I have said that I am a bit of a hoarder.
Part of this is anxiety related. The mental answer to “should I throw out this piece of paper with an unidentified phone number scribbled in the corner” tends to be “but what if, at some point in the future, I remember whose number that is and decide that I DESPERATELY NEED IT?”
The other part is from my tendency to anthropomorphize things. The Ikea guy would totally yell at me. I just don’t like to get rid of my old things.
When I moved out here, though, we brought next to nothing with us. Only what we could fit in my Toyota Echo. I left most of my things behind. My papasan chair. My 70s retro mirror cube side tables. My cookware. My glass kitchen table.
It was very hard.
On the other side, PH picked up a sofa and chair at value village, and we shelled out 100 bucks for the cheapest TV we could find.
We didn’t even have a bed for the first year. As it is, our bed consists of a dented hand-me-down frame and a headboard which isn’t even attached to the bed, because of the aforementioned dent.
So when someone offered us her 32″ HDTV for $200 bucks, we jumped at the chance to own something that didn’t suck.
It was enormous.
You see, this TV wasn’t LCD or even Plasma. It was still a tube television.
I can’t even tell you how difficult it was to get this thing into the car. It wouldn’t fit in the trunk OR the back seat. It would only go into the passenger seat, with the seat pushed and leaned back as far as it could possibly go, and that was with a LOT of squeezing.
The two of us together couldn’t even lift the damn thing more than a foot off of the ground, but somehow we had to get it up three flights of stairs.
We named him for the same reason you name a mountain – it’s so BIG that it demands a title.
By the time we hauled Moby’s heavy ass into our apartment, with new scratches on his casing because we had literally DRAGGED him up step by frigging step, he seemed like an extremely real entity.
(Since then we have lugged him through two moves, and I think our selection of places to live that were NOT up three flights of stairs was largely due to our desire to NEVER TAKE MOBY UP STAIRS EVER EVER AGAIN.)
He was totally worth it, though. The transition to a 32″ HDTV was amazing for us to behold.
That was in 2007.
Four years later, we have begun to be aware that Moby is nearing the end of his natural life.
First one of his component video ports crapped out on us.
Then we began to notice a slight change in colour around his edges. Sometimes it was there and sometimes it wasn’t, but it appeared more and more.
Also, as time has passed we have become less impressed by Moby’s size. Most of our friends have bigger tvs – or should I say, WIDER tvs that weighed a 75% less.
But while PH’s testosterone levels resulted in some minor drooling in stores when we passed those big, glittering screens, we never seriously entertained buying one. We had Moby. We would make do as long as he lasted, and when he died… we might have to live without a television for a while. Not the end of the world.
But then PH found a really good sale, and pointed out that by combining some Christmas cash with gift cards, we could get ourselves a big new TV without biting into our savings.
A lot of hemming and hawing ensued. I wanted the new TV as well, so I could try out my new Xbox Kinect (a gift from PH, who gets free stuff through his workplace points, of which he has many, because he keeps ranking first in the province for Best Something at Doing Whatever) on a proper screen.
But we’re not overflowing with money right now. Shouldn’t we use our remaining bonus cash on practical, boring things, and split my gift card into batteries or Colin Firth films, and wait for our 10 year old television to flicker and die?
After nearly an hour of waffling in the store, we decided to bite the bullet. We knew that Moby could crap out on us at any time, and right now we had the very rare wherewithall to actually pick up a new TV.
So we did.
It’s a difficult transition for me. I’m not a fan of spending money on things that aren’t food, diet pepsi, baby stuff, or books.
Plus I feel bad for Moby, looming in the corner until we can figure out how to get him out of the house.
That’s an upgrade.
We’ve come a long way.
Instead of scrounging for things, we’re trying to get rid of them.
I’m childishly excited by the new TV… BUT…
I still feel bad for poor Moby so I can’t help but question our decision. Besides, HOW DO WE GET RID OF HIM?
I hate change.
Erin B said:
Around here, I would take him to an electronics recycler. There must be a program like that in Vancouver.
Oh yes, there’s one down the road. It’s the transportation of him that’s the stumper!
Electronics recycling program! One location is the Salvation Army on 12th near Kingsway. Encorp has several listed on their website, I just don’t remember them.
Yes, thanks, our local ReturnIt Depot takes electronics. But I don’t think I’ve conveyed to people how VERY LARGE Moby is! It’s not where to take him, it’s HOW! Getting him in and then out of that Echo was a herculean struggle that I would very much rather never repeat.
You could also contact a local women’s shelter. They will often take donations that they’ll either use in-house, or pass along to women-in-need. If they don’t have a need for it, they likely won’t take it (obviously).
Otherwise, I’d also recommend the electronics recycler. Here in my neck of the woods that’s what you have to do when you need to get rid of anything electronic (and is why we have to pay that stupid fee when you buy nearly anything electronic).
I’ve been trying to find a charity that will come lug him away. No luck so far.
We moved a 1985-vintage floor model Sony Trinitron up & down three flights of stairs in and out of our first apartment… then in & out of our first house… then in our current house… then the car… and finally the electronics recycling place.
Did it suck? Yes it did. But sometimes you’ve gotta do what you’ve gotta do. And the room it freed up was truly staggering.
Yup. I think we’ll list it on Craigslist and if no one comes for it, we’ll have to put more scratches and dents in my dashboard!
What about listing him online (is Craigslist only in the US?) as imperfect but functional, free to the first one to come get him.
Yes, I think we might try that. We’ve tried to get rid of one of our chairs that way, but no one has wanted that, not even for free!
Erin Dark said:
Is your recycler close enough to walk? Could you use a little red wagon?(or equivalent). Might work if you don’t have a large hill between you an them :). Good luck. It will be freeing once it’s gone.
I have a microwave in my front closet that’s been there for over a year… All because it has to go up three flights of stairs on the other end of it’s eventual resting place! Goal for January is to have it gone!
Good luck with the microwave. Dang bulky obsolete technology….
Grace Goldragon said:
Mr. G wants a new tv. Ours is a 20 year old, 19 inch, tube tv. People in the third world have bigger tvs than us.
We had a similar situation when we were trying to get rid of stuff, making room for the Girl. It’s a weird feeling when you have stuff to give away, for free, and no one will take it if they have to pick it up.
Would it be worth it to rent a van for an hour?
It may come to that!
Do you guys want an 80lb 32″ HDTV? All you have to do is ship it across the country.
NO NO NO if she wants a new TV, she can take the one we currently have sitting at the foot of our bed because we bought a flat-panel LCD before Christmas! Shoo I say! SHOO!
(Yes, ours is a tube TV that weighs a squillion pounds, too. Although we can actually carry it. And it works great.)
Some charity shops do free collections. You might have one in your area? 🙂