I expect things not to work.
I expect to waste money on things that kind of work or look like they will work or work for a while because, whether because of design, craftsmanship, or my own inability to make them work, things usually don’t, at least for me.
This isn’t a how-things-are-now versus how-things-were-then thing. Planned obsolescence of electronics, for example, is to be expected: they cost so much less than they did originally that we sort of deserve to have them wear out after a while. When you think that a $1.99 “calculator” can do more than Univac, one of the proto “computers” that was the size of a room – and that the modern iteration fits on a keychain, you have to give “now” some credit.
And there are a few things and processes that, in my recent life, have astounded me by doing what they’re supposed to do. Let me tell you about a couple of them:
Boottights. That’s a hard name to say, but these things are just crazy good. The brainchild of Shelby Mason, a gusty entrepreneur, these are tights with all kinds of cool patterns and colors that end in a little foot sock, the kind you wear to exercise. Your feet don’t either sweat or get cold; your boot lining stays nice, and you look really, really good. They cost about $12 and are worth twice that.
Parchment paper for baking. Your cookies and bread really do come out nicer and they really don’t stick to the pan. You don’t have to wash the pan. I’d like parchment paper coverings for my kids.
Etsy. I’m shocked when people don’t know what etsy is. Etsy is my life. It’s a website on which you can shop directly with artisans, buying everything from clothing to furniture to jewelry to art to soap to honey. I just got so excited talking about etsy I went to etsy and bought something. I bought honey (I’m obsessed with honey, the good kind, and it should be on this list because in my house, we go through honey the way other people go through dish soap). Some of the best things I’ve purchased on etsy include a charm bracelet celebrating the book ‘Anna Karenina,’ with charms including a red purse and a train (I know) made by this guy Sam who has a store in London called Hoolala. I also bought a ring from Sam that, when people get close enough to see it, says ‘Be careful what you wish for.’ I love the way some people laugh and others kind of back away. The BEST thing I ever bought on etsy was from DesignsbyAnnette (you have to run the words together), and it’s earrings made of the image of books printed on thick cardboard. Each earring has the image of a vintage typewriter key attached, and sometimes, the keys are the author’s intials. And there’s a QUOTE from the book on the back of every cover! OMG! Readers to whom I give this gift worship me, and it cost me $19! Annette can make earrings from any book! I hate to tell you about this because now I can’t give you the earrings as a present. Most years, I buy virtually all my Christmas presents on www.etsy.com.
Positive Reinforcement Training for Dogs. My brother yells at his dogs .. and they do anything they want. I praise my dog to the stars and even give him a crumb of cheese for coming when I call him, and Dante would come when I called him if he were chasing a T-bone steak down the street.
I’m going to write more about things that actually do what they’re suppose to later … if you want to share some of yours with me, write me via my website, www.jackiemitchard.com.