“It’s official,” I said to George. “The economy’s in a recession. It’s time to winterize the house.”
George looked at me warily, “You say that every year.”
It’s true. The temperature drops and my inner Jimmy Carter kicks in. I can’t help it—I love the sweaters.
I said, “This year we really need to winterize because of the recession. The windows are leaking like sieves and, to quote my father, I don’t feel like heating the whole outdoors.” George, who grew up in the South and actually welcomes the cold weather, said, “A little air flow is good for you—it keeps you healthy!”
I said, “What’s that sound?” He looked around. I said, “Oh, I think I just heard the 401k sneezing. Maybe it’s the one that’s catching cold.”
George got out the measuring tape.
I offered to make curtains to help reduce the draft and he said no one would recognize the house if I put curtains up. I went ahead with it anyway. I was thrilled with the results—I felt like a domestic goddess. I invited Ellie over to applaud my handiwork. George listened to us discuss seams and then said, “I think the pod people have taken over your bodies.”
He went to the hardware store and bought insulation. We ordered several hundred dollars worth of firewood. We turned the thermostat down and built a fire and poured some wine. I got up to turn down the lights so as not to see how really crooked the seams on the curtains were.
George was cranky. He said, “We just spent hundreds of dollars to save hundreds of dollars. What do we do now for fun?”
I said, “Recession sex.”
He was intrigued.
I said, “Recession sex is what you do when you’re being budget conscious. Instead of dinner and a movie, which can run about $100, we rent a movie to watch in bed and have sex.”
George said helpfully, “We could just skip the movie and save a few more dollars.”
I said, “Or we could reenact that scene from Tom Jones and eat dinner in bed as a prelude to sex. But we might have to turn up the heat for that one. George said, “I’m okay with the splurge.”
I said, “Well, the idea behind recession sex is that it’s a free activity. It doesn’t cost you anything and you can pretty much do it whenever you want.”
George said, “Tell me more.” I said, “Well, recession sex can also help save money on our workouts. Instead of driving separately to the gym, we can save gas money and have athletic sex instead.”
He asked, “Can I embrace your inner Jimmy Carter?” I said that speaking of Jimmy Carter, maybe our political leaders could engage in recession sex as an example for the country. We briefly contemplated what that would be like. He said, “I think Barack is never on top.” I agreed and suggested that Bill and Hillary’s idea of sex with each other was a mind meld.
George poured more wine and asked, “What about the McCain’s, what do you think happens there?” and I said it was something I preferred not to think about. We both agreed that the Palin’s not only looked as if they had great sex, but had plenty of it. I said, “Maybe this could be a platform for her. I mean, she’s up in Alaska—she knows all about surviving winter and saving on heat.” George said, “What about Pelosi and Reid?” and I said that was almost as bad as contemplating Larry King having sex.
He said, “You know, maybe some journalists should model this program. Think about how media coverage would change if the journalists spent more time getting laid.” I agreed. “Maureen Dowd wouldn’t be so snippy anymore. ” George said, “We could make public service announcements: get off your laptop and into someone’s lap.” I said it sounded like a project for the Center for Journalistic Excellence.
George settled more deeply into the sofa. He sighed contentedly. He said, “Recession sex. What a great idea. How long do you think this recession will last?” I said, “I once asked my great-uncle Frankie, who bequeathed me his recipe for bathtub gin, when prohibition actually ended and he said, he never noticed when it began.”
George said, “That makes me think we should get started before the government decides to either tax recession sex or make it illegal.” I said, “If they do prohibit recession sex, we could always just move into prohibition sex.”
George looked happy. He said, “I really don’t even need to know the difference as long as it involves sex, but tell me anyway.” I said, “Prohibition sex is like recession sex without the winterizing” and George said “Now you tell me.”
He said, “What kind of sex do we need to have to get you out of those sweaters?” I said that depended on how deep he thought the downturn could go and he said the leading indicators were on the rise and then took me upstairs to demonstrate his own theories.
They were off the charts.
Jane Becker, The Dame Domain