Some people are thrifty. They clip coupons, don't waste food and utilize hand-me-downs. Other people are just cheap. They feed their family from feed-store gallon buckets of oatmeal, and wrap gifts in the Sunday comics. I belong to the former, my husband to the latter. This is the man who installed timers on the bathroom, garage, laundry room, pantry and kids' closet lights. Sounds thrifty, right? Except that, for example, I am the person who spends the most time in the laundry room, folding, hanging and sorting clothes. And not only do I have to listen to the clicking timer the entire time, but often when I am mid-fold, the lights go out, startling me. Hey, it's a real nice wake up call in the early morning. Nothing like a good startling first thing in the a.m. Or when the kids take a shower, and inadverently forget to leave themselves enough time on the light timer. Mid-shower the lights go out with an audible "click" followed by a "HEY!" and "someone turn on the light!!!" Inevitably, they have locked the door, causing the would-be rescuer to wrestle with a bobby pin before shedding some light (quite literally) on the situation. I swear, while all this is going on, I've heard an evil laugh (not unlike that Boris guy on "Rocky and Bullwinkle"), coming from - you guessed it - my cheap husband.
Once, I decided to clean out the pantry. It was a good thing my husband was gone on this particular weekend, because, had he not been, I might have beaned him in the head with one of the canned goods that were years past their expiration date! Canned goods! Don't those last FOREVER? I had actually never seen a canned good with an expiration date before, but I threw away at least a dozen of such items. Shortly thereafter, I was making a recipe that called for chili powder. Did we have any? Oh yes, answers cheap husband, right here. I looked at the container. The antiquated label alone should have warned me, but had I not noticed that, surely the brick-red block of solidified chili powder might have clued me in to it's age. When I inquired as to the origin of this spice, I was told "oh, I think my mom gave that to me when I was in college." College? This man is 40.
But my favorite was just the other day. He was getting ready for the day (sans shave or shower, because it was a weekend, God forbid one should shower on the weekend!). He opened up his deodorant and you know that little chunk that falls out when the product is EMPTY? You know, that "enough additional product to hold product in container"? Well, that piece came flying out and landed on the floor. I said "well, I guess you used that deodorant up to the last little bit". Did he pick it up and throw it away? No, he did not. He picked that little oblong chunk of white off the carpet and proceeded to apply it to his underarms, rubbing it like a bar of soap along those hairy pits. I said "this isn't the Depression, Jeff, we can afford new deodorant" to which he replied "Waste not, pay not." Thrifty? Cheap? You decide!