So, our local video store is closing down next week.
I betray my vintage not only by my language. The word I use is video. Not DVD. Or blue ray. I suppose it’s still a big step up from beta. Which again hints pretty strongly of my age. At least I’m a step up from super 8. Although I remember watching them….
But my vintage also seems betrayed by my actions.
That is, my action of actually going to my local video store.
Where I go weekly.
With my small ones.
So we can sit on the couch watching snippets of new releases we know we’ll wait months to see. So we can argue over my non-purchase of the pre-packaged lollies. So we can banter with each other over choices of movies we wish to borrow.
Chatting to the owners. Chatting to other locals.
Chatting with the people who’ve shaped my family over our last 7 years living here. The ones that we just don’t see so much anymore.
Because my vintage means I’ve grown out of playgroup. And life gets busy, making it harder to cross the big river that divides our towns.
Like that should be an excuse.
Our weekly video store visits are pretty much followed by a weekly reminder phone call from the owners. Where they remind us that the random 90’s comedy or the Scooby-Do that we borrowed, is overdue. And could I please return said movie at my earliest convenience?
Which of course I do.
I also do this weekly.
It’s now part of the ritual.
But then a phone call didn’t come. And then another week passed, this time with the overdue Disney flick staring at me from on top of our archaic telly. I said to my lover, “You’re up for 2 bucks now, better get that video back.”
And then he told me our video store was closing. Closing at the end of the month.
Leaving me feeling kinda stunned. And pretty bloody sad.
Not only that our video store was closing. But that our weekly ritual with our kids would be ending. Another chapter of my vintage closing.
And that another small chain in our link to sharing human spirit was slipping away.
Think kirtan, hip openers and inversions.
Our local video store was a place to catch up. We would always see someone we knew. We would always connect as a family. We would always walk out with a smile. Feeling engaged in our vibrant community. Feeling excited to have the promise of magic in our hands. Feeling the promise of being taken on a journey through someone’s story – just as the previous borrower had.
It seemed a communal and shared space where everyone was even. You would always find what you needed. Sometimes even what you wanted.
And it wasn’t always a movie.
But now it seems everyone loads their entertainment at home. You don’t even have to go outside to see a story anymore. I think you can even play “tennis” at your telly.
But what about the stories we miss on the way? What about the chatting? The connecting? The ritual that shapes our families and our community?
The cohesiveness of going outside, walking down the street and saying hi?
I’m stunned and sad to see my local close it’s doors. It means for us a change in our ritual. A shift in our rhythm. A step back from the sharing of “ours.”
And a step further towards the having of “mine.”
I wish our video store owners all the best for their future. I know they’re tired of providing the shared space. I know they’re probably tired of ringing me. But I hope they realise what a special place they created.
For my family.
For our community.
And I’ll drop Aristocats back tomorrow. I think I owe you 3 bucks. And a bottle of pretty decent wine.