Friday, October 31, 2008
Heads Up, James: I Like the Finer Things
Ol' penny pinch - I mean, James - is loving the news of our country's economic meltdown. Why? Because he loves being right. And because all of his chats with me about how I should save more and stop perusing Orbitz.com for our next vacation destination and check out my 401K statement are, he hopes, finally sinking in.
Except they're not. I still want to go to Tokyo next summer to visit my cousin and I want to buy these Gucci loafers. So poor James has to be patient, kind, and explain to me, very slowly, why it wouldn't be wise right now to start liquidating my savings on shoes, jeans and trips. He's even trying to use our recent redecorating project as an excuse for - and I really, really hate this term - cutting back.
I can think of a few things I can start cutting back on as well, and so a lengthy negotiation begins and in the end, nothing is resolved. What's one less pair of Diesel jeans or an entire summer or winter spent in New York? Poor James doesn't want to find out.
Granted, something about the impending collapse of our country's financial institutions has the macho in me saying "hell no the damn economy don't affect me. WATCH me buy this bottle of Veuve and go buckwild on Bluefly.com. Sh*****t." Instead of stocking up on water and canned tuna, or whatever one needs to survive the collapse of civilization, I'm wondering if bow ties really are the hot item for men's wear this winter. (On the one hand, yay for the preppy look, but on the other, do I really want to look like a nattering personal assistant?)
But I digress...
According to New York magazine, conversations about fiscal prudence are taking place all across tony enclaves in the city. And these conversations aren't focused so much on what the upwardly mobile won't be buying, but on what they can and can't lay claim to anymore. "I used to work at [insert name of once-pre-eminent-financial-institution-here]" is kinda like saying "I used to be Vanilla Ice."
With that realization comes an unwanted reworking of plans and priorities - as one couple profiled for the New York piece said, it's smarter to pay the mortgae than to remodel the kitchen.
Sadly for James we rent and I barely cook. And I'm a size 11...