Mrs. Fussy Crankypants Tries Not to be a Supercilious Ass

Mrs. Fussy Crankypants has been hearing a lot recently about the miserable state of the economy (which is true) and the miserable state of the people living in said economy (this presumably is also true but Mrs. Fussy Crankypants wouldn’t know, not going out very much).

Mrs. FC herself is a dyed-in-the-wool pennypincher. Mrs. FC cannot justify buying a new pair of slippers when her current pair are not the least worn despite the fact that they smell like something died have a faint aroma and also that the insides are sticky from where Mrs FC put double-sided tape to hold in place a dryer sheet to try to control the stench to give them a light, fresh scent. Mrs FC shops at Goodwill. The last time she bought something new, it was a pair of skorts. At Walmart. On sale. For $8. 

Mrs. FC doesn’t have fancy-schmancy furniture.  Mrs. FC’s idea of fancy-schmancy is Ikea. (yes, it is sad. She knows).  Mrs. FC’s car is old. Mrs. FC does not live in a very hip part of town. Mrs. FC’s part of town is decidely Not Hip. (Although there may be many broken hips. There certainly are many funeral homes. Mrs. FC’s town is a bit on the geriatric side).  Mrs. FC doesn’t have a plasma TV and she doesn’t have Wii (but she does have a basic model fancy-schmancy camera because…you know…the Tiny Tyrant)

Mrs. FC is not about trying to downplay the severity of this crisis for many people. Mrs FC cannot imagine what it would be like to go in to work one morning and find out that one had been ‘downsized’. Mrs. FC knows that it must be excrutiating to wonder how one will feed one’s children let alone pay the mortgage.  Mrs. FC’s heart goes out to these people.

But Mrs. FC would like to advise the media to cover a wider demographic if they expect Mrs. FC to feel sorry for the public at large.  In her reading and listening, Mrs. FC has come across numerous examples of “down-on-their luck” white, middle class late 20-somethings.  The other day Mrs. FC read about a single 20 something young woman who cashiered at Lowe’s and was bemoaning the fact that she had had to borrow $4,000 to buy a trailer (oh the HORROR!  How can she face any of her FRIENDS?) because no one would give her a loan for a house. In Mrs. FC’s opinion, if she had to borrow $4,000, she is exactly the type of person the banks ought not to loan to and if they had realized that a bit sooner, we might not be in near the mess we are now.

Mrs. FC was listening this morning to a 29-year-old woman in L.A. explaining in a dolorous voice about how she and her husband were subsisting on beans and rice (never mind that these are staples well utilized in other countries) and how some friends of her had just given them gift cards to the grocery store and they were going to buy meat and how nice that would be.  Because you see they had been homeowners for a few years and they were in dire straights and Mrs FC thought ‘blah blah blah’.

Why?  Because Mrs. Fussy Crankypants has lived in many an apartment (in many a condition) in her married life. Mrs. FC spent a whole entire decade living in apartments and she will probably spend more years as well because she doesn’t mind being an apartment dweller. And when Mrs FC and Mr FC began thinking about buying a house, they did a little research. Not a lot. They got a book out of the library. And read it.  And it helped them. And?  Mr and Mrs FC had worked hard to save a tidy little sum for something called a “downpayment”. So Mrs. FC feels little sympathy for obviously-college-educated people IN L.A. (where real estate is not well-know for its reasonable price) who made a bone-headed decision about buying a house and now have to not eat meat (oh the HORROR!).

So, Mrs FC would like to stop hearing about ninnies who made poor decisions but have no excuse to have done so.  You can tell her about people who really didn’t know any better. You can tell her about single moms or dads struggling to get by. You can tell her about people who are caught by the circumstances. But please stop trying to make her feel sorry for dumba$$es who didn’t realize credit wasn’t free money.

Mrs. FC is going to go count her stash of pennies, nickles and dimes now.


3 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. natalie
    Oct 08, 2008 @ 07:52:37

    you know before we moved overseas we had much more than we do now. we collected things. it just became a habit to buy stuff we wanted. we didn’t have fancy stuff, but we did have more than enough stuff. after struggling a bit and using our tax refund to pay off our credit card we changed our thinking. we also moved overseas where it was a whole lot harder to go shopping just for fun. it wasn’t fun. now that we are moving back i am so used to not using the credit card that i don’t think it will be a problem at all. i am also used to not having lots of extra stuff and like that my house isn’t so cluttered. there will be things we need when we get back, but if we don’t have the money we won’t spend it. i am thankful that i had the chance to live here…it gave me a whole new perspective on what is important.


  2. Lisa
    Oct 10, 2008 @ 06:38:45

    We try hard to not collect ‘stuff’ for ‘stuff’s sake’. Despite our efforts, we still have a lot of clutter and Emma has way too many toys. Perhaps I need to arrange some type of situation where I can really gain a new perspective…unfortunately living overseas is probably not in my near future.

    I heard of a challenge to go a whole week without spending a cent–that might be a good place to start.

    “Mrs. FC”–did you see the SNL skit making fun of congressional leaders & home owners? Right up the alley of the examples you were reading, and hysterical.


  3. ~m
    Oct 13, 2008 @ 10:26:27

    I can’t say that I don’t have a lot of “stuff”. I think if we hadn’t moved around a lot in our first 10 years of marriage, I would have a lot of “stuff” by now. I’m a packrat.
    Still, being aware of what you are buying and why is a real key.

    Natalie, I agree that living abroad really helps give a different perspective on “things” but Lisa, I think that just being mindful of what you have is great.

    (I didn’t see the SNL skit…I’ll have to see if I can find it^^)


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