I’ll take a recess

This recession hasn’t hit me that hard because I live my life like I’m always in a recession. I still have a job, though it’s a meager (by most New Yorker’s standards) salary, but I’ve learned to live within my means. I credit my mother who clips coupons, has a CVS card and buys sale items in bulk and freezes them in her extra freezer (because yes, she owns an extra fridge and freezer).  I hem and haw over buying anything that costs more than $200 and I just found out that my grocery store sells half turkey breasts for $3 each and they feed us for like 4 meals, so I wish I’d been buying turkey all along. This is why it makes me so mad to read the five billion articles out there about how to cope with a recession. “How to throw a dinner party for under $100!”. “How to buy designer clothes for cheap!” “How to make a few extra bucks!” Seriously? That shouldn’t be in the New York Times, it should be in a common sense manual given to you at birth.

This is why it infuriates me to read this week’s NY Mag article “My Laid-Off Life“.  Some of these people are genuinely hurting, but when I read stuff like “We are eating leftovers—we never did that before,” and “I went shopping today. I needed the perfect skirt because I didn’t have the perfect skirt. Plus I’ve got this new guy, and we go out to nice places. He deserves a me in cuter outfits. But I also got $900 worth of clothes that I didn’t need,” and “I spent my severance at a bar,” my coupon clipping hand goes numb and can’t even muster up the strength to slap my own forehead.  My biggest fear is money, so I can’t help but feel little sympathy for people who spend it unwisely. I would be screwed if I lost my job, so I can’t imagine what it’s like for these people with kids and debt and houses,  but not ever eating leftovers? I’d like to introduce you to, as Padma says, the Gladware family of products. It probably doesn’t make sense that Travel Companion and I are trying to take a few vacations this year to take advantage of cheaper airfare and travel incentives (7 nights at Disney for the price of 4 through June 2009!), but you better believe that I’m eating every last nugget of turkey off the bone so I can afford the happiest place on earth.

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