Thursday, June 20, 2002

Diapergate - I am a cheapskate. I am also an environmentalist. These typically discrete personal traits have fused together in me, resulting in behavior that characterizes the way I live and conduct myself. Some examples:

Yesterday, I had to mail some bills and send Russell’s baby pictures to my folks back home. So I walked ten minutes or so to the nearest postal mail box to send the letters on their merry way. In California, this is abnormal behavior. A typical Californian would have driven to the mail box. This was once brilliantly illustrated in a movie called LA Story, starring Steve Martin.

On the way back home, an Isuzu Trooper (15 City/19 Highway MPG) with a single occupant drove past me. It was emblazoned with Greenpeace, "Think Globally Act Locally" and "Save Our Planet" bumper stickers—not to mention the ubiquitous Gore-Lieberman sticker. I gave the driver a dirty look, and then thought about the gasoline money I had saved by not driving to the mail box.

Later that night, Jenny and I had a discussion about the cost of raising Russell—to be specific, the cost of his diapers. At 25 cents apiece and at the current run rate of 8 diapers a day, we will be spending about $750 on diapers over the next year. I brought up the possibility of subscribing to a cloth diaper service, which my own parents had done back in the Stone Age when I was a toddler. Not only would this be an environmentally-sounder choice, but I pointed out that we would spending only 23 cents per diaper—a potential savings of $50 per year.

Needless to say, Jenny was not pleased with my suggestion. The idea of putting a less comfortable (re:less absorbent), used cotton diaper on Russell’s sensitive behind was abhorrent to Jenny. She also pointed out that the diaper service would only pick-up and deliver diapers once a week, leaving us with up to one week’s worth of smelly poop-filled and peed-upon diapers around the house. No Diaper Genie's with the diaper service. With this point, I conceded to Jenny and consented to three years of disposable diapers.

I wonder what Al Gore thinks about Huggies Supreme and Ultratrims?


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