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Sometimes broke is better

Husbands and wives kill each other over money and other little things like sex and kids and the division of household labor. It got me thinking that perhaps Jerod and I have been looking at our financial struggles all wrong.

There's little to be gained should one of us dismember the other -- some peace and quiet maybe. Beyond that there's debt, homework, dirty diapers, tantrums and tattle tailing, none of which any sane person wants to deal with alone. As long as we're poor the chances that Jerod or I will meet a suspicious end are negligible.

The holidays put me on this train of thought, because Christmas time has set the stage for many a knock-down-drag out in our household.

Take our first Christmas as a marital unit. A wife might expect something special under the tree -- a sentimental, thoughtful gift -- to remind her for years to come of that first magic Christmas she spent with her husband. 

My husband returned from Wal-Mart that year with his brother late on Christmas Eve touting himself the most efficient shopper who ever lived. 

"I walked in, I stopped at the first aisle I saw, and I was out of there with everybody's Christmas presents in less than five minutes," he said. "In your face, time waster."

Jerod has long complained that my approach is "asinine." 

I like to browse first, walking through several stores, making notes of items I like for the people on my list. Then, should nothing more fitting turn up in my quest, I return to those stores and make my purchases. I look for gifts that mean something to the recipients or symbolize something unique between us. 

Jerod prizes efficiency over sentiment. That's how he explained the oregano-scented body wash he gave me on our first Christmas as husband and wife.

Our Christmas-shopping quarrels should have started by now, but for one detail -- we're broke. 

Our Sunday excursion to the mall to visit Santa -- which might have ended in bloodshed had there been one shiny nickle in the bank for shopping -- was actually pleasant. We walked through several stores without once snapping at each other or dropping the D-bomb.

No money, no gifts, no arguments. Sometimes broke is better. 


  1. Maybe that is he only way we ever are able to remember he meaning of Christmas? Well stated!!


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