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Sunday, April 19, 2009

Hear My Battle Cry!

I read an article the other day about shifts in spending habits. Apparently there are some people in the U.S., even those with substantial holdings, who have cut back enough on going out for dinner, cut back on vacations, on general discretionary celebration and recreational spending, cut back enough to affect the incomes of those with the least amount of wiggle-room.

The move is toward a do-it-yourself vision of the future.

This got me thinking.

When you stop, say, having your silly and long-haired cat’s ass shaved (followed by a lovely bath, blow-dry and general puffery), what you’re effectively saying is, “Hey, Mr. Professional Cat’s-Ass Shaver, forget your rent and your groceries! I’m going to go against the natural order of things and shave my own fuzzy-butted animal!”

Now what kind of citizen would I be if I did that?

Ladies and Gentlemen! We must think of our bartenders, our waitresses, our tanning salons, our taxis! We must think of our florists, our bouncers and ticket-takers!

Look at the person next to you! Does he work on the weekend reshingling rooves? Does she pick up extra hours as a restaurant hostess?

As a person whose labor is paid for by the hour, as an Executive Administrative Assistant, as a Banquet Server, Cleaning Lady, Painter of Interiors, as a Professional Writer (got a check for the reading in March for $25!), I cannae sit idly by while my Working Class Fellows stand, ready to serve!

They can take our paychecks, but they can never take our freedom!!!

I’m going out for a beer! No – two! Two beers! And dagnab it, people, I’m going to tip 20% – more if the server flirts with me!

Who’s with me?!!!


Now if you’ll excuse me, I have, uh, an appointment to make to have my cat groomed.

30 comments:

darsden said...

I am with ya Pearl. I have started doing my part (I had stopped eating out for watching my diet.. what was I thinking...evidentially not about the lil waitress wanting to eat...) so I have been going out once a week for lunch with a buddy. I also have made the parents start going out in support of our local diners, giving mom the night off... trying :-) we all pay it a lil forward!

darsden said...

wooohooo a short novel and first where are you EB!

Under the Influence said...

I have said more than once "no one will be able to blame the recession on my family!" (assuming no one here loses a job).

IB said...

I am doing part, Pearl. I am systematically visiting all of the local pubs and ordering up pint after pint. Of course, in order to boost the ticket total, I will oft times add on a serving or 2 of Buffalo Wings. And then the tipping begins!

nsiyer said...

Pearl, you sounded like Victor Frankyl when you talked about freedom. But I do share your sentiments.

Mary@Holy Mackerel said...

I too am doing my part, Pearl.

Every day, I spend money I don't have, just so that I spend it. I also throw pennies at people because I'm too shy to offer them money.

darsden said...

nsiyer-sorry I dont' get vector out of Pearl any way you slice or dice her... I hear pure AmeriCan
:-) xoxodar

darsden said...

should be victor...hey either way

Kavi said...

But of course.

I will come with you. Tip the waiter in any case.

and then tip the trainer in the gym in any case

and the...

:)

naperville mom said...

Congrats for some paid writing:) It's incredibly tight these days... and yes, I'll have to catch up on some dining and grooming with my li'l porcupines:)

Jodie Kash said...

In the last few months, I’ve had friends buy new homes, new cars, a new "man friend" (winkwink) up and quit a job selling said cars begged back with more money, two on cruises, one to Vegas, new dog from a home breeder.

And Macy's is often bustlin'.

The Obama plan must be working!

Ankit said...

Truth of the matter is that all the spending has to be natural. It has to happen by itself. Even if we do it forcefully to keep the econnomy running that spending won't have its charm.

Don't get me wrong I am strong believer in spending but a super saver and really cheap when times get tough.

But if I go out, I tip well becaue I have worked at restaurants for $6 per hour 12 hours a day. I know what it feels.

Blogging Mama Andrea said...

Sign me up for that beer. Just tell me when and where and I'm there. I'll have you spend that paycheck you just earned for that writing gig ;)

You gotta look out for the little people. I've always said this. Or rather Power to the little people but whatever works.

J'Ollie Primitives said...

no call back from the dog groomer's, hope they haven't closed up shop...who else would clip a screaming pug's nails and squeeze his butt oh I mean "express his anal glands" for SIX bucks??? (and whopping tip)
To add insult to injury, our favorite pizza joint is a goner...dagnabbit.

SweetPeaSurry said...

I did that yesterday, tipped my server 20 percent on a bottle of vino!!! YAY!

Eskimo Bob said...

Hey Pearl -

I'm not a wealthy man. I'm a self-employed Joe Six-Pack. At least that's what Sarah keep calling me. . .

"Sarah - my name is Bob. I don't drink. . . that's offensive on so many levels."

"You closet Democrat. Why don't you tow the line?"

"What?"

"You betcha -"

Anyway - what I'm trying to say without my lovely Governor and neighbor - (I can't see Russia from my house, but she does have a second floor on her house.) interrupting is . . . I'm all for going out and having a good time.

Now - I help people with their finances, so I'm practical about it. First make sure you have a positive cash flow - second - that your short term and long term plans are set; third go and have a good time.

I gave the barista at the local coffee spot - when I got my fruit smoothie a five dollar tip, mostly because I didn't have any more ones with me. I tip the car wash guy who dries my car - and I tip the waitress.

So there it is. . .

Pretty Things said...

I've been hitting my local Starbucks every single day for ages, but alas, they're closing it in a month. Grrrr.

And going out for small treats like that make me feel better about things, you know? Nothing better to cheer yourself up than coffee, chocolate, and whipped cream all together!

JBA said...

Everything in our house broke this year- all at once in one giant cataclysm of home wreckage. I am nearly supporting the two families of the two guys who do all the work to repair all the stuff that breaks because my lawyer husband is afraid of power tools. It feels good to do ths for my country instead of merely supporting familial laziness!

Pearl said...

A quick response as it occurs to me that I have clothes to wash and iron before tomorrow morning...

Victor Frankl? Man's Search for Meaning?! I am honored and well pleased with that.

The article I had read – which was the catalyst for the blog – primarily dealt with people who have cut back on their spending without needing to, new and un-necessary frugality, not cutting back on yachts or diamond-crusted undies but no longer going out for dinner...

I do want you/y'all to know that I am very much of the opinion (and in the habit of) paying my bills first. I very much believe in living within a budget. I also believe in saving. The use of a credit card is a rare thing for me and those who know me know that I have a Fear (with a capital "F") of poverty, which has been passed to The Boy (who, after three years of college which he pays for himself), has no debt.

We get by, although I'm worried how that would change should there be a dramatic change in income. My heart goes out to those who face foreclosure, bankruptcy, those who have gone from comfortable to frightened. I’ve been there, and it’s a sad, confusing thing.

That said, going out for drinks/dinner/coffee on an affordable level is important for everyone, don't you think? We just need to be discerning. Maybe the steak dinner is out of reach – so what’s so wrong with tacos? Drinks at the local pub, that sort of thing. While many decisions to close a business come from corporate headquarters located hundreds and even thousands of miles away, we can all have an impact on small and locally owned businesses. Every closing hurts the neighborhood. Every closing is another group of people looking for new jobs.

The worse the news becomes, the more I realize the love I have for my neighborhood, my state, my people.

I am quite optimistic about the future.

Pearl said...

JBA, you're funny.
:-)
I, too, support a handyman. Willie's not afraid of work -- just unskilled in some of it! Plumbers, roofers, the guy who replaced our old cracked sidwalk? We pay them, they pay something/someone else -- the money works when it moves...

darsden said...

dang my vector...victor one search didn't turn up all that.. NOW i am impressed butya still ameriCan
in my book period. :-)

darsden said...

meaning you got the Can do Attitude ..!

Sweet Cheeks said...

I buy my groceries at our local family owned grocers first. I want to know their kids...who go to school with my kids) have food on THEIR table too.

One one definitely washed another.

:)
Sunday Kisses...Crisp crease on those pants girl!!!

Lilly said...

I agree.Its important to shop locally and keep the community going as best we all can. Anyone with a job needs to spread the love around, but keep it local. Congrats on your professional writing status, the cheques will only get bigger from here Pearl.

fingers said...

I see this as a splendid opportunity to replenish my cache of indentured staff, most of whom ran off during the boom to become personal trainers and dog-walkers...

darsden said...

lil award for ya if you would like it over at my site :-)

Smart Mouth Broad said...

I'm with ya, Pearl. Name the time and place. We've got to stand together!

Adrian's Crazy Life said...

I totallly hear ya! Did you see the post on my blog a while back about the recession? I seriously figured out what caused it - those horrible $4 a gallon gas prices.

Think about it - it affected EVERY household and business in the entire country and that's when the recession started. And since no one has acknowledged that, there isn't going to be anything in place to stop it from happening again. But yes, judicious spending is exactly what we need right now to get things back on track.

Jocelyn said...

Could I pay someone to brush my third-grader's hair in the morning?

The Retired One said...

Ok. Alright...you have convinced me to stop using my husband's razor to clean up my menopausal chin hair and go and get electrolisis...or maybe, just maybe that cat ass shaver place you seem so fond of....
Say it with me now: For the good of the economy!!!

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