Why I Don’t Mind Getting a Freezer for Christmas

We're the red spot in the middle of all of the green. Only Fresno gives us a run for our money. (from http://www.airnow.gov/)

I have a lot of mixed feelings about Utah, but on the balance, I like living here. At least during the summer. During the winter, the balance tips way over to the “this place sucks” side. We have these inversions, when warm air in the upper altitudes traps colder air and totally nasty smog in the valley. The Wasatch Valley has been described as a toilet bowl you can’t flush.

When people first mentioned these inversions to me, I thought about the inversions we had in California. “So?” I thought. “It’s a little hazy and overcast for a few days. What’s the big deal?”

It didn’t take me long to find out what the big deal was. It’s not the depressing overcast sky. It’s the red air quality days. That just go on and on and on until a big enough storm comes through to blow all the crap out of the valley. In the meantime, I get migraines, sinus issues, and, my newest fun symptom that just started this year, inner ear-type dizziness. I move my eyes or my head too quickly and I feel remarkably dizzy. It was bad enough yesterday that I had my husband come home early to drive my daughter to flute lesson because I was afraid I would be a danger behind the wheel.

Red air quality is predicted throughout the weekend. Lovely.

It will be the inversions that drive me out of Utah. That’s my prediction.

This has really nothing to do with the chest freezer situation. I just wanted to complain about the air quality before I posted this note that I originally posted on my Facebook profile almost two years ago. Jackie commented on my post about the chest freezer that if I found a good enough deal on a used freezer, I wouldn’t need to have a chest freezer serve as my Christmas gift. A deal is great, but I don’t mind getting a chest freezer as a Christmas gift. And here’s why…

A Washing Machine is my Methadone

I have inherited a penchant for shopping to lift my spirits when I’m down. It was worst in my 20’s, when perusing catalogs would result in a desire for tons and tons of stuff I didn’t need or walking through the mall had me coming home with clothes I couldn’t really afford and didn’t like for more than a couple of months (if even that long). I even bought a car one time, but luckily it was from Carmax and I could take it back. I’ve since developed a strong “frugal” streak and fear of carrying debt, which helps to curb the retail therapy because the accompanying guilt after making unnecessary (and sometimes even necessary) purchases cancels out much of the shopper’s high.

So, to compromise, I get a lot of visceral pleasure from buying things I really do need. I was glad to be pregnant in a different season (really two different seasons, a cold winter and a hot summer, since I was pregnant in California last time and had neither) so I had a good reason to add to my maternity wardrobe (and made my frugal and spendthrift sides both happy by buying a lot at thrift stores and getting hand-me-downs from friends).

The best one lately was buying a front-loading washing machine. I enjoy seeing it sitting there all shiny and new when I come in the back door of our house. I love the way the clothes smell (ie, not musty) after they come out of the machine and how the 1250 rpm spin cycle has prolonged the life of our >20-year-old dryer by reducing the drying time by half. It’s not quite the thrill I would get from buying a new car or a pair of shoes that aren’t on sale, but the side effects are significantly less, too. So, lower highs and higher lows. I’m happy with that compromise. But then, I’m not into extreme sports or traveling without lots of snacks and a first aid kit, either.


  1. Lea · December 20, 2010

    We visited a mutual friend from Witt in Provo during an inversion a couple years ago. I have never seen anything so foul, and that includes the smog in LA!! The last day we were there, we went over to Park City. There was a system headed in that was pushing the nastiness over the mountains, and I have never seen such a horrible thing – a huge, nasty, brown BLANKET coming over the mountains and just coating everything. We didn’t even bother taking the tram to the top of the mountain, it was so bad.


  2. Karin · December 4, 2010

    So…I shop too, but I have finally admitted the high I get, so it is easier to curb. However, I also have OCD and I have discovered that a well-researched purchase (ie, an obsessed-over one) gives me the same gratification.:-). It is probably just as bad mentally, because I am feeding the OCD monster, But, it is a less destructive form of obsessing and I get the high (now here is the kicker) whether I actually make the purchase or not.

    I love ksl.com and consumer reports. I love shopping review sites and amazon…I know, it’s the big man, but I have some great wish lists. ;-). Even if I ultimately decide I don’t have the disposable income to spend, or I really don’t need it, it is almost as good as buying, except without the remorse… 🙂

    Now that I’ve told you my secret, you may think me super weird…I just wanted to let you that there are other recovering consumers… 🙂


    • CJ · December 4, 2010

      Oh, yes. Consumer Reports, ksl.com, amazon wish lists, motherwear.com wish lists, rosie hippo wish lists, sierra trading post…all lovely, lovely things. I especially like shopping for cars. I researched my Jetta for two years before I actually bought one. I continue to “build” cars online. If I didn’t have to move car seats, I would test drive vehicles frequently. I also love going to open houses (even though I’m not currently a fan of homeownership) and looking at pictures of rental properties online. And I love looking at Angie’s List for contractors and even getting estimates, but rarely actually ever get work done. Oh, and planning road trips, whether I take them or not.

      So, yes, you’re super, super weird.


  3. Heidi Lewis · December 3, 2010

    So, I moved here in 96. There hasn’t been “smog” in this valley like before 5 years ago or less. It’s probably what will drive us out too (to Heber I think). It’s so sad. The urban sprawl is totally to blame.

    We have also thought much about a freezer too. I would fill it no problem! They sell them at Costco, of course. Some day…


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