Is that a threat?

It’s no secret that Martin practices retail therapy. It’s his way of managing stress. When the kids push him past his breaking point, he darts into Bed, Bath and Beyond and loads up a cart with pillows, travel mugs, tupperware and air purifiers.

It drives me nuts. And lately I’ve noticed a correlation between stress and price. The greater his stress, the more he wants to spend. Right now he’s got a lot of work, which is why I wasn’t surprised when he announced:

“I found a new tube for our tubing trip.”

“A new tube?”


“Martin, we don’t need another tube. We’ve got 30 in the hayloft.”

“Yea, but this one is better.”

“How much?”

“It fits 8 people. It has a built-in MP3 player and speakers. And two coolers. And a platform you can dive off–“

“Who the hell is going to be diving? The river’s maybe two feet deep!”

“Well if you wanted to dive off, you could.”

“How much?”

“It’s got a sun deck.”

“How much?”

“A center cooling area…”


“Five hundred.”

“Dollars? We’re not blowing $500 on a tube! A tube you’ll be lucky to launch off the sand bar!”

“Okay, then I want to buy a trampoline.”

Martin’s dream tube, complete with detachable boarding platform.

The trampoline gives me pause. It’s not a terrible idea…. except for our vicious winds. Our neighbors had a trampoline until one gusty day, it cartwheeled across the pasture, crashed through our fence and careened into the next county.

I’m leery about investing in a $400 wind projectile.

“Listen Martin, after filling the dumpster with junk, I’m putting a moratorium on shopping. Don’t buy anything ever again.”

“Jo, you won’t buy anything! You don’t even have a stool to sit on!”

This is true. In the kitchen, we have only three stools. At dinnertime, I sit on the dog’s plastic food container.

….which I’m pretty sure Martin bought at Bed, Bath and Beyond.

“You need this tube to be happy? Doesn’t the new bathroom make you happy?”

“An army truck would make me happy. Maybe I’ll buy the tube. And the truck. And the trampoline!”

“Is that a threat? Don’t you dare buy that army truck. Or the tube.”

I don’t know if I can hold back the tide. Martin’s an adult (sort of). He can do what he wants.

And a Sea Doo Mega Inflatable Island is just one click away.