I used to live a cheaper and better life in many respects.
Our fridge broke down, on a Friday of course. Totally. About four years old. Just past the warrantee. No warning signs. Temp seemed fine all along until what must have been sometime during Thursday night. We had gotten an expensive model that had an ice and water dispenser, complete with lock function. It was nicer and would last longer, we reasoned, after scouring consumer reports. Well, I’m to the snappish point and my ‘tude is now that I’m not going to ride the dang things to Mars and back so I’m ready to live more with less.
In the last 12 years, I’ve had 2 larger chest freezers, two fridges, and one standing freezer die on me, all relatively young units, only the last one a more expensive model. Only one died when it wasn’t the weekend or a major feast holiday. No joke. Neither is that kind of waste.
Did you know that there is (mostly plastic) waste now found floating in the ocean between the U.S. coast and Hawaii? Tens of thousands of lbs. of it, sometimes entangled in vast moving floating masses. It’s out there. The media just only now thought to put it on the table because we only now might be interested (and therefore media makes a profit)?
Along with imagining that, now visualize all your discarded appliances, coffee makers too, from the last 15 years out there on the curb. All of us. All at once. It’d take up much of the streets, causing impasses.
We are at an impasse. We’re just funny fancy monkeys that have trouble seeing it is all. ‘Cause it goes bye bye after becoming an inconvenience … somewhere out there. We know appliances habitually break just after the extended warrantee, we have an inkling that consumer reports do little to tell the whole story from a consumer’s/green perspective, and we just don’t normally ponder how that star energy rating we all check is little more than a carrot on a stick we’re to chase after while tripping ourselves up.
The more people we have, the bigger-n-high-tech our appliances are, the faster they break down, and it’s usually cheaper to buy new than to fix. We wanted a new model anyway. Sound familiar? It’s a seller’s market and Mother Nature’s sorrow. It’s Aesop’s Fox and the Grapes. I wanted convenience and can’t seem to get it.
About getting the fridge fixed, why should I have to pay 200 or so just for the house visit aspect of the bill only to have to wait a week in order for them to “visit,” apparently an industry standard? Guess they think people can just eat out or get a small fridge in the interim; difficult for me with my dietary challenges — can’t have cholesterol, high glycemic foods, any wheat, and I’m a thyroid patient so food has to be healthy and have a decent fiber content. How all our convenience impacts a population that has more people over 40, that is a good topic for future posts/thought.
If I didn’t have rheumatoid arthritis, walking to the market on a near daily basis, spicing foods, and cooking all from scratch, cans, and dried goods would sound preferable. It still might, except in the most brutal cold. I used to do it all. I carried food home in the stroller next to one kid, with more food strapped to my back, while a baby was strapped to my chest. Got welt like marks on my shoulders but didn’t care. I was strong, proud, and living a far better life than what my income said because I was cunning and determined. I used cloth bags rather than the store bags. I used cloth diapers. Cut down on the amount of stuff I had to handle or run out and get. Saved time. Had too much of a challenge to mess with extra stuff. Kids and bills always came first.
Well, things aren’t quite so hard now but they are. Now married to a tech lover, and nearly everything is high tech these days, even our toothbrushes can vibrate, and now we spend more time dealing with researching, buying, programming, and then dealing with all the things breaking down and how that impacts our lives than I ever spent walking to and from markets and otherwise dealing with life inexpensively.
I love technology, sure, but not that much that I want the trade off we seem to be getting. I grew up with an immigrant mother and was surrounded by immigrants who worked hard initially to live better and … they had more time for going after their hopes and dreams. They knew how to pick their battles and trade offs, I think. We really do get what we deserve.
Anyway, right about now, I’m sick of high tech everything except our computers, our digital cameras and the Prius.
Another weekend during which I didn’t get to make any art! Bah!