I recently read an article about how this summer has been bad for retailers, and how they’re not doing as well as usual, and how markdowns that usually take place in August took place in June. The article is here if you’re interested.
I’m sure it’s a fascinating article that makes a number of good points about … oh, I don’t know, the economy or the weather or something like that. I’m not sure, really. I got distracted when the article introduced me to Pam MacWilliams.
Pity poor pam. The economy has been tough on her family. Says the article, “She's spent only $200 this month on clothes for her family, compared with about $600 a year ago.”
Um, excuse me? $600 a month? Multiply that out and the woman spends $7200 a year on clothing. $7200. A year. On clothing.
Oh, Pammy. May I ask why? Why do you need to spend $600 a month on clothing? Does a new month necessitate a new wardrobe? Are January’s sweaters not good enough for February? Are your children taking growth hormones so that none of their clothes fit them from month to month? Does your weight fluctuate enough week to week that you need new clothing that often? Are you unable to pass by an item of clothing you like without buying it in every color? And where in the name of arse do you store $7200 a year worth of clothing? Is an extra bedroom serving as a closet?
Ah, but Pam doesn’t need to worry about storage space. Do you know why? She has a lake house. The article goes on: “She also hasn't loaded up her lake house with the usual summer accessories like blowup toys.”
I hate to repeat myself, but excuse me? A bloody lake house? You want to cut expenses, start with the lake house. And what happened to last summer’s blowup toys? The ones she loaded up the lake house with in 2008? Do blowup toys have an expiration date? Are last summer’s toys no longer fun or useful? Are her children (hopped up, perhaps, on those growth hormones) such terrors that they destroy a lake house full of blowup toys each summer?
The article quotes Pam. "I thought that the economy would turn faster," said MacWilliams. "I had high expectations. Now, I want to save more."
You want to save more? Sell the bloody lake house. Make your children wear something more than twice before buying them new ones. Something tells me that a woman who buys new blowup toys for the lake house every year and blows seven grand a year on clothing isn’t going to make her precious children wear the same swimsuit every time they swim. Her daughters probably have a swimsuit for every day of the week each, with a matching blowup toy.
You want to save more, Pam? You’re worried about the economy? Cry me a river. I’ve been unemployed since August. I spend less than $200 a YEAR on clothing. I’ve had the same swimsuit since I was twenty, and I haven’t bought any blowup toys since 2003. I don’t have a lake house. I live with my mother. And I can’t afford a vacation to Manhattan. Oh, did I not mention it? Pam is a tourist from Oshkosh, Wisconsin. She was interviewed during a trip to New York.
You know what irritates me the most, I think? Not Pam, although she irritates me plenty. What irritates me the most is that the AP reporter who wrote this story thought Pam was a good person to talk to about the economy. Pam, a woman who is not only gainfully employed but who is married to a man who is also gainfully employed. A woman with a bloody lake house. The reporter thought that this woman represented concerned Americans and their economic woes.
Well, you know what, Pam? You know what, Associated Press? My aging blowup toys and I spit in your general direction, and we don’t consider any of what you had to say as news.