This story is from my own life. A number of years ago, we moved into our second home in a different city and got into a house that had a little more room, to accommodate our growing family. My wife looked at our family room and declared, “We need a new couch!”

As an engineer, I surveyed the situation. There was a chair. There was a beanbag seat somewhere. The family room was next to the dining area where chairs could be pulled if needed. Multiple use of furniture, and, best of all, it didn’t cost anything. A new couch would cost something – time, money, calculations, etc.

I informed my wife that we did not need a new couch but we could certainly get around any seating issues in our new family room. Her response was to call my mother. Not her mother, my mother. After explaining the situation, my mother told her to put me on the phone. The first, and pretty much the only thing I heard, was, “Buy your wife a couch.”

The engineer can be frugal, but when your own mother sides with your wife, the increasing grade of the hill ahead is just not worth it. We got a new couch. The engineer was defeated.