Dear Old Things,
Even though you reside in my closet and my house, I think am neither a pack rat or a tosser. I'd like to think I am somewhere in between, depending on the items in question.
Take clothing for example. I have clothes from back in college. Do I still wear them? Yes. Those old college sweatshirts that are so comfy you do not want to get out of them? Have. But I do not have pants from college, since they would not be comfy
Keep digging in my closet, and you'll find many items from my pre-children days, which means they are over a decade old. A favorite fleece jacket. Some all-purpose T-shirts. All sorts of shoes. Handbags. Scarves. You get the point. And the reason they are still around is because they are still in great condition and still wearable/usable. Um, so there are holes in the cuffs of my sweatshirts BUT THEY'RE COMFY.
Which brings me to the point of why they are still in good condition when they are over a decade old. Well, I tend to buy things that are well-made. I may spend a few extra bucks on quality (though not splurge on high end name brands) for things that last a long time. And I only buy said things if I really, truly love them a whole lot (as you might already be familiar with my alter ego--Miss Bea Stingy).
So I have this pair of favorite black mules--pictured above. I love these shoes. They are comfy; they go with everything; they have a great heel height; and they can look nice without being too dressy, or look everyday without being too casual. As you may know, this brand is pricey, but reasonable for leather shoes. I loved them at first sight and after much consideration, I forked out the dough.
Last month, I looked down at these shoes and saw this. Gasp! My jaw dropped and my heart sank. My favorite black slides are falling apart! Upon quick calculation, however, I realized that these shoes are about ten years old. I remember wearing them when I was pregnant with Dear Daughter, because the heels made me think twice about wearing them when I was as large as a hippo. Ten years. This is when you think OMG-how-can-it-be-ten-years-already? First I'm surprised at how long I've had these shoes. Then I'm surprised at how well these shoes held up.
Now comes the difficult decision: do I repair it or do I toss them? Upon a closer look, I see that a strip on the side of the shoe has broken off, exposing the inside padding of the shoe. Many scenarios flashed through my head, including: super glue, shoe repair shop, or caulk. Needless to say, I didn't toss that broken strip. It is sitting safely on the bench by our door, waiting to hear its sentencing. When I showed Dear Husband my poor shoe, he easily proclaimed the wise mantra, "out with the old, in with the new." But it's not so easy for me; just like the Britax car seat that the kiddos outgrew that I had a hard time letting go
I think about all the years these shoes have been with me. I think about the fact that they they have been around even longer than my own DD. I think about all the places they've taken me and all the miles I've walked in them. I just don't want to let them go so easily.
Okay, I take it back. I AM a pack rat.
So now they sit under the bench, their fate undetermined. I suppose in the meantime I keep my eyes out for similar shoes or a shoe repair shop...
Speaking of quality over bargains, I am still learning. If the items in question are not things that I like to use, then I am more likely to spend less. Ahem. When we moved into our house five years ago, I sent DH out to buy some home essentials. He came home with two toilet scrubbers and a garbage can that cost so much money I am embarrassed to say how much they were. Plus a bunch of other things that he paid way too much for. Five years later, I realized how well these items held up. The nice toilet scrubbers not only looked nicer than cheap plastic ones, they lasted until now without needing to be replaced (while I have already replaced the other two plastic ones I bought, more than once). The beautiful stainless steel garbage can is not only attractive but works really well (hides garbage bag completely and keeps odors in superbly). My lessons learned. I take back all the ranting at DH for purchasing those items. Sorry, hon.
Moral of this story? If I can wear a pair of shoes for ten years, then DH can buy expensive toilet scrubbers and garbage cans. And a new pair of shoes for me. Ba-da-dum!
In all seriousness, DH has shoes just as old as mine. We sort of have to be frugal since our lucky kiddos get to buy new shoes and clothes and accessories and essentials every season and every year. At least they haven't gotten into name brand things yet. I'm not really looking forward to their teenage years, as they can both get Daddy to fetch them the moon if they wanted it.
(What would you do with my pair of shoes? Fix it? Toss it? Do you have antiquated things that you still use or wear? Have you broken my record of clothing/shoe-wearing?)
So, Dear Old Things, as long as I like you, I'll keep you around. But you need to keep up your end of the bargain and stay whole and durable. Deal?
P.S. Speaking of ten years, I wrote a poem titled "Ten Years" for my #NaBloPoMo Challenge (man, the post-a-day writing is killing me!). Instead of thinking back about the last ten years, click over to see what inspired me to write about ten years into the future.