I thought of giving this object away. It’s a City of Seattle first-aid kit I bought for a dollar at a garage sale some years ago. When I needed it, it was full of medical supplies from the 80s, so I put all that stuff away for later donations, and put in bandages and other things I could actually use. The more I consider, however, the more I realize I like this object. Materialistic much?
Well, it serves a utilitarian purpose and has a nice aesthetic quality.
Having a first-aid at around eye level, not buried under clutter, can be useful in emergencies like when I burned myself, or non-emergencies for the once a year I might need a band-aid. I had collected so much first-aid stuff over the years that I had actually donated a bunch maybe eight months ago, but buying a small batch of bandages and such didn’t feel regretful in the slightest because there was no need for the objects then, and once a need appeared, I bought just enough.
I like its aesthetics, too.
Before taking this photo, I cleaned off some of the dust and rest that might have formed since I last considered the object. I am only tangentially attached to Seattle, mainly because of family and friends, and this aesthetic was popular before I could remember seeing them. Still, there is a sort of industrial quality to it that I like. It reminds me of one IT job where I had to check the fire extinguisher once a month and report the pressure to the Facilities Manager. If it went into the red, they’d replace it. That manager had access to the server room, but that place had fallen into such disrepair that the fire extinguisher had been flat for probably years, so they wanted someone to own that responsibility.
I like how it feels official and I can store it on the wall.
It blends into the wall so well that it’s nearly invisible to guests, which is a fine enough trait to have in temporary housing like my apartment-mansion. I can’t own too much more stuff than I already do, because it will crowd this or future living spaces, so something like that might be better to have up on the wall than a painting because it has some interactivity. You can release both of its latches, swing down its door, and see its history.
Maybe I should keep those old bandages nearby?
I could keep one inside… but the reason why I took them out to get rid of them in the first place is that they are objects I dislike, which I will cover fully in another essay, but for comparison’s sake, I am not much of a fan of dead weight artifacts. If I have to handle a fragile object with care, I am less enticed to own it because of how it could break just by me considering that it exists. Before I continue down that path, let me return to what I like about this object.
I don’t love the object or anything.
If there were a fire in the apartment-mansion, it would not be in the top hundred list of things to save, so I don’t love the object. It does fulfill enough of a service to me that I do appreciate it, take care of it as much as needed, and when I’m done with it, I would give it to someone else. It won’t go into my trash bin unnecessarily, and yet, I don’t cherish the object.
I contemplated my relation to the object, and what I like about objects, a few minutes ago.
While the object isn’t captivating at all, that it has utility is the main purpose for why I like it. If the insignia were swapped out with something I would find less aesthetically pleasing, I wouldn’t instantly throw it away. It would just be there until, perhaps, I found something I liked better, perhaps. Thinking at length with this example was helpful for me, because it will help me gauge other objects. Do I like them as I like this object, or less so?
If less so, then do I like the object merely because I own it?
A good practical question is the Robocop quote that led us down this thought in the first place. Would you buy an object for one dollar? Would you rebuy that same item for one dollar? I’m looking at a shelf to my left and amongst the books, games, and CDs, only one is an object I would repurchase for one dollar. I own the rest because I want to sell them, and bought them ranging in prices from free to one dollar on up.
At the time, I was happy buying some of these objects for more than one dollar.
There’s nothing wrong with changing one’s opinion on something. Even if, publically, I had stated one of these objects was once one of my favorites, if, now, I disagree with that sentiment, then it’s fine even if I don’t make a public announcement stating the update. We should just be careful not to let the objects we dislike and hate pollute our space more than they need to, and we should recognize some reasons why we like some items and not others to better establish our frameworks for object ownership.
I want to downsize a significant chunk of my physical ownership soon.
I am blocked, however, by current events. I am doing the responsible thing by parsing out what I dislike and hate into boxes to sell or donate once the markets show how they’ll play out. Even if people are screaming not to do something, if it doesn’t feel like it’s right to me, I won’t do it. If, in some months from now, money is no longer valuable, well, at least I’ll have CDs and junk to trade.
Maybe even this first-aid kit, if it’s become more valuable?
|Sources: My personal experiences.|
|Inspirations: I don’t want to say “just looking at this object,” but it kind of happened that way. While writing this essay, I was further inspired to write “Love” and “Hate” along with the “Dislike” I had already planned, so, this is a four-part essay now. Oops.|
|Related: Other Downsizing Zeal essays.
1 – Like
2 – Dislike
3 – Love
4 – Hate
|Photo: Photo of my first-aid kit.|
|Written On: 2020 April 12 [From 12:41am to “let me return to what I like about this object” at 12:55am. From 1:111111111111am to 1:28am. Gdocs.]|
|Last Edited: 2020 April 22 [Adapted from Gdoc, so, second draft; final draft for the Internet.]|