Saturday, May 31, 2008

Cadillac, here we come

One of the things that we knew we would haver to replace when we became homeowners was the garage door on our house. The seller originally agreed to fix it but in her state of mental breakdown changed her mind. And that's okay because it was truly beyond repair. It was sort of buckling in on itself at the seams and sometimes wouldn't go down. It became a game for Wesley and I - before we could leave to go anywhere, we'd sit at the end of the driveway and chant, "Go down! Go down!" And then lately it developed another quirk - going up by itself. We would come home from being gone all day to find it wide open, inviting the world to come in and steal our watering cans and half used rolls of duct tape.

This week we had finally had enough of the garage door drama. Bryan called to get an estimate but it had really gotten past the point of being optional and had moved into the category of necessary.

I'm just going to be open about all of this - we're friends, right? So we had been planning on spending $700 or so on the new door. Because we just had gutters put on and we still need to put up a fence so the neighbor will stop complaining that Winnie poops in her yard. Bryan talked with the guy outside and when he came in, I immediately knew we were in trouble.

"It's going to be a little more than we thought," Bryan told me. But he was going with the guy back to the door shop to see if there were any on sale that might work.
When he had been gone for over an hour, I knew that we were really, really in trouble. He returned armed with pamphlets and shifty eyes.

Now, I had stupidly thought that buying a new garage door would be simple - you know, pick a color, windows or no windows, and you're done. I was wrong. There are somewhere in the neighborhood of 7 million options available and a good salesman will convince you that if you don't get at least half of them, your children will end up in prison because you didn't love them enough to buy a better quality garage door.

Bryan told me that it was going to be $1300. And that was a screamin' deal for this door. He probably should have told me to sit down first.

"But," he said, "this is the like Cadillac of garage doors." As opposed to the Ford Festiva of garage doors we could have gotten on our budget, apparently. "And it has a lifetime guarantee," he assured me. I didn't ask but my thought was, "Whose lifetime?" Because when Sam's Club first opened, my dad bought a lifetime membership. A few years later, he got a notice in the mail that it was no longer valid. And he wasn't dead...

But that's beside the point I guess. I tried to mourn the financial loss we were about to take by brainstorming what else I could buy with $1300. I could either get a breast augmentation in a third world country or buy about two tanks of gas. Either way, we aren't really giving up much.
Heck, maybe we should have gone for the Ferrari of garage doors. Wesley doesn't need to go to college anyway.

Thursday, May 8, 2008

Do they make fur-lined flip-flops?

Every good hobby has an element of danger to it. Maybe you enjoy skydiving or riding on ATVs or horseback riding - all of which can be fun but potentially dangerous. In blogging, the constant danger is that you might (heaven forbid) offend someone. Living in a small town and having relatives who read my blog makes it even more likely that this will happen at some point. I tell you all this for a reason - the event that I am writing about actually took place over a month ago but I had to wait until some time had passed before I could safely document my feelings on it. I feel confident now that no one will be able to figure out when or where this happened and therefore I can avoid creating enemies.

Here it is:
Today I was forced to spend the afternoon socializing with people who epitomize what I never want to become. People whose natural haircolor is a mystery to even themselves, who talk incessantly about how demanding their eight year old daughters' pom-pon schedules are, and who probably use Crest Whitening Strips on their dogs' teeth. I have always considered myself to be somewhat of a "social chameleon" meaning that I can get along and chat with just about anyone - kids, librarians, engineers, PETA members, the Schwan man, convicted felons - anyone. But these women stretched my skills to their very limits.

You see, I've spent my entire adult life developing a disdain for people like this and all that they stand for - women who strive to remain 20 lbs underweight, have professional French manicures on their toenails and who wear fur-lined boots to the swimming pool. Women who look as if they just climbed out of the tanning bed year round, who have never had pudding between their toes or worn the same underwear two days in a row. These women live on streets with names like, "Better Than You Boulevard." And their idea of a "wild" time is going to bed without washing their makeup off first.

And when I find myself in the presence of a group like this with no hope of escape in sight, desparately wishing I was at home with chicken pox, it makes me really think.
I'm glad for the nearly eight years that I lived in Colorado and for the life experiences that have made me into the Laura I am today. Even though I don't always fit in here in Oklahoma, it's okay.

I'm glad that I am comfortable in my own skin - as pasty-white as it may be. But if I start posting pictures of myself in fur-lined boots (and they aren't pictures of me on a ski slope), I need someone to hunt me down and slap me. Promise me you care enough to do that.