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Hello Fellow Americans,

It’s me, the newly appointed secretary of spending. I’m delighted by my new title and couldn’t be happier that our new President has recognized my generous contributions to our flailing economy. I’m trying, People. I am. But I need your help.

Did you hear our president’s address to congress? I did. I listened to it on my way home from the job I’m obviously very lucky to still have. Were you inspired by his message? I was. In fact, I was so inspired I almost stopped at Nordstrom on my way home to celebrate. Speaking of Nordstrom, I have some disturbing news. Even after all my generous donations to Nordstrom’s bottom line, they still had the nerve to record a loss! What does that tell you? I’ll tell you! I can’t do this alone, People! YOU* need to get out there and start spending too!

And why should you, you ask? Because it’s your patriotic duty. Would we really be in such an economic meltdown and if those of us who are able to continued to operate like business and usual? Sometimes ignorance is bliss. Blissful and crucial. So please. I implore you. Go out there and blissfully buy some patio furniture. And if you don’t have a patio, go buy a home that does! Go! Now!

I have friends that joke about pulling money out of the bank and stuffing it inside their walls. (These are the same people who have volcanic survival kits stashed in every room of their house and 120 rolls of duct tape in case of chemical warfare. I don’t even have batteries in my flashlight. In fact, I don’t even know where that battery-less flashlight is.) Noooooooooo! Not even funny! We’re too young to think like that. Do you know who my bank is? Washington Mutual! That’s right! WaMu– now Chase– but for a while there WaMu was touch and go. Were they really going to run off with my hard earned pennies? Of course not! I had faith. Or maybe I just didn’t have all the facts. Whatever. Nothing bad happened. They still smiled when I went in there for a roll of quarters. Sometimes they even gave me Hershey Kisses and my foster dogs biscuits. Even my debit card didn’t change.

This weekend I purchased 7 pairs of shoes for $130. I’ll repeat that: SEVEN PAIRS OF SHOES FOR $130. I’m not talking flip flips. I’m not talking slippers. I’m not talking those flimsy muslin booties furniture delivery people slip on over their Doc Martins before entering your house (which I’m real familiar with but I’ll get to that in a second.) I’m talking real shoes. Beautiful shoes. Classic shoes. Even a pair of boots. How did I get such fantastic deals? Because the whole world is on sale, People! There has to be something you need but don’t want to pay full price for. Go! Now!

In addition to my seven pairs of shoes, I’ve purchased a new bed, dresser, sideboard, dining room chairs and two very purple, ultra-suede, swivel captain’s chairs. I’m sitting on one right now. I never would have afforded this stuff if our economy wasn’t in the condition it was. Check this out: My sideboard alone was regular price $2,300! I paid less than a quarter of that. Dining room chairs were $220 each. I paid $55. And they’re gorgeous! I made my home very happy and supported a local business in the process. You can do that too. See you in heaven.

And no, you’re not supposed to be pulling your money out of your 401Ks, People. You’re supposed to be increasing your contribution. You’re buying the same stocks for 1/2 as much. Who can resist a sale? Not me! Not Warren Buffett! And you shouldn’t either!

Remember how you always wanted to visit Cowboy Days in Santa Fe? I’m not judging you! I’m telling you to go! And avocado linoleum? Really? You don’t have to live like that anymore! I bet you can find your dream floors on sale right now! Hey, why not replace your appliances now too? It will make it easier for them to install your new slate flooring. And that wardrobe… time for an update! Go forth and conquer those designer boutiques! They need you and all that overpriced denim needs a new home!

The bottom line is if you got it, spend it. I’m not one to deliberately benefit from someone’s misfortune and I’m sure you’re not either so it’s a good thing that’s not what’s happening here. Shopping today is like making a charitable contribution except you won’t just be rewarded with good karma. These troubled times won’t last forever, People! So slip on a pair of comfortable shoes, pound the pavement and get those coveted goods while you can! And if you don’t have a pair of comfortable shoes, fear not. I know just the place for you go.

*By YOU I mean those of you who have jobs, no mouths other than the occassional canine or feline to feed, and an insatiable urge to support your local retailers, lack of willpower when it comes to scoring incredibly good deals, and slight lack of knowledge when it comes to figuring out how this whole economy works.

Shelly Mazzanoble

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