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Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Surviving Hard Times

This morning I read a blog on http://www.blogher.com/ by The Accidental Housewife. She posed the question, "Could you survive the Great Depression?"


My immediate answer was, of course. After all, didn't I grow up in the '40's and '50's? I remember ration books and tokens. I remember my father's repairing our shoes by re-heeling them himself and sometimes we had to put paper or cardboard inside to protect our feet from the holes in the soles. To save money on our rare visits to the movies, my mother, brother and I would stop at the supermarket for candy and get to the movie before 5:00 pm when the price went up. Shortly after 5:00, my father would meet us there on his way home from work.


We didn't have much, but it was a good life. I learned how to "make do" and do without. With this background, I decided it would be easy for me to cut back and I would start today. I would stop all unnecessary spending, I would buy only "needs", not "wants". I would turn off the lights when I leave a room, open the windows on these cooler days. I CAN cut back.


Then I looked at my calendar and saw that I'm going to Pennsylvania tomorrow and I have a fundraiser on Sunday, and of course, Joan Rivers will be on QVC this weekend. I'll have to start cutting back next week, but, wait, I have to go to Wegmans for my weekly food shopping, and that always means a higher grocery bill. They have so much good stuff - specialty meats, pre-made soups, etc. Then there's Atlantic City.


It was then that I realized that I have been living a very spoiled lifestyle. It would be a big sacrifice for me to cut back. I'd have to let my hair grow and go gray. I'd have to clean my own house and wash my dishes and clothes by hand. I'd probably have to cook the food for the cats and tear up newspapers for their litter box. I might even have to drink tap water, and turn off all unused lights and geographical explorations.


I think instead of cutting back and trying to live on less, I'll keep getting my hair done, having my house cleaned, using the dishwasher and washing machine. The cats will be happy, I'll keep buying cat food and kitty litter. And I guess I'll go to Atlantic City by bus. After all, we need people to perform these services and I'll be keeping the unemployment rate down.


Now, how else can I help the economy?

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