Fix it? Or Pitch it?

May 4, 2011

“Don’t throw it away. Mend it with Mendets: a patent patch. Mends all leaks instantly.”

Yes, I am a the daughter of people who grew up during the Depression. Perhaps that explains why* I am keen on things such as Mendets, and other evidence of people who respect what they have, and don’t live a disposable life.

The United States population has gone so far away from any ideal of buying something decent to begin with, and keeping it a lifetime. How many Teflon-coated fry pans has your household gone through? Four? Twelve?

The notion of, “I’ll just get another one cheap at Costco” is one my parents would disapprove of. I concur. Of course, generally our society doesn’t support investing in good quality, nor repairing that which breaks down. Heck, a lot of new stuff is not even repairable …

Fortunately, I’ve been raised with a few skills; I am grateful for that. Yesterday with my itty little (old) Singer Featherweight I had a go at refurbishing a pair of camp chairs that had been tossed to the wayside. I think they are rather sporty now—3 hours of my time and $0 in fabric (because it too, was cast aside).

camp chair beforecamp chair after

My hope is that with the roughness of the U.S. economy, there will be a return to more “making do or do without”—it would be good for us on so many levels. Less trash, more investment in the local economies, increased practical skills sets, more pride; I felt pretty darn good after converting some “trash” into something good-looking and very usable.

* Of course, there are many other factors that contribute to my philosophies … a hard-working blue-collar heritage, the hard-working wheat farmer heritage, the antiques collectors who raised me, the criminals with whom I’ve associated … but it’s so easy to ascribe things to “Depression Babies” …

{ 2 comments… read them below or add one }

Sonia May 4, 2011 at 1:03 pm

I am envious of your repair skills, and it’s something I’ve always wanted to develop more fully in myself. I’ve definitely been guilty of throwing things away rather than trying to repair them, although I also tend to try owning as few material possessions as possible.

Anyway, the camp chairs look great! And I agree that American culture has taken a turn towards fast, cheap, and replaceable goods.

(Also, I think you meant “decent” up there, in your second paragraph. :) )

Leila May 4, 2011 at 8:47 pm

Yes, I am grateful for the skills I’ve acquired. My parents had a lot to do with them, and then me finally getting the nerve to plunge in and try things. Man, I used to get the shivers each time I took scissors and cut into a length of fabric.

And yeah, I meant decent. :) Descent is what our consumeristic culture is doing …

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