Author Topic: 7 Things the Middle Class Can't Afford Anymore  (Read 24225 times)

gimp

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Re: 7 Things the Middle Class Can't Afford Anymore
« Reply #50 on: October 29, 2014, 06:54:17 PM »
By the way, I'd like to add that I agree with your general point, and I'm not being belligerent :) There are a lot of other things I find ostentatious that I don't need. There are other things that I find to be a little bit more expensive for which I'll gladly pay because in the long run they'll be cheaper, or because I like them more (eg, autodimming / electrochromic mirrors). I also make my decisions based on "will this be acceptable for multiple back-to-back 1000+ mile drives and any weather I am likely to encounter in north america" because those are real conditions for me.

I do tend to eschew fancy tech (read: more EE than ME tech) built in to cars that isn't for the purposes of driving the car. For example, radio, cd player, cassette player, etc - just give me a single aux port instead. GPS? Absolutely not. Infotainment? Go fuck yourself. Bluetooth pairing? I got a $2 bluetooth device that pairs with my phone and has an aux port... guess what, if a new communication protocol (eg, BLE) comes out, I just spend another $2. If it doesn't work with my phone? Another $2. And so on. I want all of that stuff to be as simple as possible and excluded when there are perfectly good standalone units, which I can replace without replacing the damn car. (New GPS: Maybe $300 for a really nice one. New GPS built into your car: Don't even ask, you'll just cry.)

But when tech trickles down and becomes very cheap, yes it really does become part of the "middle class life" and a great deal of it raises our standard of living (though it may also encourage excess.) It frees up a great deal of time to do other things. Isn't that why we all save - to buy time? Think of how much time you buy with a $500 washer/dryer versus doing laundry by hand. Unless you do one load every month, in which case it's definitely just excessive. Similarly, if you drive with the windows closed and AC on, power windows might be excessive; if you're using them, less so.

iris lily

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Re: 7 Things the Middle Class Can't Afford Anymore
« Reply #51 on: October 29, 2014, 08:12:13 PM »



Things that used to never cross the minds of the middle class:

Man Caves
Mani/Pedis
Designer purses
"Push presents"
iPads for each kid
Keeping the house at 70 year round
New wardrobes each season
Ridiculous seasonal decorations
High-end kitchens
Walk in closets
Huge cable packages
Multiple vehicles/trucks with not utilitarian purpose

That's a smart list and really gets at the core problem.

gimp

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Re: 7 Things the Middle Class Can't Afford Anymore
« Reply #52 on: October 29, 2014, 09:14:07 PM »
Oooh ooh, can I say my thing about "man caves"?

A "man cave" used to be the garage, or the basement workshop, or the shed, or your friends' shop. Man went down, grunted, banged some tools together, and either things got fixed or more broken. Sometimes entirely new items emerged, sometimes old items entirely disappeared. A man cave was a paragon of self-reliance, sustainability, and a bonding place for a guy and his kids. And maybe a bit of an escape from the wife. Still, a room for chores that was a source of pride.

A "man cave" today is the exact opposite: a place of consumption and sloth. A place from which to exclude your kids. Inexplicably, a place from which to exclude a wife or girlfriend (as if women don't like comfortable seats, good alcohol, and watching a movie?) Fifty years ago, gender roles were more rigid and excuses can be made; today... seriously? Your gender role is that a woman can't play video games with you?

A furnished room with a desk and maybe whisky could be a study - for doing work. Now it's a room for toys.

If I need some time to myself, I can just tell a girl that. "Hey, I need some time to myself." There's nothing unreasonable about that request. I don't need to invent a whole new room to get away from her. I'll just do something in which I'm interested but she isn't, or go out alone, or go out with friends, or wait for her to go out without me; boom, alone time.

horsepoor

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Re: 7 Things the Middle Class Can't Afford Anymore
« Reply #53 on: October 29, 2014, 09:37:32 PM »
Good thoughts on the man cave, Gimp.  It's kind of funny - the two of us have an embarrassingly, excessively large house, and when we bought it, DH was so excited about the built-in man cave basement complete with wet bar.  Fact is, he rarely goes down there, so I turned it into a home gym instead (barbells and iron plates are feminine, right?!).  I think the female benefit of the man cave is that it's a place where the neon beer signs, hideous posters and taxidermy can be hidden from polite company without the man feeling like he's got no say in the household.  But the man cave as a utilitarian place of creativity or at least attempts at building and repair, vs. sloth, drunkenness and NFL is well made.

kimmarg

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Re: 7 Things the Middle Class Can't Afford Anymore
« Reply #54 on: October 29, 2014, 09:38:56 PM »
Real maple syrup

I realize this is true somewhere but growing up and living in maple country a few $0.79 taps, a drill, and recycled milk jugs are all you need. Ok, a bit of extra propane/electric to boil it down. SO worth it, I won't eat the fake stuff! 

gimp

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Re: 7 Things the Middle Class Can't Afford Anymore
« Reply #55 on: October 29, 2014, 10:04:13 PM »
Good thoughts on the man cave, Gimp.  It's kind of funny - the two of us have an embarrassingly, excessively large house, and when we bought it, DH was so excited about the built-in man cave basement complete with wet bar.  Fact is, he rarely goes down there, so I turned it into a home gym instead (barbells and iron plates are feminine, right?!).  I think the female benefit of the man cave is that it's a place where the neon beer signs, hideous posters and taxidermy can be hidden from polite company without the man feeling like he's got no say in the household.  But the man cave as a utilitarian place of creativity or at least attempts at building and repair, vs. sloth, drunkenness and NFL is well made.

There's nothing more feminine than weights. Have you seen how good a girl looks when she uses them? :)

You do bring up a good point: there's definitely an element of "instead of compromising on how the house looks, you do whatever to everything except my one place and I do whatever to that room." Complicated issue that is partly culture in the form of men not having the authority (jokes like "men picking out paint must be accompanied by wives" - don't get me wrong, hilarious, but still part of our culture) and partly culture that men just care less about that sort of thing ("you want teal? fine. red? don't care. curtains of that nature? okay.") and likely some individual bone-headedness ("it's teal, and that's final"). So the guy says: fine, but at least let me have this room. And that's why there's tacky neon and taxidermy: it's a form of rebellion. "I'm a man, I kill animals and have them stuffed, or someone else does and I buy it because guns are loud but cash is king."

A fair point indeed. Weird, but if we apparently have enough rooms to do that... well, we can. Houses got bigger.

I think pretty much every liquor-appreciating guy wants to have their own bar, and pretty much everyone of those guys with their own bar uses it once in a blue moon. A bar in a basement is ... well, it's a lot of work. You need to invite friends over often, establish it as a place to hang out... stock it with liquor, maybe wine, definitely beer. But then you need a fridge for the beer with freezer for ice (for jack and cokes, mind, not good whisky :), and then of course you put mixers into the fridge too. Now, a bar means serious business, not just pouring straight whisky or opening beer, so you justify it with the right stuff to make good drinks - liqueurs, bitters, infusions, and of course, standard bar ingredients. Luxardo cherries might last a long time, but limes and lemons and mint and whatever else, less so, so now you're buying new fruit regularly. And of course most beer will expire within three or maybe six months, so you need to drink and rotate that. And obviously you need prep tools - bar mats, cutting boards, knives, muddlers, jiggers, mixing spoons, shakers. You need glassware - beer glasses (and if you really like beer, now we're talking three or four styles of glasses, and maybe tasting glasses and paddles), wine glasses (and if you like wine, now you have glasses for red, for white, and if your wife gets into it maybe for champagne), lowballs, highballs, maybe separate water glasses if pint glasses aren't good enough, then you add martini glasses, maybe margarita glasses, and then you find stemless glasses for wine and/or cocktails so those too, and of course you can't forget dedicated whisky glasses. Maybe now you get a dishwasher there, too. And if you're a real man's man, you start brewing your own beer, and before you know it you've got a huge brew setup, and maybe cider and mead on the side. All this shit gets fucking expensive. Really fucking expensive, really fast.

Or, you could just not go down to the basement too often. Waste of a perfectly good bar.

That's the man cave in a nutshell. "All this shit gets fucking expensive." And then you don't use it because it's a bit of a hassle, or you use it for NFL as you said (despite probably having a fully functional living room with teevee that gets NFL on it.)



If I was tasked with creating a bar for a house during its design/construction, I would make the bar be part of the kitchen. All of your stuff is already there, and it's somewhere very accessible and you don't need to make a concentrated effort to convince people to go down into the basement.

horsepoor

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Re: 7 Things the Middle Class Can't Afford Anymore
« Reply #56 on: October 29, 2014, 10:18:57 PM »
Oh yeah, I brew beer down there too; why is that a dudes' hobby?  And it's a root cellar, which is a much more mustachian use of a basement.  You're right, I think the fantasy of the man cave is usually better than the reality, which is, paying to play bartender to friends and friends of friends, and then cleaning up after them.

gimp

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Re: 7 Things the Middle Class Can't Afford Anymore
« Reply #57 on: October 29, 2014, 10:24:10 PM »
Because men beer. Beer men. Men. Beer. Not a man if you don't drink the lightest watery-est beer America has to offer. Men. Mennnnnnnnnnn beer. Whiskey.

rocksinmyhead

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Re: 7 Things the Middle Class Can't Afford Anymore
« Reply #58 on: October 30, 2014, 06:39:41 AM »
gimp, I feel like I just learned a lot from your posts. So thanks for that. LOL.

There seems to be a fine line between raising the standard of living and "encouraging excess," as you put it.

There's also the point that, as has been discussed here before, TV shows and movies that ostensibly show "middle class life" actually show "households earning $200K/yr life," which obviously is not even close to the median wage. But this then become how everyone thinks they should be living. 2500 sq ft house, two new cars, of course! Doesn't everyone have those?!?

The features, by the way, of an entry-level car over those of one from fifteen years ago are much improved. The updated version of my 2000-model car is safer, gets about 50% more mpg, and gets more power from the engine. I'm sure it also pairs with your phone over bluetooth or whatever other stupid shit people want.

SO true. And this is why it's awesome to wait as long as possible before replacing your car (or anything else really)... My 2012 Nissan Versa (super un-fancy by modern standards) is AMAZING compared to the 1995 top-trim-level Chevy Lumina it replaced. Probably much safer too. Doesn't have integrated bluetooth but it does have an aux port which is pretty amazing to me.

Also totally agree with you both on the man cave thoughts!! Our house is way too small for a "man cave," but if we had one it would probably be a place for my boyfriend to work on projects I think are stupid/pointless but that later turn out to be really cool. TV-watching and beer-brewing are definitely mutually enjoyed activities.

sheepstache

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Re: 7 Things the Middle Class Can't Afford Anymore
« Reply #59 on: October 30, 2014, 08:10:18 AM »
I'm loving this man cave discussion.

Yeah, when I hear the term I definitely think of the consumerist play-room. A workshop or a workout room or a rec room, etc., are different things.

And unless you were super into shop work or fitness, these areas developed organically, taking over basement or other spare space. You didn't buy the house thinking, here's where we'll put the home gym (this might have to do with demographic changes about when people buy homes / move / start families). The desire came first, then the description. Now that the term is in the lexicon, people see it as a need that needs to be filled.
I'm reminded of a swedish design/organization blog I used to read and the woman had a really nice look in her home and then some of her posts showed her husband's room and she kind of jokingly talked about how this was her way of not having to see some of his stuff she didn't like. And this struck me as really odd. Like, this home belongs to both of you, why wouldn't he get to decorate it with some of his stuff? I shrugged it off thinking, well, she is a professional designer so she takes more of an interest in the aesthetic of the house than most people would. But I was really not surprised some time later when they got a divorce. Not that I'm saying the 'man room' was the problem! It just seemed like an indication of attitudes that might not be working.

And, this was too weird, to me, later she'd moved into a new house and was working on the yard and this big grassy bush that she had liked flowered...and she decided she didn't like how the flowers looked so she cut them off. I mean, that's some weird psychological stuff going on, am I wrong?

Anyway, yeah, it definitely says a lot of really interesting things about current attitudes about masculinity. It's not just the exclusion of women, though I see that too, it's the boxing up of men because supposedly they're so annoying that women want them out of the way. It both encourages and re-defines "manly" activities as being superfluous  little boy activities rather than workmanlike hobbies that might add value to the household (not that I think characterizing men as workhorses is the way to go either). I think the fact is both people, depending on personality, want their own space, but it's interesting that we have to characterize it differently. The man is alternately being shunted off to the side (like that line in the movie Juno, something like, "Wow, it's nice she gives you a room for your stuff.") or he's asserting his independence. The woman doesn't get any personal space to herself (see: Virginia Woolf's A Room of One's Own), but looked at another way she gets to be in charge of all the public spaces of the house.

I wonder how many men really wanted neon beer signs or taxidermy prior this trend. It feels a bit like the marketing that insists girls want everything to be pink.

horsepoor

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Re: 7 Things the Middle Class Can't Afford Anymore
« Reply #60 on: October 30, 2014, 08:22:47 AM »
My aunt and uncle struck a compromise:  for every square foot of pink she decorated the house with, he got to have a cubic foot of car parts indoors.


iris lily

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Re: 7 Things the Middle Class Can't Afford Anymore
« Reply #61 on: October 30, 2014, 08:28:21 AM »
...SO true. And this is why it's awesome to wait as long as possible before replacing your car...

I know! I remember moving from a 1980's beat up Toyota truck to a 1990's 3 year old Ford Taurus. That Taurus was the most luxe car I've ever had. Power windows, power set adjustment, velvety seat fabric, cruise control. I've never had a car feel that luxe to me because we've been trading cars more often now. and besides, the SUV I have now truly is NOT as luxe, no power sets, fabric is cheap and polyester.

Quote
... (or anything else really)...

I would have to say a big "no" to that, however. Household appliance are horrifically cheaply made now and I'd much rather have models that are 15 years old.

iris lily

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Re: 7 Things the Middle Class Can't Afford Anymore
« Reply #62 on: October 30, 2014, 08:34:12 AM »
My aunt and uncle struck a compromise:  for every square foot of pink she decorated the house with, he got to have a cubic foot of car parts indoors.

That's evidence of a couple who have good communication and compromise skills, and a wicked sense of humor!

I lived with ladders, aceteline torches, and various other construction equipment in our living room for a decide. We were rehabbing our old Victorian house. When we finally finished the living room DH had a very hard time understanding that no, he can't have even one shelving unit in the living room, a utilitarian piece of  unfinished wood where he stores hand tools and work boots. Ummm, nope, not in the living room.

 In fact, the first major step to finishing our living room was to pour a cement floor in the basement and invest in sturdy shelving units to hold some of the crap formerly stored in the living room. He has a perfectly nice workshop in the basement as well as a double plus garage filled to the brim with "stuff."

rocksinmyhead

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Re: 7 Things the Middle Class Can't Afford Anymore
« Reply #63 on: October 30, 2014, 09:46:29 AM »
Quote
... (or anything else really)...

I would have to say a big "no" to that, however. Household appliance are horrifically cheaply made now and I'd much rather have models that are 15 years old.

Good point, I guess I wasn't thinking about appliances really since I've always rented. I was more thinking of the TV we got last December. Our old one was... I don't even know how old but probably at least 10 years. We got a flat screen (I don't remember how big... 50" maybe??) that my boyfriend shopped around for. It's so insanely luxurious I still can't even believe we have it in our house.

Anyway, yeah, it definitely says a lot of really interesting things about current attitudes about masculinity. It's not just the exclusion of women, though I see that too, it's the boxing up of men because supposedly they're so annoying that women want them out of the way. It both encourages and re-defines "manly" activities as being superfluous little boy activities rather than workmanlike hobbies that might add value to the household (not that I think characterizing men as workhorses is the way to go either). I think the fact is both people, depending on personality, want their own space, but it's interesting that we have to characterize it differently. The man is alternately being shunted off to the side (like that line in the movie Juno, something like, "Wow, it's nice she gives you a room for your stuff.") or he's asserting his independence. The woman doesn't get any personal space to herself (see: Virginia Woolf's A Room of One's Own), but looked at another way she gets to be in charge of all the public spaces of the house.

I wonder how many men really wanted neon beer signs or taxidermy prior this trend. It feels a bit like the marketing that insists girls want everything to be pink.

I love this discussion too, and you have a TON of interesting thoughts here. Wow. I think a lot of what you're talking about ties into the stupid modern "incompetent dad" trope, which seems really different than how we thought of dads/men in the past.

For the most part my boyfriend and I agree relatively easily on what we want out in our house. If he ends up wanting to display something I REALLY dislike/think is super tacky, I kind of look at it as an interior design challenge... how can I make this look good? or at least tolerable? :)

gimp

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Re: 7 Things the Middle Class Can't Afford Anymore
« Reply #64 on: October 30, 2014, 11:57:00 AM »
Very relevant: http://thelastpsychiatrist.com/2011/11/luxury_branding_the_future_lea.html

One of the funniest things I've seen are "man caves" for a guy who lives alone. Isn't that just... your room? Which you decorated and filled just the way you like it? Why didn't you do it to the rest of your apartment? It's your apartment, after all. Who are you hiding from? Your mother? The girls you wish you occasionally had over?

The reference to the modern trope of the bumbling dad is interesting. It's not that modern - I wasn't around then yet, but certainly I've seen it when looking at decades-old media. He doesn't know how to cook, clean, or do laundry, and forgets things, so we do it for him, don't we, ladies?

It's moderately insulting, but then so are a great many tropes, so I don't think we can focus on this and be offended by it. (We can be offended by anything we please, but real menTM don't get offended.) Certainly partly this trope exists because middle-class men, usually white too, are... shall we say, someone you can make fun of with no consequences. See offense above. But partly this trope, like every other, has a strong foundation of truth. Girls maybe (not touching it) but guys definitely engage in extended adolescence. I don't mean drinkin' or whorin' or ridin' motorcycles, I mean playing video games and being drunk/high and otherwise being okay with doing nothing all day. Twenty years ago it was watching tv instead, so it's not video games, it's sitting and consuming that's the issue.

I think it's because the archetype of man-as-protector is gone. Man works, woman works, chores are split depending on preference (maybe she likes to change the oil and he likes to cook), she has full legal rights and reasonable expectation of winning if she flexes those rights just as he does. Apart from physical strength given to us by biology, a guy has nothing over a girl. His traditional roles are either obsolete (no wrestling tigers and punching bears to save your family), or outsources (easier to pay a mechanic, and that's why you go to work, right? so you have money to spend). A man who tries to define himself by these outdated ideals... well, either falls into depression, rage, or ignores it and sits around the house and does nothing. Beware the rage; that's deep narcissism under that...

Fucking embrace the new! Learn to cook and clean, that's people stuff, not women stuff. Play with your damn kids, raise them to not be afraid of what a man should do. Being a man isn't a higher calling, it's a biological gamble and you got the 50% that grows a dick. Qualities that used to define "good man" now define "good person." Don't hide in your goddamn man cave beating off to porn, bend someone over the table and convince them you're still worth it.

/rant

So that's "middle class." It's stuff we see on advertisements (seriously, read that link!) and on tv and decide that's us. "I'm a normal guy, so I will buy my normal guy Porsche. It's the entry-level model, of course, because I'm not rich - only $40k or so, but of course I also got the entertainment package and the performance package because every man needs a fast car."

seanc0x0

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Re: 7 Things the Middle Class Can't Afford Anymore
« Reply #65 on: October 30, 2014, 12:23:45 PM »

Also, I do legitimately hate power windows. Jesus Christ, just pull on your big girl panties and use a little muscle. And what the fuck is with electronic key fobs? How fucking difficult is remembering what your car looks like and turning a key? I could see an argument for keyless entry being more secure, but how is the bee-boop button thingy an improvement? It's like the world is being built for children. But, um, that's probably exactly the grousing, luddite attitude you had a problem with.


I wish I had a key fob. Our car doesn't have one and I have to carry my daughter to the driver's side door, unlock the car (double twist unlocks all doors, except for the one that quit auto-unlocking), then go back to the passenger side rear door.

That said, I just deal with it. Not going to replace the car to get one, even with a second kid due about a month from now. Nor am I going to pay the $400 they quoted to fix the broken lock. The little post thingy (what are those really called, anyway?) still works.

gimp

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Re: 7 Things the Middle Class Can't Afford Anymore
« Reply #66 on: October 30, 2014, 12:36:00 PM »
If your auto unlock is broken on one door, $400... if you really want to, I suspect the aftermarket part is around $5-10, door trim clips are another $5-10, and an hour of work should be (however much shops around you charge - $50? 70? 100?). Talk to the right person and you're looking at $75-125 I would suspect. Doing it yourself will be annoying but around $15.

Uneducated guess. $400 is bullshit. Not that $100 is necessarily worth it, of course.

seanc0x0

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Re: 7 Things the Middle Class Can't Afford Anymore
« Reply #67 on: October 30, 2014, 01:07:50 PM »
If your auto unlock is broken on one door, $400... if you really want to, I suspect the aftermarket part is around $5-10, door trim clips are another $5-10, and an hour of work should be (however much shops around you charge - $50? 70? 100?). Talk to the right person and you're looking at $75-125 I would suspect. Doing it yourself will be annoying but around $15.

Uneducated guess. $400 is bullshit. Not that $100 is necessarily worth it, of course.

I'm planning to do it myself eventually, but in addition to cheap, I'm also pretty lazy. ;)

fantabulous

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Re: 7 Things the Middle Class Can't Afford Anymore
« Reply #68 on: October 30, 2014, 01:48:34 PM »
Being a man isn't a higher calling, it's a biological gamble and you got the 50% that grows a dick.

And it's really expensive to return it if you don't want it.

dragoncar

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Re: 7 Things the Middle Class Can't Afford Anymore
« Reply #69 on: November 03, 2014, 04:48:43 PM »


How fucking difficult is remembering what your car looks like and turning a key?


What, like a fucking animal??

iris lily

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Re: 7 Things the Middle Class Can't Afford Anymore
« Reply #70 on: November 03, 2014, 07:55:37 PM »


How fucking difficult is remembering what your car looks like and turning a key?


What, like a fucking animal??

omg, this made me snort-laugh.

Gin1984

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Re: 7 Things the Middle Class Can't Afford Anymore
« Reply #71 on: November 05, 2014, 09:47:50 AM »

Also, I do legitimately hate power windows. Jesus Christ, just pull on your big girl panties and use a little muscle. And what the fuck is with electronic key fobs? How fucking difficult is remembering what your car looks like and turning a key? I could see an argument for keyless entry being more secure, but how is the bee-boop button thingy an improvement? It's like the world is being built for children. But, um, that's probably exactly the grousing, luddite attitude you had a problem with.


I wish I had a key fob. Our car doesn't have one and I have to carry my daughter to the driver's side door, unlock the car (double twist unlocks all doors, except for the one that quit auto-unlocking), then go back to the passenger side rear door.

That said, I just deal with it. Not going to replace the car to get one, even with a second kid due about a month from now. Nor am I going to pay the $400 they quoted to fix the broken lock. The little post thingy (what are those really called, anyway?) still works.
Our new to us truck has a key fob but no key spot except for the driver's side.

gimp

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Re: 7 Things the Middle Class Can't Afford Anymore
« Reply #72 on: November 05, 2014, 11:35:39 AM »
Relevant:

"Honey, let's get an SUV for $40k+. But let's make sure it has no room to actually haul things or extra kids, because we just want to sit up high. While we're at it, since we both just turned 45, what say we compromise and make this our midlife crisis car, but not red, because that's too much crisis?"

Ladies and gentlemen, I proudly present to you: the ugliest car I've seen in months!

http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/4/42/2011_Nissan_Murano_CrossCabriolet_--_10-28-2011.jpg

Goldielocks

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Re: 7 Things the Middle Class Can't Afford Anymore
« Reply #73 on: November 05, 2014, 12:47:11 PM »
Relevant:

"Honey, let's get an SUV for $40k+. But let's make sure it has no room to actually haul things or extra kids, because we just want to sit up high. While we're at it, since we both just turned 45, what say we compromise and make this our midlife crisis car, but not red, because that's too much crisis?"

Ladies and gentlemen, I proudly present to you: the ugliest car I've seen in months!

http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/4/42/2011_Nissan_Murano_CrossCabriolet_--_10-28-2011.jpg

I really like the Murano, but agree that the space was less than other SUV's and the cost ridiculous.  (maybe in 10 years...)

Cabriolet -- That truly is a funny looking vehicle.     Roll-over with style?

Gone Fishing

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Re: 7 Things the Middle Class Can't Afford Anymore
« Reply #74 on: November 05, 2014, 02:03:21 PM »
Relevant:

"Honey, let's get an SUV for $40k+. But let's make sure it has no room to actually haul things or extra kids, because we just want to sit up high. While we're at it, since we both just turned 45, what say we compromise and make this our midlife crisis car, but not red, because that's too much crisis?"

Ladies and gentlemen, I proudly present to you: the ugliest car I've seen in months!

http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/4/42/2011_Nissan_Murano_CrossCabriolet_--_10-28-2011.jpg

I really like the Murano, but agree that the space was less than other SUV's and the cost ridiculous.  (maybe in 10 years...)

Cabriolet -- That truly is a funny looking vehicle.     Roll-over with style?

I was going to say the new owner would be required to accessorize with a roll bar, but apparently it already comes with pop-up roll bars...

agent_clone

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Re: 7 Things the Middle Class Can't Afford Anymore
« Reply #75 on: December 25, 2014, 01:56:47 AM »
Relevant:

"Honey, let's get an SUV for $40k+. But let's make sure it has no room to actually haul things or extra kids, because we just want to sit up high. While we're at it, since we both just turned 45, what say we compromise and make this our midlife crisis car, but not red, because that's too much crisis?"

Ladies and gentlemen, I proudly present to you: the ugliest car I've seen in months!

http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/4/42/2011_Nissan_Murano_CrossCabriolet_--_10-28-2011.jpg
And to add to it all it has a soft top, so people so inclined can easily take a knife and get inside/destroy your car! (I have an ex-housemate from Mexico who had wanted a convertible for a while, he couldn't have/use one in Mexico for obvious reasons but he bought a second hand one after he moved to Australia, he deliberately bought one where the cover was a hard top rather than soft top).

Primm

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Re: 7 Things the Middle Class Can't Afford Anymore
« Reply #76 on: December 25, 2014, 02:56:06 AM »
In fact, the first major step to finishing our living room was to pour a cement floor in the basement and invest in sturdy shelving units to hold some of the crap formerly stored in the living room. He has a perfectly nice workshop in the basement as well as a double plus garage filled to the brim with "stuff."

See, we did this the other way round. The best way to have the space necessary for easy access to tools, sawhorses for cutting the many pieces of skirting boards etc. was to finish off the downstairs (garage but under the house) first, before we even touched the rest of the place. It's working really well actually.