I’m sure we’re all familiar with the innovative way to end a reading of a Chinese cookie fortune. “A warm smile is testimony of a generous nature … in bed" or “A secret admirer will soon send you a sign of affection … in bed.”
My husband and I recently decided to put a new twist on the Chinese fortune cookie tradition and chose to end most of our sentences during our conversations with each other with a special phrase … in THIS economy.
It wasn’t going to be a difficult transition for me because it already seemed like I was ending just about every sentence with that phrase due to the incessant inundation of economic bad news by the American media. The other night, I flipped the channel to one news station, “In the last month, over 600,000 Americans have lost their jobs.” I flipped again, “Our economy is in shambles,” said another news professional. I switched the channel a third time, “The economic stimulus act will never pass,” said economist being interviewed on yet another 24-hour-a-day news station.
I turned to my husband and said, “I’m craving something.”
“Oh good grief,” he sighed while looking at his watch, “You’re not going to bake chocolate cupcakes at this hour again, are you?”
“Nope,” I replied, “I’m craving something other than chocolate this time.”
“Dear God,” he prayed quietly, “Please let it not be fried pickles again like it was when she was pregnant.”
“I have an idea. Let’s start ending all our sentences with the words in THIS economy,” I suggested. “It’ll be fun … in THIS economy.”
“That’s a fabulous idea,” he replied, “I’m just not sure if we can follow through with your fabulous suggestion in THIS economy.”
We broke into laughter. “What do you want to have for dinner in THIS economy?” I asked.
“Do you have any stones we can boil in water?” he questioned. “I’m pretty sure that’s all we can afford in THIS economy.”
We’ve really been having fun with our new game. I said to my husband last night, “Have you ever heard the Dolly Parton quote ‘If you want the rainbow, you gotta put up with the rain’”?
“I’m not sure,” my husband answered. “Why?”
“Because I think she forgot three important words at the end of her quote,” I smiled in encouragement.
He grinned back. “You’re right,” he nodded, “ … you gotta put up with the rain in THIS economy.”
Dolly Parton couldn’t have possibly predicted the economic troubles that we face as a country today, but her quote stands strong in a time when Americans need hope and a whole lot of laughter.
So, go ahead. Even thought the news is bad right now, it’s still okay to have some fun. In my opinion, there’s no better time to share a laugh … especially in THIS economy.