The Pleasures of Past “Inconveniences”
It’s Friday evening and after unwinding from a long and “stressful” week at school, my family and I embraced the TGIF-mentality much like the family did from the movie “ET.” We gathered in the family room that was perfect for watching movies and enjoyed a film that was just released. Surrounded by and in between all of us was a steaming hot Donatos pizza box, a half-gone two liter of Coca-Cola, cups and plastic Dontaos themed plates everywhere and an opened blue and white movie container with the word in bright yellow block letters “BLOCKBUSTER” showcased down the cases’ spine. This was a Friday night spent with family during my childhood. It was awesome.
Once the 3:00 p.m. bell sounded on that Friday during my elementary school days, the opportunity to make the weekend great had begun! After discovering my mom’s car from the usual lineup I opened the door and said hello. When asked what I had learned that day, I just responded with what had become protocol: “stuff.” With a humorous roll of the eyes, she put the car in drive and we went home.
Knowing that a very cool new movie had arrived that day at the movie store, I waited for the right moment. “Mom, you look really great today!” Thankful for a split second, she quickly saw through my transparent motive. Uncertainty still in the air, time had passed to early evening, around 5:00 or 6:00 p.m. Contemplating for a few moments, I finally mustered the courage to ask the two biggest questions of the impending weekend: “Mom, can we get pizza tonight?…and stop by Blockbuster?”
Pausing for dramatic effect (which worked in ways you cannot imagine), she replied, “Sure.” It was official: Friday night was going to be legen-wait for it…
The Blockbuster just a couple miles from my house was packed with fellow kids, parents, teenagers, adults and every age demographic you could picture. Looking at every movie box with precise analysis, I searched for “the one.” Once discovered in the “New Releases” section, I picked up and gazed at the cover box with amazement. Next step, I nervously and excitedly look behind it and hope for a VHS to be available for rental. As an FYI, a VHS is what us ‘old people’ used to call movies. Talkies is another popular expression.
At the counter, I hand the movie to the clerk who is sporting a welcoming smile and a happy attitude for the young man about the experience a cinematic adventure. My mom hands her the official membership card, the clerk swipes it, opens the case to ensure the correct movie was ready for rental, snaps it closed and then a white receipt is printed and stuck inside the top with the due date included. With a smile as wide as a mile, we walk out of the brightly lit, magical Blockbuster store and return home to then order a cheese pizza just like in “Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles” and “Home Alone” that is at our front door in a speedy fifteen minutes. Once the pizza guy is paid on our warmly lit front step, the moment had finally arrived and it was officially Friday Movie Night.
Today, at virtually any hour and day of the week, I turn on my laptop, open up iTunes, go to the iTunes store, click on the movie I want, confirm the download through my iTunes account and in less than an hour I’m watching the movie…alone and with total convenience in the comfort of my own home. Ughh.