Celebrity Cafe

Saturday, July 16, 2005

Throwing Out My Printer

No, I wasn't angry with my printer. I loved it. The two of us had gone through eleven years of wedded bliss. But I'm a pack-rat, and with the advent of HGTV, where I can find ways to use all the trash/treasure I have around the house, I can't ever move or die. There's just too much stuff for me recycle into something fanstastic.

I'd been working on a novel that was due July 1st. I finished it and sent it off to my editor. Then yesterday I decided to clean up my office. It's amazing the amount of things that collect on the floor when you're writing, not to mention I was also sleeping there since we had no central air and I'd installed a window air conditioning unit in that room.

Anyway, I folded up all the blankets creating my pallet when the heating and cooling company got the air working. Then I started on the other stuff. I threw out old papers, magazines I'll never read again, mail I'd answered, old cards and thank you notes, I emptied a box of supplies putting them on shelves and filling the box with manuscript papers to send to the Library of Popular Culture at Bowling Green University in Ohio. At that point I unearth my printer.

It had been sitting, broken, on the floor for six months blocking the closet and forcing me to lean over it to reach my printing and promotional supplies. I got a new printer at the beginning of the year and this old one I just couldn't make myself get rid of. I told myslef I was going to fix it (liar). It was an HP Laserjet III. When I bought it it was state of the art, cost $1,000.00 and worked like a horse. Many letters, articles, and books flowed through the mechanisms that were unknown and invisible to me as to how they worked. My first published novel came off that printer. It moved with me to two houses. And I had a brand new cartridge just waiting to begin printing up to 5,000 additional pages, but a decision had to be made.

It was trash night. Friday. I decided, pumping my fist in the air, I was going to throw it out. I took a final look at it and left the room. The printer must weigh 50 pounds. I couldn't lift it and carry it all the way from my upstairs office to the garage where the huge trash bin was. My son even said it was way too heavy when he brought it down for me and dumped it.

I don't know why it is that we feel the equipment we've bought and used for years past its useful life has the same worth as it did when we bought it. But I did. To me I was throwing a $1,000.00 in the trash. And it hurt.

This morning, as I went out to retrieve the trash bin and return it to the garage, I knew the printer was well and truly gone. But on the floor in my office, sunk into the carpeting, is the footprint it left me as a reminder.

Shirley Hailstock - 39 Celebrity Circle
You Made Me Love You - Dafina - April 2005


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