Friday, August 5, 2011

No Longer Made

“No Longer Made” is a depressing announcement. Yesterday’s agenda included a trip to the appliance parts store with my somewhat tottering 84 year old friend Jeanne to purchase replacement parts for my nice Kitchen Aid electric stovetop. Jeanne shows no impatience with my aging preferances in fixtures. I rather love my stovetop although only two burners work. It is because its bisque color and I shun stainless steel. The clerk (or do they call all clerks sales associates these days?) was solicitous even after we rejected his offer to recruit us to join his Tai Kwan Do self defense class. It seems to me I had installed the stove top about ten years ago, but the helpful young salesman informed me this model had not been manufactured since 1990 and was so old parts are no longer made. Uff da.

From there we went to Staples to buy, what else, staples for my very old but favorite Bostitch desk stapler. Nothing in stock, such an unusual size, but they found some they could order if I was willing to wait a few days. (I silently mentally calculated how many gross I should order to last the rest of my life, because surely they’ll stopmaking the needed size.)

All of this after two trips to the hardware store last week to find a replacement tap handle to my driveway water faucet. Neither of the replacement parts worked. So I laid the problem in the lap of Lee’s nephew, Mike, a semi retired contractor. Carefully examining the broken part he announced the old screw in it had 15 tiny points and the new ones all had 12 points. The broken part is only 60 years old. How dare they change the gauge! He will look in his old hardware collection at home to see if he has any, or else I may incur a healthy plumbing bill to change the whole antique apparatus. Yuck.

I think I first incurred this “no longer made” syndrome about age 32 when my favorite bra disappeared from the store shelves. I don’t know any woman who has not been affected in this particular realm. If I ever find a bra again that fits like the missing one I’ll try to buy a dozen.

I’m chuckling as I write this because when I first moved in with Lee she had a chrome Sunbeam toaster. It had beautiful lines and chrome like smooth silver silk.

When the toast was done the perfectly browned pair popped up proudly with a sweet click. The exposed margin was at least an inch and a half so that the half asleep user did hot burn her fingers. Sunbeam used to have a repair store near us and I could drop down to have it repaired when something called for it. I expected it would last forever. One day the store disappeared. No one could be found to repair it. Seven or eight worthless toasters later I still grunt as I gaze at the old Sunbeam stored in the shed. Unlike the handles on my doors and windows, the chrome is as shiny and flawless as ever. So now my seven year old Oster is on the replacement list. Its chrome is thin and pocked and only one side toasts. Besides that it never popped up more than ¼ inch. Most folk today use toaster ovens which never suited me. If anyone has a good brand to suggest you are on my gratitude list!

I heard last week that many school districts are eliminating cursive writing from the curriculum. Seems in this electronic age it has become obsolete like touch typing and shorthand. Reluctantly I admit the kids are a whiz at fast texting.

One day my old body parts, like my stove top, faucets, toasters and good bras, will become obsolete too. I hope my friends will smile and say that, after all, they don't make 'em like they used to.

1 comment:

Bella Mia said...

I've gone to a zillion stores looking for a new mop head for my O-Cedar mop. Can't find the one that fits my mop. They keep redesigning mops like they do bras....guess it's to keep us buying new things that become obsolete within a few years. -Luv, Sheila