Why can’t I throw junk away?
What pushes your buttons?
I tend to believe that being self- aware of my own particular foibles and oddball personality quirks can be healthy. Fortunately for me, I also live and work with people who are not only observant, but also unfettered by sharing what’s on their mind.
They have no problem telling me that the clothes I pulled out of the dirty clothes pile not only clash, they smell funny, or that I have spinach in my teeth.
“I’ll always tell you … eventually,” is a common promise.
We’re close that way.
Anyway, I ’ ve realized something about myself in the last couple of weeks. I can’t stand having things in my house that don’t work. Especially electronics. I’m talking really old pieces of technology.
My modus operandi when something breaks is to shove it in a drawer or a closet and forget about it. Then, months, or even years later, while rummaging through said drawer or closet, I will pull out the item and it’s like waving something shiny at a bull. It’s all I can think about.
My next step is to go online and find a video on how to fix it. These videos are the greatest things to come along since Millennials invented craft beer and gardening.
One of three things happens after I spend way too much time researching how to fix a 30-year-old watch that cost $1.99 new, or a 10-yearold laptop. I either discover the fix was super simple or that it can’t be fixed and I trash it.
Or — and here’s where Barry Courter things go bad for me, and I really can’t explain why it happens — I discover that all I need to repair it is a part or two. First of all, it’s never just a part or two. It ends up being five or six and, before I know it, I’m out enough money to have bought a new, better version of whatever it is.
After I finally bought a good weedeater, for example, I threw away the five I’d bought over the years and spent gobs of money and time trying to fix. Last month, I bought three batteries ( it was a package deal) for an old cordless screw gun that wasn’t all that good when it was new.
My latest is a laptop. I have no real need currently for a new laptop, much less a 10-year-old one that doesn’t work correctly because it’s out of date and because it now won’t even boot up. But since it came back into my house, it haunts me. I hear it mocking me, so I am obsessed with fixing it. And, here’s the thing: I will spend hours fretting over it until it works, and then I will put it on a shelf and never touch it again.