Friday, January 26, 2007

Used Toilets and Debt

It’s tax time ladies and gentlemen. Time to use Turbo Tax, go to the Post Office
and use the old school, snail mail forms or hit H & R Block to pay some
non-CPA high school grad an exorbitant amount to do your taxes for you. Having two kids has really made the
beginning of the year a much more prosperous time for us. We’re getting quite a bit back this
year. What are we going to do with
it? How much fun will we have with our
tax return? Are we taking a lavish
vacation? Buying some new
furniture? Upgrading my husband’s piece
of shit car to a lesser piece of shit car? Nope. We’re paying things
off. We’re paying off our cruise, some student
loans, and some other bills that we have absolutely nothing to show for.

We epitomize the current young (and sometimes not-so-young)
American tradition with an extra strike against us: a single income. We have
some debt and some student loans and, while we have enough to pay the bills and
live in comfort, we still live just a little bit beyond our means and spend
most of our time playing catch up. It’s
an uncomfortable existence and one which we hope to expunge in the coming

I should reword that to say, “one which I hope to
expunge in the coming year.” It is me,
after all, who does all of the spending. I pay all of the bills. I do all
of the shopping and make most of the choices when it comes to our money. I don’t spend carelessly (most of the time)
and I try not to use retail therapy (a very common coping mechanism for my
generation) to fill me up. Thankfully,
my husband uses Sodoku and the History Channel therapy to self-soothe. He would rather go to the dentist than go
shopping and he simply does not care what people think of him. He is a welcome balance to my over-the-top,
impulsive, insecure self. Thank
goodness he is so frugal.

My husband is, without a doubt, the cheapest person I
know. He once came home with a toilet
that he found on the side of the road. A TOILET! I asked him what on
earth he planned on doing with it and he said that it was in perfect condition
and could be sold or used on a future home improvement project. I was horrified. Whose ass had been on that toilet previously? How could I possibly subject myself and my
family to a used toilet? He was quick
to point out that I have used many toilets in gas stations and fast food
restaurants and that, after some Lysol and bleach, there really is no
difference. I understood his point but
remained bound and determined that neither my arse nor the arses of my children
ever graced that commode. Mission
accomplished. It now sits in a random
apartment in Jacksonville, Florida (we did a brief stint as resident managers
of an apartment complex) being used by some poor soul who is oblivious of it’s
origin. All kidding aside, my husband
is the reason that we are in fairly good condition financially. He keeps me balanced and I’m grateful. I guess toilets from the side of the road
and a garage full of other people’s roadside trash is a small price to pay.


  1. to bad you guys lived in Jacksonville when he found the toilet, I'm sure I would have been able to find a place for it, as long as Grandma Mary didn't find out where it was from. Why is it, women find antiques (another word for old, used stuff) so appealing and shy away from the money saving stuff that can be recycled? I'm siding with #2 on this one, after all, he had a lot of childhood experiences with recycling around the house, and comes from a long line of junk dealers. Besides, if the toilet is plumbed right, what ever has been on or in it will go away soon anyway.

  2. Papa Dale-
    I wonder where he gets his finding-treasures-in-other-people's-trash syndrome.
    You make quite a poetic case for used toilets. Perhaps you'll find some converts!