I inherited the plastic showerhead from the previous owners some four and a half years ago. Living in a hard water area means having to buy descaling powder to get rid of the limescale build-up on household appliances like kettles, irons, and showerheads now and then.
Everytime the shower drips, I'd soak the showerhead into hot water left over from the descaling solution I used for my kettle. Afterwards, I'd forget about it, never mind the fact that the showerhead still leaks.
We get so used to the ritual of maintenance that we forget that we've exceeded the effective life of an appliance. Suppose the previous owners bought the showerhead brand new when they moved into this house. Then the showerhead would be almost 8 years old by now. How often has it been used and descaled? Suppose they had also inherited the showerhead like I did, then it would be even older.
Since showers are relatively more important to men than women, I've never given the effectiveness and comfort of a good shower much thought. I've always accepted the fact that it dripped. I have my hot bath, and showers are always better taken at my health club or in hotel rooms.
When my house guest suggested the possibility of replacing it with a new one, I entertained the idea. Buy a new one when the existing one isn't broken, but merely less effective than new? This thought had never occurred to me.
At the home improvement store, I discovered that the model I owned was one of the cheapest. I decided to upgrade in hopes that it would last until the next owner.
Gone is the problem of leaky showerheads. I even look forward to having showers now.
Moral of the story? Sometimes you just have to replace what you have, rather than keep maintaining it and appeasing yourself.
2 January 2003 Thursday
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