the simple minded suburbanite


On the Ball
August 23, 2010, 11:52 am
Filed under: budget, culture, suburb, voluntary simplicity | Tags:

Day 11 of waiting for my refrigerator to be repaired, a pricey model that is only 2 1/2 years old and thankfully under a purchased warranty. I’m saved only by the $300 model that I called into my possession 6 years ago when my other pricey model in my old house went out while that house was on the market.  The $300 model, no problem. 

Quickly on the heels of my refrigeration debaucle comes a brand new bike pump whose needle snapped off on first insertion into an old soccer ball and a set of “industrial” shelves that buckled while being assembled, obviously too shotty to hold the intended left-over paint cans in my garage.

Heirloom Design.  I’ve mentioned it before, but given my latest consumer events (I guess I shouldn’t complain, Sears sent me a whopping $25 gift card to spend in their store on more crap for my inconvience) I googled the Heirloom Design concept once again this morning.  I mean, I am sick, sick of being “pecked to death by ducks” as they say.  And the ducks, as I say, have found their way to bore through my wallet! I mean, WHY CAN’T PRODUCTS LAST? AND WHY THE HELL SHOULD REPAIRS COST SO MUCH THAT IT MAKES MORE SENSE TO BUY A NEW PRODUCT??!!  Anyone else out there hear me?  Anyone else being driven crazy by the constant financial and emotional toll, not to mention environmental consequences?  I mean, I feel like I couldn’t be frugal if I tried even harder than I am.  It doesn’t matter if I try to take care of my things, they’re crap.  It doesn’t matter if I fix and maintain them, with crazy exhorbitant “maintainence plans”, they’re all crap.  I mean, I’m trying to save for college, I’m trying to make my home liveable, I’m trying to invest in our future and I feel like all I ever do is spend money in ways that I’m feeling robbed, raped, invaded.

Okay.  I’m getting emotional.  I understand that hysterics doesn’t make good writing.  Deep breath.  So what can I do?  Try to educate myself to something better.  So I got online on my recycled computer, mind you, and once again googled “Heirloom Design”.  It’s a concept that promotes manufacturers to produce products that actually last, instead of promoting a “throw away culture” which we post WWII generations have become.

I found a great article with tons of links for the interested consume.  It explains many facets of Heirloom Design, starting with the expensive Rolex and Monteblanc route to quality products to closed loop manufacturing and non product products.   http://www.worldchanging.com/archives/009630.html  It makes me hopeful, or thoughtful, or perhaps just appeases me for the moment, but I think of my grandmother dutifully mending and hemming and realize, hey I haven’t picked up a needle thread for that purpose in eons.  I think of my father up under the car’s hood.  I leave that to Valvoline.  I think of my childhood neighbors swapping off services such as lawn mower fixing and roof leak patching.  None of this, trash and run to Home Depot.  Isn’t Home Depot supposed to be the do it yourself place?  So why do they carry a huge section of new appliances and products?  Because of people like me.

But people like me are getting fed up.  And the only answer to fed up is to get on the ball.  So, ball, stay put while I unwrap this new bicycle pump.

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