Oriental Rugs in the Trailer Park
0 comment Wednesday, September 3, 2014 |
Greetings, friends. Yes, it's been a while since I've posted. My blogging sabbatical was occasioned by a number of things: our Spring Break trip (the details of which still languish in a draft post), making my home office more fully an "office," and a bit of an amorphous malaise.
So where to start? Let's see.
Well, we could start with my good friend from high school who is about to get foreclosed on. Or should I say "foreclosed upon"? Semantics aside, the pain is the same. It's a house she and her husband worked hard to buy and furnish. And now, well, they can't pay the mortgage. He's in commercial real estate. Need I say more?
Then there's my dear friend who moved from Texas back to her home state a couple of years ago, after her husband lost his job during a corporate acquisition. Selling their house at a reasonable price in this climate simply wasn't an option. Oh, hell, I'll be blunt: it was impossible. Happily, they just got news they'll be able to lease it. Her husband's job hunt, though, continues.
Last, but so not least, another close friend just found out she didn't get into nursing school -- on her third try. Of course, she was devastated. And because her scores were excellent, the news was entirely unexpected. Her family needs that future income.
An unemployment post I've been working on for a while continues to gather computer dust. Because the topic is so damn depressing I haven't been in the frame of mind to dig in, spiff it up, and make it "postable."
I've been warehousing it because the data is so bleak. Although the "official" unemployment rate is 9.7%, when you include all of the people who are "underemployed" (the MBA who is now selling shoes at the department store, the salesman with a B.A. who now works at Potbelly Sandwiches, etc.), the unemployment rate is more like 20%.
But you already knew that.
I don't want to be the "Ior" blog you turn to, when you're feeling all morose, or worse, the one you don't want to read when you're feeling upbeat. But right now, girlfriends, this is all I've got.
Things are not good. Not good at all. And I don't think the underlying fundamentals are in place such that our economy will recover, in any meaningful way, for years and years to come.
Some days I think about the options for all of us. A trailer park in Florida, maybe? There we'll all be, living in "Palm Harbor" homes, with oriental rugs scattered over the linoleum, gourmet pots on our stovetops amidst the ubiquitous "one day at a time" bobbing hound-dog heads.
We'll borrow sugar and flour from each other and trade recipes as we bustle from trailer to trailer with a Reidel wine glass in hand.
The local diner, where we'll congregate, will be a hotbed of intellectual activity. There, we'll solve the problems of the world over coffee and discuss early feminists like Edith Wharton and Kate Chopin.
Sometimes I feel like I'm in a Saturday Night Live skit. I mean, seriously. This is surreal city. TV advertisements blare, "buy this business suit [or car . . . or whatever] now. If you lose your job in the next year, we'll take it back."

Did you ever, in your wildest dreams, imagine this?
A realtor friend and I chatted on the phone yesterday and she asked me how I was, how things were going. "Fine, I think," I answered. "I have no terminal illness that I know of, and I'm still here. So I guess that puts me in the solid lukewarm category."
What say you? No doubt, some of you have some good news, or a come-back story that would cheer us all. Let's hear it.
Surely we'll feel better tomorrow.
And that would have been the end of this post had I not just visited the Suburban Matron before I hit the "publish" button.
"Suburban Matron" is written by the wry, unmatronly Becky, who rivals Erma in her witticisms. She's the mom blogger who makes you feel like you are sitting right there in her kitchen. The one who makes you want to sell your house and move in next door to her.
She regularly regales us with stories about her neighborhood Frenemy, the "foster kids," Pretty Neighbor, and her crazy co-room mom. Finer writing that you can read for free, I've yet to see.
Well, she recently learned she's got breast cancer.
"Life's not fair," our mothers always said. I know. But damn. I never thought it would be this unfair.
So when you have a moment, go read some of her recent posts and give her a kiss, a gentle hug. And try not to curse her for looking so gorgeous and glamorous in her hospital garb.

She posted an update tonight and reports that she's doing just fine. XOXO, Beck.