Friday, August 1, 2008

Reduce, Recycle, Re-Buy?

I cannot believe I just spent $41 on a baby gate! My “babies” are 7 and 9 years old. There are many other things that I would much rather have spent that money on:

A pedicure
7 tubs of ice cream, preferably of a chunky chocolate variety
A quick dye of my roots
School supplies (ahh, the heady smell of new erasers and Sharpies in the Wal-mart aisle)
A movie ticket, popcorn, Twizzlers and a large Diet Pepsi (OK—maybe $41 isn’t enough)

Alas, because of my dog Shadow’s increasingly disobedient behavior and the fact that she is hell-bent on destroying our new hardwood floor, I purchased a deluxe top of the stairs baby gate EXACTLY like the one I donated years ago, say, when the kids got out of diapers. Why? To keep the hairy, scratchy toe-nailed, urinating beast out of the family room for good.

I hate re-buying things! If I must re-buy, I’d like for there to have at least been some significant improvement in quality or function between the first and second versions. From what I can see, a wooden baby gate is pretty much the same as before. Besides, I am so mad at Shadow right now, I’m not exactly seeking out the safety functions of such a gate.

Re-buying also puts a cramp in my “pare down, donate, recycle” mentality. I am quite disciplined at purging things from our house, but when I then need to re-buy, my peeved mind starts to think that hording might be a better option. One day I’m re-purchasing a deluxe wooden baby gate, the next I’m the crazy cat lady trapped under my own newspaper piles. Ugh.

To make matters worse, I ordered it from Hmmm, who can think of a gazillion cooler things to purchase from Target than a baby gate?

I will need to try not to get too excited when the package comes. Even though I'll already know what's inside, I'll probably hold out a glimmer of hope that someone has sent me some really wonderful, bulky treasure I've been pining for, only to find-- a baby gate.
My sister tried to warn me about this a few weeks ago, as she knows about my active imagination and how much mail excites me. She had one of her packages forwarded to our house, addressed to me. I tore it open, not letting the kids get their little mitts on it, and there it was, before my eyes, my sister's new sports bra. Delightful.

How would you spend $41?


Kate Coveny Hood said...

We have never had the nice baby gates that you have to install with tools. We have these terrible plastic things that are always falling on top of the twins as they try to climb over them (lessons are never learned - they just keep getting hurt). So much for safety...

I think I could find at least one great summer sale item for myself at J. Crew. I really need some new casual pants. I don't do shorts if I'm not exercising and most of my summer pants are better suited to the office than crawling around on the floor with kids.

Pamela said...


I sympathize with your rub - I am a hoarder at heart. And your story stunted my recent growth towards releasing. Internal gnashing of teeth indeed.