My husband is quite the salesman. Now, really, most surgeons don’t consider this trait necessary in their field, but that’s okay. It’s a little perk of his personality, I guess. Or a surprising side effect of my current hormonal instability.
The man wants almost every new gadget and electronic marvel that makes it onto the market. He’s a spender! He sees no problem in going out to buy the new Playstation model, bills be damned. I’m a saver. This little drive of his makes me insane. I spend a LOT of time waving the checkbook at him, explaining supply and demand. Income and expenditures. Namely, how the amount we have needs to be more than the amount he wants to spend because stuff will come up before my next paycheck (like, say, the rent. Or the electric bill. Or groceries.)
Here’s the thing: he grew up in a household where money was a BIG, tense, hot-button, panic issue. There was never enough and there were quite a few months where services were turned off until bills could be paid. That’s got to be scary for a kid, and I believe it has a lot to do with his unwillingness to hear, “Honey, we really can’t afford that right now. Maybe next month.” I grew up in a home where we didn’t talk about money in exact figures, but I knew that my dad got paid for being in the Army and then we paid our bills and gave money to church and good causes, and we had some fun with the rest. Hearing that we couldn’t afford something didn’t make me feel scared and insecure, because we could ALWAYS afford the important things. I just might have to wait for the new My Little Pony or The Babysitter’s Club: Number 1,795: Jessie’s Revenge. Not a problem.
So I know that we have very different money issues and I try not to be a total harpie when he wants something…. but on the other hand, we’re having a frickin’ baby! Therefore, I want to know there is plenty of dough tucked away for all the things this little critter is bound to need in his first year or so of life. And I’m a little more hyper with the cavalcade of estrogen and progesterone duking it out in my bloodstream and the after-effects of very little, low-quality-at-that, sleep I’m getting these days.
And what does my wonderful love do? He starts in. I got the whole song and dance about how he needed TiVo, and it’s 2005 for God’s sake, and there’s currently a great deal (seriously, it’s worth checking out, I think the promotion ends midnight tonight), and it could be his Christmas present!!! So I asked him, about a million times, if he was REALLY SURE he could handle just one gift for Christmas (he’s more of a quantity man when it comes to ripping shiny paper off little boxes under the tree) and he assured me that yes, he could handle it, and this was really what he wanted for Christmas. So I gave in. He ordered the TiVo. (It’s arriving tomorrow.)
And then he started in again. “You know, babe, you’ll use the TiVo just as much as I will. So it’s not really a gift for me. I got it for us.” ::envision my eyes rolling here:: I finally broke down and asked him to stop beating around the bush. What do you want for Christmas, then? He showed me all his cards: he wants cable Internet and a router to make our apartment a wireless network. So we went to Circuit City and bought the whole kit’n’caboodle from a sales guy who looked suspicously like my brother. He (my husband, not my brother) brought it all home, spent eight hours on the phone with various customer service guys, and finally achieved Wireless Cable Internet Bliss.
Until, that is, this morning. When he said, “You know, hon, with all those rebates at Circuit City and the gift card we get in the mail, all of the cable internet stuff was basically free. So it’s not really a Christmas present…”