Monday, October 24, 2011

Through a new lens

Okay, I did it.

Even though I am driving an old jalopy Volvo wagon, which my sister refers to as a "horror," and which my mechanic has taken to pleading me to break up with, and now even my kids are turning on, I've been far more open to and concerned with the fact that I needed a new camera.

I've been in denial ever since my trusty Panasonic Lumix drowned in the lake way back in July. I resuscitated it in a bowl of rice and rebelliously kept snapping away with it, subjecting you all to my flawed images that had enormous potential, but all seemed to harbor a white blotchy ghost, symbolic somehow, was it Ian, my missing husband? floating, weightless, somewhere off to the lower left, which spoiled the whole effect.

Ghosts be gone.

I marched into Staples this past Saturday, after spending hours standing on the side of a cold and blustery soccer field watching Esther run wild like a frisky pony in the wind, and went directly to the camera aisle. I am a salesperson's dream: Absolutely no research, no price comparing or bargain hunting. I simply said to the first person who came to assist me, "I need a new camera to replace this one. Show me which one is comparable and won't cost me more than $150."

He asked me a few questions and pointed to the Nikon Coolpix and I said, "Okay, I'll take that."


I find technology overwhelming and the more information I have the more confused and conflicted I get. I prefer to get the choosing part over with. Luckily I only do this with inanimate objects, and not with people, husbands for instance.

But I do have the urge to do the same with cars. I hate car shopping. I don't want a new car. I love my car, despite how much it looks a lot like a hearse and despite the fact that the doors are so sticky you have to dislocate your shoulders to open them, and despite the fact that every month it needs a new pricey repair and the front right axel sounds like it's going to give way at any moment.  Oh, and the way the back hatch door doesn't stay open and has a habit of falling down on my head, and once on Esther's back, is annoying, potentially hazardous, and leads to profanity in front of minors.

But I bought it outright, used with 80,000 miles on it,  and haven't had a car payment in about six years. It's got built in booster seats, love those Swedes, and a rumble seat in the way back that makes it just as kid friendly as a mini-van without the school bus effect. It's got 157,000 miles on it and I thought I would be able to drive it for at least another 50,000. Turns out, leaving it sitting in my dad's garage while we were in France was not the best thing for it.

But, honestly, this consumer talk is getting boring. I was going to tell you about the other cool, ├╝ber-cheap thing I spent my hard-earned money on at Staples, but I don't want to put anyone to sleep. Instead, I'll see if you can spot it in one of the pictures taken with my new camera. Hint: I'm in the picture with it.


Rachael said...

I hope you enjoy your coolpix! I LOVE mine!!

Aleksandra said...

The purse! It's great! Enjoy the camera :)

Jane said...

I just love what you think to take photos of - you make everyday life look beautiful!

Anonymous said...

I *love* your photos! I love photos of inanimate objects (I swear when/if someone looks back at my life they will make something of this). I LOVE the photos of the leaves and the tree ... just gorgeous! I'm so glad you got a new camera : ) Now is the other cheap thing the purse or whatever you seem to be playing with in the photo -- a new phone perhaps or MP3 player?


Katriina said...

I totally know what you mean about that sense of information overload when buying anything that is technologically complex. I can't stand it either, which is why I have owned three Canon Ixus cameras in a row. I have also never owned my own car due to my absolute reluctance to engage in the activity of buying one. Luckily my husband graciously allows me to drive his - which he bought only after days and weeks of comparison shopping, endless scrutiny of specs in shiny brochures, and many frustrated sighs at my tendency to reply to any question with "That looks great! Get that one."

Megan said...

I want to live in Vermont!!!! What a dreamy place.

I hate shopping for anything except plants. I'm a fan of Katriina's tendency to reply with "That looks great! Get that one." That's pretty classic.

Mama Badger said...

I loved my Coolpix so much I upgraded it instead of going to another brand. Canon makes a nice, easy to use camera.

I, too, hate car shopping. What if you choose the wrong one? Or what if, as soon as you get it off the lot, you see the one you really wanted?

Virginia said...

Hard to quit the Volvo. I love the built in Boosters and rumble seat! The only thing I hate on my '04 XC 70 is the windshield wiper delay setting. It never wipes when I want it to. I love your photos and look forward to seeing more of them!
Random question: What do you wash your pine floors with?

Anonymous said...

What! You mean my 2006 Volvo wagon with 95,000 miles on it won't make it to 200,000?

Betsy said...

Yes, it's the garish red, faux leather, purse. Loving it. Who would've thought I'd buy a purse at Staples?
Virginia: Wash the floors? When? Kidding, ,sort of. Water and vinegar, mostly. They are persnickety, and easy to ignore.
Anonymous: Mine is a 98 model. Maybe it was a bad year??? Engine still purrs, everything else is deteriorating around it.

Seamingly Sarah said...

And this is what I married my husband for. He inheirited his father's need for researching the heck out of everything, even if he's not going to buy it. I simply say I want to buy this and the research begins. The key is to look interested while he recaps the mountain of data he's accrued.

Rebecca Drucker said...

My 96 volvo wagon's hatchback stopped working too. Had to put an old mop in the "way back" to prop the door up, after being fallen on one too many times. Despite the hatchback malfunction, and the fact that it was becoming a money pit, I miss that car.