Sometimes I forget how much having lived in China affects me. I don’t mean my new appreciation for bread and cheese, although I think Chinese food has something to do with that. I mean how out of the American loop I am, and how unfamiliar certain tasks are to me. Driving is the worst one, but I tried to rent a video the other day, and it was almost too hard for me.
“I’m on my boyfriend’s account. That’s Stick Malavette, M-A-L-A-V-E-T-T-E,” I said to the girl at the counter.
After a long pause, she told me “He has an account but you’re not on it.”
I was pretty sure I am on the account, because I remember the momentous occasion when I was added to it. But there may be a rule about getting booted from the account if you don’t rent any movies in three years or so. Some companies are picky about that kind of thing.
“Well, I just returned House Season 4, Disc 1, and I now want House, Season 4, Disc 2. Does that prove I’m authorized on the account?”
“Uh… No. ”
“Good point, I could have just broken up with him, and in my bitterness and anger, I’m going to make sure that the DVD he wants is out!”
“Can you give me his address and phone number?”
I wondered for a moment if all it takes to rent on someone else’s Blockbuster account is their phone number and address. Was this, like getting AAA set up, a repatriation hassle only to be averted by telling lies exaggerations? I mean, I know my parents have a Blockbuster account, and I know their address. “Let me think. It might still have his school address, or our old apartment, or it might be his mom’s address for while we were abroad.”
“I don’t think so. It’s not a North Carolina address,” Note: I believe this statement implies that I blend in SO WELL in Raleigh that I couldn’t possibly have ever lived anywhere else.
After a while, I was eventually allowed to pick up House on Stick’s account, but everything was so much easier when I bought DVDs out of suitcases on the street.