After 27 years of marriage I finally bought a tea kettle. Our first electric tea kettle was a hand-me-down and lasted approximately twenty years. It had a revival after we repaired the plug, but eventually the wiring in the cord went wonky. We continued to try to use it by arranging the cord a certain way to get everything to connect.
Our second kettle we bought used from a thrift store. It also lasted a number of years. The electrical went out on it too, but again we continued to use it by clicking it down a dozen or so times until it engaged and cooked water. So finally, after 27 years of domestic life, we bought a brand new kettle.
In the Story of Stuff we learn about the interconnected nature of stuff. We think we’re buying a bottle of water without realizing all the eventual consequences. And then we give ourselves cancer if we re-use the plastic bottle too often. Throwing it in the garbage has its own negatives. Recycling gives it the biggest chance of coming back again as another plastic product.
All I can say in defense of me and my husband is that you will never meet a pair of people who wear things out. We patch the holes in our clothes, re-attach buttons, polish shoes, send them to the menders, re-wash rags, cut up old clothes for rags. We do crazy stuff, not only to save money but so that we don’t have to buy stuff. We’ve picked up whole wardrobes off the ground at the marathon, shopped the free bin outside the book store, and made Whole Foods deli samples our entire lunch. The worst part is we called it a date.
After 27 years, we’re still hanging on to old stuff. He’s got me and I’ve got him.