Most conversations, or written diatribes, about technology work off an unstated and false assumption of technology in a vacuum: technology always working perfectly, technology always available. In a Starbucks in Santa Barbara, California, I tried to make the free wifi work on my computer. I was with two friends, both media studies graduate students at UC Santa Barbara; the wifi was working perfectly on their computers.

I don’t let anyone else lock my front door because there’s a trick to it – you have to make sure the door isn’t pulled too far forward in the frame or the deadbolt won’t turn. My roommate locked the door wrong for the first month we lived there, until I figured out his mistake and taught him to lock the door correctly.

Every new apartment I move into, I have to relearn how to run water for a shower and how to flush the toilet.

On my way from Los Angles to Santa Barbara, I was going 75 on the 101. I glanced into my side mirror and saw that the left-side back bumper of my car had dislodged itself from the body of the car. I pulled off the highway, drove to a CVS, purchased a roll of duct tape, and taped my car together.

Carrie Bradshaw’s duct-taped pink cell phone is the most realistic prop ever used on any television show and is Sex and the City’s most enduring image.


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  • kd

    My landlord just told me that my water bill was ridiculously high because it took me a long time to learn how to flush the toilet. My mom has since apologized for not properly teaching me how to flush as a child.

    (the toilet was actually broken – the flapper was leaking)

    This entry made me think of all the broken things we deal with each day – ‘deal with’ in the sense of making do and moving on.

    • Catie Disabato


    • Catie Disabato

      I love this comment, kd, and I hope everyone who reads it also posts their own lists of broken things.

  • Catie Disabato

    From “Meredith” on Facebook.
    Broken Things:

    Where do I start? The chipped platter outside, that mom bought back from Portugal (need to fix that), the shed full of rusty things that need derusting, the hole in my husband’s boot sole, the broken elastic in the waist band of my two favourite pairs of black pants…