Tuesday, May 1, 2012

The Tale of a Shower Curtain Liner (or 15)

I have decided that with our investments we really should pursue two lines-Olive Garden and shower curtain liners. Seriously, we eat at OG enough, that it would be profitable to own stock. Eating out would be investing in our future, you know.=) I should talk to my finance guy about that. Diversification, and all that.
And yesterday I bought ANOTHER shower curtain liner. I can't tell you how many we have purchased in the almost 11 years we've been married, but I'd guesstimate about 15-20. That would be at the approximate rate of 2 per year-minus the year or two that we splurged and bought the ones with metal ring holes. They last closer to 10 months than 4-6. Each liner goes through a regular life stage progression. This would be (1)crispy new and clean, (2)dirty, (3)scrubbed (either in the washer, or with a scrub brush), (4)another month or two of relative cleanliness, (5)inevitable tearing at the top, or the bottom, (6)whereupon you try to "attach" it to the wet shower walls for a few weeks to keep the water in the tub, not on the floor. Eventually this no longer works, and the cycle begins again with a brand new liner.
Does this sound familiar, or does this only happen in the Hippie household? It could just be a Hippie phenomenon. Why? Our liners get particularly dirty because Mr. Hippie is a roofer, and brings lots of grunge home with him. And Barefoot Hippie (that's me=)), Mr. Hippie's loving wife, can't stand dirty shower curtain liners. I can put up with it for a while, growing dirtier and dirtier, but when it reaches the point that the shower still looks dirty freshly scrubbed because the liner is dirty, then I inevitably scrub/wash it. And that probably shortens its already short life. And, if it isn't dirty from Mr. Hippie, it tends to grow yuck soap scum and mildew when the windows are closed up for the winter. Alas. The scrubbing must weaken vital components, because the scrub very quickly leads to tears. And, these could be exacerbated by the younger Hippie set, yanking the curtain open and closed several times a week. Regardless of the causes, we go through lots of shower curtain liners.
Now if you think of a modest estimate of $4 per liner, if you get the cheap store brand, or $6 per liner if you invest in the metal holes, this starts to add up. At $4 per curtain, for 20 curtains, that is $80. Multiply that over the space of another 50 years, and figure in inflation. That could total upwards of $600. And, if you figure the millions of households in the States that aren't buying the cheap store brand, and are regularly replacing their shower curtain liners, I'm telling you, there's a gold mine here.=) And I found it first.=) Investment in liner manufacturers, not manufacturing. Too much work.

Well, maybe not, but at least I've given another fresh, brand new liner, a chance at its own life cycle.=)