Confessions of a Trading Spaces Overdose Victim

I don’t have cable TV.

In fact, my TV habit has been patchy ever since I left home in the fall of 1993 to attend Rice University in Houston, Texas. I didn’t have a television at school, and I barely watched the TV I bought for my barracks room in Germany. (Try watching 15 minutes of AFN, the Armed Forces Network, and see how enthusiastic you are about the boob tube.) I missed out on Buffy, Friends, Melrose Place, and The Simpsons. When I returned home to finish school at UCF in 2000, I pretty much stuck to syndicated re-runs of Law and Order (I’m a sucker for crime shows and police procedurals), the Powerpuff Girls, and, alas, TLC’s Trading Spaces.

You must understand that I am not at all domestic in the potpurri-buying, seasonal wreath-hanging, cute flower-shaped-soap-in-the-guest-bathroom way. I’m pretty sure I got in the wrong line when they were passing out the home decorating skills and wound up in the how-to-set-up-a-no-frills geekette pad line instead. My idea of a cozy home is one that has a bed, a computer desk, and enough bookshelves to store my massive collection of science fiction and fantasy novels, RPG manuals, computer references, and oversized art books. Oh, and a well-stocked kitchen with a nice set of cookware–love to get my eat on, after all.

Not for me the weekly trips to Bed, Bath, and Beyond and Ikea to look at the latest in housewares and the rug pattern du jour.

However, there’s something hypnotic about Trading Spaces that keeps me glued to the TV set every time I drive to Casselberry to visit Mom and Dad. If only I had a house, $1000, an interior designer, and a model/actor-turned-carpenter at my disposal! I, too, could have a living room oozing with Vern Yip class.

Well, the house, the money, the designer, and that divine hottie with a power drill Ty Pennington might be out of my grasp, but guess what? I can have the power tools they use, oh yes I can!

Okay…not really. My little apartment is packed to the rafters already with my things, and all of my repair needs are met by the wonderful staff of my apartment complex.

That is why my little lapse from my stringent schedule of tightwaddery last night is so embarrassing.

Go ahead and mock me, but when a Black and Decker 5-attachment cordless multi-tool showed up in my Amazon.com Gold Box at midnight last night for $89.99 (reg. $99.99) with free shipping, I gave in to a moment of Trading Spaces madness and bought it, visions of crafty home improvement projects dancing in my head. I rationalized that a single tool that could perform all the functions of a drill/driver, router, jig saw, circular saw, and sander/polisher for under $100 was a sound, frugal investment. I don’t see myself ever tackling big projects that might require dedicated power tools; I’m a dabbler at heart. This multi-tool seemed to be right in my league.

Twenty minutes after the order went in, I had a brief moment of buyer’s remorse. I zipped back to my Amazon account to cancel the order, but it was already in the “Preparing shipment” phase. Damn Amazon’s efficient new inventory prep system! Sometime in the first week of June, yours truly will probably be the only gal in her apartment building with 20 lbs of power tools in her bedroom closet.

Will I keep it? Only time will tell. The drill/driver certainly would get some use, and perhaps some of the other items as well if I get up the motivation to set up an outdoor workshop on my unused balcony. I was the router and jig saw queen of my 7th grade shop class, you know. If you need a beveled wooden sign announcing your family name to the world, I am so your gal. 🙂

Reviews and final verdict in two weeks or so…

Black & Decker MT1405B-2 14.4V Cordless Multi-Tool (Amazon.com Price $99.99)

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