by Steve on November 29, 2006

I vaguely remember something about two lines on a graph from economics class. Several classes actually. Law of diminishing returns or some such. One line declines from the top of the scale, the other climbs from the bottom as you move from left to right. At some point they cross and the relationship flips, the value that was initially lower than the other is now higher and the reverse is therefore also true. The optimal decision point is where the two intersect. In this particular instance of inversely proportional relations that event took place two days ago. I got the call, “Honey, I just found the loveliest artificial Christmas tree!” Inwardly I cheered but I didn’t crack – let it be her idea, she sounds sold.

“Really?” Let her close the deal.

“But it won’t fit in my car.” Calm, boy. Stay calm. No more sap, needles, watering, worrying about spontaneous combustion. Go to your happy place.

“If that’s what you really want, just tell me where it is and I’ll go get it with the truck.” In a heartbeat!

For years I had appealed the case for a fake artificial tree. Always my pleas were met with stout resistance. Gradually a shift occurred. The fragrance (we can get a wreath) and nostalgia of a real tree began to decrease in importance as the reality of dealing with a dead shrub in the house took increasing hold. Technical advances in the design and production of artificial trees finally reached the point where at least visually they are darn close to the original. The early ones could be recycled and used by chimney sweeps. Now you can pick your favorite whether your preference is a Frasier Fir or Virginia Pine.

At least in our house, the cost of a real 9′ fir combined with the mess was determined to be less of a value than the convenience and symmetry of an imitation with a three year return on investment. The long-term savings coupled with cosmetic advances finally overtook the tradition of the real tree. The lines converged. It was time to strike before she changed her mind.

{ 1 comment }

Papa Ray December 3, 2006 at 22:26

Congratulations. I fought the same fight with one wife and one long term lady friend. I never won or should say that they never changed their minds.

Of course, why should they, they never had the bother of taking care of the mess.

That is what men are for.

Papa Ray
West Texas

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