Post Traumatic Renter's Late Fee Stress Disorder Syndrome

November 12th, 2007

I rented four movies this week. That’s right FOUR! Two for my boys – so that on Thursday I could send my children down to the bleak basement to watch a movie while I had the girls over for Bunko. Then I rented two more for myself, as a coping device to try and stave off a hideously busy weekend which included a dress rehearsal and the performance of a local fundraiser/variety show. On Sunday, my children’s choir sang and ACH OY! am I dead yet?

I rented the movies under the delusion that I would squeeze them in sometime before they were due back on Sunday night at 8 pm which has come and gone and I still have not watched them. Now I am suffering post traumatic renter’s late fee stress disorder sydrome.

In our small town there are three options for movie rentals. One – drive fifteen miles to Manhattan and rent a movie with little to no worries about retuning them in a timely manner. Two – rent them from what we call “The Other Movie Store” which is a somewhat frightening place with a display case full of knives and lots of other weirdness. If you are a minute late returning the films from “The Other Movie Store” they call and let you know. There is often a small yipping dog on a chain that likes to come ripping around the register whenever a customer comes in at “The Other Movies Store”. But sometimes I go there, because I don’t want to pay the ludicrous fines that so quickly compound at the local grocery store.

Renting from the local grocery store is a very pleasant shopping experience. The store is clean, well organized, no yipping dogs, no knives, but I do have to endure the choking, coughing, gagging, reflex from the teenage cashier every time they bring up our account and tell how much I owe in late fees.

“Uh…um… ma’am…you… uh… owe…ahem…uh…six thousand nine hundred and eighty two dollars and twenty three cents in late fees…ahem… do you wanna pay that now???”

So I have done it again. Rented another movie that I still have not watched and now I have four movies that are past due. Tomorrow I will forget to return them as that is laundry day and I am soooo dedicated to that particular task. Tuesday I help out in Jack’s classroom in the morning and then I spend the afternoon recovering. Wednesday I panic for eight solid hours about my children’s choir and then I have to actually show up to direct it. Thursday…hmmmm…I think Thursday is the day I am scheduled to stare into space and get sidetracked from dusk to dawn. Friday – drive to Manhattan and rent some movies.

So you can see – I am far too productive of a person to bother with movie returns. These late fees are just a by product of a fascinating life and it is a cross that I must bear.

I know I know – Net Flicks. Let’s just all say it together! Net Flicks. I am still contemplating that one. I keep waiting for the ceiling fans to give me the answer. Until then, the local grocery store will continue to make a mint off of me and my late fees. I call it supporting your local business. I am just a never ending font of do-gooderness.


  • Coffee Bean:

    You are too funny! We tried Blockbuster online but too many of the movies were damaged in the mail. It was very frustrating. I imagine that NetFlix has got to have the same problem. We are now back in late fee hell. We are going to have to go back on some plan where we don’t have late fees.A couple of years ago I learned that you could request books, DVDs, Cds, etc. online from our local library and then just run in and pick them up after they notified you by e-mail that they were in. I was homeschooling at the time and went wild! It was awesome… until we had a blizzard and all that stuff was due! The whole town shut down for three days so I didn’t return them. When I complained about my $40 late fee ($1 a day per DVD) thinking they would waive it due to the storm… they told me, “Our drive thru drop off is always open.” HELLO!!! Town… shut down… police on cold reporting… news casters telling everyone to stay home. I could have bought a couple DVDs for what I had to pay.

  • Cynthia:

    Hi! You really should try netflicks! And I never have once got a movie that has been damaged in the mail. Maybe its just Blockbuster? Anyways, you really should try it!Just think, no late fees! Doesnt that give you an “AHHHHHHHHHH” moment?

  • Cynthia:

    We used to rent from Clean Films. It was just like Netflix, except all of the DVD’s were edited for family viewing. Or adult viewing since I won’t watch anything that hints at even PG13, but that it just me… We only ever had one damaged DVD in the year and a half we rented. It was really convenient for us. …Hey, why does that comment above me have my name on it? I am feeling a wee bit unsettled, now…

  • Cynthia:

    Oh, I love your new picture of the house. I really like the leaves. Isn’t fall nice?

  • chocolatechic:

    We just get ours from our library. It is a free rental, and you get to keep them for a week. Then if you suffer from busy life syndrome, then you can just renew them.

  • ~*~ Jennifer ~*~:

    NETFLIX!!!That totally is the way to go — the selection is so outrageously ginormous that you’ll have to chose the rent 4 at a time in order to see all the ones you desire in a reasonable amount of time.Either that or be a NETFLIX member for the next 10,000 years.Either way — NETFLIX is wayyy better than Blockbusters… way better. So there.I’ve got 200+ movies in my que… I’ll never get them all watched… but I’m trying. Ü

  • Donna Boucher:

    What movies were you going to watch?I did this last week. But I decided to make the most of it and watched Holiday the day after it was due. And I am so glad I did.It is a sweet movie. Get it.Here is the new cool thing we have going at our house…..You can rent movies thru TIVO.Can you get cable and Tivo out by you?We go to Amazon. Pick a movie.3.99.Presto chango….it shows up on your home Tivo machine. You have one week to watch it.And then it disappears.No late fees. No mail.The magic of Tivo.We watched Blades of Glory.(Their selection is not fab yet. They’re new and working on that ;o)And here ends my Tivo commercial.Unpaid endorsesment.

  • Donna Boucher:

    And no charge for misspelled words either.

  • kimj:

    That same grocery store called me this morning to remind that I had two movies that are four days late (they’re VHS, so I haven’t been terribly concerned about getting them back in a timely manner!). Usually I blame my boys for not getting them back on time, but I don’t think I can blame them for getting “Mansfield Park” returned late!

  • kssnflwr:

    The next time I get a free month offer I will send it your way. Then you can try it with no strings attached. We kept two movies for 6 weeks and nobody cared!! Well except maybe me when I thought about how much it cost for just two movies. But NO late fees!! That’s what really matters!

  • wildblue:

    just a thought/idea: My local public library has an entire section dedicated to VHS and DVD movies, and we get to keep them for a whole week. Which is good, because I have to same problem as you. It might be days and days until I get around to watching them. There are also late fees, but when you have a week to keep them, and there’s no rental-fee to begin with, well you get my point. Once I discovered this section at the library, I stopped renting from the video store. The only downside is there are usually not recent releases to enjoy, but plenty of “oh I always ment to see this one!!” type movies to enjoy.

  • wildblue:

    Opps! I see chocolatechic made the library suggestion before me. Great minds think a like!

  • Pamelotta:

    I vote for Netflix. It’s the greatest thing to come along since, well, you know. We like old and obscure [not at the same time] movies at our house. We have the three-at-a-time plan. I rent one for the girls, one for the boy and one for my husband and I. I am currently watching Frontier House 2. It was a PBS special and since we don’t get PBS, I can rent it. Who knew Netflix would have PBS stuff?!? It’s the best!Had one damaged in the mail. They took care of it because it was the mail’s fault and even apologized for the inconvenience.By the way, I’m an ex-lurker. Love the blog!

  • Melissa:

    Rechelle. Seriously. it now. You will NOT be disappointed! Seriously.

  • lsaspacey:

    I say Netflicks too. However, I am located in the same town as a Netflicks distribution center so the movies only have to travel a day and rarely are damaged. They usually have a trial subscription though so you can try and cancel if it doesn’t work for you. It is really convenient because the same package you receive the movie in converts to the package you return it in.