Friday, September 3, 2010


I see the bad moon rising.
I see trouble on the way.
Creedence Clearwater Revival

This has been a biiiiiiig spending week for us, and I am keeping a close eye on our nest egg, looking for tiny cracks to appear. I am also keeping a close eye on myself for, as you will see, something strange is happening.

The week started with a Pearl Harbor-level attack on our pocketbooks when we committed to a kitchen renovation from a joinery that had quoted on the project. We both really like the guy who did the design and his quotation for the work was spot on to our budget. Mind you, I am slowly discovering that with the pair of us our "budget" is pretty much whatever we set aside to spend on something plus whatever else it takes to get the higher-priced options we end up falling in love with.

But my feeling is that we're in this house for the long haul and there is no room more important than the kitchen. OK, there is a room that's more important, but you wouldn't call it the heart of the home and you never sit around in it with your friends.

While driving from the joinery, we passed a shop with stoves and heating stuff in the window. I pushed down on the accelerator, but LK had already spotted it so we ended up going inside. Nope, we are committed to our new role as Tasmania's 2010 Stimulus Package.

Our family room downstairs is the only one that has no heating panel in it, and we did need to get something to make he room warm. LK had her heart set on one of those gas stoves with make-believe logs in them. Not too surprisingly, we discovered that once again she had zeroed in on the very most expensive heating option (mostly because we have only LPG and not natural gas). We took a look instead at the electric mock fireplace with phony logs option.

That's a picture of "The Brooklyn", one of the two we ended up buying. Didn't slip that "two" past you, did I? Well it's easy to explain. I proposed that we take the panel heater off the wall in the dining room and move it down to the family room and put the very attractive electric fireplace in the dining room. But during discussions it became clear that LK had her heart set on having a fireplace in the family room. But...... she really did like the idea of the fireplace in the dining room.

What the hey, I thought. We'll get both. Besides, I can still use that panel heater when we renovate our bathroom next year, so it's not really wasted. After all, once you commit to spending more than the GNP of a third of the world's nations just to get your kitchen done, a little bit more for one more fireplace isn't all that scary. See I told you it was easy to explain.

In fact, I was so getting into the shopping spirit that after the fireplace store, we went to a home store looking for cushions for our new kitchen chairs. Didn't find any there, but I bought a $250 table to go on the deck.

LK looked on in amazement and said something to the effect that I was never the one who bought stuff. I smiled, wondering myself what was happening to me. It had all started happening a week earlier when I had said we should extend the hardwood floor of the kitchen into the dining room, effectively doubling the cost.

I am always the one who harumphs and questions the spending. Why am I agreeing to everything LK wants? Even scarier, why am I suddenly proposing spending that even LK hasn't thought of? I have been the defender of the nest egg, but now I have become the one pecking away at it.

I fear I may have been bitten by a new breed of werewolf who was also a compulsive shopper. Is that why LK wanted me to grow a beard - so I wouldn't notice hair on my face?

It doesn't stop, by the way. Later at home we had to choose lights for our new kitchen. LK chose some lovely stuff. And after we'd agreed to get them, she pointed out that, yes, she had chosen the most expensive. I suggested that since the floor was extending into the dining room maybe we should add that lighting there, too. Oh my God, now I feel like howling.

I suppose it was inevitable that when she showed me some outdoor furniture online last night, I said, "Great. Let's get it!"


No comments: