Sunday, September 21, 2008

O Mop, You Rock!

A few weeks ago, I wrote about my disappointments with things that were supposed to last actually falling apart.  Top of the list?  The snapped handle on my Method o mop.

As it happens, a quick email exchange with the company resulted in one coupon for a brand new o mop being dispatched almost immediately, along with a few consolation coupons for my trouble.  I went to Target, calmly explained that yes, the FREE coupon meant that I got the $24.99 Method o mop for $0, and came home to continue my campaign against dirty.

Since then, I've also resolved a problem with my Starbucks refillable mug.  This time I just used a toothpick to shove the plastic ring back into place and whaddaya know?  Good as new.

Then Franklin trumped both of my modest accomplishments by solving the problem of Freddie's tricycle by writing to Radio Flyer and having them send us two new wheels to replace the damaged ones on Master Greene's beloved ride.

A year ago, I'm fairly certain we'd have just pitched and replaced all three items without any effort at repair and/or replacement from the company.  But this is a different day, and here's why:
  1. As a family, we're committed to making what we have last.  This means that while it's okay to enjoy our stuff, we also have to take care of our things and recognize that having stuff - bikes and mops and mugs - is a sort of stewardship.
  2. As a family, we've decided that we want things in our life that aren't things.  This means that we have to be fiscally responsible, even conservative.
  3. As individuals, we're willing to stop and think about alternate ways to solve problems that don't involve hopping in the car and driving to Target.  This means we have to evaluate how urgent the problem is and be willing to go without for a few days while we find a solution.
While the whole "The Greenes are buying less" bit is bad news for corporate America, I can honestly say that it is good news for companies like Method and Radio Flyer.  They've earned our loyalty, and the dollars that we do spend in those categories are far more likely to go to them.

So here's to the o mop and the good people at Radio Flyer.  And whoever made those toothpicks that saved my coffee cup.  While our culture is still too obsessed with throwaway convenience, it's nice to know that it's not always that way.

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