Practical Magic (1998) poster

Here’s something I’ve never told anyone:  When I was seventeen, I didn’t want to get married one day.

I wanted to be one of the witches in Practical Magic.

And not Sally and Gillian, played by Sandra Bullock and Nicole Kidman.

They wanted to hide their gifts, blend in, be normal.

I wanted to be Aunt Frances, played by Stockard Channing.

She and her sister Aunt Jet (Dianne Wiest) lived in a big old house on the bay.  They didn’t care that the town shunned them because they were witches.  They didn’t want to blend in, or be normal.  Being normal, they told the girls, “Is not necessarily a virtue. It rather denotes a lack of courage.”

They owned their power, and they owned their heritage.  They had chocolate cake for breakfast, and midnight margaritas, and never bothered with “silly little things like bedtimes.”

Seriously, who wouldn’t want to have midnight margaritas?

So imagine my surprise on vacation last year when my friend Chris and I took the ferry from Seattle up to Whidbey Island on Puget Sound and stumbled—completely by accident—into Coupeville, the town where Practical Magic was filmed.

And they were having a festival to celebrate the anniversary of the filming, complete with a screening of the film.

Magic indeed.

As far as my desire to be a crazy old witch?

Maybe I’ll still grow out of it.

But maybe I’m growing into it.

The Aunts from Practical Magic