It's a puzzle to me how I managed to shop for house materials twenty-six years ago with a three year old, a one year old and a newborn in tow. All that I have along with me now is a husband and an occasional dog but final selections are as scarce as hens teeth and nothing has been ordered.
Back in the 80's, I loaded up the kids, headed for one of several stores in Baton Rouge (found via the Yellow Pages) and got it done. No internet, no catalogs, no cell phone distractions, no long distance calling, no shipping things in from Timbuktu.
In the internet era, I find that I'm searching for the "perfect" chandelier, sink, shower tile, etc.
The Holy Grail of front doorknobs is out there; I just haven't discovered the source yet.
It could be in a catalog, pictured on the internet or lurking in a distant store.
So I keep looking, and pondering, and comparing.... and not making a final decision.
I'm not only searching for the "ultimate," I'm also trying to score the best deal. I might like a certain faucet, but there could be another that I'd like as much for less...
and how will I find it if I don't keep looking?
Surely someone is selling that Hansgrohe faucet for the master bathroom at Price Pfister prices?!
"Back in the day", there were a manageable number of choices at one or two local stores.
Brass or chrome? Expensive, middle of the road, or cheap?
Joe and I were on a strict budget; we were not only trying to afford building our new house but needed to keep the boys in food and diapers, so that helped keep my desires in check.
I mulled choices over quickly with the advice of a knowledgeable salesperson and I was ultimately happy for years with what I chose.
Now that there are no little ones needing my attention, I have time to wade through websites for hours on end. I've got a budget (I think), but it's kind of vague and hazy.
I wander through lighting showrooms until my neck aches from looking up at the ceiling. I can quote dimensions on Kohler sinks better than anyone at the plumbing store.
I've got so many photographs of tile showers and cabinet designs that I had empty my cache, cookies etc and defrag my computer just to free up more memory.
But do I know which tile, sinks, faucets, lights etc I'm using in the house?
Well, I've got it narrowed down.
Except for the things that I don't have narrowed down.
I can't seem to motivate myself to do what I did years ago when I sailed into the lighting store and in less than 4 hours purchased every freaking light I needed for a 5 BR, 3500 square foot house.
I was 8 1/2 months pregnant and had splurged by hiring a babysitter. Every single electrical selection was made that afternoon: chandeliers, sconces, recessed lighting, porch lights, switches, central vacuum, fans, .... even the kitchen appliances.
It was a productive day in more ways than one since I went into labor that evening!
Surely just coincidence!
The multitude of information that we have right at our fingertips is both a help and a hindrance.
Especially if you are like me and tend to research something to death.
I'll make my final plumbing decisions for the new house by this weekend and hopefully get much of it ordered. But I know that I'll still be feeling as though I've left stones unturned.
It's like the opposite of compulsive shopping.... compulsive comparisons.