Posted by: GeekHiker | May 13, 2009

Over Thinking The Shopping

Big admission: I haven’t had a dishwasher since I left for college at the tender age of 17.

Not that I’ve purposefully avoided having one, mind you, but every place I’ve lived in since that time has been sans dishwasher.  All my dishes are hand washed and air dried, the old-fashioned way.

The Parentage, who have a dishwasher, pointed out to me the other day that they often have so few dishes that they simply hand wash them, rather than stacking them up the dishwasher.  “Yeah,” I replied, “but you have the option to use the dishwasher if you want.”

They didn’t have much of a response to that one.

Sometimes I think it bugs ‘em, just a little, that I can debate like an adult now…

* * *

A few days ago I noticed that my dishrack, on which I often find myself stacking dishes in such a peculiar and particular towering fashion that I dare say it could be called artwork, was looking a bit less-than-spectacular.

Okay, fine, it was starting to develop rust.  You know water & metal?  Yeah, it happens.

So I grabbed my Bed Bath & Beyond coupon (they mail so many it’s pretty much impossible to live in LA and not have one handy), and headed down to shop.

First, can I just say this?  They really need to make a guys version of BB&B.

You know, a store with the BBQ tools up front.  And taking up half the store.

A towels section in only dark primary colors: red, green and blue.  And three sizes: small, medium, and large.  All those others, we just don’t get.

Oh, and that potpourri stuff?  Get it the hell out of my way.  As Craig Shoemaker says, once a guy’s been in the bathroom, ain’t nothing called “potpourri” gonna make it smell better.

But I digress.

So I head to the dishrack section.

I could replace the cheapie that I have right now for about $20.  Which is fine, but I keep using the same cheap one time-after-time, and they keep getting moldy and rusty.  So I think “hey, maybe I’ll upgrade.”

The next model up is $50.  It’s cheesy.  The metal bends, the plastic is thin.  I have the feeling if I build my tower-de-dishes atop it, it would snap like a twig and my tower would come crashing down.

Up from there is the high-end model.  Which is very nice looking, all stainless steel and white plastic.  The silverware tray, impressively large, has a bamboo block of all things for drying knives.

It’s also $70.

Yes, that’s right, seventy bucks for a rack on which to dry dishes.

I stand there, pondering this.  And feeling slightly peeved because I’m fairly certain that the cheesy $50 model is probably designed in such a way to specifically make me move up to the $70 model.

Only in America.

And the fact that the older model, the one I’ve been using for years?  The metal on this version is thinner than the one I have at home. Which means it’ll rust out that much faster.

It’s as though the whole “selection” is basically designed to get me to want the most expensive item.

Grumbling, I turn 180 degrees and face the bamboo dish drying racks.  They’ve been around for years only now, according to the packaging, they’re “environmentally friendly.”  The text then goes on to tout the properties of bamboo.

(Don’t get me wrong, I love bamboo.  Just riffing on the marketing here.)

The bamboo racks are nice, especially if you’re racking up plates (on top) and glasses (on the little side rack) and not planning to do anything else.

But when I do dishes, I do everything.  The resulting stack is a damn Leaning Tower of Dishware, an artful creation of plates, glasses, bowls, salad spinners, pots, pans, lids, knives, storage containers and tortilla warmers.

I turn 180 degrees back.

“Seventy bucks,” I think.  “Do I really want to shell out seventy bucks for a fracking dish rack?”

I look again at the cheap model.  The old, trustworthy cheap model.  The old, trustworthy, now cheaper cheap model.  The old, trustworthy, now cheaper, less-sturdy cheap model.  The old, trustworthy, now cheaper, less-sturdy, it’ll probably break faster than before model.

And I think to myself “you know, GH, you use this thing every damn day.”

“And you have a 20% off coupon in your pocket.”

“Dammit, man, don’t be such a cheap ass.  Buy yourself something decent.”

I sighed, picked up the oh-my-God-I-can’t-believe-I’m-spending-seventy-bucks-on-a-frackin-dish-rack dish rack and headed for the register.

Possibly (okay, most likely) I over-thought the process a bit.

Still.  How it is that women actually enjoy this whole shopping thing is beyond me.

I mean, unless they’re shopping for power tools or camping gear, of course. 😉



  1. I definitely don’t think I could’ve plunked down that much money on a dish rack – having done dishes the ‘old fashioned’ way for years now AND having had a dishwasher right out of college.

    There are many more things (like shoes! ;)) that I could/rather spend that kind of money on.

    However, as you do use it ever day, I suspect it’ll be money well spent.

  2. every = every

    Silly sleep deprivation.

  3. I would have taken the $70 and put it towards a $200 portable dishwasher.

    Actually, I did that when I lived with my X. I hate doing dishes. I *HATE* doing dishes.

    Meanwhile, you know about my week of $100 shoe dilemma.

  4. When I was single, I too did not have a dishwasher. I also did not have a dish rack. I usually had a couple plates, a set of silverware, a glass, and dish or two in one side of the sink. When it was time to eat, I pulled stuff out of one side, washed it, and reused. If I needed it dry, I used a towel.

    Yeah, I was a pig which may explain why I was single at the time. I’ve fixed that by having a dishwasher now.

    I have found that it’s often better to spend a little extra for the deluxe model than living with the aggravation of the cheap model.

  5. I hate shopping. Hate it.

    Too bad you don’t live closer, you could’ve had Bianca for free.

  6. First of all, I am notorious for spending way too much time pondering my choices when I shop, none of my friends like shopping with me cause I’m too damn slow. I will spend 20 minutes weighing all my options for moisturizer, then another 20 debating which kitchen sponges to get.

    Also, my buds and I have this married couple that love to host dinner all the time out in the ‘burbs, and they both hate grilling, but the wife always takes it on (even when 9 months pregnant), and her husband is a manly cop. So don’t assume all men get want a home store filled with any and all grilling needs 🙂

  7. Oh, and I don’t particularly like shopping either, mostly for that reason (it’s tiring).

  8. If you were a girl you’d have bought a whole new set of dishes to go with your fabulous new dishrack!

  9. Damn! $70 on a dish rack! I like shopping but I think I would’ve said Screw It and just laid out all my dishes on towels across the countertop!

    You might barf if you saw my dish rack. It’s plastic and haggard. I think I’ve had it for about 8 or 10 years.

  10. I’ve always lived in apartments with a dishwasher, but shockingly I have never used one! I don’t use that many dishes for a meal and the idea of waiting till there are enough dishes to justify a wash makes me uncomfortable. Ugh!

    I agree with Ruby above that if I plunk down so much $$ for a rack I will be very tempted to do a kitchen makeover (new dishes, utensils, towels, etc.)!

  11. dude, stop stereotyping the ladies. i hate shopping and dingo does too. i’m keeping my roommate’s mismatched kitchenwares after she moves to hawaii just to make my life easier. (i left almost everything with d and don’t even have a fork to my name)
    i really like wooden dish racks. i get the cheapo wooden one at ikea and seal it with polyurethane. lasts for ages. also, i’ve never had a dishwasher and i actually like washing dishes, as far as household chores go. it’s a nice time to get lost in thought. just do them more often so you don’t have a tower each time.

  12. How many dishes are you using? If you do the dishes after the meal (as I must now do, since I have ants) You can just pull em out of the dish rack and use em over at the next meal. No giant tower of dishes, no problem. (though I rotate the actual dish and utensils every so often so the other kitchen items don’t feel unloved)

  13. I have spent a ridiculous amount of time comparing body creams, so this inner debate? Totally get, specially if, $70?!! I would be asking where is the gold in it.

  14. Nex time, buy the $10 dishrack and $60 hairdryer. This way you can dry both your dishes and your hair at the same time!

  15. ECT – Yeah, shoes not so much a priority here.

    ECT – LOL, it happens

    MrsChuckBartowski – If only I had the room. I actually don’t mind the dishes, but don’t talk to me about the @#$%^! bathroom…

    Homer-Dog – Well, since you’ve got The Wife cooking your steaks for you…

    Dingo – And I would have taken her, too!

    S’dizzle – Well, real men do. 😉

    S’dizzle – It can be exhausting, can’t it?

    Ruby – Yeah… I’m okay with the old stuff.

    Mel Heth – Oddly, that surprises me…

    K – On the other hand, you do have the option to use it if you like. As for me, I can’t really see making over the kitchen over so long as I’m living alone

    Blakspring – Okay, but only if all the female bloggers I know stop stereotyping the guys!

    Hebba – Sometimes just a few, but if I decide to actually cook, it can be quite a lot

    Narami – LOL, sometimes you have to spend a little extra to get what works…

    TheCoconutDiaries – I don’t have enough hair to need a hair dryer! I mean, wait, I’m not balding… er… that came out wrong…

  16. Hey! I’m currently living without a dishwasher too. I found that I don’t miss it and because I have so few dishes, I find that I am more likely to keep them clean. When I had a lot of dishes, they used to queue up. Now I have no choice if I want to eat! 🙂

    What’s worse a $70 dish rack or a $50 shower curtain? (I saw the latter on a wedding registry once).

    P.S. Green isn’t a primary color. It’s made of Blue and Yellow. 😉

  17. Thank you for your post. I will bookmark your site. What is your recommend shop for the home equpment.

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