Monday, May 07, 2007

Budget Schmudget

I am unemployed. Our household income has been cut by a third. Jason makes himself sick worrying about our finances and demands that every receipt be kept and pennies pinched. To date, no receipts have been collected and I'm still finding pennies neglected in cushions, at the bottom of toy chests, on the garage floor and the bottom of my washing machine looks like a piggy bank, so clearly no pennies pinched either.

Neither of us have really ever had to budget. Yes, we've been spoiled and its a fact. No bragging here - I haven't put my "I'm Rich" button on today and my black underwear with glow in the dark dollar signs have been wadded up in the back of my dresser*, because we are relatively poor now. At least that's what I tell people when they want to go shopping or go to lunch. That's what Jason tells me when I mention going on a trip to San Antonio as we drink coffee and look at the Sunday paper yesterday.

I finish my coffee and put the mug in the sink as I step in a puddle of water on the floor by the dishwasher. "Jason, the dishwasher is still leaking everytime we run it. It probably needs a new seal."

Jason gets up and dismantles the dishwasher, ripping the seal out, examining it and agreeing that yes, it could use a new seal. He goes to Home Depot to buy a new one. They tell him he has to order a new seal from Maytag (so much for reliability - its not even six years old). He comes home and decides he can rig it. He and Jake get their tools. Jake takes his shirt off because you can see his muscles better without his shirt on (he didn't get that logic from Daddy). Thankfully Jason leaves his shirt on. They take the dishwasher completely apart to find corrosion, a thick piece of cardboard used as some sort of insulation and other dishwasher parts that mean nothing to Jason or his 5 year old assistant.

They put the dishwasher back together and for some reason, decide to run it. It leaks again. SHOCKING! Jason says, "Happy Mother's Day! You're getting a new dishwasher!"

We go to Lowes, where we're faced with twenty different dishwashers. I quickly realize OUR criteria for selecting a dishwasher is threefold: color, quietness and appearance. MY Mother's Day present must be stainless, quiet so WE can watch TV while it runs and not have a bunch of cheap buttons and knobs on the outside that Harrison can manipulate at will.

Jason narrows it down to a Bosch and a Kitchen Aid. I'm pushing the kids around in the cart - fast - to keep Harrison sitting still and from trying to climb out. Jason decides on the Bosch. Budget Schmudget, I guess he'd rather spend $800 than $20 for a new seal. Why didn't we just try to replace the seal?????

I always wanted a dishwasher for Mother's Day. Nothing says, "I love you, Mom" like a new steel appliance chosen by Dad.

*I do not own a pair of black underwear with glow in the dark dollar signs on them.....or an "I'm Rich" button. Humor only people.

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