Revenge of the ATM

"We're in a recession, people!" is a quote one of my dearest friends says often these days. She has found the self-restraint to buy only 4 dresses when she wants 6 "because we're in a recession people!" and so on. These days, no matter who you are, chances are you're clinging to your wallet and thinking twice about whether you want that as a "tall" or a "venti".

The other day I actually found myself saying "a penny saved, a penny earned!" in my head. Who have I become?

These are troubling times. But what may be even more troubling is how we react to it. This evening I was talking with a woman who is like a grandma to me. She was telling me (disapprovingly) how she knew someone who couldn't afford a house because their credit card debt was too high. The debtor whined "Well, we wanted to eat, what were we supposed to do?" To which Paula sagely replied "back in my day, if you didn't have enough money to eat, you certainly didn't go OUT to eat, you stayed home and cooked."


Somehow, no matter how much I am given this responsible adult advice, it never sinks in. I have come up with a variety of theories to explain why I am unable to comply with basic financial laws such as this. My #1 favorite rebuttal is that it's cheaper to go out than it is to cook for one person. My mom's counter-rebuttal is that if I cooked more often, I'd have all the ingredients. But I don't, I have to buy one onion, one thing of fresh basil, one apple, etc etc each time. To which I retort: Ok, I'm lazy.

I'm curious how other people are feeling the recession, and if they feel as much bitter jealousy of the Hills girls as I do. There is just no apparent reason why Heidi Montag and Spencer Pratt needed to buy a $400,000 Rolls Royce Phantom. What did she do right in a past life, I ask you?

In general I have a sick fascination with the Hills lately. Dan caught me watching it the other day. I hid it the way children hide cigarettes from their parents. I"m not proud of how much I love to watch them eat yogurt, gossip, and effectively continue doing nothing for $70,000 an episode. I daydream about it. That camera crews will fall over themselves to document my daily treks and my chatter with friends. And that they will pay me handsomely to simply be me, plus stylists.

I know we all roll our eyes about reality television, but I think it's because in most shows people trade something for the glory, and the money is never a given. You're going to be locked in a house with a gang of people with personality diarrhea (or the real thing, you never know). Or you're going to be on an island fending for food, minus Sawyer and Jack. Or you're going to get weighed on national television (THE HORROR!). And so on. But in The Hills, the rewards and incentives line up juuuust right.

But back to the recession and my current reality. Maybe someone wants to film a show about ME, "just a girl, making her way in the world today, takes everything you've got..." Oh, is that theme song taken? Producers, lean in. I promise you scenes money just can't buy.

Scene One: Drama ensues when lilly discovers that her Ralph's card has been crediting a Jane Artin the whole time instead of her.
Scene Two: Lilly makes a vow to take colder showers than her usual scalding twice-daily ritual as a nod to the environment.
Scene Three: Thoughtful montage while I consider my election ballot, resisting the urge to just vote for President. I flip through the voter information guide, make notes, and smile at democracy.
Scene Four: Lilly sneaks away from her desk to catch a glimpse of The Hills.

And CUT!

Come on, a girl can dream. The Lilly Show. It's gonna be a thing.

In the meantime, as reality continues to sink in, I have to admit that I'm more than a little nervous for my business law exam on Wednesday night. The class itself is fine, but ooh, the flashbacks...