Seventeen or so years ago, while vacationing at some long-since forgotten beach, I bought a pair of rope sandals. I can’t recall the purchase price. It couldn’t have been much because I would have been a few bucks shy of flat broke at the time. Whatever the cost, they were worth it.
The sandals were adjustable, comfortable, durable and after they were doused with beer by a Hootie and the Blowfish band member, I discovered they were machine washable. (Sandals, which can be machine-washed without damage, is a truly beautiful and miraculous thing. Sandals such as these make God smile because She’s happy.)
Anyway, the sandals traveled many miles and across many borders on my feet. They outlasted most of my personal relationships and were far more reliable than any of the men I’ve known. I just cannot adequately express how much I loved these shoes. Then, the neighbor’s dog used them as her chew toy. To prevent me from sinking into a deep, dark shoe-related depression, where I’d spend vast amounts of time writing mournful poetry about my dearly departed footwear, Mia located a vendor, who sells exact replicas for me. Even though she thinks they’re “ugly as a bucket of smushed butt.” That’s a true friend for ya.
My husband, however, questioned my need for these shoes. After all, I have so many other pairs in my closet. Did I really need another pair? This seemed, to him, unnecessary and irresponsible. I mean, as a woman, did I not understand sensible spending? The difference between wants/needs? Basic economic principles?
Pfft. Whatever. I bought the shoes anyway – because the truth is his griping is not about the shoes.
It’s about his spending and buyer’s remorse. Yep, the husband has dropped quite a bit of money on a few things lately – one of those things being a new lawnmower. We already have two perfectly good John Deere Lawn Tractors in the shed. According to my testosterone-laden spouse though, this lawn mower has o-turn capabilities with more horsepower and nifty cup holders. And blah, blah, blah… He said some other mechanicky type stuff. I dozed off during the explanation. Slobbered on myself a little and still thought his purchase seemed more unnecessarier and irresponsiblier than mine.
Still, this is what he does: he will go buy big ticket items on a moments notice, regret the buy and then torment us all by attempting to fill the gaping hole in his pocket with penny-pinching.
So, the family is in for a few weeks of him parading around, blathering about the goodness of generic products, the benefits of coupons, and the evils of eating out. Oh, then there will be the stupid questions, such as “Can we just cancel the newspaper subscription? It’s not like you have time to read the whole thing. Let’s cancel the cable! The kids watch too much television anyway!” And a sudden interest in conservation: “Why do you all leave every light in the house on? And stop wasting gas! You don’t need to leave the air conditioning on in the car while waiting for the T-ball game to start. Just fan yourselves with the junk mail…”
Of course, I suggested that he sell the old mowers to offset the cost of the new one. This notion seemed to baffle him because those are his mowers. They belong to him and are each special in their own way. (Weird huh? And I’ll bet he knits them all gear-shift cozies in his spare time too.)
So, there you have it, Internet.
ME: who replaced a pair of 17 year-old sandals for under $30 bucks. Assuming the new sandals hold up the same length of time as the former sandals, my cost would be less than $2 annually.
Then, HE: who spent $3000 on a piece of duplicate equipment. I am also assuming should any of the lawn mower manufacturers design a sub-0-turn lawn mower with special all-terrain tires or an on-board mini DVD player, he will make a similar purchase within the next 16-24 months. This averages out to… well, $1500-$4000 annually.