Rohit's Realm

// / archive / 2006 / 08 / 01 / top-five-most-underutilized-purchases

August 01, 2006

Top Five Most Underutilized Purchases

Hindsight is always 20–20, or so they say. For me, it tends to be unduly expensive as well.

As most people know, and as has frequently been documented on this site, I am somewhat of a spendthrift. Perhaps that's an understatement. Computers, fancy electronics, designer clothes—basically, name any sort of generally pointless, unnecessary crap, and I'm bound to have bought it at one point or another. Moreover, it is likely I spent a lot of money on it. And more likely than not, now I don't even use it.

Looking around my room this morning in a stupor induced by lack of sleep, having tripped over stray computer parts I was using to build yet another computer—my fifth—I finally realized the magnitude to which my illustrious purchases are underutilized, or more bluntly, entirely useless. There were certainly quite a few: my electric guitar that I have not played since high school and its amplifier; the two complete sets of luggage, even though no one ever needs more than one; and my personal favorite, the scores of hardcover books that turned out to be not even worth a paperback copy (Dude, Where's My Country, anyone?).

Thinking about this further as I got ready to go to work in the morning, I finally came up with a list of the five most underutilized (useless) purchases of my adult (post-18) life (pre-18 purchases are not my boondoggles, but those of my parents'—they should have known better). Here they are, in ascending order of expense:

  1. What? Dark Angel Season 2 DVD
    Cost? I paid $40 at Fry's.
    Why? Jessica Alba.
    Use? 0 — this season was so bad, I couldn't even finish it.
  2. What? Kenneth Cole Reaction Briefcase
    Cost? $100 at Macy's.
    Why? The company provided backpack makes me look like I'm five.
    Use? 3 mo. — this bag is not designed for a laptop and is a poor companion on an airplane (e.g., not expandable, no place for stuff in your pockets when you go through the metal detector, etc.). It's more a messenger bag than a briefcase, unless all you are carrying is two file folders.
  3. What? Cambridge Soundworks BassCube 12
    Cost? $300, used on eBay in 2001.
    Why? I was 18, and liked the thought of having a 400 W subwoofer.
    Use? 6 times — three times in summer '03, three times in summer '05, at large parties. The damn thing is too powerful to use in any place where walls are joined to another house. It'll probably come in really handy when I buy a house though.
  4. What? UC Berkeley RSF Membership, each semester for four years
    Cost? ~$400 (including summers)
    Why? I kept telling myself this would be the year I start working out.
    Use? Probably < 10 times in four year — it should be readily apparent from meeting me that I do not work out.
  5. What? Canon Optura 50 Digital Camcorder
    Cost? $662
    Why? I don't really know.
    Use? once, to make a video for CalSO — the only purpose of a camcorder is to diligently shoot videos of your child as a baby, so you can watch them (alone) when you are on your death bed, and sadly wonder what happened to the years while sporadically pressing the button to release more morphine into your bloodstream. I've still got a few years to go.

Mind you, these are not my only boondoggles when it comes to mostly unnecessary purchases, just my most clearly useless. There are several more that could probably be added to this list, but thinking about it would just make me feel worse. I think its time to go to my happy place and think about the $600 I just spent on two turntables and the $150 I will soon spend on a mixer. See, all better. Materialism. Whoever said money can't buy happiness simply has not given me a chance.


Ah, the joys of consumerism. I didn't see much when I was abroad so it was a total culture shock when I came back to the states and saw it in action.

If you are going to blow cash, you might as well buy expensive champagne and ball out. At least you will gain baller status and not have crap laying around in your room when you are done with it. One time use only kid.

what is your dj name going to be?
i'd be curious as to what rohit's list of records he bought consists of.

Add Comment





* required field

E-mail addresses will never be displayed. The following HTML tags are allowed:
a abbr acronym address big blockquote br cite del em li ol p pre q small strong sub sup ul