Monday, July 5, 2010

Decisions, decisions

"If it ain't broke, don't fix it." Sometimes even if it is broken, I don't fix it. Take my laptop, for example. It died in February while I was in the middle of making lemon-thyme cakes. Luckily I had finished making the batter and just had to remember how to make the glaze (butter, powdered sugar and lemon juice — amazing combo, by the way), so I was actually more thrilled that I could finish making the cakes than I was upset that my laptop was dead.

I could have used my mom's computer to pull up the recipe, I guess. But somehow that seemed like a huge inconvenience back in February.

Anyway, that laptop survived four years of college. Hours of studying. Hundreds of hours of Facebooking. (Let's just be honest about the studying-to-Facebooking ratio.) When that tired screen turned black and refused to turn back on, I mourned for approximately seven minutes, stashed it in a closet and ate some lemon-thyme cakes.

Honestly, it helps to have freshly baked treats on hand when expensive electronics go to the light.

That old laptop — from 2005, mind you — is not worth fixing, and I'll buy a new one when I have the money and when I actually need a laptop (when I move out). But for now, I'm just fine using my mom's desktop computer. I'm that way with most things — I will use them and use them and use them until it's no longer practical or sane to do so, even if they're hopelessly out of date and uncool. If I don't absolutely need a new something-or-other, why buy one?

I used my first digital camera for about five years, and I only got a new one because the old one had to be held together with a rubber band. Oh yeah, and I used it with the rubber band for about a year, too.

My iPod is a mini. Not the new, super-thin kind. This one.

I still have my very first cell phone, which I've been known to reactivate if my current phone dies. Then I'm that girl with the clunky flip phone from 2003, back when having a camera phone was a novelty. While you're standing in line for your iPhone 4, I'm digging in the back of a drawer to find the trusty ol' clamshell.

I swear I'm not a hoarder.

But the granddaddy of them all, the ultimate manifestation of this charming combination of frugality and just plain refusing to care what people think about me, is my car.

I'm sorry, let me clarify: my minivan.

I've be rollin' in the family minivan for about 4 years now. I grew up with this periwinkle monstrosity — it was brand new when I was six years old. You may scoff at the mere idea of this ancient vehicle, but 1993 was a very good year, and this minivan is quite a gem. It came fully equipped from the Dodge dealer with the following:

- A cassette player
- Manual windows and locks
- A slider door (with a child-proof option on the lock)
- A radio that works sometimes
- Four tires
- An engine
- Power nothin'

Jealous? It gets better.

The windshield is cracked. A hubcap is missing. Sometimes pieces of the interior fall off and I'm not sure where they came from in the first place ("What's this plastic thing?"). There's a handle on the inside of the trunk that's broken and hangs in such a way that it will keep the trunk from closing unless it's turned juuuuust so. The driver's side door cannot be unlocked from the outside (this is a recent development) and WD-40 has no effect on its obstinance. Therefore, I enter my vehicle from the passenger's side. This can be embarrassing, but I think onlookers assume it's an OCD thing, and I'm clearly fine with being thought of as that weird OCD girl. I mean, welcome to my blog.

I would get the lock fixed, but I recently had $1,200 worth of repairs done to the whole rest of the van and I'm not too excited about going back to the repair shop again. (I will take this opportunity to mention that the repairman said he had never seen struts so worn out before. NEVER in his whole career. The distinction kind of made me proud, in a weird, wow-that-was-really-unsafe-to-be-driving kind of way. Don't try it at home.)

Despite all of its cosmetic flaws, I am now driving the Ferrari of minivans thanks to these repairs. That baby runs like a dream — a really bad dream, in which I am mistaken for a soccer mom at 23, but still a dream.

I've wanted to honor this vehicle, which I do adore, for a while now with a good bumper sticker, but I haven't taken the time to find the right one. Now is that time. Here are my options:

If this van were periwinkle, it would be a slam dunk. But I think it's a little boring.

Funny, but I am violently opposed to the offensive hyphen, random capitalization and poor composition of this one. For shame, bumper sticker designer.

I so wish this were actually true. I was not, am not and never will be cool. Please refer to the above paragraphs for proof.

This one, as you can see, is available in a 50 pack for your 50 closest minivan-driving friends. I sense doom here.

Speaking of doom...???

This one would be funny just to mess with people. And also to cheat in the HOV lane.

I take that back. As a compulsive rule-follower, I believe there is a special place in hell for people who cheat in the HOV lane. Yes, even for you. Don't do it.

Nothing felt quite right with these bumper stickers, but just when I was about to give up, I found what may be the perfect one:

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