I am beginning to doubt my self-perception I am not a vain person. The 2016 Elanta gets a tune-up today, so Someone gave me the other car to drive to work. I’ve just parked the 2001 Honda Accord next to The Other Doctor’s bright red shiny new Porsche and I feel like white-trash. I look down at my ten-year-old mouse pad to see it is quite frayed around the edges. The cuffs on my khaki pants, quite dog-eared and thread-bare, suddenly seem a problem. I look like a tatterdemalion. Oh the pain.

In our house we tend to hold onto things as long as possible before replacement. This means we have lots of worn-down far from stellar (but still functioning) things such as the 270,000 miles Honda with its scratches and dents and a closet-full of undergarments stained and hole-y. When does parsimonious Midwest virtue translate into being a tightwad?  Do patients look at my jalopy, compare it to the Porsche, and deduce The Other Doctor must be better?

Perhaps in the end we are not so much penny-wise Midwesterners but cheap. Someone doesn’t give a darn the Honda looks long in the tooth. He is content it keeps running and we don’t have to shell out money for a new car. Replacing my Dockers because the cuffs have some rough edges and loose threads strikes me as wasteful.

At the other end of the spectrum are the folks who regularly replace their possessions at the first sign of a blemish. And then there are thems who replace things not because the car, the shirt or what have you is torn or looks bad but because – gasp – they simply want a new one. I don’t think I have ever done that. Will the gods who dwell in faraway Michigan strike me down for vanity and extravagance?

I think this weekend I will be so bold as to put away the trousers with too many frayed cuffs and indelible spots. The Honda is a lost cause until it needs a repair so costly as to make it not worthwhile. I’ve been hoping for that for ten years with no signs of such. Like the rocks at Stonehenge nothing knocks it down.

Spo-fans – How soon do you replace things? What is the decision point to do so? I am particularly interested in the Spo-fan Warrior Queens (A.K.A. the ladies) when do you replace your clothing ?

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