Posted by FacelessGraceless

I haven't had a traditional leave-the-house and bring-home-a-paycheck job in more than three years now. I left my last job when we moved out-of-state for my husband's work, and somehow, I've never re-joined the work force. Our son was young, our son was ill, our daughter was ill, my husband's job might be re-located again; it never felt like a good time to re-start my career.

So, for the last three years, we've been living on "his" money. And although he rarely refers to it, and I don't know how he thinks of it, I do think of it as "his" money. As in, he has the final say over when and where it gets spent. I don't feel guilty paying the utilities, of course, but I do have some hesitation before handing over money at the mall, especially for something for myself.

A new Kohl's department store opened near us this week, and I was there at 9am to take advantage of the "early bird" specials, and to use the $10 "guest card" that Kohls was kind enough to mail to me. I went in with the best intentions. I was going to buy pajamas for our son, and if the $10 gift card and the dollar bills in my wallet didn't cover it, we didn't need them after all.

I did find the pajamas - two pairs for $16, thank you very much. But since the checkout line was soooo long, I decided to take a quick trip around the store. Purely for research purposes, you know. So that I would know which way to head the next time that I came in to scour the clearance racks. Well, on my scientific expedition, I found the luggage department.

I really do need new luggage. It shouldn't be hard to justify at all. I have one very small carry-on bag with its rolling/pulling handle stuck permanently out - not very handy for storing securely in the overhead compartment. We also have one largish suitcase, with a collapsed side and the fabric pulling away from the zippers.

And the new suitcases were so pretty... One woman was admiring a purple patterned bag; another gentleman was test-driving a bag that could roll in all four directions. Oh, but the prices. Even on the "new store" sales, some of the bags cost more than $200. For one bag! Eventually I found a set of four American Tourister bags for $89. It seemed like a good value, but I couldn't spend that much of my husband's money without asking him! So I called his cell phone, but only got his voicemail. Unfortunately, the $89 price was only good until 11am, and it was already past 10.

Eventually, I decided to buy the luggage, knowing that I could return them for a full credit on my debit card if my husband vetoed the purchase. And as I wheeled the biggest suitcase out to the car, my phone rang. I said, "honey, I bought some luggage. It cost $89. I can go back in and return it right now if you want." He said, "$89? That's cool." and asked what was for lunch. So, I felt okay about my bags. It was still a lot of money, but we could use them for Thanksgiving and Christmas, and my brother's graduation next year...

When I got home from the store, my husband helped me unload the car. He pulled the suitcase out, and commented on how heavy it was. I explained that it would be much lighter when the three smaller bags weren't inside of it anymore, and he looked confused. Then he saw the picture attached to the suitcase, and said, "we get all of these bags?" I said, yes, they're all inside. It's a set. He said, "you got four bags for $89?!" And I explained, yes, that they retailed for over $200, and they had a 10 year warranty, and I felt like we really needed them, but I would be happy to return them... And then he interrupted to say that he thought that $89 for a big suitcase was a good price, and he couldn't believe that I had gotten four pieces of luggage for that little money!

Maybe I don't have to bring home a paper paycheck to add financial value to our family. Maybe. Clearly, I have issues.

This entry was posted on Sunday, October 05, 2008 and is filed under , , . You can leave a response and follow any responses to this entry through the Subscribe to: Post Comments (Atom) .