There is a feeling, which happens with greater and greater frequency as we age, that some product is perfect for us. That we will need no improvement, and that any future iteration will probably be worse.
We’d like to freeze time, to have whoever makes whatever it is continue, indefinitely.
Occasionally we are lucky, and the product is of such mass appeal that the company in question does continue to produce it, with alternate versions in addition to the key product, for decades.
Occasionally the jeans we wear are the 501, and will be available effectively forever.
Occasionally the shoes we wear are the Adidas Samba, and have been brought back by our love for them, become the uniform for thousands of men looking for flat leather sneakers that will look good with any outfit and be available for half a hundred dollars world wide.
Occasionally we are comfortable in Hanes underwear, with Dove soap, Budweiser beer, or Coca-cola.
Even then, the products will occasionally change beyond recognition, for no apparent reason, as we still purchase them in similar quantities as we have prior.
Because of these changes, because of our awareness of the temporary nature of mass production and the consumer culture, we find ourselves with a new kind of worry, a new sense of desire. Not for one of an object, a hat, a jacket, but for an infinite supply, for an immediate replacement should anything happen to our treasure.
We will wish for another Adidas Marun, and know that, were we smarter, had we more money and storage space, we would have purchased two pairs at the beginning, rather than one. We would have purchased a second, a back up, for each of these items we so love.
The idea that we should be prepared for loss, that we should no longer rely on brands or manufacturers, on stores or models, but should instead stockpile, is not crazy. In his biography we learn that Steve Jobs had hundreds of his specific mock turtleneck. This can be seen as obsession, but also as anticipation of change, and the desire to avoid it.
Is this good? Sustainable? Desirable? Should we shift tastes forever as we age, constantly accustomed to new products and new surroundings, or should, at some point, our tastes coalesce into the person we will be, and our desire to be constantly replacing things we once loved with new fade into the background, become less important than it was in our teenage years, in the years of our first job.
It’s a strange feeling, to discover a new thing and immediately be concerned with its replaceability.