Tuesday, September 1, 2009

They Must Match

My wife and I lost our washing machine last month. It died. We were forced to get a new one promptly.

We bought the really expensive front loader. It’s worth the cost, though, because it saves us money in the long run. At least that’s what my wife and the salesman told me.

As much as I didn’t want to buy the more expensive washing machine, I’ve come to believe it’s actually worth it. This thing washes bigger loads, uses less water, and it’s quiet. Though it may have a problem. It doesn’t vibrate across the garage floor like our previous machine. But as long as it washes the clothes, I’m not going to complain.

“You were right,” I said to my wife. “I’m glad we bought the front loader.”

“Now we need a new dryer,” she said.

“WHAT?” I said. “We can’t even afford to make payments on the first payment toward the washing machine, and you want to buy a dryer?”

“But now we have a washing machine and a dryer that don’t match.”

“What do you mean they don’t match?” I asked.

“They’re different brands.”

“We’ll get over it,” I said.

“I’m not going to argue with you,” my wife replied. And she ended the conversation.

She continued the conversation when she was able to broadside me with the support of her friends.

“You wouldn’t use a Sony TV with a Panasonic DVD player, would you?” asked one of my wife’s friends.

“As a matter of fact, I would,” said I.

“But the picture is better if the machines are compatible,” said another friend. “They must match.”

“No,” I said, “what makes the picture better, and basically possible, is the cable you use between the DVD player and the TV, which allows the two machines to be compatible -- no matter what the brand.” I didn’t budge.

Initially, I was winning the war against worthless spending. However, I was losing the war against sleeping on the couch. So when I got my wife alone, I attempted to make peace with her.

“Look,” I said, “when we can afford to buy a new dryer, then we’ll get one.”

“It’s not about the dryer anymore,” she said. “When you want something, we always get it. When I want something, you tell me we can’t afford it.”

“I’m sorry,” I said. “But what have I bought that we couldn’t afford? A night out at the movies is a lot different than a dryer. But listen. Let’s not fight. You’re right in saying that I often get what I want, even if it’s something as small and as cheap as a nice night out at the movies with my lovely wife, where we both benefit. The next time you want something, you got it.”

“It’s not like I’m asking to get the dryer now,” my wife said. “I’m just saying we should start saving for it.”

“You’re right again,” I said. “You’re totally right. Let’s start a dryer fund right now. In fact, I was going to ask if we could re-buy ‘The Godfather’ trilogy on Blu-ray. Instead, let’s wait to buy it. Better still, we’ll put the money I was gonna spend on the trilogy toward the dryer.”

“See, why do you need to re-buy ‘The Godfather’ on Blu-ray?” my wife asked. “You already have it on DVD.”

“Because,” I said in my defense. (Did I really need to explain why I needed the Blu-ray version of the greatest trilogy ever made?)

“Because why?” my wife asked. (I guess I really did have to explain.)

“Because it has all new special features, it was retransferred and looks more glorious than ever, and Blu-ray has more resolution and lasts a lot longer than DVD.”

“How much does the set cost?” my wife asked.

“About 60 bucks.”

“Why don’t you buy the movies one at a time?”

“Because it’s basically one film,” I said. “You can’t break up a trilogy like that. It’s like a pair of socks -- they go together.”

Enter my wife’s supportive friends. “See, they must match!”

-May 2009

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