Monday, September 04, 2006

One Guilty Weekend

It’s Labor Day Weekend, at least the tail end of it, but the whole “holiday” is something I don’t really understand. What’s the point? Are we celebrating people who work? Great. I thought that was what weekends were for. Pretty soon we’ll be getting a day off from work to commemorate the skills and abilities of those that don’t work. Let’s call it Unlabor Day. The greeting card companies would love some fresh meat, and I’m sure they’d be happy to add an “undocumented worker day” to the calendar. Let’s make it May 6th… for no particular reason.

If you’re interested in the history of Labor Day (and I know you are), go here and read all about it, courtesy of the U.S. government--remember, you paid for someone to write it so you might as well read it (I wish I had that contract). I’m sure you socialistic anti-labor-union lefties will be surprised at its origins and the odds are good your hamburger and beer won’t go down as smoothly after reading its history.

This weekend was time spent doing nothing but writhing in guilt because I should have been doing everything. The house isn’t the disaster it was last weekend as I spent a little time each day during the week cleaning or straightening this or that, but Saturday was scheduled to be the “Great Cleanup Day,” where we tackle an ever-growing list of chores that have been accumulating, you know, all of the things that a regular housewife in the middle 1950s used to do: dust, vacuum, clean the windows, adjust her pearl necklace and pleated skirt. Lacking a competent housewife from the 50s, alas, nothing was done (face it Kara, I’m a better housewife than you are). I vacuumed and mopped the kitchen floor, and that was the extent of it. The dust will have to wait; it’s not going anywhere.

Instead, we executed a perfect preemptive strike against our failing kitchen appliances, like a blitzkrieg on Poland. So far, they’re dropping off like flies, and fearing to wake up one morning with all of them belly up in the kitchen, we decided to take advantage of a Labor Day sale at Lowe’s and replace them all in one fell swoop. The night before Natalie’s birthday party, I wanted to bake an auxiliary cake because we felt the one we had built wasn’t going to be enough, and I ruined two perfectly good cakes in our dead oven. They came out like pancakes.

I rather enjoyed shopping for the new domestic devices actually, as I love to walk into a place, point to several big-ticket items and say, “I’ll take that, that and that… wrap them up. Let’s go.” I knew what I wanted. Of course, much to the delight of Suzie, a commission-earning sales lady who did her best to sell us something even though we came in there with specific needs. I think she felt she didn’t do her job until she gave us a sales pitch of some sort. The whole shebang, the trio of appliances—dishwasher, microwave and oven—totaled up to $1,561.27 (including a $65 delivery fee). The sale was in the form of rebates and discounts. I get the $65 delivery fee back after I mail in a rebate form and I get a $100 gift card because we bought over $1000 in goods. Also, since we signed up for a Lowe’s credit card—it was the first line of credit (besides auto and house loans) we have applied for in nearly six years—we earned a 10 percent discount, so everything cost $1,356.87, plus the $100 gift card. On top of which, we have 12 months of interest free payments to pay it all off, but since the money is sitting in the “windfall” savings account (we have lots of savings accounts with descriptive names… they’re free from the bank, so let them organize my piggy bank) I might pay it off with the first bill. But then again, why give them my money when I can let it earn a year’s worth of interest and pay it off 12 months from now?


However I look at it, it sure beats the costs tallied at Best Buy for the same appliances, accept for the dishwasher; Kara insisted on buying the quietest model they offered (and I don’t blame her because when the current dishwasher is powering away at full speed, it sounds a lot like a plane landing in our kitchen), so Suzie took us to the far end of the dishwasher spectrum to where they keep the expensive stainless steel models. We settled on KitchenAide Click Here for Details, and we compromised on the stainless steel: I didn’t want to have to constantly clean off the sticky little finger prints I expect it would collect from the little munchkins roaming this house, and I wanted it to match the white fridge. Kara wanted stainless because it looks so nice and classy, so we got a stainless interior, which is one of the elements to a silent machine (I’m not sure why, but it is). KitchenAide is the Lexus of the dishwasher world, but we bought Whirlpool stove and microwave to match (as they are the Toyota to KitchenAide’s Lexus, and we didn’t want to afford the KitchenAide stove equivalent—it was $1500 all by itself). The Whirlpool stove Click Here for Details is quite a step up from the fire and hot rock we currently use… it is even self cleaning… wooooo.

I wanted all of the appliances to match. I’m not sure why. It’s not like I have to hook them all together but maybe so they all share the same language and somehow that will make they work together better. You know, team work and all that. One of the criteria for the microwave Click Here for Details is that it has one of those lazy Susan rotisseries inside and that it be tall enough to microwave a baby bottle. Sure, we’ll only do that for a few more months, but it is all about what it can do for me now.

They arrive on Sunday, and the delivery chaps (I hope it isn’t Laurel and Hardy) will happily carry away the old units without charge, provided I have them removed and out front waiting for the truck. It is convenient, so as I take them out, I can see how they’re installed so I can install the new ones when they arrive. Hell no I’m not paying to have something installed.

After that, the spending continued as we hit the sales at Target and Kohls. I bought an outdoor carpet that was discounted by nearly 50 percent for when we get patio furniture. To break it in, I decided to put it under the kitchen table (which is why it necessitated a mopping), and I like it there so much that I might go buy another one for outside.

Loaded up with packages and groceries, we headed home and lazed away the weekend; I didn’t wake up until after 11:00 this morning (hey, don’t judge me, I got up twice with Matthew last night, midnight at 5:30am). It was nice, but I’m feeling guilty that I didn’t get a whole lot done this weekend, hence the guilt. I have three freelance articles due this week (tomorrow exactly) and several more that don’t have a definite deadline but one of those asap kinds that force me to constantly think about it until I get it finished.

Sure, I could have woken up earlier and probably accomplished most of my goals, but what’s the procrastination in that? Besides, I don’t seem to work very well during the day. There’s too much going on to distract me, and I have the attention span of a small moth… ooooh, look at the shiny light!

The bad part about buying new appliances is that, when I came home and looked around the kitchen, I thought the new appliances would eventually look better if they were accompanied by granite countertops, maybe with an ornately designed backsplash, some resurfaced cabinets and perhaps a new kitchen table set.

Grumble. Groan.

The downside to buying new things is that it makes all of your old things look like crap.

1 comment:

Kara said...

Lacking a competent housewife from the 50s, alas, nothing was done (face it Kara, I’m a better housewife than you are).

***I am not offended.


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