Real Estate Crash

This is not from the Onion. We live in our own microcosms and macroeconomic woes impact all of us very differently. Capitalism and abundance breed funny pockets of reality. But this makes me want to re-examine my own hierarchy of life priorities that filter down to discretionary spending.

The LA Times. “It used to be a high point of Goldy Anthony’s life. Every six weeks or so, as a kind of personal morale booster, she and a group of girlfriends would make appointments to see a Beverly Hills plastic surgeon for little touch-ups. He was ‘an artist’ with Botox and Juvederm, she said.”

“Afterward, in a carefree mood, the ladies would dine at a popular restaurant on the Sunset Strip.”

“No more. The sub-prime loan crisis, the housing slump and the general decline of the economy have claimed another covey of victims. Anthony is in the real estate business, and under current conditions, the cosmetic treatments — at $1,800 or more a pop — can no longer be squeezed into her budget. It’s the same with others in the group.”

“‘We used to make appointments together,’ Anthony said. ‘Then they started saying, ‘I can’t go next week.’ People didn’t have the money, but they were ashamed to tell you.’”

“‘I would rather have Botox than go out to dinner, but it’s just gotten so bad,’ said Anthony, 41, who is looking for a job since her career in the mortgage business went sour. She has not had the facial treatments in months.”

“And what’s been happening in Beverly Hills is apparently happening around the country. After years of steady growth, the cosmetic surgery business seems to be going through a rough patch.”

“Cathy Hollingsworth is not in the real estate business; she manages a clothing store. But the 42-year-old mother of two from San Jacinto said she is holding off on $20,000 worth of surgery because she doesn’t think it would be fair to her family in a shaky economy.”

“Her husband’s job with an engineering firm appears to be secure, but the four-bedroom home the family bought 2 1/2 years ago has lost value. On their street in a brand-new subdivision, four or five houses now sit empty.”

“‘If we weren’t upside-down in the house, I probably would take the money out and have it done,’ said Hollingsworth, ‘I’ll have to see how long I can tolerate wearing a girdle.’”

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