The Lost Art of TLC

18 Apr

Recently, my husband and I started shopping for ceiling fans. Riveting, I know; the process is just as mind-numbing as it sounds. The one in our living room ticks excessively, making tiny but repeated divots in our psyches until we’re both ready to launch ourselves out the window. In the past, cleaning the blades would either temporarily quiet the noise or make it louder. After 11 years in the house, we thought we could cough up the funds to replace it with something modern and quiet.

During its semi-annual cleaning, my husband discovered one of the blades on the ceiling fan was loose and likely the culprit of the incessant ticking. He tightened the screws on all the blades, dusted and cleaned it until it sparkled as it did when we first bought our house. It purred in gratitude when we turned it back on and it hasn’t made a peep since.

“Welp, that just saved us $200.”

I can see how this post will be forehead-slappingly obvious to those of you who’s first instinct is to inspect the heck out of something when it’s not working properly. And honestly, we’re not always this eager to throw down cash for a replacement. But the fledgling desire for a new fan clouded our better judgement and sent us perusing ceiling fans at Home Depot and Lowe’s. However, we lost interest quickly and are both relieved not to spend the money and time replacing something that works perfectly well after a few minutes of maintenance.

There’s truly a lost art to caring for things we buy, perhaps because most of what we purchase is cheap crap designed to be replaced repeatedly. Why bother fixing that unstable bookshelf when you can pick up a cheap and sleek replacement from IKEA? Who cares about a misshapen tee shirt when it only cost $5 to begin with? While there’s not much you can do about poor craftsmanship and crappy materials, you can opt to spend more on things you use or see regularly. Doing so actually saves you money in the long run, not to mention the time and potential tedium of researching replacements.

Trust me, you don’t want to find yourself scrolling through photos of ceiling fans on a Saturday morning, or craning your neck to compare blade color and style at your local hardware store. There are better things to do with your time, like fixing what you already have.

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