Monday, January 30, 2017

At Last I See the Light!

If you've learned anything about me over the last four and a half years on this blog, you know that I am terrible when it comes to big decisions and big purchases. I don't know why I have such a fear of taking a leap, but for some reason, I find the trigger really hard to pull.

Adam and I recently went furniture shopping. We've been talking about replacing the family room furniture for ages. Our family room, the main room you'll see if you are in our house, the room where we do the majority of our living, is an embarrassment. The carpet hasn't been changed, not just since we moved in twelve years ago, but since the house was built twenty-two years ago. The furniture was from a store that I will not slander here, but despite the price tag, turned out to be very poor quality - torn leather, broken frames. We need an upgrade.

Anyway, we wandered around living room sets and I think we're close to a decision. I can't imagine what the room will actually look and feel. Because Adam and I are masterful at living with broken/old/incomplete things for months - if not years - before we finally upgrade and see the light.

For instance, we lived with a microwave that had exactly three functioning buttons (1, 4, and 8 I believe). Oh, and start. The other numbers, clear, stop - totally broken. Our microwave is an over the range variety, and even though we used the vent fan, boiling water underneath had fried the control panel. When we had to cook in the microwave, which we actually realized we used a lot, we just had to do some math, and stay close so we could open the door and manually stop the cooking. We did this for almost six months.

And we have a Sleep Number bed, which we bought right before Reagan was born (I remember this, because the salesman talked us into getting the additional waterproof cover "just in case your water breaks in bed"). The bed is comfortable, but I was surprised that the base is actually hard plastic. After a few years of use, we noticed the bed was sagging in the middle - a very noticeable dip. We found out that the frame was broken. We decided we should call Sleep Number to see what they recommended and then did ... nothing. For nearly three months.

When we first moved in, we bought a big screen TV to host our first Super Bowl party. But after several years, the screen was dark (even after replacing the lamp) with plenty of splochy areas - like the picture was covered in storm clouds. When we watched anything that was "dark"- even the Disney movie Brave, things were indistinguishable on the screen. It was just a murky mess. We are a family that likes our TV - a lot - and yet we dealt with this for well over a year.

The ceiling fan over the bed in our master bedroom broke over the summer. Now, since we used central air, this shouldn't have been a big deal - except that it was also our primary light. We dealt with shadowy dim lighting, I stopped working in that room, and we'd get dressed in our closet.

Now here's the thing.

When we finally replaced the microwave, it felt like we'd just upgraded to a brand new kitchen, for under $200, twenty minutes at a home improvement store, and an hour of installation. It was amazing.

When we finally called Sleep Number, we spent under ten minutes talking to a representative before confirming that this was totally covered under their lifetime warranty, they overnighted a replacement frame, and we had it assembled and on the bed within a half hour. That night it was like we were on vacation with a brand new, ultra comfortable sleep nirvana.

We replaced the TV during Black Friday weekend, and wow. It was so amazingly bright. So amazingly clear. We could actually see what we were watching. It was like when someone gets glasses for the first time and says "oh, that's how the world looks!" Yeah, this one didn't come cheap, but whoa.

We got a new fan - again, a quick, inexpensive home improvement store purchase, and, surprise, surprise, we saw the light. And it was good.

It's amazing at what you just learn to live with and how good it feels when you finally make the change. 

I mean, I finally learned this trick to help my irritating key fob unlock the car with less incidents, and it's made such a big difference in my day to day travels.

We've all got one. A slow, cracked computer. A grill that doesn't heat anymore. A leaky faucet. You just learn to live with the annoyance, or you find a work around, and when you're so used to the darkness, you stop thinking that finding that light is all that important. But when you do - it's amazing.

Moral of the story - we may have waited a long time to get this family room back up to standard, but when we finally do, it'll be like a brand new house without the hassle of moving. And that will make all the purchase stress worth it.
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