When Amy Reiter got laid off, she says in this month's Marie Claire, she went to the art museum. So begins a Pollyanna-ish piece on how losing your job/money can actually be totally liberating.

Reiter writes [sorry]:

Taking in the paintings, I felt weirdly . . . euphoric. Working so hard during the flush times had left my soul parched, and now light and color were quenching it like a tub of La Mer (which I never could afford, anyway). Leaving the museum, I damn near flung my hat into the air like Mary Tyler Moore.

She also quotes Allison Raybin, a recently laid-off event planner who says, "I'm really happy. I go to the gym every day." We recognize that Reiter and Raybin are trying to make the best of a bad situation, and that maybe the recession can liberate some people from materialistic attitudes (although Reiter also quotes Monica White, who says she's now glad she spent her money on bags and shoes instead of a 401(k)). But getting laid off isn't like one long, fun snow day for most people. It can mean losing health insurance, your food budget, even your home. So to talk about tossing your hat in the air might be just a little insensitive.

Never fear, however: Marie Claire has another first-person piece about a woman who responded to the recession proactively — by getting plastic surgery. Judith Newman is a successful magazine writer, not a model, but she felt intimidated by the youthful editors she worked with and decided to get liposuction. She says such work-related nips and tucks are on the rise, and interviews several career-minded plastic surgery patients — including one woman who says her lipo and Restylane made her boss hate her. Newman's solution to this problem isn't to, say, not have expensive surgery. It's to open up about it. She writes:

Ultimately, appearance isn't really that important, at least not to me. To hide that I want to look better — younger, more appealing — is to give that desire more weight than it deserves. If I hired somebody to write my stories, I'd be ashamed. If I hired someone to suck out my fat [um, you did], I'd give you his number. But then, I've never been such a fan of nature anyway. Nature gave us mosquitoes. Man gave us the Sistine Chapel. And silicone.

You try to disentangle the logic of the first two sentences. We give up. But it's probably just our recession-addled brains. We should probably take a refreshing trip to the museum, followed by some Botox, because as Newman implies, "younger" is the same as "more appealing."

An Upside To The Downturn [Marie Claire]