On Saturday night, my friend H and I had a great dinner, picked up dessert from a wonderful new baker in Charlottesville (Paradox Pastry Cafe, my friends – try it.) Then, we walked back to her place and settled in for wine spritzers, chocolate pastries, and some good old bonding over funny TV. With great graciousness, she introduced me to two shows – Spaced and The IT Crowd. She knows me so well – I loved them both. This could be why we’ve been friends for almost twenty years.

The thing is I don’t know if I would have been as gracious as she was. You see, she’d seen both episodes of the shows we watched, and yet, for me, she sat through them again. I so loathe rewatching things that I might not have done the same for her. Sad, I know.

Since I was a kid, I’ve had this thought every time a rerun comes on TV, a friend suggest we watch a classic film again, or someone says they’ve so appreciated re-reading such and such a book:

EEEK! Who has time to rewatch or reread anything? With so much in the world to watch and read, I can’t, I just can’t.

The idea of how much I haven’t read or seen in the world can be absolutely debilitating to me if I think about it too long. I want to absorb everything – go everywhere, read every word, see every image – and yet I know I can’t. Of course, there are some books and films/shows I just don’t need to see – Magic Mike is at the top of that list for me – but still, when I think about it, I feel behind, so far behind.

So when someone says they re-read or re-watch, I can’t imagine that. Sure, I realize that we read differently at different points in our lives. I realize that watching a film several times deepens one’s understanding of the film. I know these things; I believe them to be true.

Still, ugh, there’s so much I haven’t read or seen the first time.

Today, a friend suggested seeing Moonrise Kingdom again. I loved the movie, found it insightful and wise and funny, really funny . . . but will I see it again when I might be able to see another great film instead? I don’t know. . . maybe this will be the one that changes my pattern.

What about you? Do you re-read? Why or why not?