Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Laurie's story: Be careful what you wish for

Laurie Reid is 45 years old, a wife and mother of two. She's lived two decades in Charlotte - a comfortable, but not lavish, life. "A week at the beach during the summer is the extent of our extravagance," she says.

Then, one day late last year, her husband came home with hard news from work.

Beginning today, Laurie will be telling her story regularly for The Squeeze. She's thoughtful and funny and candid. We know you'll look forward to reading her story, and we hope you want to tell us yours, too.

Says Laurie:

A year ago, my fascination with American Idol inspired me to launch a blog dedicated to the critique of the contestants on the popular television series. I followed the show religiously and blogged about it constantly.

When I learned that American Idol’s season 8 was due to start, I decided to get back into shape and warm up my blogging fingers. I was in search of something fresh, new and exciting to focus on before the Idols graced the big stage.

Then, one day last November, my husband came home from work and informed me that it was his last day of work. The recession quickly became a depression around our house. Like it or not...I had something new to blog about.

I’m not sure that unemployment qualifies as "exciting," but it is certainly fresh and new, as in a fresh and new open wound. Ouch. We did not see this one coming. And yes, to answer your question, I guess I may have been living in a bubble. I knew things were bad and I expected layoffs for my friends and neighbors who worked at Wachovia and Bank of America, but my husband worked in operations management - not at a bank - so I guess I felt we were somewhat safe.

I'll be trite here for a minute: yes, we have our health, our savings, a wonderful family and magnificent friends and for that, we are eternally grateful. But it's never easy having the rug pulled out from beneath you, especially when the economy is going to hell in a hand-basket. It feels like a slap in the face and it hurts.

But the sting is wearing off and we are committed to taking this one day at a time. We will get through it with grace, dignity and humor and someday (hopefully someday soon) it will be a distant memory. While I have a tendency to see the glass half empty, my husband sees it overflowing. While I'm the voice of doom and gloom, he's the voice of reason. And while I am a bit of a killjoy at times (ok, that might be putting it mildly) I do have a pretty good sense of humor and, really, isn't laughter the best medicine?

I list trophy wife as my current occupation; now more than ever I will have to step up to the plate and demonstrate to my husband that he has been awarded a prize. Wow, that’s a bit of a stretch and certainly a challenge, but I vow to be more supportive now than ever. On my honor I will try my very hardest to keep my sarcasm in check. And in the process, I'm sure I will have many stories to share. Writing won’t help pay the bills, but writing it down always seems to make me feel better.

99 comments:

Anonymous said...

Hey Laurie, have you ever contributed anything to the household other than taking up space??

Anonymous said...

Hey Anonymous @ 11:47 am. Your comment was uncalled for. Apparently being a mother is not an acceptable occupation to you?

Anonymous said...

Laurie should get together wtih Carolyn Gusoff - - the New York television personality who's married to a plastic surgeon.

She got laid off from her high-profile gig and wrote an lovely article about her plight - the embarrassment of applying for unemployment to supplement her millions, keeping her nails and hair perfect for job interviews, attending parties and having to talk about the job she doesn't have any more. Oh, the horror of being on the street.

http://www.newsday.com/news/opinion/ny-opgus296015299jan29,0,3379083.story

Anonymous said...

Wow, that was real nice 11:47. It's always good to be reminded how empathetic and caring my fellow humans can be in others' time of need. Sad...

Anonymous said...

Ouch. That is NOT the way to ask for one's resume!

Anonymous said...

11:58 get off your high horse. She's 45. Those kids are nearly grown by now. In times of crisis one should cut off Oprah, cancel cable, and take other steps to stem the tide of cash going out. What does this broad do, whines about the whole scene on a blog. Yeah, that puts food in the pantry. So no, out hearts are not likely to bleed for this dame. Tell her to go get a part time job at Wal-Mart, or anywhere else. Do something, anything.

Anonymous said...

this is why i very seldom read the comments..it's just plain hateful. wow, what a sad, empty life you lead to through a fellow human being under the bus for no reason. its really very sad...for you 11:47am.

Anonymous said...

to the jerk who thinks that being a mother and wife and homemaker and chief cook and bottlewasher, keeper of the checkbook and a few hundred other things that a wife does during the day, I chalange you to try and take up that space. My friend not only are you an ass, you are not qualified to do the job.

To laurie, I have some comforting things and i know that they all may seem trivial now, but the best is yet to come. Keep the faith and always start the day with a smile, this will help and a good hummor is always a positive in this situation. I will keep you and your family in my prayers and wish your family the very best.

Anonymous said...

Hey Anon 11:47; I am married with 3 kids and a college degree - I have worked full-time outside the home; been a stay-at-home mom; and worked part-time outside the home. The hardest of all was being a full-time stay-at-home mom. They do NOT get the respect they deserve. How about you try it for month (stay-at-home dad maybe) and then write about just taking up space. Jerk.

Anonymous said...

Anyone who refers to themself as a 'trophey wife' deserves any and all criticisms directed towards them.

Anonymous said...

A minimum of (20) 'I's in her seven short paragraphs coupled with her self-described captivation by American Idol pretty much says it all--this is a 45 year old woman for heaven's sake. Lay off the criticism of Anonymous 11:47--while blunt, the comment cannot be that far off base.

Anonymous said...

Why are people defending that she NEVER THOUGHT that SHE could look for a job to help? That's ridiculous! She is capable of working, yet she prefers to be a "trophy wife". Being a stay at home mom is fine, but not when your finances could be in trouble. Staying at home is a LUXURY. Other moms do work.

Sympliredd said...

There is no harm in expressing your emotions when hit with adverse news. It's how you handle it that means the most. I am also being affected by this horrible economy and while it sucks, it's just the way things are right now. I am not going to cry over spilled milk and will survive this the same way I did when I was laid off last year due to a Bank merger. Laurie's story is one that will be repeated over and over again across this country for a while... there is no harm in voicing the anxiety of it all... that's why we are Americans and have the freedom to express our opinions, whether you agree or not.

Anonymous said...

Don't feel too sorry for Laurie - she can always sell her million dollar home on Dilworth Road West.

Anonymous said...

She's 45 and obsessed with American Idol. Too much free time?!! That's patheitic. Good luck to the husband, seriously.

Anonymous said...

If American Idol is her outlet, so be it. It is approximately three hours per week during the season, however, most of the male population probably spend more time watching and/or participating in sports.

Anonymous said...

I have to agree with the odd obsession with American Idol by a 45 year old. I do respect stay at home moms and the true job that they perform, but there surely seem to be better uses of extra time than American Idol (charities, community outreach, exercise...) Just my opinion.

phoenix08 said...

My issues are not just the "trophy wife", but mostly with the "my husband won a big prize" - refering to herself. Like a person is a prize? What, did he win you in a poker game? That's a pretty sad statement to find value in yourself as a 'prize'.

pstonge said...

Folks,

Not that Laurie needs defending, but there is much more to her life than the momentary diversion of American Idol. I could have included in my introduction that she volunteers and does much else. My bad that I didn't.

Peter

Anonymous said...

Laurie exercises her you know what off, contributes her time and resources to charities and community groups, volunteers countless hours at her childrens' school. If she wants to spend a few hours a week watching Idol, what the BFD?

Anonymous said...

Her home was purchased in 1994 for 220K, now worth $745K according to city records. Not feeling much sympathy...

Anonymous said...

Laurie: You obviously live in a completely sheltered existence and out of touch with the world. You are NOTHING BUT A WHINER. Yeah, we all really don't care about your plight, you are 100% correct. I wish I drove a bus, 2.

Anonymous said...

Laurie: Out of touch with the world, living in a sheltered pretty little world that is going bust. Awwww....let me go cry a tear for you. First, I must shed 1,000,000 more for all the people dying of starvation, dying of curable diseases, etc. You are so low on my list of people I should care about and feel empathy for. YOU MY LADY ARE WHAT IS KNOWN AS A WHINER.

Anonymous said...

I am not really here to rant about someone elses comments.I am here to say that I am only 16 and I am feeling the effects from the recession from every possible direction in my life. My mother does a lot for me and my siblings. I am proud of her for what she does, and I am also proud of my father for his hard work keeping us a float. I know its extremely plausible to stay positive, because I see it from my parents every single moment of every single day.

Anonymous said...

Laurie, honey, please ignore the many many ignorant people who are obviously so unhappy with their lives and have nothing to contribute to society beyond attacking a mother of 2 who's husband lost his job. They are pathetic losers and it comes through loud and clear in their hateful, stupid rants.

Anonymous said...

We are all so happy that writing this stuff down makes you feel better, but why subject the rest of us to this drivel?

Anonymous said...

How is someone this vapid worthy of space on the internet? Oh wait, it's charlotteobserver.com. that explains it.

Anonymous said...

holy cow, the replies are either scathing or sympathetic to Laurie! I sense a lot of bitter people who need to take their anger out on ANYONE and isn't it oh so easy to do on an anonymous site? Yes, maybe Laurie shouldn't have classified herself as a trophy wife, but what is wrong with a little escapism while watching American Idol. Life is so darned short oh yee resentful bloggers..it is lots easier to be kind to someone then it is to be nasty AND it earns you good karma which we all need right now!

Anonymous said...

I don't think that most people can relate to stories about the woes of unemployment coming from a Myers Park yuppie living in a home worth hundreds of thousands of dollars and who probably has more in "savings" than most families make in a year. Perhaps she should go back to blogging about American Idol instead of giving her insulated views on the grave economic situation that has and is literally putting people out on the street (instead of simply giving them a new blog topic).

Anonymous said...

Laurie, you are a gorgeous woman and any man would love to have you "taking up space" in his house. I look forward to reading this (and I have saved the jpg of your beautiful face in my archives).

Anonymous said...

Some of these comments are too harsh. My only criticism would be that it's a little tiresome when white, privileged folks all of a sudden feel like they have to talk or write about it when they experience the type of hardship or pain that plenty of other people in our community have been feeling for much longer than just the last 8-12 months.

Kate said...

To Anon 11:47 and all you others who think being a stay-at-home mom is not a contribution: LAY OFF.

And Anon 12:03...I was 11 years old when my mother was 45. She was a single mother with 2 children. Her occupation? Teacher. She switched to a lower-paying occupation in order to be able to spend more time with my sister and I. Did we have to cut corners? Yes. Was it worth it? ABSOLUTELY. My sister is on her way to earning her Md and Phd-because of the support and love that my mother was able to provide, NOT because she brought home a fatter paycheck. Do not judge someone who chooses to stay at home in order to be a better mother and wife. Her children are probably more well-behaved and perform better in school than latch-key kids. What is Laurie's contribution? Two children who will become an important part of our society. Forgive me for feeling that family is more important than a shiny new car.
Also, Anon 12:03-have you heard that Wal-Mart is cutting @ 800 office jobs? Yep-the economy is SO bad, that even if Laurie did want to go out and get a job, it would be near impossible. Harris Teeter isn't even hiring.

And American Idol-ever heard of a guilty pleasure? You are SO right, Anon 12:13, 12:25, and 12:34...How DARE she enjoy herself? I hope you can stand here and tell me that you have never spent a Sunday watching football or a crappy movie at night instead of going out and providing for your family.

Trophy wife? Ever heard of sarcasm?!

Pay attention, people! This blog is about providing a common ground-a lighthearted way to look at a crappy situation. There are tons of people going through the same situation as Laurie, and she is choosing to write about her experience-as tough and embarrassing as it may be-in hopes that others can relate and find comfort during these tough times. Stop tearing her down to validate yourself. If you don't like it, don't read it.

GO LAURIE!

Oh, and I'm rooting for Anoop this season.

Anonymous said...

Wow, I am shocked at the comments on this blog. (Remember she said sarcasim). I am a stay at home mother of 4 boys and at the great age of 42. They are not full grown the youngest are 16 months old. Obviously 12:03 doesn't realize what women are capable of doing later in their lives. Yes I have had a career of 20 years, and chose to be a stay at home mom 2 years ago, and it is the hardest, hardest job I have ever had! As a mother you don't get lunches or any free time with your fellow adults alone. Hours are from 8to8 or more, non-stop. And I do watch Idol every once in a while just to get a good laugh.
I would support my husband in any way possible. If financially feasible I would get a job, but in order to pay the daycare of 4 kids the pay would have to be worth more than just the daycare alone. So, for now I am very blessed. My husband still has a job with Wells Fargo/Wachovia and I am his trophy wife that I hope he will always be proud to show off!!!

Anonymous said...

Laurie is a devoted mom, a hard working volunteer, and a dedicated neighbor. She works hard to make the world a better place. Sure, this doesn't come with a salary and doesn't put food on the table...but it makes the place we live in just a little bit better. Who cares about her guilty pleasure of American Idol - who cares if she sees herself as a trophy wife. At the end of the day, I'm thankful there are people that genuinely care about their family, neighbors, and community. There's more to life....now lets all get back to work - for profit or not!

Anonymous said...

When wishing to make the big time and get published in the paper I bet she didn't know these comments were coming. Be careful what you wish for Laurie.

Anonymous said...

I wish her well, but....the words "trophy wife" in this context makes me want to scream. Wife means partner, which means get a job to help the family.

Anonymous said...

Laurie, I for one (a man, BTW) appreciate you sharing your life with us & look forward to more from you. As you immediately saw here, going out on a limb like that opens yourself up to all kinds of cynics and crackpots. Even though my family may be on a somewhat lower income scale, that's irrelevant, just like the articles the NY Times has occasionally run lately about upper-class folks struggling with their new economic realities........human nature is human nature; we all want to see how the other guy handles big challenges thrown at them.

Not to be trite but these kind of tough times really can make your family, and you yourself, stronger, wiser & more mature. And recessions have never lasted forever.

I applaud you for recognizing how your husband's going to need a lot of support, emotionally & every other way. With all the stuff my spouse does around here, I guess I actually have my own trophy wife (too bad some people just don't recognize humor). We men as I'm sure you know can tie way too much of our self-worth up in our careers. Good tyhing yours is a very optimistic guy.

Anonymous said...

Why don't you all and Laurie also...GET A LIFE

Carolyn said...

Laurie, I am really looking forward to reading your blog. I'm a single woman with no children, but I'll be interested to see your take on adjusting to the changes in your lives.

Anonymous said...

What is the point of the story? It didn't paint a full picture of her, and it is hard for people to sympathize with her when they may be worse off themselves. Not a serious struggle here. Why put the American Idol blogging thing in at all? People shouldn't be mean, but that is really weird. Just... why?

Anonymous said...

Amen Anonymous 1:27 PM, you took the words right out of my mouth. Its a shame that there is so much hate and bitterness in this world. Relax people and take a "chill pill"!

Anonymous said...

I only have one thing to say: "Mean People Suck" and there are sure a lot of those on this blog. People need to lighten up in this world.

Anonymous said...

Wow,,, such mean, filterless,thoughtless and gutless folks we have out there! Everybody's situations are different and we dont know ALL of Lauries story, so we cant judge her. She is just ONE example of what most of working America is going thru,,including myself..am i WHINING? no,,i am out there EVERY DAY looking and posting on Craigslist. Too the mean, dumb person who kicked Laurie when she and her family are down,,,i BET YOU KICK PUPPIES, DONT YOU? YOU MAKE ME WISH BIRTH CONTROL WAS RETRO-ACTIVE.

Anonymous said...

Fortunately I have been enjoying Laurie's blog for some time now because her humor ("sarcasm") is more entertaining than the train wreck called "American Idol" that Laurie JOKES about - that show provides more fodder for her than you could imagine. Those of you lacking a sharp sense of humor should not read Laurie's other work - keep up with the bitter bashing, that is becoming almost as fun to read (almost because it is so sad that bitterness trumps the capacity to laugh!). Good luck Laurie and keep entertaining us with your humor- keep making us laugh and let the evil ones mock!

April said...

Laurie,

Thank you for being eloquent and modeling wifely behavior we sometimes forget in this hectic world. I've never posted before, but figured you needed encouragement in an environment poised to tear people down.

Nicely written!

Anonymous said...

The definition of Yuppie is young, urban professional. So Laurie doesn't qualify. She doesn't live in Myers Park. And the "trophy wife" WAS A JOKE!!!!

Anonymous said...

She calls herself a 'trophy wife' without a sense of irony or a touch of sarcasm. It's not even self-deprecating humor. She either doesn't know what 'trophy wife' means or she's not very good at conveying 'tongue-in-cheek' humor. Like the other Anon said, anyone who refers to themselves seriously as a 'trophy wife' deserves any criticism directed towards them. I honestly think Laurie(and the folks defending her) don't know what a trophy wife is. A trophy wife is a high maintenance woman who is sought after for her looks. A trophy wife is a piece of arm candy intended to be shown off to other men, like a Rolex. A trophy wife is not a supportive and understanding wife who raises the children. After reading some of the comments here- I'm betting she does seriously think of herself as a trophy wife. The fact that they own a 750K house in Dilworth on one income speaks volumes more about her situation then her entire blurb.

Anonymous said...

Folks, don't be "shocked" with the negative comments. This is what unintelligent lonely people do. They really don't care about Laurie and her families plight, they just want someone to talk to. Check other article comments and it's always 90% negative.

If you ignore them they'll go away.

Anonymous said...

Shame Shame Shame to the judgemental attitude of this thread.
Indeed our country has hit a Great Depression. Not economically- but of depravity of kindness for our fellow human being- when hyper critisizing and cutting down those we don't know becomes a fun side with our french fries.

I am appalled at these posters who are being so cutting and cruel.

It is commenters like these who make me more fearful for our country's future than any bank failure or job reports.

Anonymous said...

Just because Laurie and her family may live in a nice house doesn't mean her husband's situation is any easier. You don't know what her financial situation is. Not to mention she may not even be able to sell her home even if they needed too given how bad the housing market is in Charlotte. The loss of a job and income is hard for any economic level. Are those of you who are posting mean things about Laurie and her family doing so because you hate anyone who has worked hard and been financially successful? Just because your income falls within a higher financial bracket doesn't mean situations like this aren't tough.

Lighten up readers. Rich or poor this is hard on any family. And as an avid reader of Laurie's blog I can assure you she throws around words like "trophy wife" in jest. Keep up the good work Laurie!

slientwhispers8449 said...

slientwhispers: I can not say I can understand about being laid off, but I can understand about working for a company that has laid off so many, the people left behind are left babbling. I am not a stay at home mom, but i hold alot of respect for those women who can have that option. Did you all ever think she may have a disability of some sort and unable to work? My mom was a stay at home mom most of my childhood because my dad was able to support us without an extra income. What is the problem with someone being obcessed with American Idol? I am 42 and i love the show. I love listening to the contestants trying their hardest to make it in this world and show their God given talent. I don't think it is fair for some of you to judge her without actually knowing her. Maybe you should look in the mirror. Good luck Laurie to your family. I work 2 jobs just to make ends meet. its not easy these days.

chupacabra said...

trophy wife?

you have GOT to be kidding

Any sympathy I felt waned at "American Idol" and then flew out the window when I saw "trophy wife".

As someone who worked her way through school and has taken care of herself since the age of 18 I can't really muster up a lot of empathy here.

Sorry but that's how I feel.

Anonymous said...

I just moved here and have been both amused and saddened at the reader comments to articles in the Observer. So many of them are ignorant, humorless and devoid of human decency. Makes me kind of embarrassed about my new home town! But people like Laurie, who are willing to share their stories in a smart, funny and interesting way, make me happy to be here. I hope, Laurie, you'll ignore the nutters here who are jealous and mean-spirited -- and focus on the supportive people who want to hear more from you!

Anonymous said...

Laurie - a thoroughly enjoyable read. My best to you and your family...keep both the chin, and the humor, up!

pamela said...

WoW. this writer seems to have struck a raw nerve with many of the readers. While I do not agree with the attacks, I must say that from reading this blog, I did not find the writer to be someone I can relate to. I think that lack of relatability is what is irritating so many of the criticizers. I doubt I will be stopping in to read Laurie's blog again.

Larry said...

"But the sting is wearing off and we are committed to taking this one day at a time. We will get through it with grace, dignity and humor and someday (hopefully someday soon) it will be a distant memory. While I have a tendency to see the glass half empty, my husband sees it overflowing. While I'm the voice of doom and gloom, he's the voice of reason. And while I am a bit of a killjoy at times (ok, that might be putting it mildly) I do have a pretty good sense of humor and, really, isn't laughter the best medicine?

Laurie, glad to have you on board in this leaky little boat with the rest of us in this turbulent financial sea.

If you notice I made one of your statements stand out by placing it in bold.

As a guy may I ask, where is your husband's support system when he needs to exorcise that creeping fear that builds up while he is being the rock for you and the family?

The reason I ask is that sometimes, just sometimes, we have to have a good friend or family member who we can just tell our troubles too and not to our wives as it would make us appear to be weak. Wrong yes, but I did not make the rules.

Just be sure to make sure that his support, be it a family member or friend is there for him.

All the best, and remember that the only thing about fear that you can control is your reaction to it.

Larry and Christy

Anonymous said...

Laurie,
I understand what you are going through.My husband lost his job in December.I want you to know my prayers are with you and your family.All the people that try and judge you may one day find them selves in our shoes. The Bible clearly say WE ARE NOT TO JUDGE.GodBless you and your Family.

Anonymous said...

My wife is a stay at home mom, we have twin girls that are three, I dont know how she does it, it takes alot of patience, life is tough, you just have to have faith, and work hard it all work out!

rebecca said...

While I find it inexusable to post vindictive comments about anyone who is putting herself out there as Laurie is, I do find it humourous that now that the yuppie set is getting a taste of the humble pie the rest of us have been eating for years now, it is suddenly the hot recipe. How upbeat would she and her "voice of reason" be if they were on their third winter with no heat in the house? How would she feel not having a home phone, or instead of being a two-SUV family, having ONE very old, creaky family car with threadbare tires whose 'check engine' light never goes off? Or thinking twice before buying things like shampoo so that you can buy another box of mac and cheese for dinner (again). You need to give a voice to those for whom being "squeezed" is an unpleasant, unending reality, not a fad to "blog" about.

Anonymous said...

Laurie, keep going it's always a light at the end of the tunnel, plus your experience could help many of us to deal with something similar.
Thanks for sharing your feelings!!!

Ilormoba

Anonymous said...

Rebecca is absolutely on target. Why the Observer thinks that its readership would be interested in the economic trials and tribulations of an upper-middle class, stay-out-home woman is beyond me. This is definitely not the time to be trivializing what it means to be "down and out."

Anonymous said...

Rebecca - finding humor in another person's pain is, at best, a sin in my book. How very sad for you. It's not Laurie's responsibility to give voice to anything but her own experiences. Please look up the definition of yuppie. And maybe "schadenfreude" while you are at it.

Anonymous said...

I was a stay at home mom and understand the importance of that job...but when your husband gets laid off its time to stand up for your family and contribute financially if you can. A truly great mom would go get a job and stop putting all the financial pressure on their husband.

Anonymous said...

I really hope all of the people that thought there was humor in your unfortunate situation do not have to go through this themselves. I feel for you and would honestly not know what to do if the same thing happened to me.

Stay strong, and good luck to your family.

Anonymous said...

Ok I have read the comments about this blog and I gone back and read the blog over again. This is the beginning of her blog as far as I can tell and everyone is jumping on her for making humerous remarks about watching idol and being a trophy wife or saying she is a prize. SHE IS MAKING A JOKE HERE PEOPLE!!!!!! My opinion is that she is trying to let her husband know that she isnt gonna be a horrible person with the situation as it is. That she is gonna step up and be supportive and NEVER did she say she wouldnt look for a job! She is just getting in to the situation that she is going through and if you would read and listen you may see that she has some good advise!!!! People are to fast to jump to cruel words and conclusions! We are all going through hard times and this is her way of handling it. Wow.... this world never seems to amaze me!

Anonymous said...

Well said Rebecca. There are many in Charlotte that are facing real despair and desperation. They do not have savings, a home, their health, or family...

Anonymous said...

This is so disgusting. First, I am 47 years old and have 3 children, ages 15, 12 and 8 - Like Laurie, I didn't have children at age 18 like some of you must have. I actually went to college. Although, unlike Laurie, my husband and I both work and we live basically paycheck-to-paycheck. And unlike many of these posters, I have actually thought how hard it would be for some of these folks that make a lot of money and live "high on the hog" to lose their jobs. Just because they make more money than I do and have a much bigger house than I do, certainly doesn't mean I would wish them any ill will. They could have lost more money in investments this year than I've ever had. As the stock market plummets, my husband and I have joked about how when you don't have any money, you aren't losing any money. And all of you complaining about her whining and wasting space - here's an idea - just don't read it. I don't read the blatherings about sports and video games and all that other stuff I have no interest in. So just don't read it.

Anonymous said...

Laurie: Wow- it's a real eye opener to see how anonymity and jealousy gel with cowardice to bring out the knives. Don't take the ugliness from some of these comments personally- they relect only the pitiful quality of some very sad lives. You are a wonderful person and a great writer- it will be a gift if you continue to write in this forum and I hope you do. Maybe the jackals will move on to another target...

Anonymous said...

Do you all have lives? Who on earth had time to comb through the public records! Whoever you are, get a life. Really...get a life.
Perhaps none of you have been faced with this same situation. When you do, I bet you sing a differen tune. And to the folks who think women can't have careers and start a family later in life, you better wake up. I'm one of those women and I take a huge offense.
Right now is NOT the time to be merciless. Not in this day and age and not in this economy. Read what she says. Understand how she acknowledges her changes. You all can learn from her and I'm certain of that because I have read your stupid comments.

Anonymous said...

It IS telling that she never even felt the need to address the question of whether or not she should consider a job. I don't share the class envy of some of the posters, but it WAS the first thing that popped into MY head...

Rebecca said...

only a yuppie would use the word "schadenfreude" --- And believe me, I do not delight in Laurie's or anyone else's misfortune. On the contrary, Laurie is the one promising to be "thoughtful, funny and candid" -- and while I am sure she will be all those things, it is still a bitter pill to have to hear what passes for deprivation for the 'down and out in Dilworth.' Not that she has to be destitute to "earn" being upset by what has happened to her family, it is just that it is very hard for most folks to relate to...

Anonymous said...

Yikes. Perhaps we all need to take a deep breath here. People, people, people!! Is that a raging case of class envy I read in most of these comments? My guess is, Laurie wears big girl panties, so bring it on. I betcha she'll be able to blog the wedgies right out of the 11:47 am underpants types.

Anonymous said...

Rebecca is one bitter woman! Whew!

Anonymous said...

It's taken me more time to type this than read the comments. take it from someone OLD...just turned 94 in January...this too shall pass! I learned many years ago...They Can't Eat You!

Anonymous said...

The problem I see here is that the Observer smugly refuses to let you publish an anonymous letter to the editor (and rightly so), yet they provide a vehicle for you to post your opinions here with no identification at all.
What's the difference? While I agree with some of the comments on both sides of this argument, I think the Observer is being irresponsible by allowing people to step up and anonymously take pot shots at this woman.
Why the Observer thinks comments on individual stories should be held to different standards than other expressions of opinion is beyond me.
Those of us who express opinions like the ones here should be willing to stand behind them without a veil of anonymity.

My name is Mike Jones, Lexington, N.C. My email is mjones12@triad.rr.com

TeresaD said...

Blogs are very theraputic. I commend Laurie for being able to blog her thoughts whether they are American Idol or the changes and struggles her family faces during this economic downturn.

Laurie clearly mask's her anxiety in the quips she uses. I can sense(any intelligient individual would)her fear of the unknown. This is a VERY difficult time, a time inwhich many people who have never before faced such scary, uncertain troubling times. For me, I have faced cancer last year and upon trying to return to worked was laid off. I was just another number of someone expendable.

Now is the time to stand strong, support each other, encourage and reach out to those who may be facing new uncertain journeys. You just might be able to lift their spirits or make their day. Who knows, you may be the inspiration someone needs to recognize a new path for a lifetime.

Laurie, take heart. I understand. Not everyone is critical. Some people explemplify Jude 22. "Some having compassion, making a difference." (KJV) Just remember, you are honing your writing skills. Use them for good. Good for yourself and others. It may one day pay the bills.

Me, after my experience with Cancer last year and my lay off in Nov 2008, I have choose at 47 to go back to school and get a degree in nursing to help other cancer survivors. We journey a path for a reason, we must discern why this has come our way and what we should learn and share about our journey.

Taking one step forward on my journey,

Teresa D

Anonymous said...

I love hearing other people's perspectives and do not begrudge anyone else their success. A change in lifestyle regardless of how much your home costs is difficult.

By listening to others one learns a lot. Today I've learned from reading the comments that we have a lot of angry, depressed people who have nothing better to do than read online articles. ;)

Laurie, I don't watch American Idol, but I'm all over the other TV fluff! Diversions from reality are great. Even though, I do have plenty of other things to do, I choose to partake in mindless entertainment as well.

Anonymous said...

Oh yes, and bearing children contributes more to a household than any man could ever make. Just the toll on the body is payment for a lifetime.

Anonymous said...

The Squeeze:
Finding your way through the downturn

This particular "story," is a NON story. Find someone that is really finding their way through this downturn. This woman's 'story' didn't qualify! Waste of reading time, I'd say.

Anonymous said...

wow. all these comments show the world is going insane. oh well.

Anonymous said...

You can tell that Charlotte has been taken over by Yankees by the harsh tone of the comments posted.

Anonymous said...

Good grief...she's trying to be funny! The trophy wife comment is obviously just a joke.

Anonymous said...

I am surprised that so few readers of this blog understand sarcasm and satire. I find Laurie's comments to be both clever and entertaining. Keep up the good work!

Pamela said...

And the ugliness of Internet anonymity rears its head. I bet most of you wouldn't have the testicular fortitude to say any of this to someone's face, including a spouse.

Anonymous said...

Most of you should be ashamed of yourselves. Especially the person giving out Laurie's address - what is wrong with you??? Y'all accuse Laurie of whining, go back and read the comments...I think most of you were whining. Prejudice comes in many forms and persecuting Laurie because she (yes, she) and her husband have worked hard to to have whatever they have, is despicable. Where is your compassion for another human being? No Laurie and her family are not on the verge of starving. And I am fully aware there are plenty of folks across this country who is suffering terribly due to the recession. In light of that...isn't a little humor just what we all need?

To you Laurie...keep on writing and know that there are plenty of us who know you (some really, others only in spirit) and wish the best to you and your family. And unlike most of the cowards posting comments, I'm happy to identify myself.

Anne Willkomm
Now of Bryn Mawr, PA

Anonymous said...

Laurie, since I have been laid off I have seen firsthand how hard my wife WORKS around the home. I would bet most of the vicious comments are made by people that haven't been hit by the economy yet and think it is somehow their doing. Their day will come.

missyowen99 said...

When the recession really began to take hold in Charlotte I worried about how long it would take for us to begin to lose compassion for others suffering at any level, how long before we began judging the insignificance of others loss.

The comments to this blog sicken me as it seems the worst of this recession have come to roost, the hardening of hearts toward each other.

Laurie, I admire your dedication to getting through these troubled times with grace. I think we could all learn something from that.

As for American Idol, what a great break in this reality of life, a place where people with talent and a dream can rise to the top.

Blog on Laurie!

chupacabra said...

I don't understand the title. What does "be careful what you wish for" mean in this context?

Anonymous said...

Laurie
I look forward to reading your blog. Catharsis with a touch of humor is very important at a time like this.

Geoff Owen

Anonymous said...

I have many friends who are huge fans of American Idol and have heard them rave about your Idol blog in the past, so imagine my pleasant surprise to discover and read this same Laurie's blog. I enjoy your sarcasm and sense of humor!
Thank you for sharing your very personal story with the public. Clearly, there are some very ugly, mean-spirited people out there. I for one, will ignore them, since they sound so ignorant. I wish you and your family great success and I will look forward to reading your next blog!

Thank you, Laurie!

~ LMA said...

Laurie is doing an important job, naysayers: she's nurturing children. Perhaps, one of them will grow up and find a way to ensure nothing like this ever happens again. That aside, I wonder how many commenters posting here actually have children, and how many of them ran the numbers (like I did) and realized it was actually less expensive for them to stay home with their kids?

And what's wrong with liking American Idol? I suppose watching endless sports and/or Star Trek reruns is acceptable. Besides, Idol's one of the few things on television that you can actually watch with your kids (unless the adults want to be bored to death by Nickelodeon).

Anonymous said...

I feel that Laurie is not the face of the Charlotte community and I wish that the Observer could find a blogger with better and more intuitive writing skills...she seems to be very superficial and basically this blog, which I'll never read again seems like it is going to be full of mindless complaints about things most people won't care about or even relate to.

Sorry Laurie, out of the gate you seem to have struck out...making NO relevant mention of your children and jokingly referring to yourself as a trophy wife...when people all over the country and even here in Charlotte are truly struggling financially and some perhaps are at the point of feeling completely hopeless--is a true sign that you have no concept of reality...I actually am not angry I just pity you.

cltmom said...

Lighten up! Laurie is hilarious! I have recommended her blog to ten friends since Tuesday. Laughter is the best medicine!Maybe she can replace Conan and make millions!

Anonymous said...

I truly don’t wish Laurie & her family any ill will, but do I think the Observer chose a poor example to illustrate the new faces of the downturn. Yes, everyone is affected, but quite honestly, I don’t think the paper should expect many people to care about the recession trials of an upper-middle class woman living in a tony neighborhood. Must be the same PR person who told the auto execs it was ok to go to the Senate hearings in their private jets. THESE are the true faces of the recession: the increased number of pets facing euthanasia in shelters all over the country, just because their owners can’t afford to keep them anymore; the young couple & children in the grocery store, husband in a worn denim work jacket, earnestly discussing a much-shortened shopping list; the elderly man who will miss his one hot meal of the day and social interaction with others at the senior center because the funding has run out for these services…I wish they had chosen someone else to present the topic. I could go on but will stop here., and heaven help this woman if her husband was employed in the banking, mortgage, or other one of the industries that got us into this mess in the first place.

MarkB said...

Wow Laurie, you try to use a little humor in your life and reduce the stress but what a range of responses! I'm very sorry to hear about the difficulties you and your family are facing. You WILL get through this and it WILL bring you and your family closer together. I see the same Laurie wit from many moons ago, since oh say '82? MarkB.

Anonymous said...

Laurie, do not listen to the naysayers on here. I am retired and read alot of posts on these pages and people can be hateful and stupid. If you and your husband are both at home alot, it will get very hard for both of you. Perhaps your volunteering takes you away from the house, but you might consider getting a job. My husband works 3 days a week and his part time pay check is very much appreciated! It may be "just a job" but it will give you a focus. Good luck.

Anonymous said...

While I feel for this woman, honestly, things could be a WHOLE heck of a lot worse for her. And it IS odd that she apparently didn't think about getting a job herself. I work in a very tough neighborhood north of uptown, and every day I see people who are quite obviously homeless roaming around; I drive by the Crisis Assistance Ministry/Food Bank complex and see dozens of people in line. I, myself, know what it's like to be "upside down" in your home mortgage although thank GOD I still have a job. Nice try, but this blog rings a little hollow for me

Anonymous said...

People please give her some kind of break. Her world is just that. "Hers". Reality catches up with everyone. I admire her for being honest about "her" situation. There is always something or someone worse off. In these times, everyone will hit their moment of truth sooner or later. She needs to be realistic about herself, job, kids and Life, but it has to come from within and not via "nasty" remarks.

Anonymous said...

Everyone just grow up! Of course she isn't the trophy wife. She is the 1st wife/mother to her husbands children. The trophy wife is 20-25 years younger and won't ruin her body with children.