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See? This Is Why We Can't Have Nice Things!

I like buying new things. I assume everybody likes buying new things, but I wonder if I enjoy it more than most people. Being the youngest of three brothers, I didn't get many new clothes until I was a teenager and my brothers had stopped growing faster than they could wear their clothes out.

When I went to college, I got the old fridge and microwave that Lee wasn't using once he graduated. When Megan and I bought our house, we got an old entertainment unit, my couch from college, an old futon from my mom's friend. We've been fighting the post-dorm-room-hand-me-down-furniture phase for quite some time, and we still have a good number of things like that left.

Our lawnmower came from the junkyard. I'm dead serious. My uncle found it at the junkyard, took it home and fixed it (turns out it just needed a new cord), and offered it to my dad (who had told him we needed a lawnmower), who gave it to us. It's lasted 4 years now, and I've done some very minor fixes to keep it going (I think I inherited this "Don't throw that away! That's still good!" mentality directly from my dad). My dad ordered a bag for it online and gave it to me for my birthday. Before that, I was using two pieces of wood and some tarp to divert the grass clippings. Sometimes I want to buy a new lawnmower, but I just can't justify it.

(Don't mistake this for a sob story, though; I've had a pretty privileged life.)

Anyway, all this to say that sometimes, it's just nice to have new things. My dad gave us a gas trimmer that didn't run, and said that maybe I could fix it. When the gas line broke as I tried to reconnect it, I said forget it. I went to Lowe's for something else, and saw they had cheap weed whackers (like $30), so I got one. It's not super-nice, but it's brand-new, and it's mine. I could've fixed (and still can) the other one for under $30, but I just didn't necessarily want to deal with it. And I feel a little guilty about that. I try to fix anything and everything before throwing it away, even if it's way beyond my level of expertise (for example, my Camry). But sometimes, I have to force myself to rationalize a new purchase. I also got a 100-foot extension cord for it (which hopefully will reach to all corners of the yard) and I'm very excited to try it out once this damn rain stops.



( 5 comments — Leave a comment )
May. 27th, 2009 05:40 pm (UTC)
You should have gotten two 50-footers.

I like new stuff, but I get a kick out of old stuff, too. My mother grew up dirt-poor in the depression, and I guess I get some of it from her. I've got a new Toyota that I just love, but I've also got an '85 Nissan pickup that looks so bad my neighbors asked me not to park it on the street. Truly. My string trimmer came from a pawn shop. I get a kick out of yard sales, although I can never drag my ass out of bed early enough to get the good stuff.

I've never understood people buying clothes at yard sales, though. One thing I don't want is somebody's old clothes. But I'll wear my clothes until my wife says "you know, that shirt is from ten year and twenty pounds ago."
May. 27th, 2009 06:43 pm (UTC)
Well, I already have an infinite number of 0-footers, so I could just string all those together...
May. 27th, 2009 07:17 pm (UTC)
That could work, in theory.

zero * infinity = the happinessiseasy constant

which happens to be exactly 100 feet.

100-foot cords are a pain to wind up. Two 50's are a lot easier.

I know this because I have a 100' extension cord for my (pawn shop) string trimmer and my (purchased new) blower. I hate it. The ground prong is broken off but it still works and I just hate to throw it away... Maybe some day I'll get lucky and run over it with the lawn mower (which is also a POS that I can't quite part with).
May. 27th, 2009 10:53 pm (UTC)
I, too, *love* new things :-) We've slowwwlllyyy been adding new furniture to the house bit by bit. When we first moved it, it was a new bedroom set. Then this past October, a new sofa. Eight months later, another new sofa to replace the old loveseat. One day the house will be finished...and by then I'll want all new stuff again!
May. 28th, 2009 01:18 am (UTC)
eh, just give it to good will or habitat for humanity. Dispenses with the guilt factor, and someone who could use it can!
( 5 comments — Leave a comment )

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