The Recession’s Psychological Toll

Americans want to get back to business. Or at least that’s the message in this Time Magazine “Money & Main St” article from Sean Gregory.
The article’s backbone is a new study from WSL Strategic Retail. Apparently 1 in 4 of the shoppers WSL surveyed said they were “tired of watching every little penny and are ready to break out a little.” The top categories they desire: a vacation, a night out and clothes for spring and summer.
Gregory, as a good reporter does, sought out an individual to speak for these disgruntled masses in search of a good time.

No one is more fed up with the recession than Christina Calleja, 25, a real estate broker’s assistant in New York City. Over the past year, she has fretted over every single expense. She has stayed home on Saturday nights and refused to eat out. Instead of buying a lotion that would smooth her skin, she would sample one at a department store. “Psychologically, obsessing over everything you buy is so exhausting,” says Calleja. “Everyone talks about the recession everywhere you go. It’s always in your face. It gets annoying.”
So, tired of her wicked case of cabin fever, Calleja has gone on a “crazy rampage.” She saw a $500 flight for a weekend in Paris and snapped up the ticket. “And of course, you need to buy a new outfit for Paris,” she says. She has even convinced some friends to go with her. “I just said, ‘Screw it — I’m going to go here.’ ” She is also going out more and spending a bit more on basic staples. “I got tired of being poor,” Calleja says. “At some point, you have to get back your sanity.”

She got “tired of being poor.” Classic. I’m sure the truly poor people of this nation are also more than a little tired of being poor.



About David Burn

I wrote my first ad for a political candidate when I was 17 years old. She won her race and I felt the seductive power of advertising for the first time. Today—after working for seven agencies in five states—I am head of brand strategy and creative at Bonehook in Portland, Oregon.