Shedding the Light on Parenting Choices

Pen Name Jane struggles to make a good ... choice? ... decision? ... arrangement?

I have no light bulbs in my house.


Well, a few.

In the chandelier above the dining room table there is one, where there should be six.

In the bathroom: one out of five.

In my bedroom: none. Hope you don’t want to find a particular black T-shirt.

In the hallway: one out of three.

Boys’ room: one out of four.

In the guest bathroom: none. You just have to keep the door open, which you have to do anyways, because the bathroom is too small to be occupied and have the door closed, unless you put your legs in the shower.

It is not that I haven’t gone to the store to buy light bulbs. I have.

In fact, I have been 13 times. But I always leave empty handed.

I walk in. I head to the light bulb aisle. I look at the choices.

I cannot decide.

On good days, I can choose between bright white, soft white, interrogation and daylight. But I never get past choosing between a traditional inexpensive incandescent bulb, or the twirly bulb that says it lasts five years, uses less electricity, cost $12 a bulb and makes your house look like a gynecologist’s office in the Congo. (Democratic Republic of Congo, of course. Don’t confuse it with the Republic of Congo.)

Do these new bulbs actually last five years? Does is really cost me less in the end?

I know I have bought some of these bulbs before. Was that over five years ago?  

My perception of time is a bit off. I got mad at the tire store recently because they said I needed a new tire, and I said that they just put that one on last year … maybe a year and a half ago.

The man said, “OK, let me look,” and he scrolled and scrolled and scrolled through the computer. "That was 2007." So maybe I did buy those twirly bulbs five years ago, but I can still feel the hit in my wallet and haven’t noticed any change in my power bill.

But I would like to be part of the solution and not part of the problem. I would like do my part for the environment, but I can’t get over this feeling that I am buying into an idea that is making someone else a nice profit.

Or is that a conspiracy theory that I have made up because I am cheap?

I cannot decide.

Some nights I’ll look at my children, under the soft yellow glow of the street lamps, and I’ll think, I can’t even make a choice about light bulbs, how is it that I am in charge of choosing what is right for these kids?


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q0rban September 26, 2012 at 02:00 PM
Hahaha! I will say that buying the fluorescent bulbs do last a lot longer, but if you buy the cheap fluorescent bulbs, they aren't as reliable. Also, they have guarantees on them, so just walk back in the store if it burns out and tell them you just bought it a year ago. Or a year and a half ago. I don't think they keep record like the tire store. ;)
Tracy Jasnowski September 27, 2012 at 11:31 AM
I was buying the "twirly" ones until I got tired of the pause between hitting the light switch and light actually coming on in the room!! I also don't like that they contain mercury and require special disposal (which I don't think they publicize enough by the way!).


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