The Replacements

I didn’t really plan for things to work out this way, but in the past week, I’ve had to or decided to replace a few of my personal belongings. I ran the range of emotions. I’ve always been a fan of new toys, but at the same time, I am an extremely nostalgic person. Please don’t ask me how that works out in terms of practical matters because all I know is that it’s really counter-productive sometimes, and I can’t explain it beyond that.

This swap made me the saddest.

This swap made me the saddest.

Out: American Eagle Slippers. In: Flojos Slippers. Emotional Response: Mild sadness.

I have had those brown American Eagle slippers for such a long time, I have no chance of telling you when I first got them. The thing is, I still love them. I have always liked the way they look, I like the materials, and this break up is probably my fault. I simply wore the cushioning of these slippers out. There is considerable wear on the sole of the slipper, but I think it could probably have rahn em hahd for a while longer. The problem is that my feet and ankles get sore if I wear them for too long because there’s not much left between my feet and whatever surface it is I’m walking on.

I’ve been sporadically checking out American Eagle for a suitable replacement, but never found one that I liked as much as this pair, which I probably bought a some point in my mid-20s. Since I am an old man now, I care more about price point and comfort more than anything else. Hence the Flojos. They’re comfy, they were cheap, and the only thing wrong with them, really, is that they aren’t these.

Like anything else I’ve had to get rid of unwillingly, I opened the trash can, dropped them in, and held my foot on the pedal of the trashcan so I could sing the one line of Michelle Branch’s “Goodbye to You” that I know, which of course, is “goodbye to you.”

I know they look identical, just let me explain, alright, Brett? Sheesh.

I know they look identical, just let me explain, alright, Brett? Sheesh.

Out: Contoured pillow from Costco. In: Contoured pillow from Costco – Now with cooling gel pad! Emotional Response: Happiness.

Since I’m not a pillow expert, not even a novice, I think it would be arrogant of me to diagnose the condition of my previous pillow. Is there a chance it was perfectly fine and didn’t need replacing for a few years? Of course. But there is also a chance it needed replacing right now. There’s so much about the world humans don’t know. So, yeah, let me attempt to defend what appears to be an unnecessary purchase.

I have no complaints with my previous pillow, but when walking through Costco, I came across a pillow with cooling gel and memory foam. I fluffed the sample. “Oooooooooh!” I said. Then I looked at the $35 price tag. “Aaaaaahhhhhhhh!” I said. That was a week ago. Yesterday, I went to Costco with the intention of buying that pillow, but saw a cheaper one – with contours! – farther down the aisle. As my trip to California would reveal, my neck feels better with contours. I feel justified already. There is, however, a fair amount of pillow-mongering that goes down in the Higa master bedroom at night. Some people like to watch The Super Mario Bros. Super Show! while resting on two pillows on their futon. Some people like to use two pillows as lumbar support, then another on their lap to support their Galaxy S4 while they watch Filipina comediennes on YouTube. Some of you like having a nice car. Some of you people that can still afford it like dope kicks. Me? I am a boss because I have the two best pillows in the house.

How do I know? When Madison saw the new pillow at Costco, she said “Ohh, I want to try!” I let her compress the memory foam and gel pad. “That’s nice,” she said. “I know, right?” I said. “Are you going to get it?” Lynnette asked. “For who?” Madison quickly cut in. “For daddy,” Lynnette said. “No, for me!” Madison replied. “No, it’s for dads,” Lynnette said. “Is daddy going to share?” Madison asked. “Share my pill- I FRICKIN’ SHARE EVERYTHING I HAVE WITH YOU,” I said, looking at Madison. Lynnette had already started to laugh. “And now you want my head pillow, too?” When I tossed the new pillow on the bed last night, Madison dove into it and started laughing. “I got your new pillow!” she said. Lynnette told her to get off. Look, I like to think of myself as a pretty good father. I don’t ask for much, but part of that not much is a slightly-cheaper-than-state-of-the-art-by-Costco-standards head pillow. I think I’ve earned that. There. Frivolous purchase justified.

I will try very hard to never purchase a Samsung product again.

I will try very hard to never purchase a Samsung product again.

Out: Samsung HMX-W300 Waterproof Camera/Video Recorder. In: Fujifilm XP-60 Waterproof Camera/Video Recorder. Emotional Response: Disappointment then anger then satisfaction.

The Samsung device was not awesome. It took forever to take pictures. I cannot tell you how many times I have ended up with a horrible picture because the camera did not take the picture in time. I’m talking about a quarter of Lynnette’s head in the shot. Sometimes Madison not in the shot at all. The microphone wasn’t great. But, the Samsung could do one thing that all my other cameras and phone could not do: deal with water.

So that’s why earlier this summer when I took it out of my pocket at Ko’olina to take pictures of Mad and it didn’t work, I was surprised. I was disappointed to see water sitting in the screen area. Eventually, I called Samsung’s customer support and received the worst service I have ever experienced. I spent 5 minutes explaining the situation and the state of the device. The first thing the guy on the other end asked. “Have you tried turning it on since you last used it?” It went on like this for another 15 minutes until he finally accused me of taking the device below its threshold. It was obvious he wasn’t listening to me so I kind of lost it. “I didn’t take it below its threshold because I CAN’T EVEN FUCKING SWIM!” I sort-of yelled. I was ashamed of myself (because I lost it, not because I can’t swim) and hung up.

Last week I gifted the yellow Fuji (Mad picked it out) to myself for our anniversary. This seems perfectly reasonable. It has been responsible for the great pictures at Kailua Beach and the pool. It is faster than the Samsung, takes better pictures, and so far, I am very happy with it. My hope is that it will have a much longer life than the Samsung.

Am I at the stage in my life where 87% of my personal purchases are made at Costco? Yes. Yes I am.


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