Tuesday, May 1, 2012
Old Coffee Mugs
As we were sitting around enjoying her precious little self on videotape, my daughter said this.
“Wow, we still have that mug!”
My husband and I looked at her in befuddlement. “Well, sure we do,” I said, “Why wouldn`t we?”
“But it`s so old, why didn`t you toss it and get a new one?”
“If it ain`t broke,” Mister said, “Why would we throw it away?”
That got me to pondering about how we, and by ‘we’ I mean Mister and I, look at things differently than my child does. Is this some sign that my husband and I are getting old and refuse to part with things that we really should part with? Or, is this ‘Throw it Away Simply because it’s Old’ mindset something that is part of the younger generation?
I can see both sides after doing some deep pondering. Yes, Mister and I do tend to hold onto things. We were raised in a different way and time. When we were young, you didn`t simply toss out something because it was a couple years old and, therefore, outdated. Mainly because our parents couldn`t afford to replace things just because technology has moved onward so quickly. I can`t imagine going to my mom, a single mother raising two children before she married my step-dad, and saying that I needed a new phone because mine was a year old. She would have looked at me as if my brain was addled then launched into a speech about money growing on trees.
Today, your cell phone is looked down upon if your phone isn`t the newest and most improved model available. If your laptop is a year old, the software isn`t compatible with anything and you have to get a new one. And the kids of today feel entitled to such things. As if they deserve new gizmos simply because they are here. ‘Just pitch it and buy a new one’ is the theme of things it seems.
And here it comes….the inevitable ‘Back in my day’. Back in my day, if you were really lucky, you had a record player. And you cherished that old record player, AND the severely scratched records like they were Montezuma`s gold! The only time a record was thrown out was when it got broken. Toys were kept way past their prime and were not whipped into the trash, but were passed down to a younger sibling or a cousin, niece or nephew. The same applies to clothes, if it were feasible gender-wise, of course. My younger brother in a dress wouldn`t have worked too well I reckon.
Maybe it`s just me. Maybe I grew up learning to cherish the things that my parents worked so darn hard to give us. And this is in no way a slam against my daughter. She is a very wise and respectful child who knows that money isn`t easy to come by. This pondering post is simply asking if the generation that will follow us can understand that one old coffee mug means more than just being frugal. That coffee mug, even with its chipped handle, means that we saved that much money in order to spend it on something more important than having new mugs - Her. That old mug means that we, as parents, didn`t care if our mugs matched or lacked paint on one side. Keeping that old mug with the worn-off paint on one side means we value what we own.
Old principles? Perhaps. But ones that I hope are seen to be valuable as the teens and twenty-something`s mature.