Saturday, February 25, 2012

Pieces of History

 Last week one of Brandon's students informed him that the Blockbuster near Greatwood was closing and they were selling everything. DVD's, posters, candy, shelves, even their step stool and mop bucket. There was actually a sign on the power cable saying "Not for sale- we need this for our electricity".

With most DVD's costing either $0.99 (why isn't there a "cents" symbol on our keyboard?) or $1.99, we stocked up on way more than was necessary. Of course, no movie is necessary to own except perhaps the five films I mentioned in my last post that I tend to fall asleep to. And "The Godfather". But regardless, we love movies, and I love owning them.

I started to feel kind of bad when I looked at our hoard, but since we got about 15 kids movies that will be given to Brooklyn as presents for the next 5 or 6 years, my apprehension eased a bit. And since we don't have cable or satellite, I watch movies like most people watch TV shows. What we spent was about the same as one month of satellite and we'll be enjoying our treasures for much longer than a month.

Perhaps the best reason I gave myself for being glad we helped clear Blockbuster of its inventory was that we weren't just buying DVD's, we were buying history.

I realized this when I chose to watch "What About Bob?" ($0.99) the day after our humungo purchase. I looked at the case- small hole in the plastic through the paper, probably from an animal getting hold of it, faded cover from all the many years of sitting on a shelf facing a wall of windows, blue ticket-shaped "Blockbuster" logo sticker placed on the disc. Just then it dawned on me: Brooklyn will have no idea what Blockbuster was, and will ask us about it one day when she pulls out "The Black Cauldron" or "Madame Blueberry" or one of the others I picked out for her. Owning all these old Blockbuster DVD's really is like owning pieces of history!

Life seems to move so fast right now; there are hundreds of people, events, inventions, places that Brooklyn will never have experienced or known.

"Daddy, you mean there used to be a basketball team in Seattle?"
"Mommy, who was Mema?"
"Did you guys all really think the world was going to end in 2000 AND in 2012? That's silly."
"You were born before The Little Mermaid came out? Wow. You're older than I thought."
"Why did someone want to fly planes into those two buildings in New York? Was it an accident?"

Just some of the comments and questions I anticipate hearing and having to answer. Think about it: I ask my parents about if they remember Kennedy being shot, if they still have any of their clothes from the 70's and about what Beatlemania felt like. Just a part of their life, but history to me. Imagine all of the things that are history to our kids: alternative music will be oldies to them, not having a cell phone will be a foreign concept, and I bet only a handful of toddlers will ever be able to identify a VHS or cassette tape. We laugh at 8-tracks, and they'll laugh at tapes. Who knows- something better than DVD, HD-DVD and Blu-Ray may come along any day now and they'll all laugh at DVD's. We'll get to explain the instant popularity and then immediate hatred of the drink "Surge" (guys get that more than girls do). We'll have to make sense out of why there was such a division between Backstreet Boy and N Sync fans, or even Twilight vs. Harry Potter. Brooklyn won't remember that Texas A&M was in the Big 12 and won't care about Scorsese winning his first Best Director Oscar... scratch that, we'll make her care.

It's just fascinating to realize that history is being made right now, but it takes time before the title "history" becomes appropriate. And it's mind-boggling to think about how my present will be mine because I remember, but just history to my daughter who remembers nothing past a few days ago.

We've got a lot of history in our home. Old books and toys that belonged to Brandon, old baby clothes of mine, knick-knacks from my great-grandmother's house, and now a large portion of the Blockbuster inventory. If you're in need of a history lesson, stop by and borrow something. We don't charge, but we do ask you write your selection in the rental book titled "B+T DVD". We like to keep tabs on where our precious artifacts have gone.

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