Changing of the guard

Changing of the guard

It’s been a little bit of a while since I wrote here. Mostly I’ve been busy with moving house and some work stuff.

I dislike moving house. I am, if nothing else, a creature of habit, and moving house – no matter how well intentioned or planned – is an upheaval.

It is a packaging of one’s entire existence into boxes, with the inevitability that some things, once loved, will be discarded. As much as it is a beginning, a new chapter being born, it is nevertheless an ending, the closure of a previous chapter.

In some respects, this is an important and positive step: the previous tenancy was in a basement with limited light and even my hermit-like existence preferred a little more light than was being filtered in through the oblique angles. I also approve greatly of not spending my work time, or my leisure time, staring at rundown, mopey brick walls in desperate need of cleaning (but no permission to do so)

We moved in over a month ago, and still the transition continues: the adjustment to daily routines with working and whatnot, weekly routines for the sake of shopping and obtaining groceries. The inevitability that change, as they say, is hard. But we adapt, we improve, we overcome.

Probably the strangest quirk of fate about the move was the washing machine. We had purchased a good, solid machine for our previous place – it had come without furniture or most appliances save a cooker – and we had chosen a reliable higher-end model from Samsung. This is only relevant in two specific ways: the machine was reliable for the time we had it, doing exactly what was asked of it in that it would wash and it would dry and it would do both consistently and without fuss; and to our amusement it would play a song. A happy jaunty little number to let you know that it had finished its work.

I resented this washing machine in the wake of the move. For circumstance, we could not take the machine with us; the fitting in the new place would not accommodate. Unfortunate, but such is life. But this was not the moment that a small piece of me broke.

The moment was the last night spent in the old flat. Last minute loads of washing. And it played its swan song, oblivious to the fact that within 24 hours it would be removed and given to a man to be taken away and never seen by us again.

I find myself – even now, weeks later – oddly bitter about this moment. It was an appliance. A washing machine. I have never been emotional about a washing machine before. Never before found myself anthropomorphising in the tiniest degree about a washing machine having a personality. And in that moment, its final song for us, I found myself visualising the meme: the washing machine greeting the reaper, asking if it had been a good washing machine, the grim reaper saying no, and confirming it had been the best washing machine.

This is, of course, entirely ludicrous. It is a washing machine. It has no personality, no consciousness, and I find myself at a loss as to why I had ascribed one to it.

But the answer is clear: the jingle. What was no doubt dreamed up by a marketing specialist in a meetnig somewhere, had created the desired effect: a positive, emotional attachment connecting me to the product to inspire brand loyalty.

I don’t normally succumb to cheap marketing tactics but I have to admit this one was effective. Well played, Samsung, well played. But you had me at working, reliable appliance.


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