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9.07.2011

Oh what an extravagant consumer am I!

The first thing I did this morning was spill orange juice all over the inside of the fridge. I hadn't had any coffee yet and was temped to say 'good thing it's refrigerated. That way the mess won't go bad' and slam the door on the whole thing. However, I made coffee while wiping it up and then discovered that someone had put a small clear plastic cup inside my coffee mug. So, not only did I get a tiny cup of coffee, it was strong enough to melt glass.

Anyway, while cleaning up my clumsiness, I commented once again how badly we need a new fridge. This one is 20 years old, leaks constantly and is way too small for what will very soon be 3 large and growing boys and 2 big men (as a recovering anorexic Grammo doesn't really want a lot of fridge space). The prob is, we can't really afford it right now. First because they're expensive and, second, because it would require more room which means the tip of the 'man, do we need to renovate this kitchen' discussion. With the exception of raising the height of the counters and a new floor a decade ago, the kitchen is the one room we have hardly touched. We have no counter space, bad storage and monster hutch cabinet that was designed more for display than the junk depository it has become.

Money is less tight this year than last but we're still clinging to the middle class by our fingertips and what little cushion we have won't last long if one of us becomes unemployed for any length of time in this economy. Sure, I could borrow but being debt free right now is one of the few saving graces we have. I heard the talking airheads on Fox News going on about how people can't be poor if they can afford such luxuries as refrigerators and microwaves. I can't believe the gall and complete seperation from reality that it takes to say that. That's pre-industrial revolution kind of garbled rationalization for the well off to ignore the plight of the working class. I guess the fat paychecks they get for saying that relieves them of conscience.

I'd like room to really be able to cook, bake and keep the place from looking like a ransacked apartment everytime one or two items get left lying around. The room itself is actually quite large for a typical kitchen and could be very practical and accessible. But even a quick fix is in the many thousands of dollars. It's very strange to find myself in this place. Tish and I were on the road to comfortable, if modest, advancing age. We both had careers that we loved, interests that could bloom into other opportunities, and time to relax and reflect. Then this left turn came along and it's like we're 30 again and looking down the tunnel towards possible success in the future.

I don't resent or regret this choice. Material things are not that important to me. Give me a comfy sofa, a stack of old movies and a glass of beer and I'm good to go. I don't need a Chippendale table for my drink or a house with a front hall and more rooms than I can use. On the other hand, despite what the stingy pundits are paid to say, a working fridge and stove are not luxuries we can do without.