By Annette Dashofy
My house has a serious case of “bah humbug.” Just in time for Black Friday and the season of joy and shopping, when we are all beckoned to rush to the stores and spend money we don’t have on gifts for everyone we know and love, everything in my house is conspiring to empty my bank accounts before the first gift has been purchased.
My TV is trying to die. Basically, it’s on life support. I turn it on, it shuts off. I turn it back on, it shuts off. This goes on sometimes six or seven times. Sometimes I decide I didn’t really want to watch TV anyway. Hubby is more inclined to play this game than am I.
This is all because I spent the money a couple of months ago to buy a digital converter box. I should have put that money toward a new television. But at the time, there was nothing wrong with it.
A week ago, my vacuum cleaner’s carpet attachment went POOF, accompanied with an acrid odor. The machine is at least twenty years old and has been rebuilt twice, so there is no shame in its death. However, Handy Hubby tinkered with it and fixed it. For now. I may squeeze a few more weeks or months out of it or maybe even longer. Okay, that one didn’t cost me any money. Yet.
Neither did my car. Two lights on my dashboard have been teasing me for more than a month. On one moment, off the next. But I decided winter is not the time of year to tempt fate. I took it to the dealer before the car quit. And before my warranty ran out. The problem was diagnosed and repaired at no cost. I love my Saturn.
Monday night, I discovered a pool of water in a container under my sink. The drain had pulled apart leaving a mucky mess. Handy Hubby to the rescue again. Some new pieces have been purchased and the white plastic pipes have been slapped together with glue and a little duct tape.
Hubby does not guarantee his work, so the repairs may hold or they may not. Time will tell.
Other small appliances have died recently. Others are limping along. Burnt toast anyone?
All of this has led me to consider the lifespan of electronic and mechanical devices around my house. We’ve been here for almost 26 years and are on the third refrigerator, the fourth or fifth TV (soon to be sixth), second (and third, if you count the laptop) computer, second stand mixer, second furnace, and third hot water heater, and fourth washer and dryer. I can’t count how many toasters and Hot Shot beverage maker thingies we’ve gone through.
What truly amazes me are the two gadgets that are original equipment. My Roper range was a new purchase when we got married (as opposed to the variety of second hand appliances we mooched to save money). That Roper range is one fine piece of equipment. All four burners work and I’ve only had to replace one of the oven’s heating elements in all this time.
And my little Kenmore microwave, a Christmas gift shortly after our wedding, is still heating leftovers and popping popcorn like a champ.
I can hear the jokes now. No, the stove and microwave are not still running because I never use them. I cook. A lot. And I microwave a lot.
So what makes some products last forever and others barely make it ten minutes past the expiration of the 90 day warranty?
And what I really want to know is why they all quit in the same month…the month when I’m trying to use my money for Christmas gifts instead of household stuff?
Maybe it’s a scheme to fuel the economy.
Have a Happy Thanksgiving, everyone!