I tried to save the economy. President Obama and Ben Bernanke you can stop worrying because I decided to do my part and get out from under the bed where I’ve been hiding with my money and spend. I would unclench my fist full of dollars and help relieve the country of economic woe. I gassed up my little car and headed from Palm Springs to LA. to shop ’til I dropped. I had my Saks, Neimans, Barneys, Visa cards and cash ready to go. Unfortunately I got a little lost trying to find LA but pulling over on the shoulder of the interstate to scream and cry did not deter me for long. First stop – my friend Ginger’s house to watch the final episode of “All My Children” – my idea of pre-shopping calisthenics.

After a sorrowful good-bye to Erica Kane we hightailed it out to purchase. I gleefully headed directly into Barney’s Co-op. Yes it’s the cheap sister store but still expensive. Armed with my charge card I was poised and ready as I made a bee-line to the shoes. There I held in my hand for what seemed like hours a beautiful pair of teal suede high heels – they brought tears to my eyes and the price struck fear in my heart. My first impulse to buy them was thwarted by the cheap little voice in my head stopping me. “Gail, don’t be an idiot. You have no place to wear them and besides it’s money better put towards a colonoscopy. Get a grip on yourself and step away from the shoes.” Sadly I put them back. In JCrew I clutched the cutest pair of skinny orange corduroy jeans but ixnayed them in the end. “Sorry Mr.President and Ben Bernanke but I’m not crazy about ankle length.” I remained empty handed. My friend Emily joined us for dinner and we drank two bottles of a pricey Russian River Pinot Noir. I’m counting that as part of my economic recovery plan.

Day two of “Operation Shop ’til I Drop aka Save the Economy” started at Neiman Marcus. Imagine my joy as I had not stepped foot in the “mother ship” since I left Chicago 10 months ago. I didn’t know where to start. I did however stop dead in my tracks by a pair of black suede Gucci high heels. I could have been arrested for fondling them. It was love at first sight and “deja vu all over again” as the cheap little voice returned to haunt me. “Gail don’t be a fool, do you really need a pair of shoes that cost more than your car?” I blew them a kiss good-bye. Emily and I scoured every inch of the store. I tried, I swear I tried to purchase but felt sweaty, feverish and began to develop a rash. Yet ever the soldier committed to the President and Ben B. and regardless of being very itchy, we went to Santa Monica to peruse the shops on Montana. I rifled through rack after rack of clothes but couldn’t pull my Visa card out of my wallet. Had I Super Glued it in there? My only contribution to the economy was ordering a plain omelet with extra fruit instead of potatoes for lunch.

I’m back under the bed with my cash. “President Obama and Mr. B. please accept my apology for coming home empty handed. My economic recovery plan also failed but call me and I’ll buy you a nice lunch.”