Should It Stay or Should It Go?

Friday, March 03, 2006

The Project

Now, as to why I decided to create "Should It Stay or Should It Go?" As with just about anything - from 99.9% of good pop songs to the Trojan War - it started with a girl. In the summer of 2003, I met Eileen, a lovely lass from Rhode Island who lived in Queens and was dragged to my birthday party in Brooklyn. We went out on some dates. Then some more. On Memorial Day Weekend of 2004, she moved in with Hubley J. Cat and me in Brooklyn. A couple of months later, Eileen ordered dessert at a nice restaurant in Cold Spring, NY, and found a diamond ring sitting next to her bowl of berries. On June 11, 2005, we got married, and thus far I'm just pretty damn happy that it's all gone the way it has.

But no one would believe me if I said it was all perfect. There's been one consistent bone of contention between us, and even bringing it up inevitably leads to an argument of some sort: my record collection.

See, I'm worse than a Record Collector - I'm a Record Geek. I just love the things. I mean, I love the music, too; but there's something I just can't get past, no matter how fast we hurtle into the MP3/iTunes era, about a CD, an LP or a 7-inch single. They're great.

I love them.
I love Eileen.
I'm in a love triangle, and something's got to give.

So I started trying to weed out the collection. But it's not easy. I don't have an exact count (yet), but in general I'd estimate I've got about 1,500 CDs, 200 LPs, another 200 or so 7-inch singles, a clutch of box sets, and some cassettes still in the back of my closet. I mean, I know people who have more records, sure, but that's not the point. The point is: I live in a New York-sized 1-bedroom apartment, and this stuff takes up a lot of much-needed space.

Plus, there's The Future. Eileen and I are probably going to move in the next year or so. And we're going to start in on makin' some kiddies. Big stuff. Hard to get my head around.

But here's something I can grasp: moving 2,000 records is an enormous pain in the ass. I've done it, even when there were fewer pieces, and it's just ungodly difficult and unpleasant (and I'm not even the guy lifting all the boxes - I'm just talking about packing and unpacking The Beast). So I need to get rid of some.

Thus, Should It Stay or Should It Go? I'm going to go through the whole thing, face The Beast, and figure out what stays and what goes. Sometimes it'll be one at a time, sometimes a whole chunk at a time, but I will get through it. And I'm going to do more than get through it: I'm also going to get into it, think about these CDs and LPs and such, try to figure out why each one seems so hard to even consider putting up on eBay or (perish the thought) just throwing away. And I'm going to do it here, in front of anyone who might want to follow along, as a way to help keep me honest. Or at least on track.

In the Record Geek Bible (aka, Nick Hornby's High Fidelity), Rob asks, "What's wrong with wanting to be at home with your record collection?" Too true, but I'm not alone anymore. There's a girl and the future, and I need to make some room for them.


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