Monday, July 2, 2012

Your Last . . . Whatever

Sometime in the last couple of years we've made purchases that suddenly trigger the notion that "This may be the last time we ever buy . . . " that particular product.

For example, I wanted to convert our grill to natural gas but was told I could not.  Considering we had used the current grill for 18 years and it really had many years to go, I realized that if I were to buy a new grill today, it will no doubt be the LAST one I will ever buy, so let's dump the old beater and start a relationship with the newer, more valuable product.  Get what you want, because by the time it needs replacement, you probably won't want to be standing outdoors in the rain or snow trying to do the grilling anyway, so the next one WILL be your LAST grill.

We applied the same thinking to other products for the home: a new steam iron, recliners, and various other items.  Theoretically, they are our last, ever.

Morbid?  I don't look at it that way.  Maybe it's "glass half-full vs glass half-empty" but I never really understood the management application of that concept anyway.  In the sales world the notion was that those with a positive view would look to the half-full side, and those with a negative view would lean to the half-empty side.  Whatever.

I suppose our "glass" is indeed better than half-empty, yet have you noticed the imaginary contents might taste better than 40 years ago?  Could it be that at last you have the time to enjoy the flavor, to swirl it in the glass and test the "nose"?  Consider how many glasses of milk you have consumed in your lifetime.  Consider the satisfaction involved just by the quantity, but also by an appreciation of a lifetime of taste.  A half-glass of iced tea or lemonade even tastes better now in the absence of a rush to be somewhere.

Our house itself is a balancing act between lifetime/half-glass thinking.  I'm pretty skeptical about the roof we put on 2 years ago.  The siding is OK, the windows are Andersen and good to go, but the furnace is now the 2nd replacement since 1985 and won't make the lifetime list, and for sure we'll be replacing the television, computer, printer, and at least some furniture around the house.

The cars?  They are always a love/hate relationship.  They don't make 'em like they used to, which means you can run them up to 200,000 miles pretty easily even if you're sick and tired of them, which I usually am about 5,000 miles into their lifetime.  So it's a real question as to exactly when the last car will be purchased, and even then I'll be waffling over the "want vs need" dilemma.

So you just can't beat the "last a lifetime" concept.  That new grill will indeed last a lifetime, as well the steam iron, and the recliners.  Those glasses are "full."  The question now is "what else?"

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