Monday, September 04, 2017

What I Want vs. What I Actually Buy

Our espresso machine is on the fritz. It can still be coaxed into producing that sweet, sweet elixir of life, but, the writing is definitely on the wall.

In neon.


This…is not OK, people.

SO NATURALLY, I am on Amazon this morning checking out new espresso makers. Because I am not about to allow civilization itself to utterly collapse around here.

…let the (mind) games…begin!

Hmmmm, this Saeco is awful sexy

…fully automatic, programmable, self-cleaning?!?!, oh, keep whispering those sweet nothings to me, baby…oh, but, also two THOUSAND dollars, ummmmmmm, yeah-OK, er, NEXT…!

Ah! KitchenAid makes an espresso maker?! A red one that looks like something out of a 50s pop-shop?!?! Tell me more, Oh Brand I (Mostly) Trust and Am VERY Fond Of!

….aaaaaaaaaaaand, $839 dollars. Ahem. Moving on

{repeat that basic scenario of going “ooooooooo! aaaaaaaaaah! wait, how much? er, um, what else do you have…” about three hundred times, until eventually…}

“…yeah, so, um…thanks for spending, like, two hours showing me every single thing you have, Amazon, and if you’d just, you know, toss one of these into a box and send it on over, that’d be greaaaaaaaat…”

…yeah, I’m going to end up buying exactly what I bought ten years ago, and for exactly the same reasons.

  • Gets the one (1) job we want it for done
  • Has a modest footprint on the counter
  • Doesn’t have a whole lot of fancy doohickeys to break / lose / not-get-snapped-back-in-place-just-so-resulting-in-a-huge-mess
  • Does not require a degree in physics and/or mathematics to figure out how to use it.


Still, I find these exercises in mental gymnastics a bit fascinating because honestly? Just like anybody else, I’m attracted to what is shiny and new. I am very interested in things that are “modern,” things that would make me feel like I was being pampered, things that would say, “Life is showering all the blessings upon me, for lo! I am its favorite child.”

And it always, always amuses me when I engage in these kinds of “wants all the super-fancy things => spends ridiculous amounts of time arguing with herself about allllllll the possibilities => ultimately settles on something much less expensive than originally desired that gets the core job done” exercises.

Left to itself, my basic nature would be much more on the hedonistic, instant-gratification side.

I am impulsive. I am also impatient. I want things now, and I want to put as little effort into getting what I want as humanly possible.

I am also more than a bit reckless, to be honest. Because in related news, I am also a hopeless optimist, so, in my mind? Things will always work out.

…they just…will…somehow or other…

In other words, my basic nature is a manufacturer’s dream. I am exactly the kind of person who is already screaming “SHUT UP AND TAKE MY MONEY!!” before they’ve even gotten to slide two of the sales pitch.

But, over the last twenty years, the core habits of the LBYM lifestyle have become engrained in me. I don’t even “have to” make myself stop and walk through the steps involved – it just happens.

It is literally just as automatic for me to start bumping up what I actually need and what I value the most against what I’m proposing to purchase in order to scratch that itch as it is for me to be captivated by the sales pitch in the first place.

And to start challenging myself whenever I try to insist that I neeeeeeeeeeeed some feature I do not currently have, and have not even thought about as a thing I needed before I saw the advertisement about it being A Thing.

AND asking myself whether or not I’d still be content with my choice if, say, the washer/dryer went out next month instead of “probably at some point between January and May of next year” like I expect them to – would I then resent the blasted coffee maker if having spent the money on it meant I couldn’t buy the new set I really wanted? (…ohhhhh, heck yes I would…I would despise that new coffee maker if it had taken cash I desperately needed two months later for a “really good” new washer/dryer…)

It still amazes me that I can be that way. That I, of ALL people, have the ability to stop myself when I see something shiny and pretty and awesome and approach the problem with, you know, cold, boring old LOGIC instead.

Which is why I still firmly believe that pretty much anybody can learn how to live below their means.

C’mon: If someone as reckless, impulsive and overly-optimistic as me can get to a point where that kind of “whoa up, there, cowgirl, let’s reexamine this here deal a bit, run it through the old sanity check right quick, because this has ‘I might regret this later’ written all over it” thing is as automatic as the “ooooooooooo, that is so cool and so shiny and I want it real bad!” impulse that triggers it?

Anybody can.

True story, y’all.

True story.

Sunday, May 14, 2017

Knock-knock, Mocha-Fudger

OMG, YOU GUYS! I got a Knock-Knock Mocha-Fudger for Mother’s Day!!!! (<= fair warning, The Bloggess uses the actual-grownup words – if you’ve got a little one reading over your shoulder, might want to save that hysterical and oh-so-relatable read for nap-time).


I love him. He made me laugh so hard, and I want to put him somewhere that I can see from my office window, so that I can burst into hysterical giggles at random all day long – preferably during long, boring, ever-so-serious meetings.

I also got this last night from Boo Bug, who made it herself.

I just about fell out of my chair when she brought that in. I even saw the cookies being baked, but didn’t think they were for, you know, me! Let alone going to be turned into this!

Just, wow.

Mother’s Day is supposed to be all about gushing about how much we love our mothers, and how much they love us, and talking endlessly about everything they have and continue to do for us.

And IMHO it is very important to do that, because frankly an awful lot of What Moms Do is all about little everyday things that nobody ever thinks much about, or even notices get done on a regular basis – unless, of course, it doesn’t get done.

But you know what? For me at least, what I get from being a mom is a lot more than what I give.

For me, being a mom is a privilege. It makes me a part of the future. What I give to my kids will keep on going long after I’ve left this world; some of what I’ve taught my kids will be taught to theirs, and so on and so on down through generations to come.

Plus, I find that hanging out with my kids is better than all the anti-depressants in the world whenever I’m feeling kind of bleh – which I have to admit seems to have been happening an awful lot these last couples years.

I’m just…well…tired, I guess. My hormones are all whacked out, I seem to boomerang from not being able to sleep to oversleeping, and my mood keeps just whizzing all over the place, because, #HormonesSuck, #CanPerimenopauseBeDoneNowPlz, #GrowingOldAintForSissys.

But my kids, well, they keep me going. They give me a reason to keep on getting up and doing the old try, try again day after day – no matter how hard the Universe is slamming its hand down on the lever trying to flush my whole life right down the cosmic toilet.

They’re full of fun and cool ideas and a unique way of looking at the world. They motivate me. They give me new ideas to ponder, new projects to undertake, a new way of thinking about all the same old problems.

They make me laugh on days when all I want to do is scream, shake my fist at the world, mutter a few curse words and then hide under my desk until the day I die.

They can relight my inner fire whenever it goes out, far faster than I could do it all on my own – with well-placed witty remarks, really bad puns, and the occasional offhand remark that starts with, “Have you ever noticed that…” and ends with me going, “…whoamind…BLOWN, dude…

And occasionally…they even buy me metal roosters for my garden, and give me delicious bouquets made of love (and also cookies).


I am definitely the luckiest, most blessed mom in the world, and I wouldn’t trade a single hair on any of their heads for all the tea in China.