Monday, August 24, 2015

Of impulse shopping and miscommunication

A 20-year-old two-person hot tub
What do you do if you and your husband accidentally get a huge bargain on a hot tub that neither of you wants? Here's the story.

"So, can we assume that, since I've taken on all the work relating to maintenance of the pool, that the hot tub can be your chore?" my husband, Steve, asked as we drove home with the fiberglass monstrosity hanging off our trailer.

"Okay," I said, then paused. "You know this hot tub is for you, right?"

"What?" he asked, genuinely nonplussed.

"I don't like hot tubs, but you've talked about getting one for years!"

Silence.

"You know that," I insisted. "Remember in California when you and Paul and Nancy lounged in the tub and I just couldn't sit still so I sat in a lounge chair and read?"

More silence.

"When we were talking about plans for the back yard, you kept talking about where we could put a hot tub," I pressed.

"I think," he said very slowly, "I was suggesting a hot tub instead of a pool, because it would cost less and be less work. You said you wanted a pool rather than a hot tub."

Silence.

"Oh, my god. You're right. You did say that." What to do, what to do. "Well, we got it for $450. We can probably sell it for twice what we paid."

Sound of relief filled the car. (Not sure what that sounds like exactly, but I'm sure you can use your imagination. It smelled good, so it probably wasn't a fart.)

I won't drag you through the rest of the conversation, but you get the idea: we'd made a snap decision (which is the single thing Stephen hates most in the entire world; well, maybe not as much as he hates genocide, but close) based on each of us thinking we were doing something that would make the other happy. It happens to couples all the freaking time. Think: O. Henry's The Gift of the Magi.

By the time we got home, we'd reached a happy state: we would live with the hot tub for two weeks while we considered:

  • whether we, in fact, want a hot tub
  • whether we would use a hot tub
  • where we would put a hot tub (indoors/outdoors)
  • how expensive it would be to "house" a hot tub
  • how much of a pain in the patootie a hot tub would be
Obviously, we should have asked these questions before we went out and bought a 250-pound chunk of bathing bliss. But it really was such a bargoon that I knew it wouldn't last (the owners had several queries in the half hour it took for us to get to their place (but I still managed to negotiate the price down from $500)) and, like I said, there were some critical assumptions we each made. 

We've been married for 31 years, and we still bump up against these avoidable "surprises." The beauty is that we've learned how to work through them without losing our shirt. 

10 comments:

  1. Oh my! What a story. I hope it all works out

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. We'll be fine. Sadly (or happily?), it's not the most expensive mistake we've made.

      Delete
  2. What a cute story and a happy ending maybe???

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Once the shock eased, we both laughed. Whether we keep it or not, it already has a happy ending.

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  3. Ahhh marriage ;) We never stop learning, do we?

    ReplyDelete
  4. They are a pain. Run away from it as fast as you can. Better yet...put in back yard, fill it with flowers!;).

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. You're the first negative I've received. Mind you, I don't know how many of the people giving a thumbs-up actually have hot tubs. They may all be people who just wish they did.

      Delete
  5. You guys are hilarious! The joys of marriage. What a great story. You'll end up loving the tub!

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    Replies
    1. Aw, thanks. A good sense of humor is a critical success factor to a happy marriage.

      Delete

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