I don’t tend to think of myself as trendy. In fact I take pride in my thrifty resolve to not replace stuff that works fine simply because something newer, better has come along. For example: my ’93 Toyota Camry. I bought it used, paid it off, and then drove it until it was barely worth anything on trade for the minivan we desperately needed after so many years of fertile lovemaking.

For another example: my five-year-old DV camera that was still top-of-the-line four years ago but definitely behind the technology curve ever since. I’ve kept that thing long past its freshness date and have used it to record every preschool play and awards ceremony that my children have ever been a part of. It barely records at standard TV quality let alone DVD quality. However, I continue to use it because I can take pride in the money I save by not updating.

My facade started to crack last Christmas when I used some gift certificates to buy a Tivo. While Tivo was not a cutting edge technology, owning a computer that would watch TV for you so that you didn’t have to was still a little unusual at the time. And then this Fall my wife and I decided to have Verizon run a fiber optic cable to our home. While the combination of services we receive via the fiber optic costs us less than what we were paying for them previously, it still feels a little cutting-edge to have the evening news beamed in via laser beam.

Today I was taken by a desire that is also hard to square with the pride I take in sober frugality: I want a Roomba!