Sunday, January 30, 2011

Who's Better?

Life isn't a competition. And goodness knows that a marriage REALLY isn't one. I've never been in for competitive sports, but it seems that I might just have a pretty competitive nature by design. My dad WAS into sports of all shapes and sizes, so maybe I've just inherited a pride at doing something well.

Nevertheless, I thought I'd wave a "hooray for us" flag but also show how truly flawed (and human! Get that!) Dave and I are. Particularly, I mean, when it comes to our newer eating habits and greener lifestyle. You can read my first post ever for what set us on this journey.

Dave is S-T-R-I-C-T that we not even set foot inside a Walmart. It seems that he's quite proud of the post I once wrote about giving the place up. At the same time, out of convenience more than anything, we've stopped going to Aldi for fruits and veg. While this, of course, hurts our budget a little more, it really forces me to ask myself whether we neeeeeed the food items that we're buying rather than turning it into more landfill waste. So, he definitely gets a gold star as far as his concern of the quality of our food and how much (or little) we waste.

Thanks to a looser schedule, however, I get a gold star (go me!) for the actual purchasing of the foodstuffs. I'd say that about 90% of the time, mostly out of necessity and, like I said, a much more accommodating work schedule, I purchase the groceries. During the summer, it might be a little less since there are more farmers market visits (although, the local ones run when I'm free and Dave's at work, so the percentage may still be in my favor), and it's fun for us to go shopping together. Sounds sick, but we truly enjoy discussing what we want, why we want to try it, and persuading each other to try something new. It's very good for our relationship, so we do try to go grocery shopping together every month or so. But, still, the point is mine!

Here's another area that Dave excels: *gulp* He eats his fruits 'n veggies. Mind you, neither of us is altogether wonderful at doing this. Our lunches still consist of mostly soup or sandwiches and chips (all-natural, but still). We could be doing lots better. But, when I get an orange in my lunch bag, a vast majority of the time it somehow finds its way back home. Dave, however, eats it. So, point for him. Yeah, we both have to do a lunchtime makeover. Heck, I'm lucky enough that I have a husband who willingly MAKES mine for work everyday. Yes, you read that correctly. I'm a lucky lady, alright!

But, I get the next point for green thumbery. (No, that's not a real word; yes, I think I'll continue to use it on a regular basis.) While Dave helps me in any way possible with our gardening, such as when we built our first raised bed garden last year, but I'm usually the one tending and harvesting and planning. I sometimes got behind on it last year, but overall, it was definitely my baby -- and, boy, have I got some plans for the 2011 Victory Garden! So, my point. Yessssss!

Stuff. Things. Possessions. Crap. Call it what you will, but Dave gets the point as far as our green initiative of decluttering is concerned. He's the king of Ebay, sending NUMEROUS orders out weekly, all in an attempt to surround himself only with what he a) needs and b) is emotionally attached to. We're working on a wabi-sabi existence (whether he knows that's what it is or not ;-D), which I'm sure I'll get into in a future blog post. Dave's embraced a simpler life; I've still got tons of clothes and stored items that I'll probably never use. Simultaneously, I'm trying to follow Dave's lead of using what we have before purchasing new (which is hard -- his mom, as any mother would, expects me to keep an eye on his clothes, etc, to make sure he looks acceptable for life's expectations...I always say "It doesn't matter what I look like, but he has to leave the house halfway presentable. He's the one being criticized by viewers.") Regardless, he does a great job with simplicity and I need to learn a lesson from him -- Point, Dave. *By the by, I've read more about wabi-sabi recently in a magazine, but cannot remember for the life of me where I first discovered it. If it was on your blog (Sarah? Maybe??), please feel free to let me know so that I can give credit where it's due! Thanks!!*

Greenery and sustainability! We both do our darnedest to be green, and should be proud of our efforts, I think. This is a very close category in terms of "scoring." While we do produce more trash than we'd both like, we're obsessed with recycling and reusing, when possible. We buy recycled toilet paper and, when possible, paraben-free soaps and shampoos. However, I think that I get the sliiiiiight edge here. I'm the one with sneakers made from recycled products, a new steam-cleaner (which we got for only a few dollars after using our Macy's wedding gift card for using them as a registry) which reduces the need for a crapload of cleaning products, and an itchin' to revert to cloth napkin and handkerchief usage. I'm learning how to can and freeze (hoping to have shelving dedicated specifically to my homemade canned goods and cold storage for root vegetables in the basement when it warms up a bit), and am still trying to figure out a better way to compost, for our needs (last year's attempt may be deemed a disaster -- we'll see when the spring thaw comes). I'm dreaming of the day when our pennies are saved enough for newer, Energy Star appliances (but, again, using what we have until it's no longer usable...*sigh*). And, while I have a newer car, it's the bane of my existence -- I wish that I'd considered longer and gone with a more compact Subaru wagon or VW that we could run for a couple of decades, or had saved up more for a hybrid. Sooooo, I'm a little...obsessed. I think I do a lot more research about green living and read more about how we can make life changes. Oh, and I'm already planning for 21st century parenthood (although Dave's on-board with all my hair-brained schemes -- cloth diapers and homemade baby food, anyone??). Did I mention "obsessed"? Yeah. Point, Meg.

So, at 3-3, it's pretty obvious that we're tied. That makes me pretty darn happy -- I didn't really want to win, anyway. There are areas that I'm very proud to know that we are succeeding so well at, while others are disappointing, to say the least (compost: fail -- always sad to admit a failure, but, dangit, I'm going to figure it out!). I think the fact that we're about 9 months into the true life change experiment and it seems that we've made some real changes is encouragement enough. Go, Team Dellecese!!! (My actual last name is legally McCoy Dellecese, no hyphen, but that gets confusing. ;-D Besides, we're still connected by the Big-D.)


  1. The family I babysit for uses cloth napkins and a very minimal amount of paper towels. In addition to eating 95% organic, of course.
    And I recently decided that I'm going to try to use mostly all cloth diapers when I have kids too. It just makes more sense.

  2. Hey, it's what my mom did for my siblings and me (that doesn't sound grammatically correct to me, but it is...hate that!), so it can't be all bad! ;-)

  3. Although I was not who introduced you to "wabi-sabi", I am interested in this concept. I do my best to not own much more than I can carry in one car load (I can't wear what I do to work for working out at the gym, and I can't cook with my bow, bed or hiking pack... so things do accumulate a bit). BTW: There is nothing "sick" about your discussions.. it makes me sad how few couples do that type of thing together!

  4. LOL Glad to hear it's not "sick." ;-) Thanks for your comment, Sar! I'm going to look into wabi-sabi further and obviously do some more posts on it. It has me looking at the objects that we do have with more thought, finding more beauty than expected. :-)