"Across the country, people are taking on chores that only a year ago were hired out to someone else. They’re dyeing their own hair, shoveling their own snow, washing their own cars and taking up paint brushes to brighten their living room walls."
I think I just threw up a little.
My gawd, has this nation become a collective group of Weenies and Whiners? Wait. Don’t answer. I know the answer.
The photo accompanying the AP story shows a 35-year-old Stay At Home Mom wiping her kitchen sink. A sink set in solid surface countertops (cha ching) accented with a $500 faucet ensemble, framed by designer topiaries and the $2,500 refrigerator in the background. This pitiful woman now cleans her own house. She and her husband also sacrificed their yard service and now work in the yard. Together. She cooks at home instead of eating out.
Is anyone reaching for the tissues with me here? Was anyone, besides me, raised by parents who grew up in lean times? Who could never keep up with the Jones and didn’t try since they too were raised by sensible parents?
You know, simple things like, if you don’t have the money to buy it, um, you don’t buy it. See that grass out in the front yard we are so lucky to have? Go mow it. And the car we let you drive? Grab the bucket.
A friend recently chided, "You don’t like to spend money, do you?"
"I don’t like to WASTE money." Even though I’ve caught up to a few of the Jones, I still refuse to pay someone to clean my house when I’m in it 24/7.
Now my hair? An exception. I tried dyeing my own hair. No matter what the ads claimed, I was not "worth it". But me schlepping over to Bliss Beauty Lounge? Worth it. I’ll paint my own nails and house, maintain my own yard, tutor my own children and iron my husband’s khakis (or pull them out of the dryer immediately and hose them down with Downy Wrinkle Release). The money I save can go for things that matter to me—perfect hair, college tuition and plane tickets to see family. And oh right– no debt. And a savings account. And sleeping at night.
I have calluses and short nails but I have enviable biceps and a manicured lawn.
I’ll never get my entire house cleaned in one day like a cleaning service could, but I need a little something to accomplish each day anyhow—you know, Productive Day Guilt and all that. Besides, my children play in the yard and dirty the bathrooms. They can mow and clean with the rest of us.
The above-mentioned family says by cutting out such luxuries, they’re saving about $10,000 a year.
Hi. $10,000! That’s a 2-year degree! That’s a hefty down payment on a house. That’s a reliable used car. That’s a hospital bill, get out of debt card and oh wait a sec. It’s more time with your husband. And family. In the yard. Around the safe haven of the dinner table. Hmmmm.