Maybe Next Year

I have a house full of folks, meals to cook, wine to drink and stories to be told.  So I’m neglecting my blog.  Yup, me.

So here is my very favorite post, from Long, Long Ago, when I was a baby blogger, in case you desperately need to get a life! need to hear my voice.

Happy Easter!  Happy Spring!


My husband John and I had an appointment to look at smaller houses with a realtor.  We were going to go this afternoon, but after going to the grocery store early this morning, I cancelled.

“Why did you do that?”  asked John, puzzled.  John wants to get rid of the big house.  He wants to get rid of the big mortgage.

“Sorry,” I told my husband.  “I can’t downsize.”

“Why not?” he asked again.

“Toilet paper.”


Everyone I know talks “downsizing.”  Our friends are mostly middle-aged like us.  We all bought 4 bedroom 2-1/2 bath colonials back when our kids were small – we thought it was a legal requirement that came with the birth certificates.  Now the kids are off at college, or off working, or just off.  Occasionally friends decide to downsize because they are not yet empty nesters and are trying to push their overgrown open-mouthed offspring/bloodsuckers out of the nest.

As I said I had just come home from the grocery store.  With 36 rolls of toilet paper.  Double sized rolls.  That means I had actually just come home with 72 rolls.  For two adults and one dog.

What made me do it?  We really only need a fraction of that.  Why not get a six-pack?  And then a six-pack of toilet paper?

Earlier, I stood in the aisle at my local Safeway and considered my options.  Hmmmm.  I thought.  This HUGE package costs $15.00.  The size I really need costs $9.00.  But the 36-which-equals-72 roll package was only 6 bucks more.  I had no choice; I bought the big package.  It was cheaper — unless you totaled up today’s groceries.  And then it wasn’t cheaper at all.   But into the cart it went.

I continued on down the aisle.  Damn, I thought.  I need paper towels tooSixteen rolls?  Why not?

Go through any grocery store.  You can buy small, but it’s gonna cost you.  You can buy a six-pack of soda for $4.99.  Better still, you can buy a twelve-pack of soda for $6 or two twelve-packs for $12 and get three twelve-packs FREE!  What a deal.  You save $18 just by spending $6 more than you were going to spend in the first place!   I must buy them.  Just because I stopped drinking soda in 1996 doesn’t mean I should pass up this deal.

Twenty-four 12 oz. bottles of pure spring water?  Sure.  I only have six left from the two dozen I bought in 2007.

These promos work on me every time.

The price of wine also goes down as the quantity goes up.  I can buy one bottle of my favorite Pinot Grigio for $9.00 or I can buy two for $7.50 each.  If I want to buy even more, I can buy six or more bottles for $6.00 each, get totally sloshed and not really care what I’m spending.  There’s some logic there.

It even happened in the produce section. I wanted one small container of blueberries and one of strawberries.  Instead I took home two hefty containers of each.

“Are you going on a ‘berries only’ diet?” asked John as he helped me unload the groceries when I got home.

“No,” I responded.  “It was ‘buy one, get one free.’  I couldn’t let them go to waste, could I?”

“Well at least not until the extras have been in our fridge for a few weeks,” John muttered.

So you see, I can’t downsize.  I cannot get a smaller house. I can’t even get a smaller car.  How would I get my groceries home?

I think I’m going to call the realtor back.  We need a bigger house.


Filed under Conspicuous consumption, Family, Humor, Real Estate, Stupidity

57 responses to “Maybe Next Year

  1. It’s fate. Inescapable fate of all Americans. Sad, really.


  2. I’m not even close to being there yet, but I can see myself buying stuff in bulk. It’s my future.


  3. I love your humour! Found your blog via Chris – and enjoy reading your writing!


  4. Gee, I wonder why so many Americans are overweight!


  5. Marketing experts have figured out that a slightly larger package of stuff that they mark up a dollar more or so, creates psychic perceived value. The really big example is soda at the restaurant. They charge $1 for the small, but $1.50 for the large, when in fact each only cost the business say 10 or 11 cents, but boy do you get perceived value and fatter from that bigger gulp.


  6. Bigger house it is. Love the honesty and humor in this post. I recently downsized but now my 2nd bathroom became a storage room. Still scratching my head where to put my stuff. Happy Easter.


  7. I hear ya! I like the idea of selling everything and seeing the continent in a motor home, but I’d need a U-haul trailer behind me to act as a basement for all my out-of-season clothes, holiday decor, 6-for-1 toilet paper deals, etc.


  8. Yes, we are definitely into bulk to save bucks, but the truth is, we will spend far more on the extra space to put everything that we will actually ever save on the bulk we buy.
    But downsize?

    No way.



  9. Makes perfect sense to me. And that scares me!


    • It’s ok, you can wipe that sweaty brow with one of the sheets on those 16 rolls of paper towels.

      See, this stuff is important to keep around!


  10. A great look at those of us who do the grocery shopping!


  11. kaushali

    think you might like this blog


  12. Been there done that. Downsizing was one of the most hellish experiences I have ever gone through. Our daughter and son-in-law helped. It was hard to explain the blow up doll and hookah pipe they found in an old trunk. And the 36 rolls of toilet paper rolled up in a blanket and tied with a string. All good stories, but then again…where to start?


    • You know, you’ve given me an idea. We are helping my mother-in-law downsize. I think I may plant a blow up doll in her place, just to see the expression. Her husband is long since dead. Of course, finding a blow up doll might just hasten her demise.

      I am going over to your place as soon as I can — I’m seeking the stories behind the doll, the hooka and the TP!

      Thanks for your nice comment. And welcome!


  13. Been there, done that. Downsizing was one of the most hellish experiences of my life. My daughter and son-in-law helped empty the garage. It was hard to explain the blow-up doll and hookah pipe they found in an old trunk. All viable stories, but…then again. Love your blog.


  14. Awesome post, Elyse! So true about buying in bulk. Why do we have to have so much stuff!

    We’re in the process of some major purging, but still too much. Oh well. 🙂


    • When I lived in Europe we had a small refrigerator (like 12 cubic feet). Now I have a 32 cubic foot one, an old 24 cubic foot one (only used during the holidays) and a small one. It’s crazy. But I fall for it every single time. Sheesh!

      If you’re purging, I suggest putting a price tag on it that says “buy 4 get all the rest FREE!” It’ll work.


  15. GOF

    Never underestimate how much unnecessary crap you can jam into a small house Elyse. We have one. If there weren’t likely to be repercussions I’d suggest to Mrs GOF that she set herself up in business as a consultant to advise people how to put stuff on top of other stuff so that it defies gravity and doesn’t topple over.


    • Hmmm. Maybe that can be my next career too — we can divide up the continents — at least until something comes crashing down on one of our heads!


  16. I hate shopping for things I need. You’d think I’d wise up by stocking up on every BOGO type of thing to save me shopping trips down the road. I fiercely resist sales like these though — too many years working retail in college and now I am suspicious of nearly every so-called bargain.


    • I always know that they are really ripping me off. The ones that get me is when they raise the price from say 89 cents to 10/$1 and call it a NEW LOW PRICE.

      Grocery stores bring out the psycho in me. I do leave the knives at home, though. Usually.


  17. Maybe just turn the kids rooms into storage?
    Well, it was worth a shot…


  18. I can relate on all levels. It’s very hard not shopping for an army and having leftovers….not sure why, but it is. Happy Easter !


  19. We’re making progress. We can now park two cars in the garage! But there are boxes that line the walls of who knows what? Our neighbors across the street are way ahead…they’re down two just two rooms of furniture … and then there’s this co-worker who has already bought his cemetery plot…ya know all this stuff doesn’t look so bad after all. Buy, Elyse, buy.


    • I’m pretty sure that if I look hard enough, we’ll find a few cemetery plots down there in those boxes. They’re tricky to pack, though!


  20. I just read this just now, and it made me happy because it made me laugh. But now I’m sad, because apparently I have no life. You’ll have to excuse me now, since I need to get a life. But it was still worthwhile to read your post, because I’m now inspired to go out and get the biggest life I can find that is on sale! Why, I’m feeling better already!

    Happy Easter to you and yours! 🙂


    • Happy Easter to you, too Chris. I’m glad I made you laugh AND cry. I imagine you do have a life, but it just doesn’t start until later on on a Friday night! (Did I kiss ass enough with that one?)


  21. I think if you and I ever met, we’d get along great. We could fill up a shopping cart with clearance wine, then bitch about how much we hated shopping for it


  22. And sadly, I HATE shopping. I always figure I won’t have to go back. And then naturally I do — the next day.

    And you’re right — it’s gender based. I have NEVER seen a man shopping alone with the 72 pack of toilet paper. 72 pack of beer yes. TP, no.


  23. Sales. The weakness of almost every woman. Classic.


  24. Red

    I am with you. When I quit buying for an army (five of my children will be in their 20s this year), and cut back to just me and the ones left at home, I still bought (ad continue to buy) the mega pack of everything. I am going to buy a bigger house. No, I am going to build a bigger house. Then I have the cabinets I need for the mega packs of everything.


    • Please build me one too. But I buy all this crap and I have 1 husband, 1 kid and 1 dog. If I had 5 kids, I think I’d move in to Costco. They sell beds as I recall.


  25. I only allow myself to go into BJs to purchase specific items and I do not allow myself to travel down any other aisle other than the ones containing my specific items to prevent such catastrophes like walking out with 72 bottles of snapple ice tea.


    • I recently threw out the remnants of Kraft Mac N’ Cheese my son insisted on buying at Costco in 2002. I did it because he had had 5 years in Europe where they put actual cheese on pasta and he let me know that he was deprived.

      I can’t go to those stores. I can’t afford to buy everything I might need for 10 years in one trip.


  26. I remember this one! Don’t feel bad about not blogging (my mantra).


  27. Hi,
    I was smiling as I was reading, sounds just like my shopping trip the other day. 😀

    We all get rather busy over Easter, and it sounds like you are going to have a lovely Easter with family and friends.
    A very Happy Easter to you and your family.


    • Yes, holidays are always busy. And I’m glad I’m not alone in the shopping aisles. We can watch each others’ backs! No that is too much TP you’re buying, Mags. Put it down!


  28. Hilarious. I once dreamed of not owning anything that wouldn’t fit in a pack that I carried on my back. What I didn’t know then was that I was going to be buried under the weight of it. That freaking pack is now stuffed with the contents of a 3 bedroom (and two car garage) house. No wonder I don’t travel anymore. I can’t carry the back pack. 🙂


    • Good thing you have strong shoulders!

      Oh, I haven’t begun to tackle the crap we have filled up our houses with. Because someone else always pays to move us, we just keep accumulating. Actually, we buy bigger houses to hold our crap. There are unopened boxes from when we moved in 1989, but I’m sure that I cannot possibly live without whatever it is inside!


      • I feel a little less bad (after reading your comment) about the fifteen boxes in the guest bedroom closet that haven’t been opened since we moved into this house (but I’m sure I cannot possibly live without the contents, either!) … mostly books, and puzzles, and art supplies, and crafting supplies, and oh-who-knows … I can’t even remember anymore!


        • In 1986 I received an early edition of 3 Christmas classics by Dickens (including the obvious one). It is down there somewhere, and it will pay for my retirement. If I don’t die before I find it. Of course, that DOES mean opening those book boxes …


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