Thursday, November 13, 2008

The Great De-tachment

Bren has always been a DVD junkie. He has somewhere in the 750 range. Yeah, that's a lot.

Even in college, Bren always had the largest DVD collection of all our friends. That of course made movie night a dream. In fact, we often had such a hard time selecting movies that Bren concocted a game, one I grew to resent: each member of the viewing party would pick 5 movies we wanted to see. Then we would lay them out and we would take turns vetoing films until we arrived at the final one. Most of the time, we were happy enough to watch that final film. But sometimes, we weren't happy about it, and so we would repeat the process. Once, I believe we repeated it three times!

I hated the process of picking 5 movies, then seeing that Bren had picked 5 entirely different ones in terms of genre or atmosphere, and then have him veto my films one by one. To me, it was an exercise in UN-like futility. At least, that was what I let him think. Don't tell him, but I secretly think the game is genius. You just can't let your husband think EVERYTHING he does is wicked smart. You have to keep him on his toes. Hahahaaaaaaaa!

To his credit, Bren stopped buying DVDs a long time ago. The bulk of his DVDs came from his days as a movie and home video critic, when discs would literally arrive in the mail... for free! In that way his collection is marked by both classic international cinema (bergman, kirosawa, merchant ivory) and banal disney reinterpretations (Holiday Celebration with Mickey and pals!). They are the second thing you see as you walk into our small flat, as they line the inside wall, and you're likely to find little stashes around the place.

This weekend, the junkie is giving up his stash. (Cue dramatic horns).

Last Sunday's sermon was about our relationship to money especially in these trepidatious times. I can't remember how exactly, but the word "attachment" came up, and rather than think of the things that *I'm* attached to, I thought about Bren and his DVDs. I know, I'm horrible.

Imagine my surprise when Bren told me he had been thinking about them too. And how he thinks he needs to sell them off. We could use the money of course, but I think there's something bigger going on -- a growing-up of sorts, or a realignment of identity or of goals (Bren had kept them in faith that we would have a big house one day where he could keep them all)... it's hard to pinpoint. All I can say is that this is a huge accomplishment for Bren. And the best part of it all is that he's making himself happy about it, as evidenced by this happy dance I caught him doing.

He has sorted through all of his dvds, setting himself the goal of reducing our two sets of shelves... to just one. That seemed like an impossible task but he's done it -- look at that empty bookcase in the first picture! I don't know what to do with it. Now, he's even talking about reducing them further to just 100 dvds. I've told him to slow down!

We're selling them at a garage sale this Sunday, so come if you're interested. He's selling most of them for $5-$10, including titles like "El Mariachi" and "Man on the Moon" just to pick a few from the "Ms". He's even written cool little messages on the box, in classic rambling-literary-Bren fashion.

Even if you don't want to buy a DVD, come see a man relinquishing one his prized possessions because God may have told him to. It's not Abraham throwing his son on the sacrifical pyre, but I know my baba, and this is hard.




bodaat said...

Wow - that's huge!!

Stefani Foster said...

Ahhhh, the Pick 5 solution. What brilliance! I still use it in times of need :) Hugs to you both!

rustyboy said...

I think I still have a DVD I'd borrowed back in '02 packed in a box somewhere. If I come across it, I will happily sell it in alliance with our Bren!

Good on ya, son. It's about letting go and picking up.

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