I had saved the flyer for weeks in hopes that the planets would somehow align between opportunity and initiative. It was Free E-Waste Recycling day in our town, and they would take everything. They would take everything electronic taking up space in closets, occupying that place in our heads called “Maybe Someday.” As in maybe someday we’ll find a use for this again. It is the nature of this stuff that it cannot be useful, at least not in the same way, again. It is by design that it is obsolete and incompatible. It is the global economic model.
They took the massively elegant G4 processing tower which was the size of a small child.
They took my old laptop which was really OK except it wouldn’t power the new programs.
They took our first-generation digital camera which always amazed people when we said what we’d paid for it.
They took a colossal monitor, the kind that required its own furniture and corner of the room.
They took keyboards made sticky with dust and crumbs and a wee splash of Pinot Grigio on a late night or two.
They took a tangle of mysterious cords and mateless remotes.
They took everything.
And for a guy who has staked it all on technological prowess, they took a slice of his religion.
“You should have seen the pile of TVs and video consoles and cameras and plasma screens,” he muttered post-traumatically when he came back. “We probably paid $15,000 for the stuff we gave.”
It goes back to the business of worth, and how it isn’t ever what we think it is. There is that saying we all repeat and even believe – you get what you pay for – but it’s not entirely true, is it? In the end, and always sooner than you expect, you give what you pay for. And that shift in view can really change how you live, what you work for, and what you cherish.
The closets are clearer today. I’m going out to pull weeds.