the skinflint philosopher

Attempting to thrift our way to a better life, with a toddler in tow!


Doing small things with great love

A very good friend once asked what did Digger and I argue about. We looked at each other and tried to think. We shook our heads and pondered, while our friend looked on bemused. Finally we both agreed, the thing we had a first big argument about, and it still chunters along in the background to be brought up when we are feeling bitter and trying to score points, is the humdrum reality of ‘the washing up bowl’.

Now before you think we have some sort of Stepford wives situation going on where everything is permanently sweetness and light, please bear in mind that this original conversation was pre-Tiddler, and there is way more to grumble about these days as our sleep deprived brains get narky with each other.

However, back to the equivalent of Room 101 for us. The ‘situation’ about the washing up bowl. Digger likes washing up without a bowl. I like a bowl. Digger says using a bowl makes the water and hence the pots dirty. I say the water is only dirty because I can’t tip the slops down the plug hole first. Digger says washing up in a bowl leaves soap suds. I say he is wasting too much washing up liquid as he is effectively pouring it straight down the plug hole. Digger says it is easier to rinse. I say he is wasting water by letting the tap run to rinse, and besides, I don’t need to rinse as I haven’t used up an entire bottle of washing up liquid to wash up after one meal. Digger says ‘I can see a bit of carrot stuck on that saucepan’. I say, ‘Do you want a bit of carrot stuck somewhere unpleasant’.  Ad infinitum.

My philosophising this evening is concerning the idea of conflict dragging us down unnecessarily, being that proverbial ‘drain on the rations’.  The quote below is clearly something that seems common sense, but we are all sometimes perhaps guilty of allowing the albatross around our neck (see here for some excellent bedtime reading if you don’t know that literary reference) to weigh us, and therefore our relationships, down.


I am certainly loath to back down from a certain viewpoint, or a certain thing said, and in doing so I allow that conflict to fester.

Digger has in all practical terms won this argument through default as we no longer have a bowl in use, and Digger generally does the washing up himself anyway. When the skinflinter in me bemoans the cost of Fairy Liquid, I am trying to remember that Digger is following the adage below.


Sometimes I am too busy looking for grumbles and gripes, I overlook the everyday small things he does. I overlook the times he lets me win arguments in order to keep the peace.


I am trying hard to not always be right. I am not very good at this task yet, but I am working on it. I am glad he is a patient man.

Just please don’t get me started on the one about clingfilm.