Thursday, January 25, 2007

Got hobbies?

One thing AB and I have never lacked in our lives, both separate and our life together, is interests and things to do. In addition to the long list of things we enjoy presently, there is the even longer list of things we would like to take up. Our limitation is time. And our priorities at this point in our lives are elsewhere, raising two little beings.

At the front of AB’s list is sailing. We live in the perfect area for this hobby. Last summer he and K, his closest friend here, took sailing classes. AB has every intention of doing this again this summer, and maybe multiple lessons. He ate it up. And bonus was that they were incredibly inexpensive. Something ridiculous like $59 for 6 weeks or something like that. My dad has an interest in sailing as well and also lives in the perfect area for sailing. I looked into sailing lessons for his birthday, extensively, and felt a little nauseous looking at the prices. I hope that our local Parks and Rec doesn’t decide to check out the going rate for sailing classes elsewhere anytime soon.

AB has been talking about wanting a sailboat for a long time. When I start in about not having the money, the talk will switch to “well we can share one with K&V” and then when I look at him with “that look” of we still don’t have the money, it will subside for a little while. But it will soon rise to the surface again.

AB’s great grandfather was a professional boat builder in Seattle in the early part of the century and in fact, many of his designs are on exhibit at the Smithsonian. His grandfather carried on the tradition as a hobby (he made a living building airplanes for Boeing). Our Christmas card picture (see below) is of us in one of AB’s grandfather’s boats. It is a wonderful old rowboat. And when we take it out on the water it is routinely noted and commented upon by others.

Boat building is in AB’s blood. (My ancestors, otoh, are land people with sickly sea legs.) In addition to sailing, AB has talked about undertaking boat building as a hobby someday.

The other day he sent me a link to this beauty. We often send links back and forth, so I clicked on it, registered it and went back to work. A few minutes later he calls asking if I saw his boat. Yes, I did, I told him. I want it, he tells me. I was unusually quick on my feet… “yeah I want a new Coach purse too”.

“Ok,” he replies.

I stopped. He was serious. He would never agree to a new Coach purse without a fair amount of talking, coaxing and planning. Like many people I know, $300-500 for a purse is just ridiculous according to AB. I understand completely. Other people spend money on things that I can’t even fathom and roll my eyes at.

“We’ll talk at home,” I said as I retrieved the e-mail from my trash again to take another look at the boat kit he wanted. At $1400 for the directions, sails, wood, all the supplies except a cordless screwdriver (which AB has to have a dozen of) and the sandpaper and stain, it isn’t a bad deal.

We did talk at home. I didn’t raise the issue of my Coach purse. If AB gets a boat kit, my Coach purse is a no brainer, particularly if VargasGirl has success for me at her local Coach outlet. He makes a compelling case. He is sure he could sell it for more than he paid for the kit… it would be great to have down at our family’s cabin on the coast, particularly this 4th of July… it is an easy kit to build, a great starter. And our anniversary is approaching in less than 2 months.

I, for one of the very few times, took up the devil’s advocate side regarding the potential purchase. You see, I am VERY good at spending money. I countered with how would we haul it… where would you build it (garage being obvious answer)… you would have to clean out your side of the garage then (easy)… when would you do this (thinking about the copious amounts of time we already have, not).

We landed at a happy medium for now. Let’s get our taxes done and see what the damage is there (nearly 6 months of untaxed unemployment benefits could take their toll). Then we need to think about future expenses… like daycare for #2. Revisiting our budget is necessary. We have slowly slipped back into old habits of spending freely. Something we had been very good at reigning in while AB was unemployed.

There is very little in the way of material possessions that AB wants in life. He never asks for anything. I have to coax out of him ideas for Christmas and birthday gifts. Wow, wouldn’t I love to say “go for it”. There is nothing more rewarding than giving the person you love most in the world something they truly want.

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