Economization

by Marinka on November 13, 2008

There are times that I feel like Lucy Ricardo, but unfortunately it’s never while I’m looking in the mirror.  Usually it’s when I am sneaking shopping bags into the apartment, so as not to unnecessarily alarm my husband.  Last week it was when the Visa bill arrived in the mail and I remembered that I had become Suddenly Patriotic and single handedly gave our economy a huge boost, via Saks Fifth Avenue. In a way, I had no choice. I work near Saks and I have a lunch hour. Plus, they were having a sale. I don’t need a burning bush to tell me what to do next.

This led to my husband and me having a conversation that I may or may not have passed out twelve seconds into, but not before hearing words like “budget” “recession” and “careful with discretionary spending”.  Personally, I see no need for that kind of language between adults, but whatever.  Apparently, the economy is in bad shape and I am on a budget.  But not on a budget with numbers and balancing, but more of a spending freeze type of thing, where my credit cards and I are having a trial separation.  And I am totally on board and not just because I would have agreed to anything to make the conversation end.

I remind my husband that I am from the former Soviet Union, where people made a turnip stretch all winter during the war. Of course that was a few decades before I was born, but what am I, a historian now?  The point is that I am of good strong Russian stock that can withstand hardship and do it with bravery and a stiff upper lip (as soon as I get it Botoxed).  The only glitch is that the next morning I realize that I am totally out of my kazillion dollar an ounce perfume and momentarily feel like Anastasia when she faced the Bolsheviks.  
Then to make matters worse, I talk to a friend of mine who’s one of those financial types and I’m not even sure what her job is.  My strong preference is for people around me to have job titles that I understand, like “doctor”, “teacher,” “prostitute”, but she doesn’t seem to care about my preferences.  She’s a financial something or other and she tells me that she read a book, called The Financial Apocalypse which she suggests that I not read because it will give me nightmares, but which she will summarize for me, because that’s relaxing. 
So, according to her, the book predicted many of the things that we’ve already seen, like major banks closing and the Fannie and Freddie collapse and that the other fun thing that the book predicts is that the United States government will default on its loans and that our currency will be worthless. Not worth less.  Worth nothing.  For some reason, this alarms me, so I ask her what the book suggests we do, because I am now convinced that The Book knows everything and will lead us out of the darkness and will probably get me a bottle of that perfume.  And she says that we need to buy gold bars which sounds good in theory, but I’m thinking that it’s going to be really, really hard to justify to my husband, what with the spending freeze and all.  Can you imagine if he notices that I’m stockpiling gold in the closet?   But then it hits me, and this is where Warren Buffet may want to pay attention–if our currency is going to be worthless, shouldn’t we all be charging the gold bars on our credit cards, because when the economy totally collapses, no one will care about credit card debt, but we’ll have gold.  And with the gold, we’ll be able to get perfume!  And that’s the real silver lining.

One year ago ...

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{ 31 comments… read them below or add one }

Kylie w Warszawie November 13, 2008 at 2:10 am

That is so logical, you should be president Obama’s director of the treasury (because even though I work for the U.S. Government, I’m not totally sure how directors get to that position or even that that’s what the position is called. I actually wanted to use the word “Minister” but I’m pretty sure that’s not correct in American English).

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Kristine November 13, 2008 at 6:01 am

I never really understood exactly where a person buys gold bars to begin with. Is there a gold bar store that I don’t know about? Or can we just buy a bunch of jewelry on our credit cards and then melt it down as needed for currency.

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OHmommy November 13, 2008 at 6:19 am

I heart you.

I wonder if you wear the same perfume as I do. Bond no 5 perhaps?

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jenontheedge November 13, 2008 at 6:42 am

My credit card and I are having a trial separation too. I think we might need couples counseling.

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Kate Coveny Hood November 13, 2008 at 7:20 am

I have had so many financial conversations with my husband that I “just wanted to end.” I think I may need to separate from my credit cards as well. I’m starting to see that we have a toxic relationship.

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Melissa November 13, 2008 at 7:29 am

I’ve read that book, and yes it will give you nightmares. Very scary stuff. Let’s hope we can turn some of this around, shall we?

But in the meantime, stock up on your favorite scent. Just in case. 🙂

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Z November 13, 2008 at 7:35 am

I totally approve of this. And have already started my gold stockpile. Along with some diamonds. And other precious gems. It’s called jewelry, and it’s both pretty AND functional in times of economic collapse 😉

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Nilsa November 13, 2008 at 7:44 am

Hahaha, I love this post. Especially the beginning about sneaking bags into the house. It reminds me of a friend who also used to have to hide purchases from her husband. And one day, when he questioned her about a new pair of cute red boots that were in her closet, she looked shocked and told him aliens must have planted them there. Ahhh, the things we do to wiggle out of getting into trouble!

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Stace November 13, 2008 at 8:04 am

Hm..I’ll have to google “gold bar store”…Maybe I’ll show up at Ft. Knox and politely ask to buy some gold bars…I think they’d go for it..:-P

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Miss Britt November 13, 2008 at 8:13 am

I think I need to apply for another credit card.

I mean, you know, just to be prepared.

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Always Home and Uncool November 13, 2008 at 8:45 am

All the better if you change them on your gold card.

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K and/or K November 13, 2008 at 8:47 am

Oh how I wish you would have been my econ. teacher in college. I barely passed. But you my dear make perfect sense!

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Heather, Queen of Shake Shake November 13, 2008 at 8:51 am

Instead of gold bars, what if we just all get gold teeth? Portable storage and all that.

I don't buy this worthless idea. Come on, Fannie Mae collapses in the US and the ENTIRE FREAKING WORLD has economic problems. If we go down, we're taking the world with us.

All this stock market, money thing…it's all in the head and not based on anything real. We paid outrageous gas prices because a few folks *thought* wrong & overestimate demand.

Life – it's all a mind game.

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Heather November 13, 2008 at 9:07 am

I have to agree with ‘Z’ – purchasing gold jewelry is helping the economic climate, you will be building a stockpile and you can sneak it into the house unnoticed.

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Shelle-BlokThoughts November 13, 2008 at 9:41 am

WOW…I feel your pain and I see the your point. Seriously very logical…because a girl needs her perfume!

Now where to get the Gold Bars? Do you think those GOLD jewerly parties are doing that? 🙂

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Mama Ginger Tree November 13, 2008 at 9:55 am

My husband recently found my shopping bag hiding closet. It was not a good day in our marriage.

Maybe my husband read that book because he has been stockpiling gold bars. I am not kidding. We spent an entire weekend trying to figure out where in the house to hide them.

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bex November 13, 2008 at 10:06 am

But a little paper and plastic is so much easier to carry in a stylish purse than… bars of gold.

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Madge November 13, 2008 at 10:32 am

perfect economic plan. you are a genius….

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Amy @ Milk Breath and Margaritas November 13, 2008 at 11:13 am

I’m married to one of those financial people.

This was a funny post and I completely appreciate it. I do not however write “This is so funny!” because my husband is so Bearish…

say it – “HOW BEARISH IS HE?”

My husband is so Bearish, we now have a very large safe that we’ve placed somewhere safe (heh), with cash in it. I’m not kidding. And I totally wish I was. Anticipation of complete economic disaster.

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Kimberly November 13, 2008 at 1:50 pm

My advice to all my friends is that you be sure to take those tags off that couture before you wear it out of the house. It makes it appear you are sticking to that “budget”.

Oh, and is this gold bar thing for real? And since I work for a bank, should I ask them to start paying me in gold bars?

Gold bars. Gold bar… Bar! I’m going to the bar after work because now you have me completely depressed. Just after I stop at Neiman’s.

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katy (aka funny girl) November 13, 2008 at 2:35 pm

I’m supposed to be on a cash-only basis with my entire life right now.

But what is a girl supposed to do when she finds chocolate brown cords that fit PERFECTLY at the J. Crew outlet for $20??? It would be a crime NOT to buy them.

Not sure how I’m gonna ‘splain it to him though. I’m definitely in trouble.

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Maura November 13, 2008 at 3:45 pm

Your logic…defies logic! It’s hard to argue with that.

I must say this is one of those benefits of not being married — no one else even tries to control the purse strings.

I hope you get your perfume before the big collapse!

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Andy November 13, 2008 at 4:51 pm

I love when people say things like “good strong Russian stock.” It makes you sound sturdy, like a tree.

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Tooj November 13, 2008 at 7:17 pm

I was laughing through this entire post. LOL Thank you. It was great…and as for your theory…well…I’m one of those “financial” something or others….I’ll stay quiet. 🙂

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Marinka November 13, 2008 at 7:52 pm

My new financial plan is to befriend Mama Ginger Tree and Amy and then to steal their gold.

Sort of like when all those people in NYC were buying gas masks in 2001, and I didn’t feel like (a) buying it and (b) lugging it around, so my plan was always to snatch it off someone’s face on the subway, in an emergency, god forbid.

This comment isn’t endearing me to people, is it?

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Heinous November 13, 2008 at 8:03 pm

Husbandrinka really packs a lot into 12 seconds.

I’m buying platinum. It matches my hoarding closet better.

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phd in yogurtry November 13, 2008 at 11:01 pm

The only gold bars I can afford are dial soap. And I’ve got those stockpiled, baby.

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Braja November 14, 2008 at 12:15 am

That is one of the best posts I’ve read since I ever got online. I think I love you, but we’ll remain worlds apart, you in NY and me in a village in India. I’m hooked, see you daily.

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heartatpreschool November 14, 2008 at 11:09 pm

Ok, where are you hiding the camera in my house and why are you stealing scenes from my life as your blog material?

And about Mama GingerTree, I’m her sister – so I know all her hiding places and have a better chance at finding her gold bars before you.

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Temple November 16, 2008 at 5:57 pm

Brilliant! Have you thought about running for office? And does this mean that I can have the awesome gold-heart necklace I’ve been eyeing AND that my student loan debt will just vanish? Sweet!

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Lizzi November 18, 2008 at 7:02 pm

OMG, you are my hero. Just found your blog, and am now thinking about the purse full of gold bars I will one day be taking TO the bar.

Hey! It’s a two-fer! A purse full of gold bars might also be pretty damn good at fending off would-be muggers! Doesn’t that make it a bargain?

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