4.15.2010

If you don't need it, don't fix it

My favorite character in Disney's Mary Poppins (one of my favorite movies of all time) is George Banks, the fastidious father of the children, Jane and Michael. I've always identified with his feelings and his plight, always wanting things to be completely precise, on-time, and simply as they should be (I love singing The Life I Lead with him!). Of course, when Mary Poppins (almost representing the unpredictability of life) enters the picture, George realizes that he needs to chill out and fly a kite every now and then, but until then he only finds joy in perfection. In one scene, he happens to hit a sour piano key and exclaims, "When I sit down at an instrument, I expect it to be in tune!" To which Mrs. Banks replies, "But George, you don't even play."

Over the past year or so, a few things have broken down that I've decided not to worry about. In the past, just like George Banks, I would have immediately had them fixed (I'm definitely not a do-it-yourself guy), but the older, wiser, and perhaps lazier me decided to be frugal and "think twice" (the number one law of frugality, in my opinion). When I realized that I never really use these broken things, I virtually decluttered by just mentally discarding them. This change in my character is kind of surprising to my friends and family, but I like it as an extension of what I think is important now. There's no way I'm going to "have a piano tuned" if I never play it! For the record, here are my broken items that are remaining broken.
  • My car radio antenna is stuck in the up position. I've had it replaced in the past, but I'm not going to mess with it again. I only listen to the radio about two days a year!
  • My car hatchback supports won't hold the hatch open anymore, but I only open my hatch to load and unload my drum kit for gigs (roughly a couple times a month). I just keep a broom in the car that perfectly props open the hatch!
  • One of my toilets no longer fills, but I'm one person living in a three bathroom condo. I've barely touched that bathroom, so there's just no need for that toilet. If I have a houseguest coming that needs it, I will gladly get it fixed, but until then, forget it!
  • Finally, my ice maker started spitting water all over the inside of my freezer, but I only use about four cubes a week for a couple drinks. I just turned off the water, and I'm going back to the Stone Age by using ice trays. That fridge is over 11 years old, and it works just fine to keep six eggs, a bag of lettuce, and a few beers cold enough for me!