When Did EVERYTHING Become Disposable? 1


I love my electric toothbrush. It is one the reasons that my dentist makes very little money off of me. My toothbrush will be turning the ripe old age of seven this year. In human years, that is the equivalent of 93 years-old. They don’t normally live this long, so each time I use it, I know that it might be my last. Why does this make me so sad? It makes me sad because the geniuses that make this brand of electric toothbrush don’t make replacement batteries for it. You have to throw then entire kit and caboodle away.

This blog is not about oral hygiene or battery recycling, but it got me thinking about how, despite all of our technologies and advancements in the past umpteen years, we are now throwing so much away instead of having them last a lifetime. Needless to say, you’ll never see me on the Antique Roadshow getting my toothbrush or Xbox evaluated and discovering that they are the million dollar gems that I had tucked away in my attic.

The disposable items that I’m focusing on today are relationships. Does anyone marry for life anymore? Being twice divorced, one might say that I am the pot calling the kettle black, but I married for life…or so I thought…once, then twice. I never imagined tossing my relationships to the curb even as far back as when I dated my high-school sweetheart – I thought that I’d be with him for the rest of my life.

Sad man in business suit sitting in trash garbage can

I’m in a circle of association now where I am seeing a lot of weddings occur and a lot of babies being born. I watch, analyse and silently lay my bets on the survival rates of those marriages based on their premarital behaviour. I found out last week that two more marriages bit the dust. I wish I could muster up a convincing look of surprise. It seems that the focus of relationships these days is on the material and not the emotional. Partners are more concerned about their shiny cars and five-digit weddings than they are about nurturing their relationship with each other.

I hope that my observation does not come across as a blanket categorization for all unions. I am also blessed with knowing some people who work very hard at nurturing each other and teaching their children how a couple should love and respect one another. But I wish the Cleaver families outweighed the Bundys in this newish millennium.

Three’s a charm for me and I have a highly successful (and enviable) marriage with my third husband. My “forever husband” as I refer to him. People still remark that we’re in our “honeymoon stage,” but although I smile and silently accept their comments, my husband and I know differently. We learned from our past relationships and work hard at nurturing ours on a daily basis. After many years together, we are more in love and more unified than ever before. It’s not a “honeymoon stage.” It’s not a crush. Before we married, we took the time to thoroughly go over our respective non-negotiable lists, discuss our concerns over certain personality differences and external influences in our lives. Our life together is far from idyllic, but I can honestly say that the imperfections are mainly due to the external negativity and not what goes on between us in our partnership. We both have our quirks, yet we love and respect one another enough to be able to address them lovingly.

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I don’t “lose it” when he leaves the shower curtain bunched up so that it can’t dry effectively, or throw a tantrum when he leaves the wet kitchen sponge in the sink. I simply address them even though I silently imagine bacteria bugs crawling up my arm while ringing out the sponge after it’s been laying, festering in the sink for who knows how many hours. Bacteria are good. They make my immunity stronger. Right?

Does he berate me for leaving the light on in another room, or nag me because I leave too many items of clothing on top of the hamper when I’m too tired/lazy to hang them up right away? No he doesn’t.

One day, when we buy our “forever home,” we will have a functional walk-in closet so that I have a place to lay my clothes to air out before putting them away (and if I forget to do it, they will not be in sight). We will also have a luxury glass-enclosed shower and abolish the shower curtain completely. These quirks are only temporary. The kitchen sponge however…like I said… bacteria are good.

My advice to those who are embarking on a committed relationship or marriage?

I pray that you won’t look for an upgrade in the near future. Make sure that you stay up on all of the patches and fixes available for your “model” and it will last you a lifetime. And don’t worry, even if it gets a few nicks and dings along the way, you’ll eventually realize that they are not flaws, but actually enhance the overall character of your beloved unit.

Time to go brush my teeth. Keep your fingers crossed!


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