I was in Trader Joe's tonight since I needed milk and I happened to be right next door. I generally dislike prepared foods, but as I was passing through the freezer aisle I spotted their well-known frozen teriyaki rice bowls. Now, I know people who stock up on these things like they're thin mints, and consider them nearly as tasty, so I decided to try one.
Big mistake. Big, big mistake. Ptui. Yuck. Ewwww. Plastic chicken, a few limp vegetables, rice that has about the consistency that one would expect from frozen and then microwaved rice, and all topped off by a sweet goo that bore only a passing resemblance to teriyaki.
Those who know me are aware of the fact that I'm not the world's best housekeeper. In fact, I'm probably not even in the running for the top 100, unless maybe I was only competing against blind quadriplegics, and even then it would be close. I also despise doing it. At the same time, my midwestern upbringing has never really let me hire someone to do it. "Don't be so high and mighty, miss priss. You can clean your own damned toilets."
Tonight after I got home from work, I played a couple of sit & go poker tournaments. I started to sit down in a second set, but then I realized that I promised myself I'd do something with the bathtub before it did something to me. As I was standing there with a scrubby sponge in one hand and a can of Comet in the other, I realized that the hourly rate for a housekeeper was about half of my expectation at the poker tables. Or, put another way, by doing it myself I was paying twice as much as if I hired someone to do it for me.
Midwestern sensibilities, meet midwestern frugality. It's about like irresistible force vs immovable object, but I think that frugality will win-- if nothing else, it's more likely to get done if I hire someone, and they will certainly do a better job.