Friday, October 4, 2013

Planned Obsolescence


a policy of producing consumer goods that rapidly become obsolete and so require replacing, achieved by frequent changes in design, termination of the supply of spare parts, and the use of nondurable materials.
The planned obsolescence of my possessions often drives me nuts.  I had an Ipod I really liked, but it developed a glitch.  I took it in to see about fixing it.  The estimate to fix it was about $30 less than it would cost to get a new one.  Just crazy.  It seems like that is the case for just about every product in my life-- except 1.  We lost the spring to the lid of the trash can in our kitchen. If you go to the store, you cannot just buy a trash can lid, you have to buy a trash can to go with it. With the planned obsolescence of just about everything else, I assumed we'd just have to get a new trash can or do without a lid (not my favorite choice), but I thought I'd contact the manufacturer anyway (Rubbermaid).  I submitted a request on their website, and low and behold, a few weeks later, an envelope with 4 springs arrived at my house!  Not only did I save my trash can lid, but I had spare parts in which to fix it again.  Free of charge, no less!  Sadly, this makes me very happy since it seems such a rarity these days.  High five or four to Rubbermaid!

As I think about my role as 'mom', I think I'm more like Apple than Rubbermaid.  My goal is planned obsolescence.  I want to live life, parent my kids, and expect that one day, I will become obsolete, or at least not used in the original way.  I want my kids to not need me, to figure things out on their own, and to live life their way.  I have that goal in mind in almost everything I do as a parent, in hopes that (1) they will become wholly independent successful adults and (2) that they may not need me, but that they'll still want me around. I can hope.

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