Shirley, She Can’t Be Serious

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.

40 thoughts on “Shirley, She Can’t Be Serious

  1. For your sake I hope the electric grid keeps working so that you can have your moment of glory. We have no more DVDs in the house, but we still have music CDs in the house. Z-D looks on them with love. Me, not so much.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I went through a similar situation several years ago when my wife wanted me to depart with my thousands of old 78 rpm records — a collection decades in the making, including recordings available nowhere else. I did end up selling most of it because, at my age, I don’t have enough time left to play them all, and I don’t want such a large and heavy collection to be a burden to dispose of if I kick the bucket before her. But getting rid of them was almost enough to make me cry.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. I’m so impressed by how perfectly those records fit on those shelves. Surely (go ahead and say it in your mind. I’ll wait) those shelves were built specifically for that purpose. But what shelf DO you have to move the DVDs to? I guess there must be one. Having antique alcohol paraphernalia sounds like a lot of fun. I look forward to seeing a pic of that when it happens.

    Maybe it was two years ago that I was helping friends move. Stuff they didn’t want was put out by the curb and (mostly) subsequently picked up. I got inspired and added some crap from my own home to their pile, including 99% of my CDs. When do I ever listen to CDs anymore? Amazingly, they were picked up, so now they can be someone else’s problem. Or, maybe, just maybe, someone is collecting CDs like you are records and was absolutely delighted. I’ll hope for that.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Heh…well. I didn’t write it in the post, but there isn’t another shelf to move them to. Just a minor detail in the overall scheme of things though! We discussed buying another shelf and putting it on the other side of the record collection. A taller one that will accommodate all the DVDs more neat and orderly than they are now.

      A few months ago, Tara picked up spacers that go in the back of that IKEA shelving unit. They’re made specifically for records so that they all line up. Pretty nifty, huh?

      Liked by 1 person

  4. Old school? I remember going to Blockbuster video every Friday night. That’s old school!
    Impressive album collection. I used to have one that big, but scaled down years ago. Talk about difficult choices. Ouch!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. For me, it was Hollywood Video…but yeah. Same experience. I miss video stores so much! When we first moved to Rapid City, we were stunned to find a local video store (Mr. Video) within walking distance of our apartment. For a few months, we’d have old-fashioned movie nights just like we used to. It was such a cool, retro experience. And then, sadly, they closed down in 2019. Lasted a lot longer than Blockbuster or Hollywood, though.

      Fun fact, and one you’ll appreciate: the building is now Mr. Liquor, complete with the same colors and logo as Mr. Video. At least they paid homage to the store’s past (and they have a great selection of spirits).

      Liked by 1 person

  5. Oh, heck no. So you want to have to rely on always having a good high speed internet connection, as well as trusting that the digital platform your select will always be around? You’re far braver than I am, cousin. I’m not giving up my records, cassette tapes, CDs, VHS tapes, DVDs, hardback and paperback books or *any* other physical media which I have purchased. Absolutely no good valid reason to purchase those again, or convert to digital only!

    Liked by 1 person

  6. My brother I too get dvds from Netflix and in the frame of mind will only cancel once it becomes streaming only (the one thing I love the DVD selection is that there are a lot of old black and whites that probably never stream) which it almost did a few years back. Just like I’ll hold onto my CD collection until I get a new car and have no way of playing them. Heck my wife still has a VHS collection.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. That’s exactly it. Not everything on Netflix is available to stream, especially those older movies as you have pointed out.

      The fact that the new car I bought in 2020 didn’t have a CD player was certainly a deciding factor.

      Liked by 1 person

  7. We don’t own a single DVD that isn’t a kid’s movie. My husband and I just don’t watch movies. Albums and CD’s, though? Not parting with them! My son bought a record player last year and borrows albums when he visits. His fave of ours has been Sparks’ Whomp That Sucker. Must be a genetic thing! Lol

    Liked by 1 person

  8. I had no idea Netflix still mailed DVD’s. What? Did you give up your Blockbuster account? 😳

    We do still have a lot of DVD’s. On Chirstmas day the Coach and I started watching Goodfellas on regular TV with commericals. We were groaning about the commercials and I said: “I could get up, go to the back of the house and get the actual DVD out of the cabinet.” We unanimously voted against that (holiday lazy) and continuted to complain about the commericals.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Haha! That’s what Tara would do. I will always choose the DVD.

      Yes, Netflix still mails DVDs…but I think you have to be grandfathered in? I’ve had an account since 2006 and won’t ever let it go.


  9. We still have a huge cupboard full of DVDs (and CDs). The CDs we never listen to, but we (and by that I mean mostly the husband) watch the movies rather frequently. I’d be careful with that “we can just stream them” thinking. There have been many times I’ve looked up a movie only to find I can only buy or rent it. It really pisses me off to pay for Amazon Prime every month only to have so many of their movies require an extra cost. Grrr…

    Liked by 1 person

  10. Sooo at my house we also have a whopping DVD collection that we simply can’t part with! But it was taking up too much space, so we bought these… like… sleeve wallet things? Haha, not sure of the technical name. Anyway we got rid of the cases and just slotted all the dvds into a wallet of their own inside this file thing.

    Liked by 1 person

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