The flip side to the dismal economy, of course, is that it forces us to live within our means, and, if we’re lucky, to appreciate simple enjoyments as if they’re something new. That’s why I’m interested in the plethora of articles about the newest old trend, which is our national enthusiasm for socializing, cooking, dining, and entertaining ourselves at home. So, it makes sense that many of the popular products at this year’s International Home and Housewares Show, held this past week in Chicago, were in sync with the DIY (or DIH, Do It at Home) trend. Among top sellers are such non-glamorous items as slow cookers, which can help make cheaper cuts of meat taste better; home freezers for bulk storage; vacuum storage containers; canning supplies; and (gasp) home haircutting kits.
Depressed yet? Don’t worry, it’s not all one-pot meals and vegetable gardens. A recent survey by BIGresearch found that many consider dining out discretionary, while other expenses like cable TV and videogame entertainment are still sacred. That’s a relief, because I couldn’t agree more….in fact, you’d have to pry the Wii remote from my cold, dead hands. My husband recently floated the idea of getting rid of our premium cable channels, and I was as horrified as if he’d suggested he cut and style my hair. We all have to draw the line somewhere. But, for good measure, I’m hiding every pair of scissors for a while.