Y'know, things just aren't fair.
I get dragged around dress shops and sit in the man-chairs while SWMBO checks out every little thing on the racks and scours the "sales". I complain, but SWMS, gets her way and enjoys her shopping regardless. Now days I just enter the store and sit and wait like a good husband. A good bored husband. A good bored defeated husband.
But when, on the rare occasion, and I can't think of one right now, but there must be, we go to a hardware store I don't get the same... I dunno... the same patience in return.
This afternoon she thrusts a brochure in front of me. Our oven has been on the blink and we've struggled with it, on and off, as it were for quite a while. The kitchen needs re-doing after 18 years so I want to buy a decent free-standing 6 burner instead of spending the $800 to repair an 18yo oven. I figure the $800 can be put towards the new one. Well, there's the nix. We can't afford to re-do the kitchen for at least 18months and SWMBO doesn't want to put in a super-duper stove before then.
It contains a cheap $485.00 oven that is so cheap the only thing it has over our current one is that it works more often. The local hardware store has one left in stock, which she has reserved, so we must toddle off there, now, to check it out.
If this had been a frock then there wouldn't be any brochure, nor any phone call to reserve the last one, nor would it be found in a hardware store. I doubt the price point would have been an issue either.
I note with chagrin that hardware stores don't have man-chairs like dress shops do. I can't sit her down and wander off.
First problem is her car. It's a Mazda 121. I barely fit in it so there's no way this going to happen like she thinks it will. However, as soon as we arrive at the store she stops the first shop assistant, a senior who probably just stepped out of his shed to pop down for a few hours paid work at hardware Nirvana. Asks where the ovens are and strides off. I raise my finger to let her know I know every inch of this store but the whole encounter is over in seconds and she's gone. The sales guys gives me a look of practised pity as I race off to catch up.
It's a satisfactory kit for the money although a brand I have never heard of, but seems solid enough for the cheapest oven on the planet. I couldn't be bothered arguing for my 6 burner any more so I agree that a new cheap $485.00 oven is better than a $800 repaired oven; just to tie us over but I do manage to convince her that her car is "insufficient". So the oven is still there, in the store, with our name on it right there next to the other ovens which haven't sold yet. So much for "last one". We plan how I am to wrestle my car from the Provisional Princess to come back to collect the oven.
Anyway, I'm in a hardware store so it makes sense to stock up on a few thing while I'm there. We need 6 power-boards (4x 4-way and 2x 6-way) and 6 extension leads (2 each of 3m, 5m and 10m) for a project at work so we wonder off to "electrical". SWMBO stops and huffs and says something like "Men! We're only here for the oven. I'll meet you in the car" and walks off.
Alone & free at last I find myself at the specials bin which is in the opposite direction from electrical. There's a nice fat drill bit in there for only $20 marked down from $30. It's a top quality bit but I resist the purchase. I eventually grab the powerboards and leads and head for the register. On my way I detour via the BBQ section. Our bar-bee, like our oven, is feeling the pinch of time and needs replacing. Lo and behold but whom should I meet there? Yup, SWMBO has had the same thought.
She's decided which one we're going to buy next pay day and is searching for an assistant to see if she can reserve one. Sheesh! I've been researching BBQs for months but she's decided in mere moments! It's a fair enough BBQ, but I don't know if it can be converted to natural gas. The assistant says the person who knows all about the BBQ is the Tong Master who is at dinner (go figure) and wouldn't be back for a while. I convince SWMBO to let me sort out the BBQ and she reluctantly agrees.
So, tomorrow, after taking The Earl of Hornsby half way across Sydney for his basketball match, with any luck, in my own car, I will to return to pick up the oven.
I wonder if the drill bit will still be there?