My computer is old and sick; it’s slow and buzzes a lot, like a dying bumblebee.
They say that money can’t buy you happiness, and I guess I’ve decided that it’s generally true. I mean, I buy something, I feel a little happy, but then it breaks! My jeans get holes in them, the hub cap falls off my car and rolls down the street, the buttons on my phone stop working. And my computer continues on it’s slow death march. Parts of it stop working - the DVD player, the network card, the mouse – it groans and whirs and cries itself to sleep as it thinks of it’s impending death.
And if they don’t break, they require too much work. For example: my clothes. I wash them, I wear the ones I like, and then, dang it, I have to wash them again. Why can’t they just stay clean? Why can’t I just wear my favorite shirt and my favorite jeans all the time? Well, first of all, because if I didn’t I would be completely disgusting and never go on a date again. And speaking of things that I have to do over and over again, I have to eat every day to avoid passing out. How annoying!
And my car. I’m afraid to drive it for long distances for fear that pieces of it will fall off. Not to mention the fact that the air conditioner has stopped working.
I used to think I could buy that perfect computer, the shirt that would be my favorite for the rest of my life. But the problem is, things get old, they get outdated. I slowly increase in size until my favorite shirts don’t fit that well anymore. The only thing that I can foresee really having around 20 years from now is my guitar. Unless I accidentally bang it into another door handle and smash it to pieces. All this stuff is just very disappointing. A salesman might tell you this is the last car/vacuum/computer/dishwasher/kitchen knife set you’ll ever buy, but this is only ever true because you’re too old or too lazy or too broke to get off your butt and buy a new one. Not because you don’t want a new one.
Although I’ll think about it from time to time, I will probably never run off to a tiny town in South America, and live off the land, and only sometimes think about the art and music and fancy gadgets that I am missing. Or sell all my possessions and sleep on a mattress in a tiny room and give all my income to the shelter down the street. I, unfortunately, will go on being a guilty liberal hypocrite, living relatively simply but comfortably on my non-profit salary. I will wish that I could stop consuming, but in country where professional consumers tell me what we want to consume (think Ebert and Roeper and the New York times book Review and Consumer Reports) I will always want new CDs and a better computer and more food.