Thank Goodness We're Not TARP Wives

Who knew being the wife of a top CEO who has received government bail-out money would be so stressful?
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Who knew being the wife of a top CEO who has received government bail-out money would be so stressful? I just finished reading the anonymous "Confessions of a TARP Wife" in Portfolio and gosh am I grateful I'm not one of those. Here are things I don't have to worry about:

I don't have to worry about shipping gift purchases from Berdorf Goodman so I don't get caught with all those bags by some meany press photographer or blogger. Just look at Perez Hilton and Miss California. I wonder what Perez thinks of TARP lady?

I won't miss the corporate jet and I actually know my way around commercial airliners, how to board by section number and to bring a sandwich for the ride.

I don't have to learn new habits, like turning off the lights in rooms as I leave them. We've been doing that for years. And our bulbs are energy efficient too.

I don't have to worry about missing the opening nights of the opera, the ballet, and museums for fear of being photographed for the New York Social Diary. Off-Broadway on a Monday night and my daughter's dance recital are pretty good too.

I've been shopping my own closet for quite a while now, except my closet has clothes from L&T and Macy's that were purchased using friends and family discount coupons, not designer duds that we're re-tailoring. And frankly the re-tailoring of my closet clothes would cost more than the original purchase price.

I don't have to worry about where I'm hosting my husband's next birthday party. A barbeque on the deck and some really bad karaoke is a crowd pleaser.

But TARP wife and I do have some worries in common.

My husband too wakes up more often these nights, hoping we'll able to keep paying the mortgage. And he too worries about letting down the people closest to him. Yes, the fear of failure is not just the province of Ivy League MBAs.

I too worry if we'll ever be able to retire, although I suspect my definition of that term is somewhat different. And yes, our stock portfolio has declined by 95% too, but our "portfolios" basically exist in a 401K plan.

We're eating out less these days too, but I've learned how to make a really wicked lasagna. And the steaks at Ruby Tuesday's are surprisingly good for a no star Michelin joint. And the press isn't usually hovering there either.

And like millions of parents, we too hope we can pay for our kids college educations. But, we're stuck in the middle of making too much to qualify for financial aid, yet not making enough where we wouldn't feel it.

Who knew we actually had so much in common? So I apologize for being angry with those CEO TARP husbands like yours, and per your suggestion I will place the blame on Andrea Mitchell's husband, that Alan guy who is really responsible for this mess.

Roni Jenkins is Director of Marketing and a frequent contributor to The Three Tomatoes, an insiders' guide to NYC for "women who aren't kids." www.thethreetomatoes.com

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