The Tale of Two Kettles

If you asked Wouter to describe the kettle incident he would’ve said “it broke and we got a new one” (not that he would’ve known what you were talking about – recently he isn’t at home enough to drink coffee).  Of course, since I am telling the story it is going to be a lot more complicated than a broken kettle and a replacement.

I was brought up to think before I spend money.  My dad’s motto is that you should ask yourself 3 questions before you buy anything:

1.  Do I really need it?  If the answer is no, don’t buy it.  If the answer is yes, go to question 2.

2.  Can I afford it?  If the answer is no, don’t buy it.  If the answer is yes, go to question 3.

3.  Can I do without it? 

Now this is the nasty question.  Because most of the things I want are things that I can in fact do without. 

I can do without perfume.  It wouldn’t be nice, but I could.  I could do without new towels.  Our old ones are, well, old.  But it isn’t really necessary.  The children could do without more toys.  And mostly they do.  Wouter could do without a new keyboard.  Actually he decided he couldn’t and bought a replacement for his 16-odd year old model last year.  But you get the point.

The point being that I find it quite difficult to spend money purely for the sake of spending.  Especially when spending means that I replace something that doesn’t need replacing.

When I met Wouter he had a kettle.  An old white kettle.  2 years later when we got married the kettle was still around.   

About a year ago I saw a beautiful red kettle.  I wanted that kettle.  I needed that kettle.  I could afford the kettle.  But unfortunately I could do without the kettle.  I told Wouter about the red kettle. 

S:  It is bee-ahhhh-oooooooo-tiful!

W:  So buy it.

S: (shocked) No!  I can’t buy it?  The old one is still working.

W: *shaking his head, probably wondering why he married me*

Now, 6 and a half years into our marriage the kettle decided to give up the ghost.

It started with that clicking sound that indicates a short circuit…  Oh my word.  The smell of burning plastic rang in The Demise of the Kettle. 

I phoned Wouter in a state of hysterical excitement.  Picture it:

W:  Hi.  I’m a bit busy.

S:  It broke!  It broke!  The kettle broke!  Yippieeeee!

A few hours later, being desperate for a cup of tea I tried another cord and plug.  The kettle worked.  My day was ruined.  So I phoned Wouter, dejected and utterly disappointed, to tell him that the kettle was after all not broken.  Wouter, being the wonderful man that he is, didn’t tell me that I am a sad case.  I know that already anyway.

But lo and behold!  Another couple of hours later I tried to boil water again and it started shorting again.  I made the executive decision to pull the plug on the kettle, so to speak.  I phoned Wouter again.  To report on the wonderful news.  Yes, I am a drama queen.

So I went out hunting for my beautiful red kettle that I now actually need.  And that I can afford.  And can’t do without.  Only to find that there isn’t a single red kettle anywhere to be found.

So I had to settle for a brushed stainless steel and black kettle.  Not bad, but not red.

I was so looking forward to being the only person I know who has a red kettle.

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2 Responses

  1. Of course leaving the kids in the kitchen with a “forgotten” open tin of red paint… hmmm I’m sure you might just end up with a red kettle after all 🙂

  2. Errr, think carefully about that one. They are liable to paint EVERYTHING else red, except the nice, shiny new kettle.

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