When I was 20 I needed a new alarm clock.  I went down to Walmart and bought the cheapest one they had. It was $3.  It’s black with big red numbers.  It doesn’t do anything fancy at all… it tells time and has an alarm.  That’s it.  It’s honestly not much bigger than a deck of cards.   I remember the purchase very clearly.  I remember the packaging it came in (cardboard bottom with a clear plastic dome, and the price tag.  I wasn’t sure I could trust a $3 alarm clock and figured it would break fairly soon.

But here we are 12 years later…

I realized this because my 3 year old son is learning to tell time.  And by “learning to tell time” I mean being able to tell the hour on a digital clock and getting a faint understanding that certain things happen at a certain time.  The “certain thing” that I’m hitting hard is that 7 am is morning time and he isn’t allowed to get out of bed until 7:00.  So I did the same thing I did with my daughter, I covered up the minutes on the clock in his room.  So no more getting out of bed at 6:37 and then again at 6:47 and then again at 6:57.  Only 7:00.  But as I was pointing out the hour to him I thought back to when I was teaching my now 7 year old the same thing.  It dawned on me that I’ve had that alarm clock my entire adult life, pretty much.

That little $3 alarm clock is 12 years old and still going strong.  It’s woken me up for about 5 different jobs, including one where I had to be there at 4:30 in the morning.  (We had a real love/ hate relationship going back then.)   It’s moved with me across the country, twice.  And now has taught both my kids how to tell when it’s time to get up.

I wonder when Walmart’s cheapest alarm clock will give up the ghost?  Do you have anything that you have gotten way more than it’s value out of?

pic by: wan fauzan

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