Wednesday, May 2, 2012

But they're mine....

I got one of the scariest emails the other day.  Here let me share it with you...

Dear Customer,

As someone who purchased at least one eligible trade-in item such as a CD or box set, you can now trade in your item for an Gift Card.

Expand your music collection and buy MP3s, new CDs, or anything else at Amazon

Creepy right?  They want my stuff.  And they are offering me a bounty for it.

Now, you would think the terror would be universal when receiving a note like this, but apparently my husband thought it was a GREAT idea. Can you believe this? He said that since we have burned all of the music to our computer and listen to everything digitally and even buy most of our music online in the first place now there is really no reason to hold on to our CDs. We could trade them in and get some cash for them and not have to store them any more. It's a win, win, he says.

I say, WHAT? What if the hard drive crashes and we lose all of the music on there? iTunes might let us get back music we bought from them, but what about all of the music we have on CDs? What then? What if I want to listen to a CD in the car? What if I want to loan someone music? What if someone tells me there is something cool in the liner notes and I can't go check it out for myself? What if the artist comes to town and I have a chance to have my CD signed and I don't have the CD anymore? What if? What if? What if?

He said, "You don't have to do it. But keep in mind they will give you money if you do. And you can use that money for more music. Or Kindle Books. Or anything else you want on the site." And then he left it to me to process. Because he knows that what seems like something simple and logical to someone else, get rid of the hard copy you already have the music from it accessible, is a panic inducing moment for me.

I've written before about the cleaning sprees I go on when I get home from a visit to Albuquerque. I come from a family of keepers. I would say hoarders but that conjurs up images of animal feces and food scraps and it's not like that.  At least I hope to god it's not like that. It's just really a case of too much stuff. It has always been an issue.  My folks were depression era kids and they kept everything.  You never knew when you might be able to take those scraps of wood and that carpet remnant and turn it into a boot remover.  Or when that spare part from the old gas stove might be able to be turned into a manual choke for a car.  Both things my dad made.  He was one of those inventive type guys that could make just about anything. But this meant that he kept EVERYTHING because you just never knew.

My mother likes stuff. Collectibles, magazines, furniture, pots and pans, gadgets, anything that can be purchased on the TV shopping channels. And she keeps it all. Sometimes in the original boxes because she wanted it but didn't have room for it, yet.  But see, when you don't get rid of anything then you never have room for anything else. So I try to make it a practice to go through and clear things out. But it isn't easy for me and there are areas where it's almost impossible.

Books for the longest time were one of those areas. Owning a hard cover book to me was a big deal. Growing up on the poor side means paperbacks, used or from the library, never a hardcover unless it was from the library. But never one you owned. So for the longest time if I bought a book, I kept it. And some books I have read over and over and over. I can't tell you how many times I've read East of Eden or The Thorn Birds. Though both of those I've only ever owned in paperback. But after awhile the books started taking over. And since I had a collection of paperbacks and hardcovers they didn't look neat and tidy on shelves so I didn't want them out in public spaces but what to do with them? And I read a lot. And more and more new books are coming out all the time so how many books am I really going to go back and re-read? So I started getting rid of my collections. I sold some off to used bookstores, I donated a lot to the local library and now when I get a new book I make the decision on keep or not keep as soon as I finish and either sell it or donate it or pass it along to a friend. With the Kindle and the ease of buying and keeping books I see this as soon to change, but until my Kindle fills it's memory banks I won't worry about that....

CDs are one of those areas. I buy most of my musical digitally now. The ease of buying just one song that you like instead of risking the whole album has some appeal. But even buying the whole album it's easy to do digitally. But I still have a few, just a few, CDs.
Okay, maybe it's more than a few.  Anyway, I have them. And Amazon wants them.  Or at least they will want a few.  Which will be a crisis in and of itself.  What does it mean if they want to buy some of my collection but not all of it? What are they saying about my musical taste when they don't want most of my stuff? Or any of it? Who are they to judge me?  Bastards....

Okay, anyway.  I have CDs.  CDs that I never listen to anymore because I have my music in other forms that are more convenient to me. But having them is comforting. Weird right? I do it with movies as well. I have DVDs of movies that I LOVE that I have never watched. I wanted them. I asked specifically for them. But I haven't sat down and watched them. And I would be PISSED if you took them away from me. I know it makes my son and my husband a little confused when they buy me a DVD and I am so excited to get it but when they check back a week, a month, a year, later it's still wrapped in the cellophane never been watched. But I do love having it. I love knowing that I could stop down and watch it at any point in time.

I waited my entire adult life for Ladies and Gentlemen the Fabulous Stains to be released on DVD. This movie was a staple of my teenage years. Anytime it was on TV I watched it. I loved it. Diane Lane was the epitome of cool. Even though she was a giant mess. Brent got it for me for Christmas a few years ago and I about lost it I was so excited! And I haven't watched it. Part of me is a little afraid it won't have held up and I will be disappointed. Part of it is that I know watching it at 15 I had a completely different world view than I would have now and I'm afraid that watching Corrine, excuse me, Third Degree Burns, tumble down her rabbit hole won't be as entertaining as it was then, but will just be sad. But the biggest part is that watching it isn't the point. Just having it is.

I am fully aware that this is a problem. I know that it's a little crazy. Or a lot crazy. I know how come I am like this, and I can even work very hard to let go of things and not be like this. But for right now having these things is comforting. They don't take up a lot of room. Well, once Brent burned the DVDs to the computer and stored the hard copies in the garage they don't. They aren't overly expensive. Well, as long as I make sure to only indulge when things are on sale. And for the most part the people that live with me know that it's crazy and they are okay with it being crazy. Or at least they are used to it being crazy.  And it might not even make the top ten reasons they would describe me as crazy. Or as we say in my house it's just a grain of sand in the beach of reasons. And it could be worse. Now it's just CDs and DVDs. It used to be CDs, DVDs, books, kitchen gadgets, hair gee gaws, work out gear, basically anything that was shown on a "As Seen on TV" infomercial....And well, there are the boots and the strappy sandals but we don't count those.

And just in case any of you were wondering...yes all of those CDs are alphabetized...grain of sand in the beach of reasons....

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