Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Things You Learn While Laid Off

1. College did teach you something: ramen noodles are awesome.

2. Ten months without a haircut is bad. As in, wearing-hats-every-day bad.

3. You can spend all day in Barnes and Noble skimming ridiculous books like Lulu Meets God and Doubts Him and How It Feels to Be Attacked by a Shark and not feel the slightest bit ridiculous.

4. Insurance companies, the same ones who gave you free notepads and such when you had money, turn on you quickly. They even send rude letters. At least now you know who your friends are.

5. The same coupons you recycled six months ago are now like golden tickets.

6. In a recession, you can only invite your anorexic friends to dinner. Pals who eat like Paula Deen? You can't afford 'em, and they don't like ramen noodles anyway.

7. With movie theatres costing $9 a ticket, suddenly you find yourself watching your own movies. (When you bought Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil, you never anticipated actually having to watch it.)

8. Quarters, dimes, nickels and pennies add up. And Coinstar is a ripoff.

9. Toilet paper rationing is pointless. Using only three squares per squat does you no good when you bawl into half the roll later on.

10. Gardening really does pay off. Also, there are 3,493,029 ways to eat homegrown broccoli. And after this stupid economy rebounds and you're back to recycling coupons, you will never eat broccoli again. With God as your witness.

11. You really were brainwashed. Paying $4 for a mint mocha chip latte is ridiculous.

12. Benjamin Franklin was an angel; public libraries are true friends.

13. Swiping all those hotel soaps and shampoos was a good idea.

14. Church potlucks are of God. And deviled eggs are of the devil.

15. Gas, no matter the price, is expensive. People who live in cities with subways and public transport? Smart.

16. Holidays and occasions that require gifts are way out of hand. Unless homemade gifts are acceptable. But still.

17. Oil lamps are really, really great. They are clean, inexpensive and nostalgic. Until they scoot themselves off the table and sling oil everywhere. Then they are scary, expensive, and a fire hazard.

18. Clotheslines rule.

19. Best friends are those who understand that you haven't had a paycheck in over four months and can't afford expensive meals, pedicures or cruises. Best friends are the ones who, instead of avoiding you until you're flush again, come over with popcorn and cocoa and announce it's time for DIY pedis while playing Caribbean music in the background. (Thanks, T.)

20. No matter how broke you are, you can always, always find money for dog treats.

Time to take a break. Be back soonish. -Brin


Vee said...

You made me laugh, Brin. It certainly is a roller-coaster ride. As for the haircut, please indulge because you'll feel so much better. And feeling better is important when on a job search. Hope that you have a lot of working friends who can afford to invite you to dinner. I know that you'll return the favor one day very soon.

Sharon G said...

you couldn't have said it any better. It is all so true. We all do those things and the thought of ramen noodles can make your stomach turn when things are going well in our lives.And the truth of the book store where you can read new books for free because the library books are never quite new enough.Keep your head up things will get better.But for my family things will not my son is battling medulloblastoma(pediatric brain cancer) and he has relapsed twice and this time there is no cure. And he has been battling since 2005 and now he is 14 and I have not worked since then and how this economy has really sucked and the rich keep lining their pockets and who claim they have money issues they need to live the lives of all of us who are suffering and have real money problems.You stay strong and do not eat to many ramen noodles... Have a good day..

Vintage Girl said...

Oh Brin, you have me laughing this morning! (laughing WITH you of course, not AT you...~smile~) So true is this list! I have total faith in you and you are in my prayers. Blessings to you, Heather

Old Centennial Farmhouse said...

Brin! You are such a good writer. First, let me say your hair is gorgeous! But I want to tell you that whenever I think of you today, I will breathe a prayer with your name in it. You're a good friend, and I'm sure your friends would RATHER have popcorn and watch a DVD with you than anything else! Enjoy springtime and that clothesline! (Clothesline time is one of my favorite things about spring and summer in Michigan!)

Amy said...

We're planning a garden, but I hadn't thought about a clothes line out there too! Great idea!

Donna said...

I am laughing with you darling! Don't forget the beauty colleges for haircuts. I have gotten some of my best ones there because the instructors watch them so carefully. AND CHEAP!
Keep your chin up. You are doing great!

Michelle said...

That was funny but so true!! I've been there a few times. :) You'll find something soon, Brin. I have faith. :)

Beverly said...

Buy Brin's House Helpers, people! They are wonderful, both to look at and to use. And her scrappy bags are so much fun, every item a surprise. Brin has given us all so much. Since most of us live too far away to invite her over for dinner and/or a pedicure, this is how we can help. Love ya Brin.

Susan said...

You don't have to be laid off to be following those rules. I'm a single self employed gal living in an old fixer upper house and you just described my gainfully employed life.

I get my books and movies from the library. Eat as cheaply as possible, live in the boonies so there's no place "to" go shopping and I'm happy as can be. Maybe you could check out beauty schools for a student haircut. We all live in such a consumer society ... I think tough times build character ... or at least that's the story I've been tellin' myself. Wink.

Sue@CountryPleasures said...

Got to keep the sense of humor or you'd go nuts! I'm related to Ben Franklin, so thank you! Hang in there Brin, I know a job is just waiting for you, loved the list!

Sissy said...

I can't bring myself to buy that peppermint mocha anymore either. I drive past a Starbucks every morning and I swear it calls out my name and tempts me with the sweet stuff.

AHhhhhh, ramen noodles. Check out for a really good ramen noodles recipe that will incorporate some of those veggies that you grow.

Erin said...

I just found your blog and I just love love love it. Prayers for you and your beautiful spirit-that outlook will take you far. :)


Linkis Family Love said...

Yes, laughter keeps a spirit healthy, but so does a good cry. I don't envy your situation, but you are NOT alone. Keep your chin up, and your eyes towrard the Lord. He will show you the way. You will have our prayers here from Illinois.
Love on your beautiful doggie pal-that kind of unconditional love cannot be bought with any amount of money!
Kelli <><<

Catherine said...

You know you have something amazing - be it your spirit, your writing ability, your house, or all three - when I'm envying you despite the unemployment thing.
I think it's great that you have the bravery to make people laugh through this tough time.

I wish I could walk to a small-town movie theatre. The fact that you have one of those - and your love of Ramen noodles - has made me an instant fan.

My thoughts and prayers are with you. Best of luck! (Just think of how good you're going to get at DIY pedi's. It's going to be like learning a trade.)


~Mad said...

...and God is so faithful. I've seen Him at work. Once, with a friend who we thought would never conceive, she did!. Twice, with a friend who stuck in a terrible,horrible, no good, very bad job and FINALLY another much better one came along. Three, I had an awful cancer and all the margins were (are) clear.
(and so many other examples!)
It's in our nature to doubt Him - but He is ever faithful! And then we are so amazed - why?
Lifting you up,
~Mad(elyn) in Alabama

ancient one said...

The ramen noodles caught my attention.. I have yet to taste them... but my grandson kept them here while he was in school... he's friends had taught him how good they were...(so he said)

Anonymous said...

Being out of work 9 months now I certainly can relate to everything you said. I do have an addition to # 19 though. It's ok to allow your WORKING friends to treat you to a meal out once in awhile or anything else they want to do for you. If you let them it will make THEM feel good too. Thank God for friends!


The Ramblin' Rat said...

Aww Brin, I know how you feel. My husband and I were both laid off back in October. While I found a part time job quickly, my husband still can't find one. Here we are, almost 6 months later and God has been faithful.

Some days aren't easy and I too have spent some time crying and asking God why this is happening to us, but then I realize that God does see the bigger picture and there will be something better in the future. I mean, He keeps the sparrows safe and we are more important to Him than the sparrows.

You are in my prayers Brin. I know God has something awesome in store for you.

Kim said...

Hang in there Brin, better days are coming. If it helps -- you aren't alone in this recession. I hope you are writing all these thoughts down into book form because I think you have a bestseller on your hands. God bless and keep you.

wanderingbtrfly said...

I love this Brin! So funny and so true!

Mrs Boats said...

I just got a clothesline (well poles), but anyway, I am in awe of the fantasticness of them! Having lived the life you explain even while working, I certainly feel for your situation and commend you on keeping life good for your pup. Hang in there lady, God is watching over you and while sometimes things feel immensly helpless, He is working on something great and you are helping Him put it together. Keep that chin up and know you are a loved child of God. BTW, I love your writing style!! It's the kind of writing that I would read even if the content weren't interesting (which of course it is), but just for the great flow of words and how they pull me along.

Mrs Boats said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Mrs Boats said...

as I read back through a few recent posts I was reminded of this story and wanted to post it with mercy drops but for some reason couldn't comment there. Anyway, I googled the story and copied and pasted it here.

Malachi 3:3 says: "He will sit as a refiner and purifier of silver."

This verse puzzled some women in a Bible study and they wondered what this statement meant about the character and nature of God.

One of the women offered to find out the process of refining silver and get back to the group at their next Bible Study.

That week, the woman called a silversmith and made an appointment to watch him at work. She didn't mention anything about the reason for her interest beyond her curiosity about the process of refining silver.

As she watched the silversmith, he held a piece of silver over the fire and let it heat up. He explained that in refining silver, one needed to hold the silver in the middle of the fire where the flames were hottest as to burn away all the impurities.

The woman thought about God holding us in such a hot spot then she thought again about the verse that says: "He sits as a refiner and purifier of silver."

She asked the silversmith if it was true that he had to sit there in front of the fire the whole time the silver was being refined.

The man answered that yes, he not only had to sit there holding the silver, but he had to keep his eyes on the silver the entire time it was in the fire. If the silver was left a moment too long in the flames, it would be destroyed.

The woman was silent for a moment. Then she asked the silversmith, "How do you know when the silver is fully refined?" He smiled at her and answered, "Oh, that's easy - when I see my image in it."

If today you are feeling the heat of the fire, remember that God has His eye on you and will keep watching you until He sees His image in you.

***LARISSA*** said...

Brin, I love this post! I am a loyal reader, and there are many days that I find inspiration, or kinship, or humor in your words when I needed it most. THAT is priceless!
In this economic environment, my family is cutting corners to make ends meet and doing without things we always had before. (Right down to the comment about Ramen noodles!)
Often your posts remind me of the joy in the simple things in life, and from that I am able to count my blessings and remeber that there is a Godly lesson in all of this!
Even through your suffering - you are still blessing others... God is SO AMAZING!!!
Thanks again for sharing your thoughts and little bits of life with all of us!

Anonymous said...

That was a great list! The church dinner thing cracked me up...been there and done that. It's even better when you look so pathetic that they send you home with leftovers. Then you are living!


Tee of Dragonfly Cottage said...

Ha ha... well I will be without a job in may... and for who knows how long.... so I will take a lesson from this!!! *giggles*