If Video Stores Still Existed, I Bet I’d Still Spend Hours Wandering Around ‘Em

Don’t get me wrong, I still love streaming and all, but there was something magical about wandering around a video store, picking up random boxes and reading the backs of them until you land on something that tickles your brain just right. 

Like a book store, but for movies. That’s how I discovered so many tiny mid-90s indie flicks. Those movies, if I’m being honest, is where my love for movies truly began. 

Sure, there were glimmers of movie adoration growing up, but nothing that really felt like my own. 

The first movie I remember like this was “Heathers” which I watched for the first time in middle school. I am really surprised my mom let me watch it in the first place. 

She was pretty strict about the things we could watch, relegating us to “behind the couch” for adult shows and movies. You know where we could hear the violence but not see it. Anything at all ever with nudity was a no go, of course. 

And, oof, if there was bad language? Oh no, no, no, honey, that was not allowed in my house. 

So, yeah, I was surprised she let me watch Heathers. She probably had no idea what it was about. 

I loved it though. I didn’t know movies could be dark and funny. I was only used to seeing one or the other. 

And I was only allowed to watch the dark things when my dad was out of town, because he was very adamant about my brother and I not watching overly violent or scary things. Basically it boiled down to ‘no horror!’

So when we went out of town, my mom would rent all the scary movies. But then we weren’t allowed to tell my dad about them. 

Which was hard for me, because he was one of my favorite movie buddies. And I really needed someone to understand why Zelda in “Pet Semetary” terrified me so damn much. 

I cannot stress how much learning to hide things from people I love has hurt me as an adult. The amount of things I was told to hide from my dad (and friends and my teachers and literally any human being) regarding money spent, things watched, people visited, and the like made a very impressionable Jacki feel like that’s the way things were supposed to be and for a long time… that’s what I did. 

Holy shit, that is harmful though. No wonder my brain was so spinny for so long. I was constantly trying to hide things that shouldn’t be hidden. 

Literally everything I enjoyed felt like a guilty pleasure for a while. 

And that was just driven home by a husband who constantly needled me about the things I was eating and drinking and doing. One day I will tell you the story about how I wore the completely wrong sized shoes for 3 years because of my weakness and people pleasing tendencies. That’s a story for a different time. 

I’m much better now. 

“Heathers” was like a gateway to movies for me. I instantly fell in love with Christian Slater and when “Pump Up the Volume” came out, I begged my mom to take me because my dad was out of town. 

She did, but it was not a positive experience. 

The first “fuck” that slipped out and I knew I was in for it. 

I could barely enjoy the movie as I sat there silently counting the curse words on my fingers, so that I would know just how much trouble I’d be in when I get home. 

Then the boobies came out. 

I stopped counting the curses and just waited for the movie to be over. 

“Pump Up The Volume” remains one of my favorite movies of all time to this day. I remember covering my notebooks in “The Truth is a Virus” and “So Be It” over and over and over. I listened to the soundtrack non-stop once I got it and it really helped shape my musical tastes, upon reflection. 

But my insides get all knotted up inside every time I rewatch and I have to stop my hands from silently counting the “fucks”. 

Okay, well this didn’t go where I planned at all. But I’m gonna try to bring it back around. 

This early love of movies led me to work at Blockbuster, because of course I did. 

Best job ever for a dweeb like me. 

I love recommending movies to people, not only movies I loved, but ones that I scienced out they would love after seeing all the things they rented in the past. 

I invented a game for when we couldn’t find where a movie went in the store… we’d just go convince a customer to rent it! That way we didn’t have to bother finding where it belongs. 

I would love to go to a place like that, but they don’t need to exist anymore. We can just browse from the comfort of our homes. 

How can we bring that community back? Maybe like an art house/theater rental shop combo?

Holy shit that would be so fun. One screen and a smol gift shop where I can also sell candy and art. 

I think I just created my dream shop. 


No comments yet. Why don’t you start the discussion?

    Leave a Reply

    Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *