The Things We Argue About

John Life

Okay, I admit it. I have spent more money on my home brewpub than I have spent on refurbishing the house. It indeed shows signs of wear as a result. My wife deserves better than this I tell myself, but I do love my hobby. It is one I can share with her, my family, and friends. It gets most of my attention. She doesn’t complain, but I see her reaction to worn out furniture and peeling paint. Finally, I decide that it is time to make some improvements and upgrades. We deliberate this and argue for and against what we each want. Her list is short and includes a new bedroom set, better linens, an area rug for the living room, and a new toilet. She wouldn’t mind a new coat of paint.

My list is even shorter. I am obsessed with the state of-the-art tankless water heater. It is small and so cool in appearance, occupying just a little space. All of a sudden, the old threatening bulky monster is gone. You can move it to a new location and use the old space for storage. I have some ideas about that and it all revolves around beer, beer, and more beer. Naturally, I think about my brewpub expansion. My wife isn’t so enthusiastic as our old water heater works just fine. She has seen the prices of the tankless units on line and mentally watches her bedroom set disappear from her list. What else will she have to scratch off?

I assured her that we would likely save oodles on our utility bills and this alone would get her the new stuff she wants in time. She wanted evidence, and I didn’t have any. I just know for a fact it was true from reading about tankless water heaters at I took her to the nearest hardware store so she could speak with a salesman. It still didn’t do the job. She hesitated to give her final okay. I went on and on about the space issue to justify the expense. When you are facing an objection, you must forget trying to make it go away (because you can’t) and focus on another more compelling benefit. She did like the idea of more space, even for beer, as it would relieve other areas of the house that were overloaded.

She also liked the idea of avoiding a flood in the house from a broken water heater. Ours works, but it is old and no one can predict what will happen. Broken units are common, according to the hardware store salesman. Why wouldn’t you want state of the art, he said, when it comes to your most basic appliances. He told us about customers who related horror stories about no hot water when they were about to take a bath. He went on and on and on. My wife was showing a glimmer of acceptance. The arguing stopped.