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?