Tuesday, October 6, 2009

New Economy & Clothes


We go to Oregon quite often to visit family, so I generally save any shopping for when we head in that direction. Oregon doesn't have a sales tax, and Nevada's continues to rise. Which brings me to an annual event my daughters and I share. Fall shopping for warm clothes. Both Portland and Tahoe require such expenditures. Some things just wear out by the end of the season, and warm boots take a beating in the snow and rain. I purchased just what was needed, and so did the girls. Basic layering t-shirts and a sweater or two, to spiff up last year's winter jeans and skirts. I looked at all of the things people probably wouldn't buy this year, and thought this economy is not going to improve through consuming. I think those days are over. People are being very conservative. Our country, and maybe the world, needs to retrain and retrench.

My younger daughter needed a few things in order to segue from college hippie to working girl. Baby steps with that one - she doesn't feel the need to dress up for much. But she actually seemed pleased when I took her shopping, explaining that going to work with holes in your leggings should be a thing of the past. That, no, it was not okay to save all of her good clothes for going out at night, and wearing the worn ones to work. (She doesn't work with the public, except by phone.) It was time to think about moving up from her basic job and maybe into a more interesting position in the company. Hers is one of the few companies actually growing in this economy. That if she wanted a different car, that held friends and camping equipment - she would have to improve her income. Parental units are pretty much finished with their responsibilities. She knows she is lucky to have a college education minus student loans. She is lucky to have a job that has health insurance, including eye care and dental. She is lucky to have the possibility of upward mobility. Her dream of farming may have to be on her own time, however, starting in her own yard. Travel will have to wait until she can take a leave of absence, but she is lucky to work for a company that will allow her to leave for three months and come back! In other words, it is time for her "to paddle her own canoe," as my father used to say. She graduated into a new world. A new economy less forgiving, and not at all conducive to moving around looking for just the right fit. More like the world her father and I knew when we graduated high school. The Vietnam war was raging and inflation was double digits. Gas lines were long, and finding a good job was a blessing.

I actually think she was listening.

Hmmm... Maybe we are entering a new era, she and I. She is growing up, and I am learning to let go. Maybe, just maybe, we did a good job raising her. She is capable and prepared. Smart and industrious. She is loyal, honest, and works well in a team environment. Good workplace qualities. She always earns an additional bonus at the end of each month, given to those making few errors.

In a country where one in ten Americans are out of work, an estimated 15.1 million and growing, I'm grateful. And more importantly, I think she is, as well. At least for the moment. And isn't that where we're supposed to be living?

21 comments:

~JarieLyn~ said...

Living in gratitude. I wish everyone could see the upside to being grateful for the good and bad in their lives, for even the bad is an opportunity to learn and grow. Great post. I'm sure your daughter will prove you did a fine job raising her.

GooseBreeder said...

Good on you for your perception,the learning to let them live their own lives is hard sometimes,sounds as if you're doing a great job!

Lydia said...

She sounds wonderful, and so does her first real job! I think you've much to be proud of and grateful for.

Happy shopping. I'm staying out of the stores, well...except maybe the outlet at Lincoln City.

Sarah Lulu said...

Sounds like you have a beautiful centred daughter.

I would hope that life will become less about things.

Shrinky said...

Sounds like you have instilled some sound values in to that fine daughter of yours, but the apple rarely falls far from the tree! Isn't it funny how the harder one applies oneself, the "luckier" you seem to get in this life? (Smile)

That said, I am thankful my eldest won't graduate until another four years down the line, it's a harsh world to be entering the work-force in today.

Kathy G said...

I'm sure your daughter's values are very much like yours.

When my sons were in their teens, they completely rejected the teachings of their parents. Now that they're living on their own, I have to laugh (to myself, of course) when they spout some virtue that they heard as they were growing up.

Joanne said...

How nice to shop without a sales tax ... ours here is 6.5%. I think alot of people will be shopping only the "basics" now as we shift our way of thinking.

Brian Miller said...

know that got to make you feel good to see her branching out on her own. obviously you have done a great job. grateful is a great place to live.

The Good Cook said...

Congratulations on having a smart, mature, well rounded daughter. Seeing our children not just grow, but bloom is truly the most rewarding part of parenting.

On shopping - you are right. Our economy will not improve because of consumers. Not from this household anyway.

DJan said...

No, our old way of life hopefully is behind us, and we will start to find new ways to thrive. You are so lucky to have a daughter like yours; I'm just a teensy bit jealous (so you have to share)! :-)

ellen abbott said...

I think it's a good thing that consumerism has been reigned in but it will take a while for everything to adjust. What will replace those sales jobs, what will replace the income produced by consumerism? What will happen to all that 'stuff' out there no one is buying anymore? I think it's good that things are not so easy anymore. I think it will produce a less selfish population and that is a very good thing.

When each of my children graduated from high school, I stopped active parenting. I listened, I consoled, I offered advice, I supported but I felt my job as a 'parent' was complete. they were who they were and would do what they would do.

Nancy said...

College degree and no loans to pay off? WOO HOO!!! She must be a very happy girl!

Elizabeth Bradley said...

We will always need new clothes, but we don't need designer labels. There have been many adjustments. I don't believe for a minute that the unemployment rate is truly as low as ten percent, it's higher. Especially in California. We have a real mess on our hands down here.

Your daughter sounds wonderful. I am finding that I'm excepting of my grown children leading their own lives. It's a good feeling to see the little birdies flying on their own.

Midlife Jobhunter said...

'In other words, it is time for her "to paddle her own canoe,"

Sounds like your daughter is well on her way. I think that is the greatest gift we can give our children.

So many good things in this essay. My kids are graduating into that new world also. Harder lessons for them, but better now than later.

Natalie said...

Hi Nancy, thanks for your comments re: my Haylie.Your beautiful girl sounds like a winner too. Must have been a joy on your shopping trip. :D

Marguerite said...

Sounds like your daughter is doing great! Both of my children have good jobs, too, which gives a certain peace of mind, in this crazy world we live in now. We are very fortunate, here in Lafayette, as we have not felt the sharp bite of the present economy, as much as other areas. Our unemployment rate is among the lowest in the country, due to an excellent city and parish government that really makes an effort to keep it's citizens employed. Great post!

Kay said...

grateful, yes indeed! always a good reminder...you also reminded me that I should NOT go shopping for those pumps I want today as our sales tax is extremely high and I will be in Oregon next week (where I plan to wear the shoes)...buy them there! you are so smart, sometimes my eagerness takes over...you and your daughter are both blessed :)

GYPSYWOMAN said...

very very moving post, lady! my children are all grown - and have their own families now - i was a single parent most of their lives - usually working two jobs plus for 4 years, went to school when my youngest daughter got into kindergarten - they all got jobs of their own while still in high school - helped out at home and bought a lot of their own things themselves - including their own cars and paying the insurance - i used to feel so guilty for my having to be away from them to work and for their having to work too - but they all - then and now - tell me that it's what has made them who they are today - industrious - unafraid of change - adaptable - how to appreciate the little things, etc -

i digress - but your wonderful story of your daughter just brought back yesteryear memories - your daughter i am sure is all those wonderful things of her mom - and her dad -

oh, and delaware has no state sales tax either - people come from 3-4 states around just to shop at the outlets here -

California Girl said...

I just posted my comment for this on the shoe post. dang!

susan said...

It sounds as if she's doing just fine. Good job :-)

Phoebe Miriah Kirby said...

I'm sure if your daughter read this post, it would bring a tear to her eye. :)