly. My goal was to complete the trilogy before the first film was released. I did not only that, but managed to complete Mockingjay before allowing myself to see the teaser trailers for the first movie.
I was prepared to see The Hunger Games in the theater upon its release except for one fatal misstep in my planning. Who would I see it with?
My wife had not read the books and since I am a staunch believer in book first, movie second (provided the movie is based on the book, not the other way around…books based on movies suck), I needed to get her to read at least the first tome. I was reluctant to sit by myself in a movie theater and feel like a creep, a feeling which would only be magnified by all the teenage girls likely to be in attendance, to go see The Hunger Games on the big screen.
Thus, the campaign to pressure my wife to read the books began. Initially, she agreed she would read them, but as she learned more about what the story was about, she became hesitant. I was the persistent mosquito buzzing about her ear, not to be shooed away easily.
Of course, this made no difference. It wasn’t until the movie actually came out and a million people cooler (and apparently more influential) than me began talking about it on Facebook that she finally agreed to pick up the first volume last night and start turning pages.
Now, what I had hoped for all along leaves me fighting for attention. My days off from work this week promise to be filled with one-sided conversations. Five minutes after I say something, my wife’s nose will peek above her book with a, “Huh?” Impromptu games of hide-and-seek will abound as she disappears while my back is turned to find a quiet place to take in a few dozen pages. Curse the locks on the bathroom doors. I must accept that I have become a virtual widower for a few days as she will, no doubt, read her way right through all three books like a nicotine deprived chain-smoker powers through pack after pack of cigarettes.
As I write this, my better half is less than thirty pages from finishing the first book. Thus, one of the next two days should afford us the opportunity to see the movie while the kids are in school. After a few hours of enjoying popcorn and pretzel bites and upon our return home, my wife will surely become part ostrich again and bury her head in the sand of Catching Fire and Mockingjay.