Friday, September 29, 2006

Fuzzy Math: A Rationalization in Three Parts

Part One: Cheap Pants

I hate buying pants. I like *wearing* pants, don't get me wrong. It sure beats walking around only half-clad, and sometimes a skirt just doesn't do the trick. But for how difficult it is to find pants that actually fit me, you'd think my body was so freakish that people would gasp in horror and sympathy when I walked down the street.

Well. They might, but I've never noticed it, and I certainly don't feel like I have a freakish shape. I just can't find a pair of pants that feels the same way.

The effect of this situation is that I found myself the other morning realizing that I only own two pairs of pants: Jeans and Black. And of course, both were dirty. The days of summer-skirt-wearing were ending, and I needed a little wardrobe-development-expedition. Also known as:

[dun dun dun] Shopping. For. Pants. [tortured scream]

I girded my loins and set out. If I have time, I generally start at the bottom of the price-scale and shop my way up until I strike gold. Last time I shopped for jeans, I went to six stores, and probably tried on thirty or forty pairs. I ended up with some good jeans, but they were expensive (even if I didn't factor in the cost of all that time). Now do you see why I only owned two pairs of pants?

But today, somehow, the planets aligned and I found two pairs of jeans at the Salvation Army, for a grand total of $14.00. They're maybe a little more hootchie-mama than I was looking for, but not so hootchie-mama that everyone gets a gross little peek down my drawers every time I sit down. And they are actually the same length as my legs. In other words, unprecedented success.

Part Two: Luxurious Cookware

I've been wanting a particular pan for a year or so now. It's sturdy, thick-bottomed and great looking (and I bet it has a hell of a time shopping for pants too).

It can go in the dishwasher, it can go in the oven, and it has two loop handles, so it's easy to sling around and easy to store. And it's gigantic. I really like to make stew and meaty tomato sauce and braised chicken and stir fry, all of which are much better if there's enough very hot surface area to really brown the food, and not just make it sweat. Our existing large pan does have a lot of area, but it's not very thick, so there's only a six-inch circle of actual hotness in the center of the pan surrounded by a large, lukewarm doughnut-shaped territory.

So the new pan sounds great, right? Sounds like just the thing? How about for two hundred and thirty dollars? Still sound good? Yeah, that's why I've been dreaming about it and not buying it for the last year.

Part Three: Dubious Conclusion

But today, fresh from The Triumph of The Pants, I did a little math...

Two pairs of jeans that fit me: $68 each, $136 total
A just-adequate large frying pan: $85
10 morale-boosting fancy coffees because I'm chronically depressed by the quality of my cookware: $25

Total: $246

Two pairs of Sally Ann Special jeans: $7 each, $14 total
The Best Frying Pan Ever: $230

Total: $244

So, look at that! I can buy the pan and actually save two bucks! I think I'll treat myself to a fancy cup of coffee to celebrate.

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