Big Purchases, Little Purchases



Big Purchases, Little Purchases


Jacob Schlitt


"Dear Fran, I wrote this last year as a way of 'getting it out of my system'."












Dear Fran,
I wrote this last year as a way of “getting it out of my system.” Before discarding it, I thought I should print it and present it to you.


In response to your charge that there was never a big purchase that you made that I liked:

The biggest purchases we have made are our houses. After leaving 514 Harvard St. which was my condo mistake before we married, we bought 40 Evans Road. We chose it together. It was a great house, but you had problems with it. We then bought 16 Greenough St. together. It was also a great house. When the stairs got to be a problem, we bought 77 Pond Av. together. I believe we can agree that each purchase was made as a joint decision, and that we both were happy about the purchases. No one had to persuade the other.

The next biggest purchase was the car. You may say that you deferred to me, but I believe we were in agreement with each car purchase, from the Ford through all the Toyotas. And I believe I deferred to you with regard to the color.

Other less “big” purchases: the dresser, the couch, various chairs including your office chair, the two arm chairs, and the dining room chairs, the halogen lamps (in NY), appliances: dishwasher, stove, oven, refrigerator, and microwave. All in consultation in which we agreed. Two chairs which have sentimental value: the Stressless chair which you encouraged me to buy before we married, and the bentwood rocking chair in anticipation of the nursing mother.

Other big purchases, which are not tangible, are “trips.” Though we agonized over them, we eventually agreed, and all’s well that ends well.

The problems are with the little purchases. I consider dishes, pots and pans and flatware—little purchases. True, I do not have the same interest as you, but I would like to be consulted. It is also true that if the items I am using are usable and not displeasing to me, I see no reason to discard them. Items are coming into the house which are displeasing to me. I am trying to ignore it. If you really like it, OK. I like to remember the print I wanted to buy, asking you what you thought, and you telling me to buy it, and it turned out that you had a print by the same artist, and they are hanging over our bed.

I also remember when we married and went through our books, it turned out that at least a third of our books were the same. And we like the same things in music and art. I think we both have good taste in clothes. I don’t like to be put down with regard to my taste in food. And yes, I have no great desire to go to expensive restaurants, or drink expensive wines.

Original Format



Jacob Schlitt, “Big Purchases, Little Purchases,” Autobiographical stories & other writing by Jacob Schlitt, accessed May 30, 2023,