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An odd concatenation of events...

So, yesterday Prodigal Son and Lovely D-i-L and Prodigal Grandson come visit - well, they came to visit *and* do laundry.  Quite possibly just to do laundry and chow down on the standing rib roast which was my response to SWWBO's "What do you want for Father's Day?" interrogative of last week.  Some things just shouldn't be looked at too closely. 

Prodigal Son and fam are living the life of the "recently out of college" young folk, living more and more on their own means as parental support is drawn down.  Coming to the realization that living in an apartment complex full of college students - which used to be exciting and fun - isn't so much when you have actual jobs, a baby, and sleep is a much appreciated commodity in short supply.  Rowdy buttheadedness and jackassery, of and in which you were once a willing participant no longer seems as fun.  Heh.  I can imagine the look on Andy or Ashes face when they had their first real, "Get off my lawn!" moment.  8^ )

Except they don't have a lawn, they live in an apartment.  A new one, with fewer rowdy but otherwise very nice students regularly smoking weed and doing a little dealing on the side.

This one with washer and dryer hook-ups, but no appliances, nor the budget to get them any time soon.  They have a new, keen appreciation for the actual cost of life, and, thankfully, a very adult way of looking at it.  They've discovered, for example, that once you're paying the bill, suddenly, that texting connection to all your friends *isn't* that important, and, in fact, you don't miss it.  And that being *instantly* available to all your friends via cell...   is, in fact, an very expendable perk.  And one that brings with it... some "me" time, vice "available to them every time a mental butterfly flits past" time.  And that they haven't lost any friends as a result.  Of course, they do have a parental example - SWWBO and I don't even own cell phones any more, though we do talk about getting a pay-as-you-go phone - there is no doubt that in certain situations, a cell can be handy. We talk about it, but we don't actually go get one.

And cable!  If you have to choose between the Internet and television, suddenly television becomes expendable, especially since a good chunk of television is available via the Internet.  And things like that go on and on, and you discover you can get high speed internet and save money over the bundled packages, etc.

Of course, there's the other aspect of things not-yet-learned, because they aren't, in a sense, paying other people's bills, whether via a big chunk of taxes or in other ways.  Lovely D-i-L is enamored of getting a washer and dryer (something we will assist in, because, well, it's family, and my 'rents got me my first washer and dryer, back in the day) because - catch this not yet fully processed logic - she can use all the water she wants!  Because her apartment building is also the water source for the complex pool, they pay a flat rate for water every month, vice having metered water.  She seized on the Unlimited Resource and has not yet developed the sense of the potential downstream consequences.  Not that I would  have at that point in my life, either.

Of all the offerings of cable that they miss - Food Network is the biggest hole in their television life.  So, yesterday was Food Network Day at Castle Argghhh!, which consisted of a lot of Diners, Drive-ins, and Dives and an episode of Food Network Challenge - Romance Novel Cakes, where the contestants were to make cakes that would work as covers for a romance novel.  All the usual talent and disasters on display, and our perennial favorite, Bronwen Weber, was again victorious. 

Which brought about an interesting discussion with Andy - who, though he runs the book department of a major retail establishment in the region, was confused by the rules for the contest - mainly because Andy, like the contestant who failed to meet the theme of the competition, conflated heroic fantasy with bodice-ripper romance.

So, for those of you out there who've never cracked the cover of a book graced with a half-naked Fabio on it, here's an example of modern Harlequin-style romance...

Harlequin Novel...Version 2011

He grasped me firmly, but gently, just above my elbow and guided me into a room, his room. Then he quietly shut the door and we were alone. He approached me soundlessly, from behind, and spoke in a low, reassuring voice close to my ear.

"Just relax."

Without warning, he reached down and I felt his strong, calloused hands start at my ankles, gently probing, and moving upward along my calves, slowly but steadily. My breath caught in my throat.

I knew I should be afraid, but somehow I didn't care. His touch was so experienced, so sure. When his hands moved up onto my thighs, I gave a slight shudder, and partly closed my eyes. My pulse was pounding.

I felt his knowing fingers caress my abdomen, my ribcage. And then, as he cupped my firm, full breasts in his hands, I inhaled sharply.

Probing, searching, knowing what he wanted, he brought his hands to my shoulders, slid them down my tingling spine and across my panties.

Although I knew nothing about this man, I felt oddly trusting and expectant. This is a man, I thought. A man used to taking charge. A man not used to taking 'No' for an answer. A man who would tell me what he wanted. A man who would look into my soul and say . . . .

"Okay ma'am, you can board your flight now."

A tip of the puggaree-holder to Fishmugger.


If you haven't seen it yet, you must go take a look at the Longmire site on romance novel covers - it's hilarious!

The link is:
Personal recommendation on cell service.  Wanting to stay in the good graces of the Castle Armorer, please note I've stayed away from any company names. Upon retirement, 2005 from one of the federal alphabet agencies, I wanted the least expensive cell phone and service possible.  Found a prepaid company; paid $19.99 for the phone, air time cost is about 6 cents a minute, no daily fees. Airtime is simple to buy and load; the company has a "web exclusive" 1,500 minutes for $100 and that provides us 6 months of service. While visiting friends and family we've used the phone from CA to VA - no roaming charges or long-distance charges.  A cell phone in one pocket and any caliber starting with a 4 in another pocket, combined with two big black dogs make wonderful comfort items on any road trip.  To further cut phone costs we stopped paying for long distance service from our land-line phone company and instead pay $19.95 a year for a little box that plugs into a USB port on the laptop (which also travels with us) that box means free phone calls.  Personally, I would also give up home phone local calling service, but since the phone company provides the internet DSL connection they are reluctant to go along with my cost cutting efforts; and my wife thinks that is going just too far.  Cable TV is a not-missed service. Free Over-the-air TV, given the new digital broadcast standard, delivers a much better picture than local (expensive) cable.
Shoot us an email for links if above helps. Oh, might not want to reveal to SWWBO than funds saved through phone cost reductions automatically transfer to the Armory supply fund.
I wonder, how many variants are there on those very same lessons? Recycling is nothing new, I have found this to be true on age related issues, I'm getting older, it's just a fact.  
Getting older is unavoidable.
Growing up is optional.
Heh.  When the Engineer got out of the Army the first time, we had a tiny 2 bed apartment.  He worked at UPS, and was in the California Guard.  I worked three jobs, in addition to babysitting when I had the time.  We bought a washing machine with our first income tax rebate.  It died, 17 years later.  We bought a dryer six months after we bought that washer, doing rent to own with a hefty down payment.  We used cloth diapers because we couldn't afford disposables, and did without cable tv because while those were 'budgeted', they were the exact amount of the utilities and dryer payment each month.

I will sleep on the floor before I give up my Maytag.

We also have pay-as-you-go phones.  No credit check; just pay 100 every quarter and use when needed.  Amazing how much you save on phone bills!
[Note to self: Self, sometimes you bury the joke too deep.]

Andy and Ashes use cloth diapers as well as take other measures of fiscal prudence.  Also of importance, they're managing things well enough that they no longer need co-signers and other risk mitigators.  And they resist (Andy has actually always been good at this) the blandishment of credit providers.
MrMan - naming names in this context is not a Rulez violation, nor unsolicited advertising.  It was an appropriate comment in keeping with the thread.

Just for future reference.
Well, if Andy and Ashes use cloth diapers, what does Prodigy Grandson use?

*running away*

I figured as much when you said they showed up to do laundry.  We were lucky that our apartment had laundry hookups, as the landlard was charging $$$ to do a load.  So, with saving laundry money each week, no cable and not using disposables, we were able to invest in a washer.  I had one friend tell me they had laundry hookups, but just worked it into their budget to buy diapers and wipes.  Even with the exoboritant interest RAC charges, buying a washer on credit in one year was still cheaper. 

SWWBO raised her a good 'un, and it is wonderful that they are united on their finances.
Okay.  Ya got me.