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Going to the extremes
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Sorry folks, but … I gotta tell ya … it’s 85 degrees here in sunny southern California, where we are now occupying space. I know about the extreme temperatures back East, and I am really glad to not be there right now.

Mind you, earthquakes, fires, and the Santa Ana winds are no picnic either, but almost every day here is just as lovely as the day before.

We are about 20 degrees above normal for this time of year, and I am not complaining one stinkin’ bit about that.  It’s absolutely gobsmackingly gorgeous.

And while I’m talking about southern California, if you happen to watch “Housewives of Orange County,” don’t believe that bull for one second. I don’t know where they came up with those googoo dolls, but the real housewives of O.C. look nothing like them. If you go down to Newport Beach you might see some gals that do, but predominately the look is “average.”

You have, in Orange County, several towns and small cities, and Newport Beach is not the norm. It’s an extreme. Extremely expensive homes, extremely expensive cars, extremely expensive plastic surgeries. It is extremely beautiful, but …there is a lot of that down here.

On the opposite end of the spectrum, and just minutes away by freeway, are Santa Ana, Tustin, Orange … nice little towns but nowhere close to the extremes that are Newport Beach. We happen to be in the middle, in Irvine, which is just lovely in its own right.

I was reading an article the other day that I found to be pretty extreme. While most Americans are struggling right now to pay this that or the other bill, one Wall Street Wife was struggling to decide whether to cut the maid back to four days a week instead of five.

Another woman used to have lunch once a week at an exclusive restaurant in Manhattan, and on the way home would do some therapy shopping at Manolo Blahnik, layin’ out some big dosh for a pair of shoes. She doesn’t do that now, because, she says, she ‘doesn’t feel right’ about it. She needs to get a clue, cause Payless is always having a BOGO.

Another gal was in line at an upscale grocery story when a well-heeled WSW whispered from behind, “Do you use coupons?” to which the other woman said, “Sometimes … when I think about it.”

WSW said, “Well, apparently they are all the rage … how do I get them?”

OK, Suze Orman, are you paying attention? Get writin’ that next book, girl, and tell these women who are suddenly becoming paupers how to clip coupons and save money!

The gal who was contemplating cutting back the maid’s hours was, at the time, standing in her closet with her personal stylist. She was taking into account the various handbags she’d purchased that cost upwards of $10,000 each. As she tried to determine whether or not she should cut back on the handbag purchases, she decided it would just be easier to cut someone’s wages. Typical Wall Street, wouldn’t you say?  The personal stylist was tempted to say, “Just sell your bags” but didn’t, for fear of having her services cut as well.

On the other hand, to the extreme, is the guy who was on his way to his second job as a waiter when he heard on the radio that the restaurant chain he was working for was closing its doors. He managed to work for two more days before they were all given the boot. He works by day at a printing company, and at night as a waiter. He had to move the four kids and his wife into a much smaller, more affordable two-bedroom apartment. He scurried around for days afterward to find another second job, which he managed to do, at less money and less tips, but he did it.

Now, if I had an extra $10,000 layin’ around somewhere, do you think for two seconds that I would go buy one handbag for that? Handbag my butt. Call it what it is. A pocketbook. A purse. Handbag indeed! I can get a decent one of those at Wallieworld or Target for under $20. And yes, if times get tough, I will just use an old pillowcase if I have to.

How else would I carry those Blahniks home?