Tuesday, October 16, 2007

One thing leads to another...

When looking for meaning in the story of my life,--and by meaning I mean the answers to “You did WHAT? WHY?”-- it often boils down to one of two phrases: “It seemed like the thing to do at the time,” or “One thing just led to another.”

(We’ll go into “ It seemed like the thing to do at the time” another day—it rates right up there with the famous redneck death cry of “Hold my beer.”)

Let’s look at how things unfold at casa PC…

~cue flashback harp music~

I buy DG a Wii for his birthday. Within a week, it’s decided that in order to fully enjoy the Wii, we need a larger TV. (And by "we" I mean DG.) DG goes and buys an enormous flat screen HD TV. Well, our satellite provider doesn’t really do HD channels, so we’re wasting the HD capability, but hey, the local cable folks are running a special that will bundle cable and HD channels with our phone and internet. But the cable in-box is on the wrong side of the house, so it takes three weeks for them to dig a trench under our porch and drill through the siding so set it up properly—until then, I’m tripping over cables. So, HD is way cool, but the old DVD player just doesn’t have the goods any more, so we have to purchase a new DVD player with HD. Now the piece of furniture the new TV is sitting on won’t work because of all the attached crap, and we have to go looking for a new entertainment center… Can I mention here that none of this matches anything else in my living room and now the room looks all weird and out of proportion?

The $250 Wii has cost me a fortune and many headaches because “One thing led to another."

I’m sure you all feel my pain. We’ve all been there. Someday, I’ll tell you the stories from my teenage years that put my mom and Counselor Shelley’s mom into therapy.

But my family has an interesting twist on this phenomenon. We can run it backwards…

I’ll use my mom as an illustration (You’re welcome, Mom.). Years ago, I bought my mom a jar of lovely bath salts in the expensive fragrance she loved. Months pass, and she still hadn’t cracked the seal. I ask why, and she informs me, “It’s just not worth the trouble.” Now, my mom believes in good personal hygiene, so bathing wasn’t the issue—I had to push on to get to the bottom of the issue. So, here’s my mom’s rationale:

If she’s going to enjoy a long soak in the tub, she needs to clean it. (Okay, that’s understandable.)
If she’s going to clean the tub anyway, she should bathe the dog first. (A 90 lb long haired Lab.)
If she’s going to bathe the dog, she should go ahead and bathe the cat too. (A 28 lb cat who’s too fat to care for her own hygiene properly.)
If she’s going to bathe both animals, she should wash and air out their bedding first...

See where this is heading? It just wasn’t worth it.

DG got out of buying a coffee table that way. (Soon after we got married and were buying furniture, I found a great coffee table on sale for $50. DG said that the coffee table didn’t “work” with the couch we’d just purchased. We’d need a different style of couch, and that style of couch wouldn’t fit in our current shoebox apartment. We’d have to move, which would mean breaking our lease in addition to moving costs. My $50 coffee table would end up costing us thousands that we couldn't afford. Yeah, right. I think he just hated the coffee table.)

Maybe it’s because my life is an on-going chorus of “and one thing just led to another” that we’ve learned to catastrophize and look for the possible ways things can snowball out of hand. Sadly, it’s the things I think won’t get out of hand that do. Trust me, I did not foresee that the purchase of a Wii would lead to me cringing every time I walk in to my living room. On the up side, though, DG is really starting to see the need for entirely new living room furniture.

But if we’re going to buy new furniture, we should move first so we know the new stuff will work in the new place. And if we’re going to move, we’ll have to put this house on the market, and that means we’ll have to paint the living room and replace the upstairs carpet. And if we’re going to replace the carpet…




Nini said...

That sounds just like my DH. Last nite we went to Buffalo Wild Wings to watch the Giants play on a big screen tv. Now, we've still got that small 26 inch screen tv, no HD, no TIVO, just basic cable. We can't afford anything more now.

But......after watching an 80 inch monitor, DH wants a big screen tv. Of course, we'd need a new entertainment unit for the tv, which would mean new furniture, and new carpeting to match. Then we'd have to paint. Of course if the living room was painted, since it attaches to the dining room, that'd need to be done too. Which would lead to the kitchen, the hall, the bedrooms, etc. New carpeting means new flooring in the bedroom, and new tile in the bathroom. Did i mention our tiny deck? No?

DH wants to expand the deck. Or rather get rid of it and make it a patio. Brick. Along the entire back of the house. Why? To add value so when we sell it will be a major selling point.

All I've asked him to do was fix the hole in the bathroom wall, that's been there for months. It's still there. I feel your angst.


Maven LJ said...

Nothing leads to "One thing leads to another" like remodeling. "That old sliding glass door needs to go" has turned into a four room major remodeling with two new patio doors and three new windows. And when one wall gets painted, they ALL get painted. We need new trim there, which means we need new trim everywhere. That rug no longer looks right in here, and now we need new curtains. Lowe's is my new home away from home. I'm pretty sure when we get finished we'll need new furniture, too. At the very least, what we have will need to be rearranged.

PC, if I had thought clearly like your mother, we'd still have a couple of drafty single-paned sliding glass doors. Maybe it's just as well I didn't know entirely what I was getting into.

LJ -- Loving it, really. :-)

Jen said...

PC, this is hilarious...and I thought I was the only one who was crazy like that. Apparently not. :)))

Rhonda Nelson said...

PC, I know exactly what you mean. It does seem like one thing always leads to another. Example--yesterday I harp at the dh about finishing the rest of the fence. (Small section behind the carport and then it's all enclosed. He's been working on this for 18 months. I'm growing weary of the argument.) Anyway, I'm fussing about the dog that barked all night and how much easier it would have been to get him inside if he'd been confined to the back yard. Dh looks and me and says, "But when we fence him in he's going to poop back there."

I don't care if the back yard turns into Crap Mountain--I want the fence finished!!!!

Lynn Raye Harris said...

ROFL!!! Sorry, PC, but that's hilarious. :) Well, I do understand that logic though. It kind of happens in our house sometimes. For instance, when we were house hunting, we had to have a room big enough for hubby's proposed movie theater. When he saw the bonus room in this house, that was the end of it.

So he buys the projector. Then he needs the screen. Then there's a couch, wires, shelving, and since there's room left, he thinks he needs a pool table up there too. Of course we need side tables to put things on, and more chairs for friends when they come over. Now we need to paint, and hey, wouldn't a wet bar look nice?

It's never ending.

Maven LJ, I have to giggle. My mom started a reno project that was supposed to be just a little painting and knocking out the soffit over the kitchen cabinets. It turned into a large scale project that left practically no room untouched. They have new paint in the whole house, a new fireplace, new marble tile, new appliances, etc. My folks live at Lowes too. :) There seems to be no such thing as a little renovation. :)

LOL, everyone has such funny stories!

Smarty Pants said...

I'm tired just thinking about it. It always works this way, though. I have a brand new house because I bought this large overstuffed chair and a half with an ottoman that took up half my living room and I needed more space. I needed more space in general, yes, but that chair made it unbearable. If I had just said...no, that chair is too much trouble, I'd still be in the old house, I think.

DB and I are currently in the TV battle zone. We had a 32 inch Sony. It was fine - the biggest tv we could fit in our existing entertainment center (much to his disappointment). When we decided to get new furniture, we opted to get an entertainment center that would house a 60 inch tv in the future so we wouldn't run into this problem. Then somehow, I ended up buying a 34 inch widescreen Sony tv with 1080 HD. It wasn't the 2k big screen HD flat panel, so we had decided we were going to hold off on the satellite HD upgrade and just get an antenna so he could watch HD football over the air. Hasn't been 2 months and he's itching to upgrade to the HD DVR receiver, HD programming, HD dish and why not just get a BluRay player while we're at it? CAUSE I'M BROKE! BROKE I TELL YOU!

Kathy said...

After reading all your truly funny stories, I'm feeling a bit lost here. DH wanted a 52 inch screen about 5 years ago, black, almost too big for our living room... okay. (I do like to watch college football and movies on it. :-) To my chagrin, we have 2 VHS, DVD players on top of the TV that don't work. The TV doesn't match our furniture. I haven't redone the carpet (we're waiting until we can afford hard wood flooring) and the color of the walls is the same as when we first moved in (we even had them repainted the same color). Decor is a compilation of different places we've lived. And to be honest, I'm perfectly fine with it.

However, I would like to redo the 3rd floor and make an office up there. I'm beginning to realize that I would probably fall into the traps you've just mentioned. :-)

Playground Monitor said...

We bought a new house so my husband could get a big-a$$ TV. And in order to sell the old house, we had to repaint and recarpet along with repair all the other stuff that was wrong. $13K later it was ready for the "For Sale" sign. I told my story of burying St. Joseph in the front yard on SoapBoxQueens yesterday.

We sold nearly all our furniture because most was at least 20 years old and we'd raised 2 boys on it. And besides, stuff that looks good in rooms with 8 foot ceilings looks odd in a room with a 9 foot ceiling, and like doll furniture with 12 foot ceilings. That includes art work too.

So now we have a new house, new furniture, new artwork on the walls and oh yes, the 54 inch DLP TV with the HD satellite service, a theater -quality sound system, HD Tivo and a DVD player plus a HD thingie that will burn DVDs from the HD Tivo.

And this house had red dirt and weeds for a backyard since the builder only landscaped the front. So we've had to add sod and plants. We still need to finish the kitchen decor, do the dining room and I need a nightstand for the guest room.

Of course I got an office out of the deal. That was a firm condition of moving.


Problem Child said...

Remodeling is a OTLTA situation looking for a place to happen. Nothing is ever done in one step, and the next step will cost at least $500.

Moving is a nightmare I'm not willing to contemplate at the moment. I think that's why DG feels safe saying things like "yeah, new furniture might look good in here."

BethRe said...

PC wow I'm tired just from reading the post

Instigator said...

Yeah, it's amazing how, "It'll be nice to live in the country and have a horse or two," can turn into 2 goats, 30 or 40 chickens, some guinea hens, 6 or 7 bunny yards and a side business I didn't want. Anyone want to buy a bunny? Oh where did I go wrong?


P.S. You'll notice no horse on the list but that's a story for another time.

Lynn Raye Harris said...

LOL, Kira, I remember the horse story from that day we had lunch. You'll have to tell it sometime. :) IMO, it's pretty unique.

My family went through a country phase. Amazingly, we also had a billion bunnies, chickens, goats, and even a pig. And about 15 horses.

Just a heads up, not that your children will do this, but my brothers and I once accidentally let the pig into the house. And then we purposely led the pony in. Everything was great until the pig squealed.....

Maven Linda said...

PC, I would say I feel your pain, but I'll totally with DG on this :-). In my house, I'm the one who wants the latest gadget, the big TV, the HD programming, TiVo, etc. I'm also the one who loves construction. I love decorating. I love buying new furniture. I love choosing new paint. I'm in hog heaven when OTLTA. I can't wait until all programming comes in HD.

I'm currently resisting the urge to buy a new Mac desktop, with the 30-something inch flat-screen monitor and the new OS Leopard, which is being released on Oct. 28. I don't know how long I'll resist. Christmas, maybe.

Besides, I can top any OTLTA tale you have. You've all heard how I began the relatively minor re-do of the house by adding on a large new closet, and ended up with 4,000 square feet, one bathroom, two bedrooms, one sitting room, a sun room, and two storage rooms more. Oh, and my closet, which I do love. It sleeps twelve. (Just kidding.)


barbara vey said...

Well, this explains why I don't even bother starting anything new. Thanks for explaining my adversion.

Angel said...

Yep, Linda's kidding about the closet. It only sleeps four. :)


Darling Geek said...

I don't know that anyone is going to read this at this late time of posting, but I feel the need to defend my character on this one...

It should be said that none of the things that PC mentioned came about due to the Wii. The HD TV has been a long time coming (at least three years by my reckoning). It just so happens that I got the cash to pay for it as a gift for my Birthday. The same Birthday that I received the Wii.

The DVD was a purchase of opportunity (a great Costco coupon) - as was the switch to cable (it saves us money per month), but why wouldn't you subscribe to HD programming on an HD TV?

Now it is true that the entertainment center was an unforeseen expense, but it's hardly the twelve step drama that PC has portrayed it. And if this causes PC to cringe every time she walks into the living room, then I am sorry. I think I can find some blinders for cheap though...

Rhonda Nelson said...

DG, too funny. I suppose bithday gifts should be exempt. In which case I'm going to ask for a bigger car so that I can convince my dh to enclose and enlarge the carport. :-)

Playground Monitor said...

DG does have a point about having a HD TV and no HD programming. It seems like a waste, especially given the great HD programming on public television and Discovery.

However, if he thinks I'm going to comment on the blinders, he's crazy. ;-)