is not something I take lightly. The man loathes shopping, at least the kind of shopping I like. I am the kind of person who realizes I need clothes, but once I get to the mall I will happily look around, look at price tags and decide the clothes I have are good enough and come back home without buying anything. Better yet, I will buy things and then come back home, have a case of bad buyer’s remorse and then promptly go and return all I bought.
The only exception I have made to the above pattern is when I was shopping for a Girls’ trip to Las Vegas. Then, I went to a number of stores, tried out all manner of short, sexy clothing and did buy myself quite a few things since my friends deemed that all the clothes I owned were frumpy and old lady like and completely not Vegas appropriate.
Well anyways, coming back to shopping with the DH – he has very little patience for my window shopping or the stuff I buy and return with regularity. DH is very focused in the way he shops whether it is for groceries or clothes or electronics. He will take inventory, make a list of all that is needed, chart out his stops. He will be gone for 3-4 hours and when he comes back he will have said items, that will get stowed away. He doesn’t ever second guess what he buys or suffers from buyer’s remorse.
So, in the last 12 years, we have decided to do our shopping separately. On an occasional weekday, I will tell him that I need to go shopping on the weekend. He will make sure to stay home and take care of DD while I am gone for 3-4 hours. On my return, he will not ask me what I spent my money on, whether I plan to return anything. He will ask to see whatever I buy for DD since he and I have different ideas on how she should dress (I prefer dresses and long flowy skirts, he prefers sweatpants, tights, leggings or jeans).
However, despite all our efforts there have been occasions when we’ve had to shop together. These have included buying furniture or big-ticket electronic items. When we first bought our house 8 years ago, DD was a new-born. I was dealing with the after effects of the C-section, the baby and worrying over how we’d move house. Brand new houses in the US generally come equipped with a dishwasher, as opposed to previously owned homes which may come with a refrigerator, washer dryer etc. Since we had our house constructed, we had to buy all the big-ticket items, namely the fridge, the washer and dryer.
Traipsing to the stores to look at various models of above-mentioned items was not my favorite thing to do what with DD and her erratic sleep schedules. So, I told DH to go and get whatever brands/models he was comfortable with. Our decision was made simple by the fact that after making the down payment on the house, there was hardly any money left. We got the most basic models of everything that was most essential. The rest of the furniture, we bought in the next 4-5 years whenever we had a little saved up. Our house was finally fully furnished in 2009, 5 years after we bought it.
I did accompany DH to buy a dining table and a bed for the master bedroom (we slept on a second-hand bed and mattress for 4 years after we got the house). On these occasions, our shopping trip started with DH saying “You can get whatever you want, I am there just to make the payment.” However in the first half hour it became clear to me that he had very specific ideas on what we would get. He didn’t like the modern lines of the dining table I chose or the dark wood I picked. After looking in 3 stores, I finally told him to get what he wanted. All i wanted was a dining table to entertain, it really mattered very little to me what color it was and whether it had the streamlined proportions that I look for. The bed, too after visiting 5 stores, I gave up on and he got something that he did not love. He liked it but didn’t love it. Sometimes, when he is upset, he will crib about it, still.
Why am I telling you all this? Well, this year, our dryer broke down on the day after New Year’s. The dryer was over 8 years old, I do a lot of laundry including washing sheets regularly every week. It was the basic model that we had bought in the days we were broke. So it didn’t surprise us that it gave out. On the 2nd of January, after trying to dry the same load of laundry the 5th time when I couldn’t make a dent in the damp condition of the clothes I told DH, we need a new dryer and while we are shopping for new dryer, we might as well get a new washer as well since I didn’t want to go shopping for a new one 6 months down the line. DH agreed and we started making the rounds of the appliance stores. I had my washer dryer picked out at the first store we visited. It was a higher end model, a good brand and steeply marked down as part of the New Year’s sale. DH agreed it was a good buy and all we had to do was come home to see if the model we picked out would fit in the laundry room.
Our laundry room is tiny, barely 2 people can stand in it and it has 3 doors that open into it, a closet door, one door that leads into the house and one that leads to the garage. In the last 8 years, it seems washers dryers have become very large. So we would have to do some measuring to see if we would still be able to open all doors completely with the new purchases. I was thrilled that we had picked out a washer dryer in one outing and if it fit, we’d just place the order and have the same delivered.
In the time that it took us to drive home, though, it seems the DH had changed his mind. First off, he didn’t want a white washer dryer. Secondly, he wanted a different brand, just because he didn’t like the brand I had picked out and thirdly he was uncomfortable with the thought that he was going to buy a washer dryer from the very first store he had visited.
Once home, he started researching appliances on the internet, throwing wayward facts at me. Over the next week, we went to an additional 2 stores where DH looked at more washer dryers and part of his research included climbing into the washer dryer too. He said it was to see how big the drum was. Then out of the blue, one day while he’s researching, he tells me that we need to buy a red washer dryer.
I admit, I love the color red. I think that was obvious when at the age of 4 I pained an entire book cover to cover, red. it was the only cake that ever got used in my water-color paint set. My wardrobe largely consists of clothing in shades of red or black. I have painted a couple of walls red (see them here) and we have a red car, bought under duress since our earlier car was totaled by a drunk driver and the insurance company would not pay for a rental car for more than 2 weeks. So we bought the red Toyota, much against the DH’s wishes since he does not like red. So the whole red washer dryer threw me for a loop. DH’s reasoning was i love red so I should have a red washer dryer. The man can’t give me red roses but he will insist on buying me a red washer dryer.
Unfortunately though the red washer dryer was out f stock. He waited for a week t see if our local store would restock it while I waited with a growing pile of laundry. I was still washing essentials in small piles and running the dryer several times to make sure we had everyday clothes. In the second week of the DH’s research I finally lost it and said I wanted a washer dryer right then. He placed the order that night, it was not for the washer dryer I had picked. He ordered a rival brand’s product in graphite.
The day the washer dryer came I did 4 loads of laundry and I cannot tell you what a pleasure warm, dry towels are.
Now I wait with bated breath. The fridge is 8 years old as is the dishwasher. There’s going to be so much more research and arguments over blue and pink appliances.