Journal: News & Comment

Friday, February 04, 2005
# 10:12:00 AM:

Everyday things

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Darren Barefoot muses about everyday things:

Wallets, shoes, bags—we spend a lot of time with these medium-term possessions. We purchase them with care, use them regularly and then replace them. Men, especially, as we're generally inclined to have fewer and use them more frequently.

We take many of these things—I'd add watches, jackets, and a few other types of clothes to the mix—entirely for granted until the old one wears out. I've only worn four wristwatches in my entire life, for instance. Each one marked a milestone: one inherited from my dad, the first one I picked out myself (a multifunction digital monstrosity, by the way), a classier metal analog model celebrating a new job (which I quit eight months later because it was so horrible), and (currently) a gift from my wife.

Techie gadgets don't really count, though. The "medium-term possessions" Darren talks about are really physical objects that wear in, becoming comfortable because of how they conform to the way we use them. Gadgets do that, but in different ways, and seem more disposable—often because we can move data from them to a newer device and just keep going. Once a wallet or jacket is worn out, we either throw it out or let it linger, but whatever we replace it with isn't quite the same, garnering its own history over time.


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