Tuesday 28 August 2007

Of Wedded Bliss and False Economies

It may come as a shock to the casual reader, but the 2Bar household does have it's fair share of spats and arguments. Not the crockery smashing, pet kicking, punch throwing types of arguments mind you, but there are times when things between Madame2Bar and myself are decidedly frosty.

The cause of the latest dispute? A kettle.

Now, almost everyone can agree that the main cause of dispute between couples is frequency of sex money. When two people have divergent views on what should be spent, and where, arguments will arise because, with money, we are dealing with life at it's most fundamental.

Our very survival in this modern age rests on our ability to earn and our ability to spend. Not only does our ability to earn affect where we live and how often we eat, it is also seen as a cornerstone of social standing. The ability to spend one's money also has an effect on how well we live, plus the appearance of being able to maintain one's budget values our wisdom. We are familiar with terms such as 'miser', 'spendthrift' etc.

Add to this such feelings such as guilt ("It cost how much???") and desire ("We need to get it now!!!") and the mix of outside and inside pressures is heady and dangerous.

To begin the story, then, when the 2BarKettle ceased to work it was obviously time to get a new one. And so Madame2Bar did just that. Eschewing more expensive options and features, opportunity knocked in the form of a grocery store special and a replacement was obtained for just $14. A bargain! Won't 2BarRiff be pleased?

Well, not exactly. See, despite my CPA qualification, I like to think that I also know the value of a dollar and, indeed, the value of value. Purchasing the cheapest does not necessarily work out in the long run. I am often of the opinion that the middle road is best and this holds true for purchasing decisions - balance out the expensive with the cheap and then match the features of the average - my middle of the road philosophy.

Now, as a good husband, I needed to hold my tongue and encourage Madame2Bar's thrift and frugality. As a human being, however, the opportunity to make a point is very, very, VERY hard to resist. And I resisted as long as I could but eventually had to point out that I didn't think the new kettle would last long and the money spent would turn out to be wasted as the $14 would have to be added on to the cost of the new kettle when the old one soon broke down.

Soul crushing it was to Madame2Bar to find out that though she tried to do the 'right thing', it was not right. But not as soul crushing as it was when the 2BarKettle Mk II boiled it's last within a couple of weeks of purchase. And the temptation to make a point, coupled with the temptation to say "I told you so" proved intoxicating and unavoidable. So I had to make the point and tell her so.

And that, dear reader, is when arguments start.

As a mea culpa, I must humbly point out my own failings in this matter, and they are:
1. Madame2Bar was ignorant of my 'middle road' philosophy because I had never told her of it and thus she thought buying the cheapest was something I would approve of;
2. Love conquers all, except when we succumb to the temptation to score points at our partner's expense;
3. Madame2Bar was already feeling down about the expiration of the second 2BarKettle and did not need my added input; and
4. It's only a bloody kettle.

As an act of contrition, we went shopping on my day off and used a gift voucher that I had been saving to purchase the 2BarKettle MkIII. The new kettle is indeed a fair unit, melding increased volume, a hidden element and an extremely comfy grip - long may she serve the 2Bar household and all who sail in her.

New kettle, soothed egos, tears dried, lessons learned. Ahhh, in the words of Uncle Remus, everything is, once again, mighty satisfactual.

1 comment:

Téa said...


That is far too funny, because one of the biggest things we fight about is Jason and his need to point.things.out.every.time.and.then.lecture.me.about.the.correct.way.like.I.am.retarded.

Enjoy the new kettle.

It reminds me of that episode of Everybody Loves Raymond when they fought about the can opener. Classic stuff.