Here at Ivy Leagued and Unemployed, we are big on noticing recession trends thanks to all those nifty google alerts we’ve been getting on the topic for the past six months. And believe it or not, the media loves describing how unemployment affects your romantic dalliances. Let’s recap, shall we?
1) Applying to jobs on Craigslist sometimes feels like a sexual harassment case waiting to happen.
2) Being unemployed makes for really awkward meeting-the-parents fodder.
4) The recession has made young adults regress into high school living scenarios (hi mom!).
5) Lengthy unemployment leads to way more bad decisions (aka bad sex).
6) But no one wants to sleep with the unemployed anyway. Unless you have to because you can’t afford a divorce anymore.
7) And in this weekend’s Modern Love, we learn what happens when two people fall in love in the strange fairy-dusted land known as unemployment: mainly, the love runs out almost as soon as the weekly check from the government.
First, attraction is formed based on common interest.
We shared a love of live music, matinees and independent bookstores. Plus, we’d both been laid off from our jobs: I from a community college where I taught English, and he from a small architecture firm.
Then comes the phase of lust, facilitated by blocking everyone else out of your life.
I was living in one of those rent-controlled artist’s apartments in the West Village that makes living in New York on a teacher’s salary possible. It became our saving grace. We treated it like a cave, ignoring the temptation of the city’s summer consumption like hibernating bears.
Followed by fantasies of a better life.
Just for fun we’d play “What would you buy if you had money?”
“A ticket to New Zealand,” I said.
“I’d take you out for dinner,” he said meekly. “A really nice place.”
“I’d buy you a dress,” he said. “I’d like to buy you a dress some day.”
And finally, the rude awakening that unemployment benefits will run out one day and then you’ll actually have to get to know a person outside of midnight lunch runs and daytime sex.
Craig found steady work moving refrigerators. I found administrative work. I’d convinced myself that jobs would jump-start our lives together. We’d save money, stop running around, start thinking about the future. No more lazy days of reading to each other on other people’s couches. No more midafternoon movies or sleepless nights of listening to music and making out and drinking wine. It was time to get back to the “real” lives we’d been taking a break from. But we’d never known each other in this “real” world.
Happy recession dating, everyone!