I’ll never forget hearing the hype around The Big Lebowski in high school. It was a movie that seemingly came out of nowhere and the halls of my high school echoed about this strange movie recently released on VHS. Being a film junkie, I picked it up on my next trip to the video store and after about twenty minutes, I turned it off and considered it a bust. I should have known better than to trust those idiots I went to school with.
I wouldn’t attempt to watch The Big Lebowski again until after Jimmy lent me a copy of The Man Who Wasn’t There also directed by The Cohen Brothers. I sat down and really enjoyed it, which shocked me since I thought I just didn’t understand what The Cohens were going for. I decided to revisit their films with a fresh set of eyes and I found appreciation in Fargo and I made it through The Big Lebowski, but I still didn’t understand the fuss. It was such a strange movie.
Another five years or so went by and once again, I found myself intrigued about The Big Lebowski. I gave it yet another watch and I found myself absolutely loving it. I laughed and laughed and it was like a light switch was flipped. I finally understood the insanity of the film and it finally managed to get through my dense head. I loved it.
I’ve watched The Big Lebowski probably a dozen times since then and I always enjoy it. I enjoy it so much, partially because I found myself admiring The Dude more than I ever thought I would. Sure, I can’t relate to the whole leftover hippie drinking white russians part of The Dude, but I can relate to a man who understands the world is just a little bit nuts and the best way to deal with that is to just abide. Let it go and relax.
I found myself following a great Dudeism resource where folks who enjoy The Dudeist lifestyle chat. For some folks it’s sort of a cosplaying joke and for others, its a more serious approach to life. I love hearing some of the stories and the ways people implement Dudeism (or Taoism, the much older philosophy its based upon – it’s an Eastern thing) into their lives.
A few years back, I decided I wanted a little something Lebowski related to remind me to “Take it easy for all the sinners out there.” So, I bought a Funko Pop of The Dude. He quickly became my favorite. I loved the craftsmanship and his chill demeanor. Even after I thinned out my collection of Pops, The Dude remained, reminding me to Abide.
Then, I got divorced and somewhere along the way, The Dude went missing. Out of all of the things I lost in the divorce, The Dude was just about the only thing I missed. Well… that and my cat, but that was about it. I moved on with my life and handled getting on my feet since a Pop figure was not a true priority at the time.
Then about a year ago, I decided I wanted my Dude Pop back. I hopped online and was astonished at the prices I saw mostly $80-$90. The Dude was no longer in print and because of that, collectors had jacked up the prices to a level where I wouldn’t pay. I just couldn’t stomach that for a Pop figure, no matter how much I liked it.
I never told anyone about my Dude Pop. It’s just not something that would come up in a conversation really. But then something interesting happened just last week.
I came home from work to find a box addressed to me. It was a small box and i wasn’t really expecting anything. I opened it up and what do I find inside? You guessed it, The Dude Pop figure, new in the box.
The packaging had my friend Alex’s name on it so I immediately text him and explained the story I just wrote above. He had no idea. The reason he got it for me was because he just watched The Big Lebowski earlier this summer for the first time and I had told him how The Dude was sort of my spirit animal. When he was thinking about a birthday present, that is what came to mind and so that is what he bought me.
It’s interesting how this little Dude Pop has come back into my life and I’m very grateful for Alex’s choice of present. The Dude has a permanent place on my shelf and now I appreciate him even more.