Monday, July 20, 2009

Even a Garbage Can Wants to Be Something

As you may have suspected, my wife and I are partial to supporting companies that produce well designed items. As my wife has officially entered the 'nesting' phase of her pregnancy, she continues to diligently seek out baby products that are 'green', modern, and functional. This has lead to conversations about Scandinavian baby bouncers, 600 thread count baby sheets and strollers that require the processing of loan applications. But the latest request even has me questioning the value of great design. Yes people, my wife has requested that we purchase a VIPP Stainless Steel Pedal Bin for the containment of diapers.

Now, I had never heard of a VIPP Bin, nor did I know (or want to know) how much this thing costs. She assured me that it would hermetically seal in the diaper odors and unlike a normal plastic diaper genie, it would not absorb any of the smell. This was due to a very high grade stainless steel construction, which has been done by hand since its invention (somewhere in the middle of the 20th century). My wife then went on to very passionately tell me the story of the family that invented this bin and how it was a great icon of modern design that was originally intended to hold hair clippings from a beauty shop. She also threw in that we would have this trash can forever since it can stick around long after the diapers have gone. With all of this information in hand, my wife assured me that this can was a bargain even at double the price (given its pedigree and all).

When I could no longer stand the suspense, she then told me how much this lovely can would cost us. An affordable luxury at $324.

Now, I am a very pragmatic person. I will certainly support design when the design warrants it. But somehow, I could not get my head around a $300 trash bin. So, when my wife and I are at an impasse, we did what we often do. We struck a deal. The deal was (is) that we would get together a pile of items to sell on EBAY and if we could raise the money from the sale of random unwanted items, we would buy it. If not, we would stick with the ever affordable, Diaper Genie. I felt that if the Gods of Design wanted us to have this bin, then they could surely find someone to cough up good money for our old watches, luggage, books, and costume jewelry. I guess we'll see how it ends up, but let this be a lesson to you all. When designed well, even a Garbage Bin can be Something.

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