27 February 2009

Get These People Some Nails and a Cross

Bobos Feeling the Pinch of the Recession (Not so Much)

I suppose some Americans are suffering from the economy somewhere out there, but it sure as hell wasn't any place the Washington Post investigated:
Within one week, Mary changed the bulb in the headlight of her Mercedes, cutting out a $120 trip to the mechanic. The couple made a cake for their 11-year-old daughter's birthday party instead of spending $50 at the local bakery. And Chris, who works in a management job, picked up some cans of paint from the Sears in Fair Oaks to help a friend redecorate -- seven hours of work but a savings of roughly $1,000.

"We really had to look at the equation to build in additional efficiencies," Chris Poleto said.

Consumers are weighing similar decisions across sectors. Paola Domenge, 34, of Potomac canceled her lawn service last year and now mulches the yard and trims the wisteria herself, saving as much as $500 a month -- even before she was laid off from her marketing job about a month ago and started a bakery. Alina Zhukovskaya, 28, of Arlington dismissed her personal trainer to save $60 a week.
I have no clue what "wisteria" is supposed to be, but I'm sure these upper middle class cracker types will be happy that it's probably somewhere in that monstrous stimulus package. Good thing Obama will solve all of our problems.


TW said...

All I know is that "wisteria" is a Crayola crayon color.

Anonymous said...

How fabulously trendy of her to have changed the bulb in the headlight of her Mercedes!!! She probably had to go buy $100 leather gloves just to touch it.

And $500 a month for lawn service, but yet it's something she could have been doing herself??

Wow, these poor people, I feel ever so sorry for them.


A-ro said...

Wisteria is a vine that has pretty flowers when in bloom. It is featured on such places as the front of my parents' house. Yes, I am an upper middle class cracker type. You're welcome.

Bag Blog said...

I'm with Kath on this one. Here I have been doing my own yard and saving money all along. Maybe I will get a goat to help me out.

olgreydog7 said...

See, and I've been feeling bad cause I'm not seeing this "depression" around me either. I'm sure some people are losing their jobs and it isn't a boom period by any means, but I just don't think it is as bad as the news wants it to be. There are no lines for bread or anything like in the 1930's. I don't want to deny it out of fear that I'm in this sheltered area, but I am really tired of EVERY commercial saying "in these tough times, you must buy our product." Maybe it is being a wake up call for all classes who have been spending money like it is going out of style to wise up. I think I'm the only one on my block to actually mow their own lawn. It takes me an hour and I have one of the bigger yards. Sometimes bad times are good for you.

Blendy said...

Ah, my neck of the woods. Maryland is an amazingly contrasted place, what with Potomac being essentially the richest place on Earth outside of Dzerzhinsky Square in Moscow and then me being from the Lower Eastern Shore clinging to my guns.

I'm glad they've learned to scrimp and save by cutting their personal trainers, but it speaks volumes that such an article was newsworthy enough to warrant WaPo coverage.

Give me my West Baltimore any day.

rayanne said...

I agree with olgraydog, I think the media is freaking everyone out and causing them to shut their wallets for 'just in case', and that is causing a ripple effect.
And also, changing your own headlight isn't a remarkable achievement, I've been doing it on every car I've owned. We painted our own house also, and I'm talking the "OUTSIDE" and the garage. So if you think you've done a remarkable thing because you painted one 'inside' room on your own, don't look to me for a pat on the back. I read this article and thought these people are idiots.

amagi said...

Just don't forget, my dears, that the dudes who would have fixed the car, baked the cake, painted the house and trimmed the lawn are now making due without that income.

But yeah, eff the rich basically.

Lisa said...

"Wisteria Lane" is where "Desperate Housewives" live, ahem. What a deliriously our-of-touch article -- thanks for sharing it, LT.

People are truly suffering. People who have never had the benefit of a personal trainer, nor the benefit of a car for which they might have to change a headlamp.

And many others who are simply in the middle, and do not appear to the naked eye to be suffering. At least not yet.

Lisa said...

um, "out-of-touch".

Ms. Kiyum said...

So they are roughing it by changing the light in their own mercedes? Life is hard. Doing your own manual labor? Wow, what a concept. It reminds me of the other day when I was at the pilates studio, and this girl was talking about all the cuts in her company and how she was already searching for a new job just in case, but she was at pilates. It wasn't like a $10 mat class either.

Go ahead and make fun of me for taking pilates, LT, but my back has never felt fucking better.

Jonn Lilyea said...

Yeah, this recession stuff is real funny until you give up your real Vermont syrup and have to choke down Log Cabin instead, ain't it?

Nixon said...

Thanks for the skinny on Wisteria, A-Ro, I thought it was some kind of critter like the gopher in Caddyshack that messed up the garden.

Lisa said...

Log Cabin? Try Karo, sir! You may add food coloring, if the clear ickiness of it has a detrimental visceral effect.

I am amazed at the weekly jumps in "niceties" like maple syrup and honey. As our health declines, we become a nation of medical care providers and consumers.

The Sniper said...

I thought Wisteria was a contraction for White Hysteria. Hey-yo!

Seriously though, since when is it a big deal to change your own damned headlight? Since when is it monumental to paint your own room? My wife and I are looking around and thinking "what happens when the next big disaster hits or the next big terrorist attack happens?" We're thinking can we grow our own food? Can we purify water? Can we keep all of the people from Maryland from flooding into the boonies and trying to force their needs for food, water, and wisteria trimming on us?

These people have no idea what "bad" is and the media at the behest of the Obamessiah is preaching doom and gloom like a suicide cult and creating a self-fulfilling prophecy.

If cutting out your personal trainer is a great sacrifice, I would love to see what these people would do if the fit hit the shan for real.

upstartinteractive.com said...

I've been feeling bad cause I'm not seeing this "depression" around me either. I'm sure some people are losing their jobs and it isn't a boom period by any means, but I just don't think it is as bad as the news wants it to be.