I realized the other day that I've never really experienced a recession. Yes, I've been alive and cognizant during a recession (that brief period in the early '90s before the Gulf War), but I wasn't really paying bills or buying goods (besides Barbies and candy lipstick, and, let's be honest, you can live without those things). So I've never really experienced a recession. More importantly, my money has never experienced a recession. I don't even know what to do. Should I have been saving all this time? (Needless to say, I haven't.) Do I need to cut back? And how does one do that exactly? It's not as if I've been spending flagrantly before, but money does seem to have a tendency to slip through my hands like water. I honestly have no idea what I even buy most of the time: food? drinks? rap CDs? (How can one cut back on the music of P. Diddy and Jay Z?) I don't like the idea of this so-called "recession." The last time around, and perhaps he doesn't want this shared, my father lost his job. My mother worked and dad found another job soon enough, but it really was a low point in the household. I don't want to be there again. Also, I'm not too excited about the prospect of macaroni and cheese for dinner every night. But I think what's really come back to bite me in the tuckus is my behavior when we first started hearing about the economic slowdown on the news. The age of irony was over, and our economy, based almost completely on consumer confidence instead of a gold standard, was going to pot. But the network analysts said that the slowdown could be turned around by ... consumer spending. You know I rode that bandwagon all the way out to Wolfchase and started pulling the plastic out all over the place. I couldn't afford it, but I did it for the economy. Only problem was, I was virtually alone. Everyone else, with the exception of Jenna Elfman, that little patriot, and a few other like-minded individuals, was hoarding their money like rainwater in a drought. So here we are, smack dab in economic valley and I'm sitting in a pothole known as "credit card debt." I hear that this little downturn might influence the way generations X and Y spend money for years to come (especially if we have no money for years to come). We'll become tight-fisted, miserly sons and daughters of the revolution and when everything turns right again, our kids will beg us for a 10 spot and we'll go on and on about how gas was once a dollar-fifty a gallon. It's not a bright future. So how about we give it one more college try? Let's go out there and spend some dough and let terrorists everywhere know they haven't killed the American consumer machine. I mean, that is what created most, if not all, of the "musicians" on the pop charts; we can't let the terrorists get away with destroying it. Let's change the future. Head for the cash registers with your arms laden. And if someone happens to find my irony sitting in a bargain bin somewhere, could you please return it to me? I miss it.