It’s a pretty bad luxuries year. Being in a luxury business, it’s hitting us pretty hard. People are cutting back, and what’s the first thing to go? Personal luxuries. Hair cuts. Waxes. Dye jobs. Dining out. New cars. The expensive gas (didn’t that go like a decade ago?). Tattoos. Ouch. My income is almost 100% dependent on that last one.
I know I skipped my last monthly eyebrow wax. A standing appointment I’ve had for the past ten years. I’ve been plucking a few strays here and there. Careful not to tweeze inside my classic arch, but still leaving enough to grab onto if I do find I have a spare $20 to get in. I’ve done my own dye jobs for the last two years or so, but the brows? I like my (now hopelessly outdated) gentle arch. I started waxing at 18 and never looked back. Until last month. When my pocketbook said “Halt! You shall not charge.”
Joking aside, we weathered the recession pretty well. We weathered the Bush administration. We weathered the Obama administration. I have six+ years of Time Hop telling me I make the same complaint every November around my birthday:
“Blah blah our income is down. Blah blah is there any work you can throw my way? Blah blah we may cancel my birthaversary trip. Blah blah I hate this time of year”
Seriously. Every. Single. Year.
And every single year we get through it. We emerge on the other side, credit score a little worse for wear, but emerge we do. We even go on the trip (typically funded by everyone except ourselves, it is, after all, a birthday trip, so birthday monies go pretty far).
Now it’s another goddamned election year, and for some reason, election years suck for income. I don’t know what the correlation is (and I don’t have a fancy-schmancy degree in the “Socio-Economic Impact of Election Years On Anyone Who Isn’t Involved In Politics”, so I likely won’t ever know the correlation of politics on my ability to pay someone else to rip the hair out of my face wax my eyebrows) but I bet there is one.
We had already tapered off our unnecessary consumerism shortly before the money dried up. So that worked in our favor. I’m pretty stingy on my own stuff and as most mothers do, put my kids before myself. I have pretty much given up buying anything for myself. I still have a Glossy Box subscription because I pay for it once a year (and I think I’ll cancel it when it comes due next time, although it does keep me in expensive face lotion samples and my daughter in expensive makeup samples for the whole year…), but I canceled my Julep subscription. I cancelled my audible subscription. I gave up my precious brow wax. That one hurt. Yet I found a way to make sure guitar lessons are covered, and I found a way to make sure scouts (all the scouts) are covered. I would move heaven and earth to make sure my kids activities are covered. I think any parent would. I know I can’t remember my parents every saying no to me, or a simple “we can’t afford that right now”, and I’m sure there were plenty of times they should have.
I just wish that the world as whole wasn’t having such a rough time, especially since I was pretty sure we had already dealt with a recession in my lifetime. Isn’t there a limit of one? No? There should be. I can live without my luxuries, but having our income be dependent on others luxuries? It’s a rough world out there right now. We’re not homeless. We’re not hungry. Which is more than I can say for so many, so I really can’t complain. Not even about my eyebrows. But if the house wasn’t paid off, if we didn’t have someone else contributing to food… I can’t imagine how hard it would be, and if my own children would be among the many who only get to eat at school thanks to free lunch.