I recall a time, at least a decade distant, when I remembered things a lot better than I do now, when memories served longer sentences in my brain cell block. That was back when the brain cell population was holding steady and before Father Time started paroling them for whatever reason.
I remembered things back then and when I forgot, it was understandable. Now, not so much. The hounds are released, the villagers organized and a treasure hunt triggered, not by my glasses being buried deep beneath a couch cushion, but rather in the shallow depths atop my head. (If I had more time, I'd tell you about the five minutes I spent looking for my watch before I found it on my wrist.)
Back in those days, flush with cognitive cockiness, I once engaged in debate with a friend who liked to buy movies on tape or DVD so that he could watch them again when the desire struck him so.
"Why spend your money on a movie that you've already seen? You know how the movie goes, you know how the movie ends. What's the point of that?" I chastened him.
"Oh, I see something new or that I missed or that I forgot every time I watch," he replied.
"Oh, I get it. Like how I forgot that you're old? You're wasting your money," so went my succinct summation.
That was 350 movies ago. At least. For me, not the friend. I stopped counting somewhere about the time the size of my DVD collection morphed from a caterpillar of pride to a butterfly of embarrassment. And while butterflies are beautiful, beauty is in the eye of the beholder, and what the wife's eyes were beholding was a living room counter full of DVDs.
Acknowledging her vote as a no-go from the get-go, anyone expecting her disposition to sweeten rather than sour when the DVDs experienced urban sprawl, was being, to quote the pointy-eared Vulcan, "illogical." When construction began on a second level after growth reached the counter county line, the wife called for the wrecking ball, proclaiming with immeasurable malice, "You get rid of them or I will!" (As a space saver, one exclamation point was chosen by lottery to represent the multitudes that were present at the time.)
Now, Momma's reputation in these parts is based on a long history of bluffing, but I wasn't quite prepared to go all in, my chip stack comprised of all that was good from Hollywood, only to have the garbage man drag the pot on account of a misread on my part.We could work this out.
The wife and I didn't make it 26 years and counting without a religious belief in the spirit of compromise. If my quaint little knick-knack collection of 400 DVDs was bothering her so, then it had to go, simple as that. However, what Momma had failed to ordain when she signed the eviction notice was, where exactly, did they have to go? This created what us movie folks like to call "suspense."
After some thorough cogitating and note-taking on the "Loopholes" chapter of the "Compromise Handbook," I found just the place for my extended family of 450 DVDs. After wandering about the house Moses-style for more than a minute but less than 40 years, the promised land did reveal itself to me; an empty bit of wall space that was a veritable "Welcome Wagon" sitting atop fertile soil for my family tree of 500 DVDs to put down roots. I admit, the wagon being parked right next to the wife's side of the bed is an issue, one that has placed considerable stress on the "Always kiss me goodnight" sign that hangs above our bed. In fairness, when I say the DVDsare "right" by her side of the bed, I mean if I get to 501, she's sharing her pillow with my copy of "Zoolander."
Now that I'd found the perfect property for my displaced discs of digital delight, I had to build a suitable homestead. I can tell you this from the heart, you do not make it 26 years with the same woman by piling a bunch of DVDs into cardboard boxes and stacking them right next to the place where she seeks to unwind at the end of her day. I would have none of that. If you will allow a humble husband a moment to boast, the bookcase I spent 10 minutes of my life assembling was made of some of the finest pressed wood on the market, guaranteed in writing to suffer no more than 25 percent warping from humidity due to frequent sneezes or someone walking into the room with an open bottle of water.
I don't know at exactly what age my brain cells started fleeing to the suburbs. At some point, the fire marshal stopped by my cranial theater, determined that maximum occupancy had been reached and directed some of my brain cells to start heading out. Truth is, in my youth, I probably evicted a few before their scheduled departure time, but the "Parenting Accords of 1978" prevent me from going into any detail on such matters.
The Parenting Accords were first conceived, and then forgotten, at Woodstock in 1969 by a group of people who didn't know they were at Woodstock. Nine years later, they were discovered (the accords, not the people) by a reporter researching parents who, while in their 20s, had spent the '60s at a considerably higher altitude than the rest of us, and were now raising children of their own. Essentially a "How to" testament on raising children, this soon-to-be parenting bible was published under the title "Do as I Say, Not as I Did, Or Think I did, Or Somebody Said I Did." Two years later, he followed with the sequel, "That's Not Us, That'sPhotoshopped." The movie comes out next year, but I'll probably just buy the video. And a bigger pillow for the wife.
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One night last winter, Kevin came home and all his movies were gone. The wife said they were "Gone with the Wind." They had a campfire that night. Kevin said "Always kiss me goodnight" burned like a meteor. He can be reached in the movie room at LIFEisHEALD@yahoo.com.