Sunday, February 22, 2009

New World

I worked up the energy and courage to go to the big mall yesterday, being in desperate need of work clothes and shoes (haven't made clothes purchases for more than six months).

It was ... odd.

I was a kid during the 70's oil crisis. I was still kiddish during the early early 80's recession. I didn't grow up well to do, so can't really gauge how those economic downturns affected us. And in the recession of the very early 90's, I couldn't have been much more below poverty level than I already was at that time, so it didn't affect me at all (back in the days when I could make a bag of rice and a bag of beans last for weeks).

This time around, I do pretty OK as a single professional gal. So it's more real. With immediate impact. Deciding which "luxuries" to give up. How to decrease overhead in my business. Reducing my home budget and expenses. Making food stretch. At work, it's very real. Budget reductions. Policy changes in allowable expenses.

Our current economy was shockingly apparent at the big mall yesterday. Macy's turned off lots of lights around the peripheries of the store. There were very few things NOT on sale. I walked out with a jumbo shopping bag crammed with super sale items, and didn't pay very much at all. The mall itself was a little sobering, though jam-packed with people. So many shops closed or with closing sales. The mall's hours, a sales person told me, have been reduced to save on overhead. I usually walk out of Sephora empty handed because of the lines. This time I was determined (needed an eyelash brush - an obvious necessity regardless of the economy?), but only waited in line for 15 minutes (vs. the usual 30+ minutes).

I just got back from a quick trip to Safeway (groceries). I bought a whole lotta bags of food, for far less than I would normally have to shell out for that amount of food. Chicken was on super sale. I actually bought a piece of cake for $0.99 (normally $3.99!) (come on, it was German Chocolate!).

I keep thinking about tsunamis. You know how the tourists always go running out to observe the phenomena of the oceans inexplicably receding? Whilst the locals run for the hills? I feel like I should be running for those hills ... just don't know where there are or which direction to head in ...

It's a new world. I'm rather looking forward to being on the other end of this, discussing everything in hindsight. It's not that I'm totally freaking out. I'm just unsettled, as is everyone.

1 comment:

ecogeneration said...

It is very scary. My parents just drove up from FL and they said that it's really bad down there. So many houses for sale, foreclosures, closed stores and shopping malls. I'm really fearing the worst. Having business right now seem so futile. So it's hard to get motivated to keep up with my shop lately. :(