I don’t use things. I collect them. Buy me a maple bacon lollipop, and I’ll display it on my bookcase for years, waiting for the right time to enjoy it. Buy me robot window clings, which are meant to be used and reused, and I’ll hang them with clear tape to avoid removing the backing until I find the perfect thing to put them on. Buy me a copy of Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter, and I’ll get another copy from the library just so I don’t accidentally bend the spine of mine.
And the things I’m forced to use, I cover meticulously like so many old ladies with their plastic couches. My Kindle, which I’ve owned for more than two years, has nary a scratch thanks to its thick purple leather case. My iPod, which I’ve owned for more than five years, still had the original protective sheet over the front until I had a momentary lapse of reason late last year and pulled it off. I have fabric book covers for my hardcover books, filters to protect all of my lenses, bags for my not-expensive shoes. I buy new clothes but never wear them. I buy fancy lotions but never use them. I didn’t touch my new comforter for the first nine months I lived in my current apartment.
And I realize it doesn’t have to be this way! I see people with their Kindles case-free, one hand fitting neatly around the unencumbered devices, so easily able to hold them up without wanting to rest them on the crotches of the people standing in front of them on the subway. I see people who know that scratches don’t affect the function of their iPods and who don’t want to diiiiiiiiiie when they drop them on the ground. I know people who wear out clothes and comforters and shoes and just buy new ones. And I kind of want to be that way.
But I’ll tell you this. The one time I went crazy and bought a sticker headboard for my bed at my last apartment and actually used it . . .
. . . we moved out three months later, and I had to rip it off and throw it out.