Wednesday, May 8, 2013

Government Economics

Usually when Husband and I are on our way to or from Distant Big University we are trying to make tracks. It's a good 7 1/2-hour drive, and normally there's a time crunch of some kind--a concert we're trying to hear from the beginning, or a sleep-induced crash we're trying to avoid by not driving too late into the night.

Monday was different. We had left Boy#1 and Lovely Girl in charge of getting Boy#2 to his plane on time and moseyed home with no pressing deadlines. That's how we ended up in an antique store in Ardmore, Oklahoma, standing next to the alluring item Husband is modeling above.

Know what it is? I'll give you a hint. It also can look like this:

It's a Murphy bath. 

(I'm sorry about the picture, which appears to have a blood alcohol of about 2.4.  I was so captivated by the item that I appear to have been aflutter--a better shot of a similar item is here.)

Have you ever seen anything more gorgeous? The gleaming copper. The silken woodwork. The anticipation of hot water and a long soak with a good book, then the knowledge that it can be folded away and tucked into a corner out of the way.  I have rarely wanted something in an antique store more ardently.

But then we looked at the price tag, and I knew we were not buying a $4,500 portable bathtub, not even the gleamiest, silkiest, loveliest bathtub in all of Oklahoma, and we walked away.

Later we were wandering through a fabulous locally-owned bookstore and I bought a $4 used paperback. Normally I don't buy books (my overdue fines could be the sole support of our public library but that's still cheaper than owning) but I told my accountant spouse that I felt entitled to this extravagance.

"I just saved us $4,500 by not buying that bathtub, so really, we're $4,496 ahead," I said.

He only rolled his eyes slightly as he considered my math.

"Congratulations," he finally said. "You've mastered government economics."

Yay, I think?

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