Wednesday, December 21, 2005

If it ain't broke, don't fix it

I think being raised by parents who themselves were brought up in the Great Depression was a really good thing. One of the main lessons that imparted to me is to never take anything for granted, work hard for everything you've got and you'll appreciate it a lot more. That, and never treat anything as if it's disposable. I know that one is a toughie to follow these days in our 'everything is disposable' world, but I still keep things a lot longer than most people. Don't get me wrong, I'm by no means cheap... Just very frugal.
For instance, I still have a small Texas Instruments TI-1100 pocket calculator I bought at the main PX at Ft. Sill, Oklahoma in January of 1983 when I was there for basic training. I still use it today to balance my checkbook, and the most amazing thing is I've never had to replace the battery in it. It's still plugging away, so why get a new one?
I also had a cheapo pair of sunglasses that I paid about $2 for at RiteAid back in 1989, and would probably still have them today if my ex-wife, besides having an extremely selective memory, didn't have selective hearing also, interpreting "Here, put these on the DASHBOARD, please." as "Put these on the center console of the pickup so our flighty and high-strung Golden Retriever can crush them to dust with his paws when getting out of the truck..."
I've also have had the same wristwatch for about the same time as the sunglasses, a mid-grade Swiss Army brand analog with date window. It's even got the same velcro wristband that came with it... That itself has been broken a time or two in the past, but instead of buying a new wristband, I've performed 'emergency surgery' on it a few times with my sewing kit I have. It's been a reliable and accurate timekeeper for me for a long time...
That is until last night when I was getting ready for work. I strapped it on my left wrist as usual, and noticed the time was wrong. I checked the stem to see if it had somehow popped out and everything seemed ok, until I noticed the second hand wasn't sweeping. Great. The battery is dead.
I left it on anyway, because one of my many odd habits is I feel completely naked without it. It's like a security blanket of familiarity, like Linus with his blanket. I was like that on the PD too, and it took years to get over the naked feeling of not having that two pound pistol on my hip.
So now my next decision. Do I get a new watch or break down and take it to a jeweler's to replace the battery?
I guess for the time I have it at the jeweler's, I can do a little mending on the wristband... It does look a little frayed...
Copyright 2005 Thomas J Wolfenden

10 comments:

berly02 said...

Get a new battery.
At least see if that is the problem. I used to work at a jewerly store. Nine times out of ten, eight dollars fixes the problem, not a hundred for a new watch.

Sherri said...

Buy a new watch. Think of all the wonderful years you'll have to break it in.

Okie said...

Why do you even ask us? You know you're going to replace the battery and get another decade out of it.

Cheryl said...

Get a new watch. It can be your Christams present to yourself!

honkeie2 said...

new watch. hell sometimes you can find a watch for the same price as the battery

Courtney said...

Don't give up on it just yet - I think it has a good 5 years left in it :)

Bev said...

I was also brought up not to waste things, so now, like my mother, I also wash out the Ziploc baggies (the freezer ones, not the sandwich ones) for reuse.

dasi said...

I just went through this same situation. Although my watch was only like 5 years old... but still... ANYWAY, it stopped running, so, like you, I thought "new battery" and voila, back to normal. For a whole two weeks. Back to the jewelers for a NEW new battery, again- two week lifespan. The third time I took it back, they said, "ok, then, it must be broke. $200 to repair it." NOT! So Lexie got me a very nice $40 watch for my birthday! ;)

Lisa said...

There are certain things that just become a part of you. Sort of like your trademark. My bet is that you will keep the watch.

Diana said...

Hey, I have an antique calculator too!! I purchased mine in 1985, it still works and I still use it. I also have an antique electronic typewriter (circa 198?)--you should've seen the fascinated looks on my kids' faces when I dug it out to use one day.