Friday, March 8, 2024

Hey friends, WATCH this!

I have a confession to make: I buy things I really don’t need. (What a shocking admission! This stunning revelation means that I am no different than 98% of all Americans.)

For me, what I buy that I really don’t need are inexpensive watches. Right now I own enough watches to outfit nine people. In other words, I have nine watches, since no one ever needs more than one watch. 

Nine is actually on the low side at this moment in time. In the past, there have been times when I owned upwards of 15 different watches at once. Since the watches I purchase are inexpensive, after a while the batteries die, the bands break, or the hour hands detach and lay there loose under the crystal. Having a “minutes only” watch is not very useful. “Hey Bill, what time is it?” “It’s a quarter after.” “Quarter after what?” “Um, I dunno.”
With inexpensive watches, having a new battery installed or replacing the band is usually more costly than the watch itself. So, most of the time I just throw the old one away. 

A couple of months ago, I bought myself a post-Christmas present: a new scuba diver’s watch. Now, I need a scuba diver’s watch about as much as I need a Timex “Ironman Triathlon” watch (of which I own two). Just hearing the word “triathlon” makes me feel weak, and if I pause to think about what triathletes actually do in a single day — swim 2.4 miles, then ride a bicycle 112 miles, and then run a 26.2 mile marathon — I have to lie down for a while and rest. So, I absolutely do not need an “Ironman Triathlon” wristwatch. And yet, I own a couple. Why? Because they possess the features I like: they tell time accurately, they have a stopwatch, a timer, multiple alarms, a glow in the dark button, they’re waterproof, and most importantly, they cost less than 40 bucks, so if I break it or lose it, I don’t care.
I know a guy who owns a $10,000 Rolex. If I owned a watch that expensive, I’d have to put it in a safety deposit box at the bank. Otherwise, I wouldn’t be able to sleep at night, fearful that it would be lost or stolen. However, with my collection of less-than-$50-each beauties, I sleep like a baby. (Actually, at my age now, I do sleep like a baby: wake up every three hours.)

Right after Christmas, concluding that new socks and underwear were not the most exciting gifts Santa Claus could’ve given to me, I made an impulse buy on Amazon: a really spiffy Casio scuba diver’s watch. It’s large and heavy and has a dial that spins around — so I know exactly how much air is left in my scuba tank, which comes in very handy, um, never. From a distance, my new watch looks just like a Rolex. (Although the best distance for this to be true is around 100 feet away.)

The price of the watch was exactly $49, with free shipping because of my Amazon Prime membership. (I don’t know about you, but does it seem that paying the monthly Prime membership fee to get free shipping compels a person to make more impulse purchases? Nah, Amazon would never manipulate customers like that, would they?)
Anyway, that’s my confession for this week: I own many more inexpensive watches than really makes sense. At least my little emotional quirk does not involve purchasing an over-abundance of Lamborghinis, right?

Next week, maybe I’ll discuss my collection of inexpensive pens. I’m not sure how many I have, since I can’t count that high. 

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