Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Recession Chic

Dear Mr. Recession,

I find myself in an oversized sweatshirt, cropped sweatpants a few shades shy of white, and wannabe Ugg from Target.  It's getting cold.  I'd rather be back in bed, but a daughter needs taking to school and a husband needs taking to his real estate license course-- activites not conducive to hiding under the covers with a clear conscience. 

Yes, this is what you, Mr. Recession, have reduced our dreams to.  But I just laugh in your face.  So I have a child in a public school system.  National ranking says it's not a bad one.  Now, I do admit, one's uppity ego demands private.  (We don't go around looking down our noses, of course.  But ask yourself this, if you had a million or two, would you really stay where you are?  Be honest, now.)  So I have a husband who is desperate for an income and is burning the midnight oil and elbow-greasing some ol' WD-40 on the neurons in order to get a real estate license.  Yeah, being self-employed ain't cutting it anymore.  But wait till the housing market picks up, baby.  Guess who'll be buying you a drink then, Mr. Recession.  I still resent, however, that you would choose to pick on a small defenseless housewife who used to make a meager supplemental income (in that meager attempt we make to feel like a productive member of society once more)... until her place of employment decided to shut its doors...  That wasn't very nice.

So here I am, Mr. Recession, in all my defeated housewife glory in the midst of a recession... at the supermarket.  I bring a list.  Apparently, over half of all purchases made at a supermarket are unplanned and put to poor use, thereby wasting money.  I, on the other hand, take a list... and get so distracted and lost in thought that I forget half of the things actually on the list...  How's that for saving a buck?  But today is a success.  I'm like a junkie out searching street corners, looking to score.  Buy 1 Get 1 Free is my crack.  I've honed my skills to such finesse that I know to overlook the slick packaging of national brands and zero-in on the cheaper store brands like a lion will stalk the weakest of the herd on the serengeti.  My math skills may be crap, but the per ounce pricing next to the unit price is like the stench of blood in the water to a great white shark.  I prowl those aisles like I'm ownin' it.  Price reduced?  Time to stock up, baby!  I've got my store card and I know how to use it...

And I don't believe in coupons.  Not unless they're for a decent restaurant, and no, by that I don't mean Zaxby's where you can order deep-fried brown on a bed of brown with brown mystery dipping sauce and a side of brown.  Oh, and a 24 oz. refillable sugar shock to your insulin levels...  You know, just in case you needed something brown to wash all that brown down with.  Blech.  Mr. Recession, I apologize for my use of foul language, but I do believe in cooking from scratch.  And most of the coupons you find are for prepackaged food items that can easily be made at home from scratch or pooled from different sources, or for junk food that our waistlines really could do without.  Don't get me started on Lunchables or Uncrustables.   Individual bags of chips?  I buy a big $2.00 bag and whip out some baggies.  Don't have time for making individual sandwiches everyday?  I get freaky with my freezer.  It does all kinds of good.  Much easier to swing by a Chik-Fil-A every weeknight?  My slowcooker's loins are achy for me.  Have a hankering for some cookies to go with your afternoon tea?  There's some flour and sugar in my pantry thinking of inviting me over for a menage a trois.  Bring it on, Mr. Recession.  And bring your own apron.

Don't get me wrong.  I bought disposable diapers for my baby, and I alone am cause for the financial success of the paper towel industry.  I do not compost (yet), and I use deoderant... not cornstarch or the occasional lemon.  And I buy the 4 oz. package of basil instead of growing my own.  (In my defense, I do make my own pestos.)  I am making an effort, though.

But let me see if I've got it right.  It seems to me that what you're trying to tell us is that we've forgotten how to get back to basics. I appreciate the reminder, Mr. Recession, I just wish you'd quit bashing me over the head with it.  Because now I'm heading home, having walked past the Starbucks counter even though every FIBER in my being wanted me to stop for a tall half-caff vanilla soy latte.  I'm heading home to brew up a cup of Folger's Half-Caff with a splash of Silk's Very Vanilla Soymilk, no sugar needed.  And a batch of homemade scones with butter and blackberry jam.  Because, Mr. Recession, you may take the privilege of more than one car, educational options for my child, financial peace of mind for my husband, reduce my annual physicals to every other year and dentist visits to once a decade (not that I mind not going to the dentist... I choose not to floss and it's nobody's business but mine)...  You may even take my house and force me to downsize.  I am tickled pink because all that does is cut down on cleaning duties!  And it may smart a little that my closet is a few seasons behind what's current... But you may not have my faith in God or my coffee and most certainly not my scones.  Good day, sir.

Kind Regards,
Kiss My Butt

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