Monday, May 30, 2011

Pause to Remember

Like many others in the US today I will be enjoying a day off work spent with my family. But I want to ask you to take a moment of your time and remember the price that was paid for your freedom.

Monday, May 9, 2011

Emotional Decision? Not This Time!

I think I made a smart decision.

Looking back, it seems like it was an obviously smart decision – on paper at least. But it was so hard to say no at the time.

Last Thursday night, a gentleman came by our house (Chip knew he was coming but had forgotten to tell me) to do some water testing and try to sell up a water filter system. He went through the chemistry of what he was selling. He tested our water and told us horror stories about the water we were consuming through ingestion as well as inhalation and absorption through our skin. It was enough to make you cringe.

And I’m not saying the guy was lying. Maybe he was, maybe he wasn’t. I know that if he was not lying, it gives me the heebie-jeebies to think that we live in the middle of the toxic mess that he was claiming we do. It’s enough to make you fear for what type of environment you are raising your children in.

And you know, now that I think about it, I’m not sure if his sales pitch was full of truth or fear. Maybe both.

I didn’t get to listen to the entire sales pitch because you know, there are children to bathe and put to bed and they were not interested in hearing this guy tell us about all of the chlorine we have living in the top three feet of each of the rooms in our house.

So I left the sales presentation and did mommy-type stuff. After the kids were in bed, Chip came upstairs and wanted me to sign the paperwork to finance this system. He had already signed his part. Luckily (I think), this was a joint venture because I wasn’t willing to sign it.

I tell myself it was a number of reasons that I didn’t sign it, but I’m not really sure what the real reason is.

First of all, I know us. I know that we have bought a timeshare after hearing a convincing sales pitch. I know we previously bought a vacation club package that we never used (and got out of) after hearing a convincing sales pitch. I know we have spent a lot of money in the past because we’re obviously gullible. Part of me doesn’t want to buy anything else in those conditions – even if it legitimate – because I am tired of realizing that I have been taken advantage of.

Secondly, I don’t like buying out of fear. Maybe I have every reason to be afraid for myself and my family (although I certainly hope not). Maybe this guy was not trying to use fear as a motivation to make us sign those papers. But I don’t like having that suggestion in the back of my mind that maybe I bought out of fear. Out of a “the sky is falling” mentality.

Thirdly, and what it the reasoning that I gave at the time, it was yet another bill to add to the mix when we don’t have it. You see, the system was $6000 paid over 72 months, which really came up to just over $8500 after what must have been an astronomical interest rate. The sales guy claimed that it would save us the money that we would be putting into it ($119/month) in electric and water bills (no time to go into the “hows” of it here) as well as in cleaning products. But I had no proof. Maybe it would. Maybe it wouldn’t. But in the end, without proof, I wasn’t willing to sign up for another bill. I told Chip that when we are out of debt we can re-examine when we can pay in cash and not pay 140% of the actual cost of the system due to interest rates.

But you know what was hard? Telling Chip “no.”

You see, I have a problem telling him no. I don’t know why. I feel like I am dictating to him what he can and cannot have when he wants something. I feel like I am treating him like a child. I feel like I am making decisions for him. I don’t like feeling like this (for the record, he says he doesn’t feel this way at all – it’s all obviously in my head).

Looking back, I think it was the right decision. But it was an emotionally tough decision to make all because I don’t like telling my husband “no.”

But somewhere inside, I'm proud of myself for telling him no. Because I believe it was the right thing although it wasn't the easy thing.

Have you ever felt this way? How did you cope with it?