Abused and Reused

Warning: stomach-turning grossness

Hey, remember when I got really, really sick in Dublin? And not even in a fun “Drink Guinness and take home a cheery harp player” way? Oh, I do. I remembered the story well enough to retell it at a party on Saturday–a cookie exchange, no less.

Related: are there social skills classes for adults without a diagnosis? Asking for a friend.

Anyway, the consensus was basically this: “What is WRONG with you?! Why didn’t you throw the bag away?” And it’s because I’m cheap! Why do you think I spend so much of my life rinsing, washing, folding, and fluffing cloth diapers? They aren’t THAT cute; there are disposables that are just as darling and that get delivered to your house. No. Nothing is cute enough to offset toddler crap. It’s because the idea of disposables, in my mind, is like actually pooping on money and then throwing it away. Much like the idea of throwing away my wetbag (which I still have, THANK YOU VERY MUCH) in Ireland, that concept scalds my frugal Yankee soul.

I had a similar reaction when a friend of ours, in the midst of potty training, threw away her son’s befouled underwear when he had an accident in public. This happened twice, and both times I was aghast. Just…throw it away? You can do that? I don’t think I could do that.

Obviously, I need to start watching “Hoarders” again so I can muster the strength to toss. When you’ve seriously considered bagging your child’s $2 H&M underwear to take home and wash, and then you have to actually wash and sterilize your washing machine (did you know you could do that? You can!) afterward, you have a problem. We have a system, so all clothing gets thoroughly pre-washed before it actually goes into the machine, but…yeah.


Right. Who else has a totally irrational money thing? Mine is, obviously, children’s clothing and accessories. Several times a year I am shocked anew as I see the prices of wee baby clothes and feel the shoddy quality. I’ll tell you this, too–I’ve bought clothes for my nephew and for my two daughters and niece, and boys’ clothing holds up WORLDS better than girls’. Clothes my nephew wore are going strong four babies later, and onesies I had for Maggie are falling apart around Moira’s snuggly frame. Anyway, I like to dress my girls in cute outfits and Maggie has serious, serious opinions about how she looks. I want to get every nickel out of clothes as I can when Maggie’s approved articles list hovers in the single-digits.

This means I’m the lunatic buying Shout in double-refill-packs at the store, looking on Pinterest to see how to get hard-to-treat stains out of clothes, and bellowing at my poor husband like a Downeast fishwife, my poor husband who is just trying to get through his day without bloodshed at the lint trap, to stain-treat every! Single! Article! that comes through WHY DO YOU HATE MONEY.

Today I had to admit defeat and that after being washed eight times with various stain techniques, one dress is not coming back. That dress? $6. But it was a HANNA ANDERSSON DRESS, from the outlet, and those things last forever if you take care of them. That was ONE OF MY KEEPER-FOREVERERS (so not a word but go with it).

Wetbags. Underwear. Cloth diapers. Outlet dresses. And you know, Tom makes a nice living. We take vacations; he often encourages me not to buy off-brand generic coffee. We can deal with a lost dress or two. But I don’t want to, and you can’t make me.

Now excuse me, but I have to sterilize my washing machine.


4 thoughts on “Abused and Reused

  1. Well, your dad and I are probably responsible for that little quirk but I won’t apologize. I’m still upset with whoever threw away my saucepan that had the toothpick plugging the hole. Now that was a waste! 😉

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