Category Archives: Conspicous Consumerism

The Ride of Our Lives

There is a post I need to finish writing. It’s the most difficult and soul-baring one I’ve done. I feel stuck, and haven’t been able to finish it yet. The crazy thing is that I have felt I couldn’t write another post until I finish that one. I know in my head that that’s silly. I guess I feel like I shouldn’t post anything that feels frivolous when I have this giant weight sitting on my chest. When I finally do post it, I imagine some people might shrug their shoulders and think, “Is this what she’s been on about? Puh-leese.” And I do understand that there are things that loom much larger in my head than what is probably reasonable.

So that’s quite a teaser, eh? In the meantime, I’m going to get over the posting block and just post. So there giant-looming-sitting-on-my-chest-thing!

One of my recent Facebook status updates was: Boom! Got my Cadillac!

Most people who know me knew exactly what that meant. I had the stroller of my dreams in my hot little hands.

Strollers.

There are 15 opinions for every 10 strollers. This seems particularly true for strollers built for two.

When I was pregnant I bought a used Graco Duoglider with two matching infant car seats for $125. The stroller alone, new, is about $150, and is a popular, relatively budget-friendly option.

I was excited about it because it seemed just perfect. Snap the car seats on when they are little and then use it as a regular stroller later. I’d heard that a tandem was a little hard to maneuver and turn, but figured a side-by-side would be all sorts of trouble in store aisles and so forth. As it turned out, the Graco is heavy and you have to disassemble part of it in order to fold it up. Then you have to put those pieces back on in order to use the feature that allows you to snap the car seats on it. Ugh.

Then I heard good things about the Snap-n-Go by Baby Trend. It is basically a frame onto which you can snap infant car seats. The double only weighs about 15 pounds and you don’t have to take anything off to fold it up. I bought one used for $30.  I have loved that thing. It has been one of the best purchases I’ve made. In fact, nine  months later I’m still using it, though not as much as before. The boys are at a point where they want to sit up and see what’s going on.

I decided it was time to start using the Graco but discovered pretty quickly that the Graco is a beast. I need both hands to push and steer it and it has a huge turning radius. I thought the slim width would make it easy to get through doors, but the darn thing is so long that getting a door open and getting through without someone getting bruised up is just about impossible! Oh – and try getting through a door-then-door situation. It’s also truly designed only for smooth, paved surfaces. It does not do very well over grass and certainly can’t handle unpaved trails.

I knew I needed something different and fell into the black hole of stroller reviews. Good grief. People seem to have a love/hate relationship with their strollers and if one person tells you that the Bob Jogger is the best out there, the next person will tell you it’s a piece of crap. After reading lots and lots and lots of opinions and test driving a few at Babies R Us and Buy Buy Baby, I fell in love with the Bumbleride Indie Twin.

Oh, My Precious, My Precious!

Inflated tires and a suspension system for a smooth ride even over gravel, tree roots, mulch etc. Huge canopies for true coverage. Independently reclining seats that slide, so you can have them at any angle. Adjustable height handle so Tall Me won’t kick the back of the stroller while pushing it. Front tires that swivel, allowing it to turn on a dime. The ability to lock the front tires for jogging or rough trail usage. Adjustable foot rests. 29 inches wide, so it will fit through any standard doorway and aisles that are wide enough for wheelchairs (which all aisles should be, by the way). Yeh, it’s 34 pounds – as heavy as the Graco, but other than that there is no comparison.

The downside? It’s a $700 stroller. Gulp.

I felt like I couldn’t justify $700 for a stroller, even though OW told me to buy it if I wanted it (he’s so sweet like that). But I just couldn’t do it. I started stalking Craig’s List, but they hardly ever come up, so I didn’t hold out much hope. Then I saw one… I emailed immediately but someone had already snatched it up. I was despondent. Why so much emotion over a damn stroller? Still, I checked CL every day, hoping against hope that I’d find another one.

And then it happened.

A gorgeous, seagrass green 2009 model (yes, these strollers have model years) for $300. My hands were sweating as I emailed the owner. I tried to play it cool. When I went to meet her, I looked it over carefully and turned up my nose a bit as I touched this and that. She casually mentioned that she had the rain cover, foot muffs and liners, and matching diaper bag. Those items didn’t come with that model and together cost about $200.  I almost fainted. The thing was in wonderful condition. I took a deep breath and offered her $250. Her eyes got big and she said she really was firm at $300 and that these often sell for $400. I sniffed and said I’d found them for less than what she was asking but just hadn’t gotten to them first. The truth was that I would have bought it even if she’d upped the price to $350 right there in the parking lot, but I sighed and said, “Well, ok, I’ll take it.”

Am I a bitch or what? I handed her the cash and loaded everything up into my van. As I drove away, I looked in the rear view mirror to make sure she wasn’t behind me, and then I did a goofy little chair dance and giggled wildly all the way home.

Oh the things that make me happy now that I’m a mom of young’ns again.

And yes, I LOVE my Bumbleride.

Next up: A fabulous Ju Ju Be, Petunia Picklebottom, or CoCaLo Couture diaper bag. Craig’s List, I’m watching you!

 

That’s my story and I’m stickin’ to it.