The Washer & Dryer Commitment

13 years ago, I was going through a divorce. Any divorce is messy, especially for the kids and this one was no exception. Through the years we had jointly built up a significant amount of credit card debt and 95% of that ended up my responsibility as part of the settlement, meaning on top of a generous alimony, child support for the 2 children (normally a state calculation), along with the debt payments…lets just say, I was living well below the poverty line. 

As I was moving into a new apartment, I needed to see if I could dig up a very cheap washer and dryer. I ended up finding one for $50 but it was in Charlotte, NC….that’s about 2 hours away. I had an aging Jeep Grand Cherokee at the time and fortunately had a trailer, so off I went to take possession. During the trip, somewhere around Winston-Salem, my car basically died. I ended up having to get it towed to a local dealership to receive the news that I would need a new engine (which I could hardly afford). I called Zabrina to come pick me up, we ate dinner, and I called up the seller and let them know that their would be a delay and that I still needed the washer and dryer, also wanting to follow through on my word that I would buy it.

2 weeks and several thousand dollars later, I made arrangements to again go pick up the washer and dryer, brought it home. To the sellers credit, he held it for me, not something which I probably would have expected. We got them installed, and they both worked although the dryer took a little longer to dry cloths but it lasted as long as I needed it. In the end, that washer and dryer probably cost me well over $3000.

Why am I telling you all this? What does this have to do with SecondMoonshot?

Well, to this day, whenever Zabrina hears me talk about doing something for someone and its a large commitment that I gave my word on….we call this a “Washer and Dryer Commitment”, meaning that my values have no choice but to see it though regardless of the cost, Thy Will Be Done. I take this to everything that drives me forward and what made me thing about writing this was a pair of Lucchese boots that I let a prospective buyer know I had and was going to list for $275 to $350. The boots had a defect on a pull strap and we agreed on a final price. When I was giving him the price, I had originally thought the boots were somewhere around $800 boots (new in mint condition), turns out after we agreed on the price, I found out that they were closer to a $1400 price point. These were new boots in all respects with the exception of the defect, so I probably could have gotten $350-$400 in this condition. I never considered going back and re-negotiating (the money wasn’t really a factor for reasons I won’t go into)…I had already made a “Washer and Dryer Commitment”. I don’t know the background on the buyer, if he really needed a deal or if he was playing me, it didn’t matter…I trusted him and had no reason not to. I came out of this knowing I probably made someone’s day, I felt good at the end of it all, and he was thrilled with the boots.

Now-a-days, I’m debt free and we live a pretty minimal life and well under our means, but we just don’t need that much. Everything discretionary we buy that is more than $100, we always ask ourselves “will this purchase change our quality of life”…its amazing how much that answer is no, and we don’t buy it. The few things we do buy, well, they have meaning, they improve our quality of life, give long term happiness. So, what are some of the things that fit into this category for us? Well, the Porsche 911 for one, we both love it, we take drives every weekend, most estate sales we go to in it, and it keeps us close together. Our Breville coffee maker, not super expensive, but a quality appliance that makes better coffee than anything we would buy in a coffee shop of any type; we like the Breville brand and have a couple appliances which fall into the same category. We have one All-Clad large skillet which we have had for years and probably 75% of everything we cook is in this pan…its perfect. We only have 1 television and its a smaller one and we just don’t watch much television, so we don’t go buying a 70” mammoth television. We don’t have a 5,000 square foot custom home and don’t need it and we are almost empty nesters anyway.   

I want those that buy item from SecondMoonshot to have no regrets on their purchase, have a positive experience and feel they got a fair or better than fair deal. And if not, return it!

John

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