We have a built-in shelving unit in the basement that Doris must have installed ages ago. Not sure what she used it for, but we keep our DVD collection there.
Yes, we still have a DVD collection.
Yesterday, Tara and I were browsing the St. Joes Antique Mall. It’s 21,000 square feet of vintage-y goodness and one of our favorite downtown shops. Mid-stroll, I had a great idea: how cool would it be to buy a bunch of vintage bourbon decanters and other alcohol-themed paraphernalia to store on that shelf? After all, it’s just a hop, skip, and jump from the liquor cabinet and beer fridge, and that’s where we hang out to play cards and enjoy drinks.
Tara liked the idea but wondered what we would do with the DVDs.
“Move them to another shelf,” I said.
And then, she did the unthinkable. “Why don’t we just get rid of them?” she suggested.
“Get what of them?!” I sputtered. “You can’t be suggesting we part with our beloved collection.”
“That’s exactly what I’m suggesting,” she said. And then proceeded to pull out a few of our alphabetically arranged discs to prove some kind of point. I wasn’t having any of that.
“3:10 to Yuma,” she said. “When have we ever watched that?”
“We might!” I said. “Someday.”
“(500) Days of Summer?”
“One of the cleverest offbeat romantic comedies ever!” I replied. “Plus, Zooey Deschanel!”
“About Schmidt can go.”
“About Schmidt can go in our DVD player. Jack Nicholson and Kathy Bates are brilliant.”
“How about Airplane?”
“Surely, you can’t be serious!”
“I am serious. And stop calling me Shirley!”
Then my wife really crossed the line.
“What about Goodfellas?” she said.
“Woman, you have really crossed the line now!” I said, all worked up. “That’s one of my top-five favorite movies!”
“Most of these are available to stream.”
Aha! Up to that point, Tara was onto something. It was like the bottom of the ninth, two outs, in a baseball game where she led by three runs. But she shouldn’t have thrown that slider, because the bases were loaded, my best batter was stepping up to the plate, and he was about to swing for the fences.
“So, what you’re saying is, because we can stream these movies anytime we want, we should give up our DVD collection?” I responded carefully.
“Well then, by that logic, we should get rid of our record collection too, because most of those songs can be streamed on Spotify,” I said, pointing to our albums for emphasis.
“OK, maybe we can move the DVDs to another shelf,” she said.
Grand slam, baby.
I suppose technically Tara is right. Why hang onto outdated technology when we can just fire up Netflix or HBO Max or Hulu and catch most of these movies for free? I can’t tell you how many times Tara will be scrolling through the TV, looking for something to watch. She’ll finally settle on a movie and hit play.
“We have that on DVD,” I’ll say.
“I know,” she always responds. “But this is easier.”
She argues that DVDs take up space, but that’s such a compact shelving unit I don’t see space as an issue. The bottom line for me is, there’s a certain satisfaction in owning a physical collection of something, you know? Last year we got rid of 90% of our CDs, unceremoniously dumping most of them in the trash. Afterwards, I kinda regretted that. I didn’t want to make the same mistake with our DVDs.
I’m old school that way. Hell, we still get those little red-and-white envelopes from Netflix with actual DVDs inside them. I’ll never cancel my subscription; they’ll have to end the service first. Which they probably will someday, but we’ll cross that bridge when we get to it.
And someday, in a post-apocalyptic world where Netflix and Hulu no longer exist, I’ll be able to dig through the rubble, pull out that dusty copy of (500) Days of Summer, and watch Zooey Deschanel being all cute and quirky. Assuming I can get the electrical grid to work, of course, but again…we’ll cross that bridge later.