Monday, October 10, 2011

My Failed Experiment

When you were growing up did your parents tell you to turn off the lights when you left a room? Do you tell your own kids to do this?  I do, my husband doesn't.

I grew up hearing "turn off the lights" constantly.  My Dad was the king of penny pinching and we knew from a young age that electricity cost money, so we were to use it sparingly and never, ever leave a light, TV or radio on if we left the room - even if we were coming back almost immediately. Goodness knows, half the time we didn't return to that room anyway. [true!] After a while it just sank in. Turn off the lights.  Hey, my parents were "green" before it was cool. [This was the 60's and 70's].

Let's talk about my family.  It appears as tho' my beloved in laws neglected this one important fact [that electricity costs money] because my husband has absolutely no concept of turning off lights and TVs.  It drives me crazy.  Take today for example.  He left for work early, when it was light outside, and I slept in.  When I came down the stairs at 1 pm there were three - THREE! - lights on and one of them is the lamp in our kitchen that has 5 bulbs.  When I went to bed last evening the light on the nightstand was on - who can sleep with the light on? Evidently Pooldad and Wallene and Squirrel.  Nightlights, fine. Table lamps, not so much.

We do have one small lamp in the living room that we leave on from bedtime until dawn, in case anyone gets up in the middle of the night.  It also has one of those new energy saver bulb in it [as do all our lights] but he never ever turns it off when he beats me out of bed. EVER.

He swears he turns it off all the time. I know he doesn't, but I decided to stop turning it off myself and see how many days it stayed on before he finally turned it off.

It took five days before I came into the living room and saw it was off. HA!  Finally, he turned off a light.

Imagine my chagrin when I went to turn the light on that evening and discovered the bulb had burned out and he had not, in fact, turned it off. :headdesk:  I was all ready to give kudos when I realized my experiment had failed.

We don't have an all electric house, our cooking and heat are gas, but I get so sad when I see the electric bill and know we could've saved $50-60 a month.

I am back to the experiment with the living room light and so far?  It has been on since he changed the bulb a week ago. BAH!

We used to use a timer on the living room light and although it worked for a while with that ONE light, everytime the electricity went out it wouldn't reset itself.  We have power flickage often during inclement weather, so this happened a lot.

In the scheme of things it isn't a deal breaker. It's just a habit I can't seem to break them of in our otherwise frugal household.

Ah well, just another Monday.  I hope you guys are having a great one and are enjoying lovely weather like us!  See ya' on the flipside.

10 comments:

Sally said...

My husband gets irritated with me because I will have a vast majority of the lights on in the house and all of the t.v.'s going, too, so that I can move about the house willy-nilly and not feel like I am missing anything :-/ Of course, he also turns on the t.v. in the morning and leaves the house and leaves it on...and I don't watch t.v. in the morning. Of course, now, I will giggle every time I turn a light off because I'll think of your little experiment :-)

sapphireblue said...

Goodness! This sounds like my house! I come home and every light in the house is on. I'm always fussing about that.

Thisisme. said...

Hi Skippy. I agree with Sally. Every time I turn off the light, I will think of you! Hee Hee! I try experiments all the time like that, but they never work! Such as leaving an empty toilet roll on the shelf at the top of the stairs. Sometimes it stays there for weeks, but hubby would never think of picking it up and bringing it downstairs!! Very strange! Hope all is well my friend. Hugs.

Patty said...

In my house growing up we had "Light Patrol." Before we all left the house one person had to go check for the lights. If they were left on- whoever's room it was or had left it on got a ticket for 5 cents. It was a lot of work to keep up with it.... but the habit has stuck with me. Lights off!

Jeannie said...

Yes, my parents used to yell at us to turn lights off when we left a room - not quite to the extreme that yours did though. That said, I do tend to turn lights off as I move through the house although radios are left on or tvs and computers always.

The kids aren't much worse than I am. Gary is like yours. But worse. He not only leaves lights burning all the time, but he turns them on when they aren't necessary like in the middle of the day.

Susan Flett Swiderski said...

Turning lights off and locking doors were two rules ingrained in me as a kid. My hubby and I are both pretty good about it, but when the kids and grandkids come to visit, it seems every light in the house is on non-stop. Oh well. Small price to pay.

Julianna said...

Tony will actually "just run out" to the store two miles down teh street and leave the TV on.

Then he'll get home, and forget that he was watching something in the bedroom, and turn it on in the living room.

Makes me crazy.

The boys have a basement bedroom and I actually bought motion sensor lights for the stairways. This way, they come on if they need them for the bathroom at night and shut off 15 minutes after their snug back in their beds. Works great on attic, front porch, and closet lights too. You screw them into the socket, then screw in the lightbulb.

JoshuaTangent said...

I've never experienced this from my parents at this intensity - at most they would give brief reminders; they aren't thrifty, but they aren't spendthrift either.

Better is Possible said...

We ended up putting sensors on all our lights when the kids were growing up. Good idea at the time, but now they think lights just shut off on their own. Parenting failure!
Funny you should write about this today. Just had this conversation with my middle child who - along with his new bride is renting my house. Instead of including the hydro in the rent, I've lowered the rent and am letting him pay the utility. We'll see if he turns off the lights now!

Teresa - in the Middle Side of Life said...

this sounds so familiar! amy's husband is mr. frugal but he does not turn out lights! when we had the house with the basement, he'd come upstairs and every single time i went down there, all of the lights were on. amy was almost as bad.

when i was growing up, we were always told to turn things off, too. also - if we left the door open, we'd get the "were you born in a barn?" routine - trying to let the heat out or the heat in, depending on the season.

i switched all of our lights to the energy saving bulbs and it dropped our electric bill by over $20 (this was the house). this little place is all electric, has all energy saving bulbs, and our bill wasn't too bad this summer.