home depot...

is not the place to go for clothespins. after nearly 2 months of exclusive line drying, i think that i can speak with authority on this issue. and i am saying that home depot clothespins suck. i'll be right in the midst of pinning something to the line and the two wooden pieces that make up the pin break apart from each other. one usually goes flying across the lawn while the other lands at my feet. i guess the metal that keeps the pieces together isn't doing a proper job. out of 50 pins, about 20 have already broken. i'm tempted to scoop up all of the pieces, take them back to home depot and fling them on the customer service desk. i didn't keep the receipt though. if i can't return them, i guess i can always remove the metal and toss them into the compost pile.

if you watched "the story of stuff" link that i posted a few weeks back, you might agree when i say that these these breakage-prone pins remind me of the whole concept of "planned obsolescence." meaning that our "things" are manufactured with the intent that they will (sooner than later) need to be replaced. from an electronic gadget--that will immediately be surpassed by something with better, faster capabilities--to a poorly-crafted clothespin, there's no doubt in my mind that the "stuff" we buy is often cleverly designed to be in our lives for only a short period of time. if money makes the world go 'round, than consumers need to keep spending. poorly-crafted items ensure that we'll be reaching for our wallets again in no time flat.

now, i haven't been around all that long or anything, but obviously things weren't always this way. for instance, the laundry cart in the picture at the top of my blog page was purchased at the alameda antique fair. jeremy estimates that it's from the 1950's or 1960's. works great. is solidly built. the canvas cover is just now (in 2008) beginning to need to be repaired or replaced (it's ripping a bit on the sides where it snaps around the top bars). i've also seen real clothespins (the kind that are all one piece, without any metal at all) for sale out at the same antique fair. they've got to be just as old as the cart, and are still around and functional today.

i don't want to buy more crappy clothespins. it ticks me off that i bought them once, and i surely won't do it again. next month out at the antique fair, i'll be keeping my eye out for the real deal.

as a side note: i did buy some "contemporary" clothespins awhile ago from walgreens before i needed more and made my purchase from home depot. i am happy to say that the walgreens clothespins (made from a slightly darker wood) are holding up just fine. as they should. right?

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