Tuesday, November 18, 2008


I fully expect to be asked the following survey question someday: "For how long have you had your current DVDs from Netflix at home?"

This would, of course, serve as some type of indicator as to how busy one's life is at that particular juncture. 

We've been with Netflix for nearly four years. Early on, we were extremely eager to take full advantage of the "unlimited" feature of our rental agreement. We typically could turn around a DVD on the day after we received it in the mail. This allowed us to churn through six DVDs per week using our 3-at-a-time plan, barring post office holidays. We definitely got our money's worth back then.

But that was all before kids numbers two and three showed up. Before swim lessons. Before preschool. Before ballet. Before they were capable of hurricane-force destruction on a daily basis. And before they overthrew the previous commander in chief of the television in a bloodless coup.

We've slowed down quite a bit since those times. Just a few months ago we were averaging approximately three DVD turnovers per week - still a remarkably good deal when compared to renting those same 12 movies from a local rental store each month.

However, the three discs we currently have at home have been in our possession since the end of September. That's seven weeks. We've paid two monthly dues during that span, yet have not watched a single movie. We're obviously already aware of this and still cannot seem to find time to watch our current films.

So we agreed we should suspend our account until after the first of the year when (hopefully) our lives will be a bit less hectic. Netflix allows customers to suspend their accounts for up to 90 days without losing anything. Sort of like a vacation hold on your mail or newspaper.

I haven't gone through with the suspension yet. Reason being - we have seven days to return the DVDs currently in our possession before a you-bought-it fee of $20 per movies is assessed. Therein lies the problem - at present I don't think we can reasonably expect to watch our current movies and return them within seven days. It's not that we don't want to watch them - we do. It is simply a matter of prioritization. 

And so it is that our Netflix movies remain at the bottom of my inbox, AKA to do list, AKA honey-do list, AKA that big pile on my desk. Kevin Spacey, Steve Carell and Natalie Portman will simply have to bide their time waiting for their 15 minutes. Sorry guys. After four months the membership dues will wash with the $60 I'd have to spend to buy you outright. If you're still around at that point, I'll be forced to return you, unwatched.

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