Thursday, September 02, 2010

Birthday Twinges

My goodness, today I begin my 64th year on this planet. That means that it's my 63rd birthday for those of you who get confused by such things. All I asked for was a new iPod, and I already received it when we were all together last week. It's a spiffy little red one, the colour that supports Bono's effort to fight AIDS in Africa. I'm glad the family thought to add that nice touch, but there is another part of me that feels a bit funny about having this iPod even though it's what I asked for.

You see, I was the first in the family to purchase an iPod almost five years ago. I dithered a lot before I made the leap, but it has proved useful over the years in ways that I don't need to detail here and now. I say that I dithered before purchasing it because it's a frivolous item — really frivolous. After much angst, I capitulated and bought the thing but still felt some subsequent pangs of guilt.

Five years later, that pod being on its last legs (if you can picture that), I asked and received for a new one for my birthday this year. It's not an iTouch, iPhone or iPad but just a little Nano for goodness sakes, but I still feel the odd twinge of guilt because I could surely live without an iPod of any sort, and my old one still more or less functions.

To some extent we all now begin to think it's necessary to have computers, cell phones and myriad other goodies. We can't seem to live without them. Most of us have both cell phone and multiple land phones, and both varieties must have such features as call answer, call forwarding, caller id and whatnot. We have satellite dishes for our multiple televisions which must carry hundreds of channels lest we feel deprived. There was a time when all the telephone did was ring and all the television channels we received were twelve ... if we were lucky.

Times have changed. I like my toys and comforts as much as the next guy or gal, maybe even more than most, and I own my share. But I still sometimes feel a little guilty over possessing unnecessary luxury items such as this. As I said, I like to have them, but I think also experiencing the odd guilt twinge about having so much in this inequitable world isn't such a bad thing.


Diana said...

First of all "Happy Birthday to You!" AC! I understand your touch of guilt but we do live in an electronically charged world today. It is what it is. I think it's wonderful that your family gave you such a fun gift! Love Di ♥

Ruth said...

Happy Birthday and wishing you many healthy years ahead. A five year old iPod is a dinosaur with such a small brain!

smoke-free said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
smoke-free said...

I think you deserve a little luxury! It's nice to get a swanky new boy toy!
Many, Many happy returns AC. I hope you are having a wonderful day! I think Cuppa should bake you a cake!

(It's daffy btw)

Holly, the Old Western Gal said...

Happy Birthday, Feliz Cumpleanos!

Hope you get a red-velvet cake to match the iPod. If you divide out the cost of the iPod over 5 years, it's not really much of an extravagance. And your REASONS for wanting it are honorable and good. You aren't coveting it just to show off to the other Canadians or anything.

Anonymous said...

Happy birthday!

I deal with the same twinges now and then, and find it especially challenging to teach teenagers that they don't NEED to replace their cell phone or ipod every year just because there's a new model out. My kids laugh at me because I still use an old 2 gig mp3 player that doesn't do any of the fancy things - just plays music. But I try to tell them that until it breaks down, I don't need to replace it with something fancier.

That being said - enjoy your new toy! I'm about to buy myself a new laptop (because 2 computers in the house is not enough to ensure I'll always have one available for my business use - yeesh), so I certainly don't fault you for it! ;-)

Mary G said...

I too have lots and lots of gadgets. Shaming, in some ways. But I must admit that I would not trade air conditioning for 1950s innocence just now.
And felicitations on your natal day!

Donna said...

A Very Happy Birthday to you Ac!!
Hope you have 90 more!!

Bernie said...

I think your family are very thankful that they could buy you something you wanted, so don't deprive them the happiness of giving you a gift of love.....only you call it a ipod.
Hope you had a wonderful day and wish you many more.....:-) Hugs

Beatrice P. Boyd said...

Belated Birthday wishes, AC. Hope you have a celebration year!

And, I know what you mean by too many electronic gadgets. Like others, I also have my fair share: digital cameras, PCs, MP3, cell phone - not the latest and greatest versions, but still nice to have. Needed? not really.

Anvilcloud said...

Hey Daff. Just in case you are following these comments, I am posting a message to you here. I can see your blog posting in Reader but can't get there to comment as it is marked private. I have no other way to contact you. Just sayin.