Never Give Up

F or a moment last week, around midnight on Tuesday, we all went mad with joy. Mad in a way I’ve never seen or heard. As I went to bed around 4am I could still hear the screams from people in the street: “We did it.” Emails came in from friends the next day “I’m still drunk; you?”

No, I wasn’t, but nonetheless the relief that we were finally free of the reign and influence of a President whom I believe history will judge as perhaps the worst ever, was still flowing through my veins.

And then? Then, exhaustion. The market fell and it was time to return to reality. This is the time that employers have promised they will make their job cuts. We face the Holiday season with abysmal numbers in the retail sector, and unemployment rising. People are moving out of the city in droves, to the cheaper suburbs. Suddenly coveted spaces in private schools, once impossible to get into, are open.

I went to get my hair cut on Election day. My hairdresser’s wife had just been laid off. They have a new baby and they’d already got granny for the nanny, so now my hairdresser is deeply worried about how he is going to get by. “80 per cent of my female clients either work on Wall St or are married to people on Wall St,” he said. “My female clients are stretching out their appointments from every eight weeks to ten – and the men – they come in here and try to make jokes – but each one says the same joke and it’s not even funny.”

What is it? I asked.

“I’m earning half the money – and I’m still stuck with the wife.”

He’s right. It’s not funny.

Certainly some male friends complain that their wives don’t know the meaning of the word “economize” but most of my female friends are not that stupid.

Last night I watched the movie Kit Kittredge starring Abigail Breslin; it’s a tale of how grim life was in Cincinnati in 1934 when houses were foreclosed, respectable people became outlawed “hobos” and how even the most resilient of spirits could be trampled on.

To my astonishment all of the friends I was watching it with, couldn’t take it. They left. “Just too depressing,” said one.

In the end I was the only one watching, perhaps because the ending shows a resourceful ten-year-old aspiring journalist getting her first story in to print.

I had to smile.

“Never give up,” her father, played by Chris O’ Donnell, had told her. Words we must all adhere to in the coming months…V

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