Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Things that are best new

halfmooncreek 005

Having no wish to draw the ire of the reuse/recycle crowd, but lacking in the common sense department, I will forge on ahead and just say it: some things are better new.  We have an entire holiday devoted to the newness of a year, so don’t tell me it’s not true.  Is it the novelty, possibilities, satisfaction, usefulness, or condition of a new thing that makes it so great?  I don’t profess to know, but here’s my list of things I like new:

1.  Books.  Yes, I know, I’m single-handedly bringing down a good portion of the rainforest.  But there is something to be said for reading a book that doesn’t smell stuffy and of which you can be sure hasn’t visited the toilet with anyone (but you, if you must).  Or you can bypass it all together and get an electronic reader like I did.

2. Computers.  Good grief, I think my desktop gets about three minutes slower loading pages every month.  While my shiny new iPad sings along at a brisk rate.  It’s really quite fascinating how a reasonable person can go from calm to tense to upset to frothy rage while waiting for a computer to do its thing.  I think I’ll skip the in between stages and just prepare for frothy rage when I turn on the computer.

3.  Underwear.  I refuse to explain this one.  

4.  Hand pruners.  No matter how I try to sharpen them, it’s never as good as when I busted the package open for the first time.  I think they can sense when you take them outside and start to develop dull blades and rust immediately.

5.  Food.  Some people finish what their kids/partners/dogs/etc. leave on the plate.  Something about a burger that’s been previously mouthed and is now coated in someone else’s saliva…blech.

6.  Appliances.  We had an old (it was even old when it was new) fridge for ten or eleven years.  It was like being in an episode of Star Trek shopping for a new one.  “Refrigerators make ice now??  No way!”  I’m not absolutely sure, but the dishwasher that came with our  home might not actually wash dishes.  At least that’s what the evidence tells me.

7.  Cars.  This is my opinion, which was formed (malformed, some may say) at a tender young age.  My folks loved used cars.  Which broke down rather often.  My car as a teenager, I was thrilled to have one you understand, literally broke down every other month.  Once it broke down on Halloween.  I was parked on the side of a major road and had to dash (I won’t tell you what my costume was, but it wasn’t cute) to my viola teacher’s house to use the phone and get dad to come out and tow the car.  Again.  Scarred, I tell you.  I need a reliable car.

8.  Hats.  I had lice once as a kid, so back to the scarred thing.  I still recall sitting in the bathtub with my sister with our scalps on fire with a toxic sludge “cure” for the better part of a day.  I think they used kerosene for a cure back in the 80’s.  At least it felt like kerosene.

9.  Relationships with politicians.  At the end of them, you’re quite ready to throw the bums out.  Or worse.  At least at the beginning, you have a hope of a moral compass or a shred of ethics.  Unless you’re an old cynic like me.

10.  Soap.  Trying to grasp the last little bit of the bar and having it squirt out of your hands and down to the drain is frustrating.  And I adore the crisp writing on a brand new bar.  Simple minds, simple pleasures.

And a bonus for all of you because I’m feeling particularly creative but more likely a bit tired.  Number 11.  Jokes.  I’m sure everyone has a joke they’ve heard three dozen times and which their great-uncle persists on telling every family gathering.  Maybe after that many times it’s more of a tradition than a joke.     

What do you prefer new?  Or do you like the oldies but goodies? 


  1. I have to admit I like'em old. Never owned a new car, rarely, unless I'm desperate for a new must have title, will I buy a new book. Old houses, old clothes, heck even 'used' cats! But I draw the line at used undies!!

  2. Must admit to being a sucker for a new book. I had to buy second hand when I was studying and the books never felt as if they were mine.

    I also would put new clothes on my list - I'm afraid when I was teaching and we held jumble sales I hated having anything to do with the second hand clothes I always felt itchy when anywhere near to them - there again some were in the sort of state of cleanliness that made your skin creep.

  3. Jar of peanut butter! You know, when you peel back that paper seal under the lid, and that perfect, unsullied plan of peanut butter awaits the first swipe of a knife or spoon or finger... Okay, I'm all about the cheap thrills, too.

  4. I love a new writing journal or a sketchbook. I often buy them because of the beautiful covers then I sit and look at them for some time before using them.

    Packets of seeds I must purchase. Often the poor dears are left on the shelf for a couple of years before I even attempt to plant them. I like seeing the packets lined up in the box where I keep them.

    I like new pens of every color of ink. If I was rich I would purchase expensive pens. Now I just go into the stores and drool on their cases.

  5. I'm with you on the food. It's mine, or it's compost!
    Are you in your new home yet? Or still marking time in a too small flat??

  6. Holy cow YES to all of these! We're of a like mind. Did you hear about the human cannon ball that was hired and fired in the same night? And why'd the tomoato turn red? Because it saw the salad dressing. I could go on, but will spare you.

  7. Funny and witty as usual. Good list.

  8. Hi Christine, About the only one I would take issue with is number one--books. I like old books. But I like new books too. #3 Underwear, uh, yeah. And I'd say #3.5 toilet paper which demolishes the remaining rain forest but darn it anyway. A girl's gotta have some creature comforts, right?

    Great post!!!

  9. I know this does not fit entirely with your theme but when I think of new things that I love. I love new paint. I love new paint on the walls, on the baseboard, anywhere that needs freshening.

    And new bras, I love wearing brand new bras.

  10. EE,
    Yep, we've moved into a new place complete with an acre of non-garden, thus far anyway.

    Benjamin V.,
    Those jokes are awful, my ten year old will love them!


    Amen, sister! Nothing better than a brand new bra (that fits). I've been shopping for new ones for six months now. It may be the start of a new list "worst things to shop for".

    Thanks for all the comments, everyone.

    Christine B.

  11. There's a lot to be said for the old. Yes, I like and prefer security in my vehicles but I'd never buy a new one. Directly off the lot they depreciate so much but you still have that nasty loan. That being said, I like books old and new, prefer new dishes, new clothes etc. There's a place for everything.

  12. Houses and Cars. I don't like anyone's funky energy on those!! LOL

  13. I agree wholeheartedly with all but the first, being somewhat of a devotee of old books and used book stores... I even like that musty library smell...

  14. Spring. Winter goes on so long here. I get excited all over again when the grass starts growing and turns green, leaves appear on the trees the first crocus flowers..

  15. I agree with EVERYTHING from the books to the hats!


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