March 17, 2011

Cheap is in the genes

So while on vacation in my hometown, I go with my mom to fetch my brother and sister from school. We're wading through waves of kids crashing into each other, and my mom comments that we can't forget to have Jack and Jillian retrieve their recess bag full of boots, snowpants, and the works. Sure enough, I look around and notice each kid is carrying an additional overstuffed bag - I see small Bucky duffel bags, cute homemade bags, and even Trader Joe's reusable bags. And then here come my siblings, all smiles and hugs, desperately trying not to drop their recess bags.

Their thin plastic Frito Lay "I bought a box of 50-count snack chip bags at Costco and it came in this packaging" bags. With broken plastic handles.

And I just had to laugh (and laugh and then spontaneously laugh some more throughout the day). Partly because Jack and Jillian go to a private school where overly-bronzed, well-coiffed moms drive mint-condition cars. Partly because my mom later got mad at my dad for sending them to school with those bags, but only because the broken handles weren't practical. Partly because I fall oh-so-close to the why-buy-a-new-bag--or-even-a-reusable-one--when-we've-got-one-right-here-that-works-for-free--public-opinion-be-darned tree.

Take, for instance, my son's sound machine in his room. He doesn't fall to sleep to the sounds of crashing waves or oscillating fans emanating from a sleek sound machine, but rather white noise - as in REAL white noise - from an AM radio station (that only very rarely switches to fuzzy Tecnocumbia beats in the middle of a nap).

Or take the drapery rods in our bedroom. Unless I were dumb enough to reveal it publicly in a blog, one would never guess our professional-looking brushed nickel rods were actually toilet paper holders that came into use after I balked at spending oodles of cash on custom-ordered hardware to hang each drapery panel. Swanky, I know.

I'm aware that the sheer classiness of these revelations probably astound you. And for that I owe all thanks (and saved pennies) to my parents and our cheap Dutch ancestors. Three cheers for free!

1 comment:

anniemaringo said...

This is fantastic. Especially because at your parents' house a few weeks ago, those bags were passed around a lunchtime and I couldn't help thinking how great they'd be for duplos or off-season clothing.

- Anne Ooms