It’s a tough economy.

Since the public proclamation president Obama made about being in a recession in the winter of 2007, many if not all of us have used a version of this very clichéd now extremely popular adage, “It’s a tough economy!”

Even after the recession was said to be over in 2009, Americans have long been fighting the aftermath in lets say, quite creative or evolving ways.

I will site a few examples:

More and more Long-islanders (I am from Long Island, NY) are now buying the Sunday paper to look at sale adds and clip coupons. This activity went from being a hobby for penny pinchers to a must for survival. Before the recession I remember cashiers giving you a hard time to honor coupons; however nowadays, they see you walking up to the register with coupons and smile in sympathy welcoming you with open arms. I clipped a Sheba (cat food) coupon to buy 10 cans and get 10 free and had the audacity to brag to another customer by saying: “Hey free food for my cat you can’t beat that!” Both the cashier and the customer behind me smiled in empathetic satisfaction.

Buying a mystery grab bag at a store for two bucks use to seem as scary as sticking your hand in a dark hole with fear of it getting ‘ripped off,’ but now during these tough times was as appealing as a goody bag.

Getting a part time job at your favorite store just to take advantage of the employee discount has now become more and more popular, not to mention, the extra cash to help with groceries and expenses.

As a Long-Islander, I am quite familiar with the outlets. (Tanger in Riverhead to be specific is a discount mall.) I often find myself browsing for deals on the clearance racks and even waiting for end of season deals that go up to my favorite discounted numbers 75% and rare but sometimes found 90% off sales. During my last visit to the outlets I needed to purchase new workout gear. I am proud to say I try and stay healthy. This particular store had such great sales I almost had an orgasmic shopping experience. The entire store was at least 40% off, the clearance racks were marked 75% already reduced prices, and so to say that I was in ecstasy was an understatement.

I was looking to pay $10 for a pair of name brand yoga pants that were priced originally at $60. When I went to the register to pay for my items, I complimented the cashier on the great sale prices in the store. It was mostly women’s apparel in the store and the cashier was a friendly male. His reply was:

“I know right! And I also get the employee discount on top of that!” He bragged.

I was beside myself with jealousy; however bewildered, I decided I needed to know more so I said:

“Your girlfriend must love you if you buy her all this stuff all the time.”

“No girlfriend! I buy stuff that could look unisex and work it. If my friends say anything I just tell them I got it on clearance and that it’s a tough economy!”

My jaw dropped agape and we both started laughing together merrily as I suddenly imagined his friends mocking away with the sympathy of their heart felt pockets.

A man wearing women’s leggings to work out, now that is a sexy new economic trend!

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