Awash in Decision


About two dishwashers

JC and I have a pretty good arrangement for our meals. He is a chef and does all the cooking. I’m not a chef or even a very good cook for that matter, and I do all the cleaning up. To be perfectly honest, I use the dishwasher.

This all changed when my dishwasher went belly up recently. Granted, it’s rather old like everything else in the kitchen and it was probably its time to go. Of course this annoyed me.

I hadn’t hand washed dishes in AGES!!! Even when I was a kid in the early seventies my mom had a dishwasher. Spoiled brat that I was:~)

JC, who’d never had a dishwasher before he moved in, bought me a scrub brush and said, “Learn. You can do this. It’s actually very calming.” I can’t say I found any peace in washing dishes, but I did it for several weeks.

We were both busy and didn’t have time to shop for a new dishwasher. In addition, we had conflicting ideas about what to buy. We did our research and knew to get an energy efficient dishwasher, but remained undecided about the appearance of our new dishwasher. This had a lot to do with a show called “House Hunters” on the Home and Garden Network (HGTV).

Influenced by “House Hunters”

I’m addicted to “House Hunters”, a show about people shopping for a new house in the States. Some are buying gigantic homes and others are buying more modest ones, but these shoppers have one thing in common; the kitchens must have stainless steel appliances and granite countertops.

When a couple on the show sees a kitchen without these items, they shake their heads and sadly say, “Well, I like the kitchen, but we’ll have to replace the appliances and countertops with stainless steel and granite.”

After watching the show, I began to believe what I had learned and when we started shopping, I emphasized how essential it was that we buy a stainless steel dishwasher. JC was less certain, feeling we should just go with what we like.

Off to Lowe’s we went. We liked a solid black dishwasher better than the stainless steel one because it matched our other appliances. Since both were equally energy efficient, we decided to buy it. Still, I had doubts. I believed that if we were to sell the house at some point, a stainless steel dishwasher would be a better option.

Second-guessing doesn’t pay

I bugged JC so much that one of his gremlins came out to play. He has this interesting habit: when he buys something, he researches it thoroughly and usually makes an excellent choice. Later, he will often second-guess himself.

He called a friend who is a house appraiser to check things out. Knowing how difficult stainless steel can be to clean, he was confident his friend would tell him “House Hunters” was just free advertising for the stainless steel industry.

However, his friend disappointed him by telling him it is true that houses with stainless steel appliances and granite countertops sell better.

So, we switched to stainless steel, which cost us a lot more money! Making this change also meant I had another two weeks of hand washing dishes before the new one arrived. When it was finally installed I was disappointed.

Now, don’t get me wrong. This is a great dishwasher. I can fit so many dishes in it that we’re down to our last two plates before I have to turn it on. It runs quietly and has an eco-friendly wash and dry cycle so I feel less guilty about using a dishwasher.

However, to be perfectly honest, it doesn’t fit the décor of our kitchen. The dishwasher is bright and shiny, making my 30-year old cabinets and countertops look drab. This new dishwasher stuck out like a sore thumb.

I am sure it would fit in beautifully if we remodel our kitchen. Then, if we decided to sell the house, potential buyers would walk into our upgraded kitchen like they do on “House Hunters” and say, “Wow, this kitchen is perfect! It has granite countertops and stainless steel appliances.”

Trust your instincts

We can’t afford a complete kitchen makeover right now and, as we both love this house, we aren’t intending to move any time soon. So, the stainless steel dishwasher wasn’t really necessary.

The truth is that both JC and I got snookered by our own selves. Instead of paying attention to what we liked and what fit our kitchen today, we bought our dishwasher based on what we thought other people would like and what might happen in the future.

The moral of this story is simple. Live your life for today and not for what might happen in the future. Follow your instincts about what you like and not what someone on a TV show tells you. Believe me, you’ll be happier (and richer) if you do. :~)

What about you?

What has the most influence on you when you buy something?

What preparation, if any, do you do before making a big ticket purchase?