Several of you who know us well, know that we have needed to update our technological resources over the past several years. While at one point we had well-functioning electronics, college graduation has come and gone and yet our laptops have remained. Cory and I first purchased our laptops in 2005ish during our senior year of high school in preparation for college. Yep. That’s nearly eight years ago. If you were unaware, laptops don’t last that long.
Anyhow, people have had pity on us in the past and one of our friends Megan even offered to donate her more updated laptop to us last year. Megan’s laptop was small and we referred to it as “baby laptop.” While a very generous gift, it lasted about 5 months and puked out on us as well. While most other people would throw/recycle the old laptop, my adorable husband found another use for it! Which leads us to laptop #2.
Cory had an HP laptop that worked rather well for a long time. However, within the last four years or so it has slowly been breaking down. And when I say “slowly” I mean it will take 20 minutes to boot up. A while back the hinges on the screen broke which means that the screen was unable to stand up on its own. After several weeks of Cory holding his screen up while using the device, he started to find “stands” around the house for the laptop. First, it was a series of my beloved coffee table books. I had big plans to make our apartment look like the cover of Better Homes & Gardens, and yet it just lost that “touch” when there was a giant stack of new things on my table each day supporting this piece of crap.
Let me also address the noise for a moment. The laptop had a “fan” function on it where it would supposedly cool the device down just in case it was working too hard. If any of you have ever ridden on a plane, you will know the sound the engine makes right as the captain pulls out of the gate. Identical. Often times, the fan would not be sufficient and the laptop would overheat. This typically happened at the climax of an interesting video or during a mid-term paper. Then we would have to go through the 20 minute boot up. .
After baby laptop kicked the dust, Cory had an ingenious idea. I came home to a mountain of electronic cords in my living room to see Cory’s giant HP laptop being held up by broken, non-functioning baby laptop. To review, Cory was using a completely broken laptop to hold up a 75% broken laptop. Can you say G-H-E-T-T-O. The worst part about this is that Cory had no shame. He thought it was awesome, so he rarely hid his contraption when people would come over. I know I have said it a million times, but I never thought this would be my life.
Moving on. Laptop #3 was a Compaq that I purchased in 2004ish. This had always been a basic laptop but treated me well. The only issue I ever would run into is that my cord would catch on fire/melt. I am not sure why but Cory always managed to blame me for this. There would be times where I was writing a paper and Cory would come to sit on the couch. He would accidentally sit down on my cord and suffer temporary burns as a result. We also had to do the thing where you move the cord around in different positions until the wires met enough to catch a charge… except there was a delay from where it caught it and the computer showed it as charging, so it was quite the struggle. I went through at least five cords. One time, while we waited for a new cord to be delivered, I set up a ‘charging station’ where I had found the right spot on the cord, duct taped it to a non-moving surface (I think it was a storage tote?) and then brought the laptop to the station whenever it needed a charge. This lasted until Jeni told me it doesn’t hold a charge for more than ten minutes on its own. So great job, MacGuyver. I also had to have it plugged in because the battery would no longer charge. Which means I was totally that person in class that monopolized the wall outlet. In every class. Also, this laptop was definitely a 15pounder. I literally had backaches after carrying it to class.
Over the weekend I was cleaning/purging out our closets like I do pretty regularly. Cory calls it “squirreling things away.” Anyhow, I found my old Compaq along with a GIANT all in one printer that no longer worked that was also given to us for free by a fellow seminary student. I walked into the living room and looked at the coffee table full of broken electronics:
“Babe, we really have to do something about these laptops, can we get rid of some of them at least.
“They are too old, no one will take them. We can try to recycle them at Best Buy?”
Cory had tried for several months in two different states to get rid of these babies. He went to exchanges and used electronics stores, and yet each place “politely declined” our offer of laptops. We couldn’t even give these things away. I went online to see if there was a company that would take them. After putting in the model number for all three laptops this message appeared:
“The good news is you got a lot of years out of this device! The bad news is that the model is so dated that we cannot offer anything for it. Sorry!”
REALLY? Really. Not even an online JUNK company will take it. So off to Best Buy we went.
We got in line at customer service with our giant bags of crap and the associate who was assisting another customer lovingly rolled her eyes. I can totally just hear her thoughts:
“Are you freaking kidding me. Who are these poor pathetic people. Why would I ever want their electronic junk?”
After waiting several minutes we were offered by another employee to put our “items on the desk while waiting.” Not wanting the entire store to see our complete shame, we decided against this option. We then approached the agitated woman. Cory explained our situation and asked if we were able to recycle old crap there. Cory attempted to make several jokes with the girl, but all he received back was glares and utter disdain. I even told the story of the one remaining ‘working’ laptop we have at home and how it needs held up… just crickets. I thought someone that works at an electronics store would appreciate a little humor about crappy computers, but I must have caught this lady on ‘be irritated with everyone’ day. After getting what seemed like our entire medical history and every other fact that has ever happened to us, we heard the most glorious news ever from the associate:
“You are in luck, we have a promotion going on right now where we can offer you $10.00.”
Cory and I looked at each other in a similar way that a child looks at the ice cream man. “THIS IS THE BEST NEWS EVERRRRR!!! After deciding against jumping up and down, the associate quickly passed us off to another worker.
Cory and I spent several minutes walking around the store trying to decide what we were going to get with our profit. Turns out, you can’t even get a DVD for $10.00 there, so we decided to “save” it. Unfortunately, we still have Cory’s mammoth HP laptop at home until we can somehow find money to replace it. He is now using home goods including candles to support it. I may try legos soon…