Hard Times...Pish Posh!

iVillage Member
Registered: 05-23-2009
Hard Times...Pish Posh!
Sat, 05-23-2009 - 3:42pm

Let’s fight the good fight here, for Christ’s sake! Of course, if you have the swine flu, shingles, Lyme disease and are behind on your property tax payments, you’re screwed, but still...if you only have one of these things, you’re in good stead.

I’m just not buying all the bad news. I mean, we have a black President! How enlightened is THAT? And, since life is such a friggin’ short trip, I’m packing all the good times into each moment. The swine, I eat with mashed potatoes and gravy, the shingles protect our little cottage from bird poop, the lyme, I put in my margaritas, and the property taxes, although pesky, are a monthly given.

The Midlife Gals’ product is laughter, and there’s nothing more productive than THAT. I scoff at the bad news, I make the sign of the cross (even though I’m a non-practicing Episcopalian) to fend off all the naysayers and doomsdayers, and I say pish posh to those newscasters whose business it is to tell us how horrible things are. I’ve decided to only read good stories in the newspaper, so it doesn’t take me very long to get through the whole thing now...leaving more time in my day to laugh and frolic and play.

I’m ALIVE. I’ve got a kick-ass sister who loves me, my cats use the litter box instead of the carpet, and I don’t have to clean anyone else’s toilet but my own. What could be better than THAT?

Go forth, don’t worry, be HAPPY!



Yeah, times are harder now for most people. I’m wearing last year’s sandals and pulling frozen foods out of the freezer that have been in there for months. Now, I don’t want to even dabble in ‘poverty consciousness’ but then again, I have better uses for money now than splurging on boxes of frozen fried shrimp and Japanese egg puffs. I have found the value in making my own King Ranch Casseroles with fresh ingredients and passing the gourmet isle at ‘Bubba’s Corner Groceries.

Luckily we have a mother who hates mortgages and always paid cash for her houses. Our house is paid for. I feel grateful for a nice nest, a pretty garden, and my 1998 Honda Civic. Her name is Sateen. She’s black and shiny like patent leather. She gets me where I need to go and as per my mother’s habits, she’s paid for. All I have to do is keep the oil changed and hope that gas doesn’t go up to four dollars a gallon again. If it does I’ll just have to cut down my trips to Steve’s Liquors and buy cheaper tequila.

It was news to me that all these people in the United States had been buying houses that they would be unable to keep if out of a job for even one month. Great planning guys, and now you’re screwed because the jobs are gone and you blew your savings on a six-foot, flat-screen TV, a big-ass Hummer, and a double-wide baby carriage. Time to sell stuff. The only problem there is that nobody has the bucks to buy it. They’re out searching for matching Fiesta Ware at the garage sales in front of every McMansion with a ‘Foreclosure’ sign in front of it.

I see all of this as a good thing. Wanton spending of money you don’t have and maxing out credit cards to pay for stuff that you can’t afford has lead us into dire straights and trips to the Goodwill ‘Business Attire’ racks for job-interview outfits. We messed up and now we are all going to learn to pull in our belts and have a little discipline.

Going to the park is free. Taking a walk by the river costs nothing and kids pee in the public pools just like they do at the Country Club. The only difference is that they don’t serve fifteen-dollar club sandwiches by the pool and nobody cares if you drove up in a Mazda Mizer.

Good luck to you all and don’t worry. Everything will be okay in the long run. God is good, and you don’t need new sandals.


iVillage Member
Registered: 11-13-2008
Sun, 05-24-2009 - 9:25am

Interesting perspectives! I think one of the many graces we've been given is the Resilience of the Human Spirit. You just gotta do what ya gotta do!

But let it be said, since I'm closer to 60 that I am to 50, I'll probably be working until I'm 90! This financial fiasco has pretty much wiped out everything we had towards any retirement. We've done all the responsible things and now we're hurting, too. We are relatively happy - with each other and our good health. Our upscale - but certainly not a McMansion - home is comfortable as well as beautiful. I'm gardening again and putting in overtime at work to help keep us financially buoyant. And laughter *is* our most essential commodity. My sandals are at least 5 years old and I wear a pair I've had almost 20 years. My car is 13 years old and has almost 200k miles on it.

At the same time, my heart aches for the children who are finding themselves homeless - and not always because the parents over paid for their houses - but because a bunch of greedy financiers and realtors didn't work at true customer service and lined their own pockets. I become very angry when I look at the scope of this with all the bailouts! No one has ever bailed me out - even when I needed it! I have never been given any kind of welfare, or even unemployment, yet, it's my tax dollars paying for the many screw ups of the "smart" guys who've made millions a year and simply had *power*.

My heart aches for those who have incredible degrees and are working at a McDonalds as well as for the food pantries who don't have enough to help those who really need it.

I guess what I'm saying is that while I can be happy and not have the intense worries for our immediate needs, there is no way I won't worry and do as much for those in need as I can.

Just my perspective

Bren Jay

Superposter -BL500 FYBL
iVillage Member
Registered: 05-23-2009
Sun, 05-24-2009 - 9:51am

There you go, Bren...You ARE fighting the good fight. Your worry about others who are suffering won't help you advance, financially or emotionally, so maybe you can transfer that worry into inspiring the others to lift themselves up by doing that yourself. Our 101-yr-old Granny, Bapoo, used to say, "All we can do is keep our own corner clean." I never understood what she meant until middle-age, and now I know that when our own corners are kept clean, it inspires others and spreads like wildfire! We just aim to bring humor to most any situation in order to inspire others to lift themselves up and remind everyone that life is just a short trip around the sun.


iVillage Member
Registered: 09-20-2007
Sun, 05-24-2009 - 2:14pm
I understand just what you mean, Bren. I myself don't have a lot. I'm one of those people who has two BA degrees, yet I've never had a job that made over $20,000 a year and am unemployed right now (though I'm working on my resume this week and will start job hunting in a field that I adore: veterinary medicine). This summer will be a tight one and we won't have a lot of money to spend. But we'll survive as we always do.

And like you, I feel for others who have lost so much. I really feel for the CL here on iVillage whose husband passed away on Thursday. They had just bought a house, I believe, and were TTC. So now she's in the midst of planning a funeral. And I feel for all the people who have lost their homes and for all the pets who have also lost their homes in the process. The shelters are bursting with animals whose owners had to give them up and the streets are filled with pets who were abandoned when their owners lost their homes. So while I have things to be happy about, others find very little to be happy about right now, or can't see through their pain.

iVillage Member
Registered: 03-19-2003
Mon, 05-25-2009 - 11:54am

Welcome to the board, SalGal.

As Bren said, you've got interesting perspectives there. I understand what you are saying, and yes the media is guilty of sensationalising in order to sell papers or news programmes.

On the other hand, though, there are millions of families never had McMansions or Hummers in the first place, and who were already struggling before the crisis hit. There are also families without health insurance, or with insurance that will only foot part of the bill. Living in a third world country, I can show you a lot of people who can barely afford to send their children to school, which is free - but kids still need uniforms and school supplies which the parents can barely afford.

I do like reading about the news - I need to for many reasons, also. But I don't overdo it, either and I live in the moments of my life ;-)