Thursday, September 11, 2003

It's the Economy, Stupid

My mom lost her job yesterday. They still have a couple three weeks to get things settled, but then the store will be closed. She knew it was coming, but that doesn't make it any easier.

My dad called last night and apologized for having still not gotten me my graduation present because he hasn't worked since the middle of July. He was without a car for three weeks too, which is a bitch living out where he does.

Both my parents have work in the arts, in various capacities (mom in retail/rental, dad self employed contract-type work). When the money stops flowing into the homes in our culture, the arts are one of the first things to go. I heard that in Argentina the performing arts is the only industry doing well. There people use the arts as solace and are willing to spend "extra" income on this form of entertainment (and they get more government funding too as it's seen as something important to society). Here people go for the passive entertainment of television, where they don't need to leave their homes.

Mom had been looking around for work before all this came down, and may have a shot at a state program in social work. It would mean less money, but more than unemployment. And my stepfather is still teaching at the high school, and it's math so it won't get cut.

My dad has had dry spells in employment before, like the 6 months when he was dealing with a broken leg, but he's also had a second income in the house then. Since he broke up with his girlfriend, it's just his income supporting him and the girlfriend's daughter (who still lives there. Odd situation, but all her mother's exs seem to take on the parenting responsibility and now she has my dad plus two other dads who live in the area and are around a lot. And strangely are good friends with my dad too. but I digress). Dad lands on his feet though, and I'm sure he'll be okay. The hard part is the lack of work and the break-up are really getting him down.

No comments: