I was an avid reader growing up, and compared to most people I guess I still am. Since my mid-twenties I have had some attention span issues that have led me to read less and less. These same attention span issues prevent me from enjoying most movies, as well. I just can’t pay attention to things very long. Thus began my torrid love affair with television.
I own relatively few DVDs. When I had surgery in December 2006, I knew that I would be housebound for weeks. I knew that I would be in a lot of pain, stoned on painkillers, and even less likely to enjoy a book. I had a Netflix account, but I only rented three DVDs at a time, and I did not own a computer so that Netflix account was my sole source of entertainment. Three DVDs at a time was just not enough to keep up with my television-watching marathons, especially when I was going to be all alone in a house I couldn’t leave. I was more financially secure then than I had been in a long time because I had a full-time job with good health insurance, so I went on a shopping spree in order to prepare my post-surgery nest.
I bought two seasons of Curb Your Enthusiasm. I bought all four seasons of Futurama and all three seasons of Arrested Development. I do believe that these were good purchases for me, especially since I was able to buy everything used and in bulk. I am a smart shopper, even when shopping frivolously. I watched all of these DVDs multiple times and I did get my money’s worth. But now they must go.
I dream of a world where everything is downloadable so that I would not be so compelled to hang onto my things. I’m surprised I even kept these DVDs as long as I have. I do want them, and I would watch them again, but as of today I am listing them for sale online. I also own several Mystery Science Theater 3000 DVDs (including one autographed box set that I got at a signing — that one’s not going anywhere) and the first three seasons of The Simpsons. I have a small collection of horror movies (including most of Frank Henenlotter’s oeuvre). Now that I own a computer and steal wi-fi from a neighbor, I have less and less use for these things. I am packing my belongings, and the fewer items I have to worry about, the better off I’ll be. My television will be the next thing to go, but I don’t feel bad about it. If my neighbor’s wifi goes out again, or I lose my computer, I really could just go back to being a reader. I have a lot of books I need to sell, too.