It’s been the summer of cutbacks.

And I’m okay with that. So is Dave. All of our cutbacks have been choices, not necessities. And if not choices, commanded by the age of the equipment and therefore completely out of our hands.Cutback number one came mid-May. I meant to blog about it when we did it, but, story-of-my-life, time got away from me and I didn’t. It’s a shocking revelation, brace yourself.

We got rid of cable.

Cold turkey.

We didn’t phase it out, letting go first of DVR, then premium channels, then basic. No, we just turned it off, all at once, on a Thursday of all days. Returned the box and remote and told Cox to shut down the rest of it at Their convenience.

Since we retained Cox Internet Service (only because we are LITERALLY a block outside the LUS Fiber coverage zone) a few channels still get in: Versus (the poor man’s ESPN), ION Television (Man, IDK either, mostly reruns of crime dramas), Univision (!Clippos Magnificos!), a garbly TV Land (which now produces TV Land-specific programming. WTF?), and much to the delight of this liberal-leaning household, MSNBC. It’s worth noting that MSNBC is also home to our favorite mindless television marathoners “Lockup” and “To Catch a Predator.”

Every now and then, we miss cablecrack, but only when we want the aforementioned mindless television and must instead contend with Rachel Maddow. I love Rachel Maddow, but some nights, I want Predator reruns.

Cutback number two was more out of our concern for the planet than anything else.

Somehow, Dave and I have managed to amass a great many hand towels, dish towels, and wash clothes. I don’t know how this happened. We have a collection of really nice plush ones that we use ONLY for the bath/shower. And then we have this ever-multiplying supply of slightly crappy, perfect-for-kitchen-use, somewhat stained, raggedy rags. So one day, toward the end of our last roll of paper towels (we tend to buy paper products in bulk), I suggested we just not buy anymore. Dave agreed. Why literally throw money away when we have all these rags and no idea how they got here and I do laundry 82* times a day anyway?

*only a slight exaggeration.

I swear I haven’t missed them in the slightest. I mean it. I really haven’t noticed the lack of paper towels in my life. I don’t think Dave has either, but I’ll double check. It is sooooooo easy to grab a rag, wipe down whatever I’m cleaning/spilt/dropped and toss it in the hamper. Just like tossing it in the garbage, except I don’t have to remember to buy more later. Wash, fold, repeat. I’m already folding towels, underwear, blue jeans, and sleep shirts. A few more rags make absolutely zero difference.

Of course, all this harping about how totally unnoticeable the lack of paper towels is makes the whole thing feel really noticeable. Also, really awkward sentence structure up there. Sorry about that. Anyway, yeah, dumping paper towels? Greatest. Idea. Ever.

Until cutback number three batted its pretty little eyes.

We quit buying premade laundry detergent. Now, this is a two fold cutback. Like I just said, I do massive laundry quantities. Dave wears like nine articles of clothing in a day, and I think I do to. We are not small people. I mean, I’ve got tee-TINY feet, and I just break five feet, but other than that, we take up some room. So, six pairs of pants is a load in this house. That’s only three days of pants for two people. And we have pets. Pet, like kids, are messy, messy little fuckers. I mean, I wipe Oliver’s mouth atleast five times a day. Finn, poor baby, has a bad habit of peeing on his front legs, or walking through his pee, or peeing on his hind legs, or forgetting he needs to pee until the pee is already leaving his body. He’s quite the pisser. Then there’s Daisy. Daisy urinates as a defense mechanism, kind of like frogs, only without the possibility of warts and in exponentially larger quantities. I think her body maybe like 62% bladder. My washing machine deserves a medal.

I also have a nasty little habit of forgetting about the stuff I’ve just washed and not just for a few minutes. I forget for hours, half a day, sometimes all day and into the next day. Yes, yes, bad J. Anyway, around here, in The Swamps, shit mildews, quickly, really, REALLY quickly. In NO time, the machine smells like…well, like vomit. No really, not just a bad smell, but like actual upchuck. Nasty. I can’t walk around smelling like vomit. I hate vomit, which is a post of its own but anyway, and I can’t send Dave out into the world smelling like vomit either. Thus, forgotten clothes necessitates another washing. That gets expensive, y’all.

This isn’t the only time I have to rewash a load of laundry. We’ve been through our fare share of doggie illness in the S house. Puke, diarrhea, urine. That all gets a super wash, with extra soap, as many times as I think it will take to get ALL the poop off. Again, expensive.

Then, there’s Dave. Dave has psoriasis. Yes, yes, yes, just like Kim Kardashian. But Dave’s, like, the hipster of psoriasis. He had it WAY before it was cool. He also has a bit of a sensitive skin issue, what with trying to schlep it off every three days instead of every twenty-eight like all the non-mutants* out there. We’ve discovered he’s got JUST THE SLIGHTEST allergy to blue dye. Nothing outrageous, but when he bathes with blue soap consecutively for a few days, he starts to break out. Anyway, we fixed that problem. Don’t buy blue soap. But, free and clear laundry detergents are, that’s right, expensive, especially when you wash like I wash.

*And I mean that as a totally loving joke, with ZERO demeaning undertones.

I’d read about making laundry detergent before, but just didn’t have the guts to try it. My luck, our clothes would disintegrate. I just knew it. The one day, after spending just a teeny bit too effing much to clean the clothes society INSISTS I wear, I brought it up to Dave. Of course, he was on board. It’s why we’re such a perfect match. He loves experimenting with stuff just like me.

Low and behold, it works. It really, really works, just like the chemical-filled, totally processed, factory-made, and way over-priced stuff they sell in the stores. I’ll even write a post on how to make it. That part’s fun too! The making it. The post writing might be a blast, who knows, but making this stuff is so much fun. I feel like I’m playing with stuff instead of actually working.

I’m sure there were some more cutbacks, but I can’t think of them, which means we could REALLY do without them, thus the reason they became cutbacks.


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