Over the weekend, I came to be in possession of a small fortune disguised as a handsome wristwatch. Thanks, mom. Thanks, dad. This is the first time I had a watch worth this much. I’m probably wearing the most expensive item I own on my wrist. But this post is not to brag. This watch feels like a burden to me.
My previous watches had never cost more than half a thousand but I liked them. They were hardy and casual and they told the time. And frankly, that’s all anyone should ask from a timepiece of any sort. I wear my watches to sleep and to bathe and I almost never take them off. They would be there when I’m engaging in sports and other activities, where sometimes, my wrist would clash with a hard surface. Those watches did the job of protecting me, as watches should. I treat my watches a sort of wrist armor. Of course, they inevitably became scratched, but the well-worn state made them look even better. It symbolises the rough times we had together (hah! A pun.)
But now, I’m not wearing an armor anymore, despite it being more expensive than the sum of all the watches I’ve ever worn. The roles are reversed; where watches previously protected me, now I’m supposed to care for my new timepiece. This sounds slightly exaggerated, but in some sense, that’s the way I feel. “We love things and we use humans.” My life is going to be radically different from now on. These gears and springs in a glass cylinder attached to a shiny chain is going to control my life from time to time: making me waste minutes to clean it, to be mindful enough to remove it before games, to give me a day or more of rummaging through hell if I ever lose it…
However, on the flipside, I guess it also represents something more significant though: a proof that my parents are confident of my responsibility to own an expensive timepiece. Perhaps in their eyes, I am finally a man.
On hindsight, this post seems like a boy whining about his new responsibility and a bad idea. I guess I have to man up to see that it is a milestone everyone will experience: the ritual of watch-buying and with it, the wearer’s coming of age. But on a side note, this timepiece may be representing something entirely different: the panic buying as a response to my government’s upcoming implementation of the Goods & Service Tax (GST).