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I wore my Harry Potter "Professor" costume to the theater Friday night: my black graduate school graduation gown, a scarlet 3/4-circle cape, and a wizard-looking hat, plus the more ordinary bits like charcoal slacks, black shoes and socks, and a black silk shirt with a mandarin collar.

I'd missed out on the months of waiting on line for Episode I and the associated geeking-out. So I figured I'd go to the first night of the Harry Potter movie in costume, garner my fifteen minutes of derision and rolled eyes, and basically freak the mundanes.

The mundanes freaked me.

I have never, EVER been so popular with teenage girls.

I felt less like Cinderella at the ball than Martha Dunstock in the cafeteria. I've had teenage girls express their admiration for me before, mind you, but back then they only kept a straight face for a few seconds before laughing in my face.

No, they were serious. One insisted that I autograph her arm. Now I know what Jolene Blalock deals with every day. I did sign her arm, though; I wrote "the Professor." with her orange gel pen.

What really threw me off was when one of the girls in one of their impromptu fan clubs called me sexy. Sexy! To a girl who's old enough to be tempting and young enough to be obviously off-limits, even if I didn't already have a girlfriend. And to think of all the years I wasted at the playground offering lollipops. Humbert Humbert, you have my sympathy.

The movie was pretty good too.