Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Dear Old Things

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 nor could I still fit into them or still in style.  So my rule is: can wear--keep; cannot wear--toss (or donate).

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 that is still sitting in my garage because I'm too lazy to deal with it.

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. 


  1. I tend to hang on to things as well (and I don't have many high-quality items.)

    Shoes are tough. I bought a pair of Clark's of England shoes at the start of summer (they were about $70 - which is much more than I've ever spent on shoes.) Love them to death; they are almost like going barefoot. But if they started falling apart, I'd have to part with them and get new. I would start by checking out the same brand of my expired shoes, though. Good luck with it :)

    1. Yes, shoes are one of those things where I'd splurge because of the importance of comfort. These are Born, and they do not make this style anymore (obvs). Similar styles are not as appealing to me. I'm still looking out for a shoe repair shop. Thank you for sharing your shoe woes with me, Janna!

  2. I'm like you when it comes to certain things. My favorite pair of wedge sandals just broke over the summer and I still have them... After reading this I may well take them to a shoe repair shop because I love them so much and I haven't found just the pair to replace them with it.

    1. It's hard to find the perfect replacement, isn't it? For things that cost so much, I have to make sure I really like them to buy them. I hope you get your shoes repaired, Susi, and wish me luck on finding a shoe repair shop, too!

  3. I'm the total opposite of you. I toss things really easily, especially if I haven't worn them, prolly won't ever, or if they're broken or weren't that expensive in the first place. As for expensive things, I tend to think 2x about them. I don't want to just give them away. Do I resell? Keep them around and see if I like it in a few months? I'm glad that your shoes held up for 10 yrs! Even my most quality stuff won't last that long. Maybe I need to take better care of them. That's another weakness I have. I assume things will just take care of themselves! And LOL on the pricy toilet scrubber and trash can. Glad they redeemed the husband ;)

    1. Hi, Lisa! You don't want to know about my PJs that are so old they have holes in the elbows, or old tennis shoes that I keep around because there's no reason to toss them yet! I get attached to things, I suppose. The PJs are SO COMFY and it hurts me to see the holes growing bigger and bigger. One day I WILL have to get new ones. As for the pricey garbage can? It's probably one of the best purchases in our kitchen, hands down! I still don't like to send the Hubs out to any stores by himself, though. All the energy I spend of saving here and there gets wiped out with one solo trip of his going anywhere! :) But I'm not complaining. When I actually get a job and start earning some money, I'll probably be better. :)