The Wii and the Dead Treadmill

Ilsa has been wanting a Wii for ages. That's probably as long as six weeks, in kid terms. Three families we know received a Wii for Christmas. Ah, the wonders of extended in-home demonstrations.

My floppy extremities would like a Wii too. I like the idea of making yoga competitive. Only the Japanese and Americans could come up with such a fascinating contradiction in cultural values! But to get a Wii and a few games and the controllers and the battery chargers and the balance board...yeah, probably $400.

I really tried to be weak and consumerist when Ilsa and I went out on Monday. But the price of Wiis has recently dropped from $250 to $199.99, so no stores--seriously, I mean no store anywhere or online--have them in stock right now. Thank you forced discipline!

So our new family plan is that we're not going to eat out between now and my birthday. That's 13 weeks. Saving roughly $30 a week, we'll have $390 by then. We probably spend more than that on dining out, so there should be a little bonus in our checking account when it's all over, too. We made a savings chart and have a box to put the cash in each Saturday. The girls are psyched. And oddly, it saved me from going out to get a coffee yesterday. It would've been a betrayal of our family goal.

But that didn't stop me from trying to spend money on our treadmill. We bought it last January and it cost roughly $800. It died about mid-January of this year, just outside of the warranty coverage. The electronics console just...fizzled. I called Sears to do an in-home repair, but the estimate was for a $400 part and $185 labor. Um, no.

This got me thinking about our environment and how completely hideous this situation is. Forget my $800. I don't even want to think about how that money got totally thrown away. But because of the company's determination to do the bare minimum--to get their treadmill past the one year mark as far as quality goes--I now have a giant addition for the nearest landfill. Multiply this out by thousands of treadmill purchases. How is this responsible? Where are we going wrong?

Fiddle-de-dee. Playing Scarlett O'Hara is about the only way I can deal with problems that overwhelming. I won't think about that now. Ugh.

In the meantime, I have to figure out some way to get motivated about exercise. The weather isn't nice enough to walk by the lake. I may just have to suck it up and use my exercise DVDs until the weather get nicer. Feel my enthusiasm. That is the nice thing about saving for a Wii rather than buying it now--I can put off getting serious about shaping up until May!

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