Nope. It's about things that we keep around, even though they're old. Things we don't toss out, or donate, because they still work. They do what you need them to do.
Here's a picture of the glamorous array on my nightstand:
Yes, that's the vicodin I've been hoarding since my root canal. And you can see that my nightstand is also where I file receipts for taxes. But that's not what I was focusing on. Feast your eyes on my sweet Sony Dream Machine, circa 1989. I've been using this alarm clock for 24 years. Some of you were still just eggs chillin' in ovaries back in 1989, weren't you?
Please note that aside from one little digital line that has quit working (it was actually 9:10 when I took this picture), this thing works perfectly. Not that I need an alarm clock anymore, since my sleep cycle now resembles an old-timey farm lady's. I wake up before it has a chance to go off, sometimes on my own and more recently, thanks to the mother effing flock of turkeys who roost in the cluster of trees next to my bedroom window and start gobbling before the sun rises. Yes, turkeys. And no, I don't live in the country. We can discuss those later.
|Here's one of those loud feathered bastards in my driveway.|
I've never been one to hop on the NEW AND IMPROVED bandwagon. Maybe it's something I inherited from my Depression-era grandparents, maybe it's a trait handed down from my uber frugal dad who can pinch a penny until Abe Lincoln screams like a little girl. Maybe it's just me.
Is it a habit that develops during times of financial leanness? I'm sure that's part of it. After all, when you can't afford to replace things "just because", you take really good care of what you have. My car is a janky piece of aluminum foil with Hot Wheel tires attached to it, but you'd better believe I get the oil changed on the regular and take it in for maintenance when it needs to be done. Because if anything happens to it, I'm screwed.
But, I have friends who can definitely afford to replace anything, and they are also in the "if it ain't broke, don't fix it" camp with me. So I think it might be more of a personality characteristic than anything else.
I have a couple purses that are older than my children (Coach bags used to be made even better than they are now), mixing bowls that have been around since before microwaves were invented and I use computers until they literally die in my arms. Up until this summer, we only had huge, heavy televisions which were the size and weight of portable dishwashers. There is a storage room in my basement that is kind of like the legendary Elephant Graveyards except instead of dead elephants there are corpses of big, unwieldy televisions.
My kids have grudgingly hopped on board this particular car of the crazy train. Probably because they have no choice. Comforters are used until the morning one of them wakes up looking like they've been tarred and feathered. Hoodies and jeans are worn until people start throwing change at them on the street. And school supplies? Forget about it. My kids are the ones at school with the spiral notebooks that have two subjects crossed out on the covers and a new one written under those (BECAUSE THERE IS STILL A TON OF UNUSED PAPER IN THEM).
I'd like to think that I have a firm grasp on reality, and we aren't the Minneapolis hillbillies. I don't let things go too far, and yes, when we are able to do so, we will splurge and buy new things. When our last giant t.v. died, I used some of my tax refund to buy one of those new-fangled flat screens. However, I did research and price comparisons and waited until the cheapie off-brand one at Target went down even lower. And then used my Target debit card to get an extra 5% off of that low price. For the record, I cringed when I paid for it. Spending money is never easy once you've been down Poverty Road. I wonder if that ever changes?
There will come a morning when I roll over and my trusty old Dream Machine will be flashing some illegible hieroglyphics, or simply not flashing at all. I imagine there will be a moment of silence. Knowing me, I'll probably try to fix it by unplugging it for a few minutes and then plugging it back in.
I have already decided that when the time comes, I will donate its lifeless remains to the preschool. One of our teachers loves to let the kids go to town on dead appliances with screwdrivers and tweezers. I used to let my own kids dissect broken electronics, and I think it's a dignified end for such a loyal, trustworthy alarm clock.
If you know me, you know there's an analogy buried in this post. Yes, if we were smoking wacky tobacky and getting real deep and all philosophical-like, you could say that I AM MY ALARM CLOCK. I'm old, I've seen lots of things, I have some battle scars, but dammit. I still work. Oh sure...the digital display works better on the newer models, and the sound is probably super crisp. When you have visitors in your bedroom they'll notice that you have the latest and greatest alarm clock. But I have a feeling that the new one won't last as long.
They don't make 'em like they used to, you know. Thus ends the analogy portion of today's post.
How about you? Do you have old things in your life, too? Or are you always looking for the upgrades? Not that there's anything wrong with that...without your kind our thrift stores would be sad, empty places. I love people who upgrade.
Leave a comment and tell us what you hang onto just because it still works. And please don't say "My spouse!". Although, that's funny. In a non-derogatory way, of course.
Have a super day, friends.