At a scrapbooking weekend normally the conversations center around family, the latest scrapbooking tools, where in your home is your scrapbooking room and which store has the latest embellishments. My how times have changed.
During the first day while walking around saying hello to fellow scrapbookers and catching up, the conversations all took a surprising turn. Instead of "how are your kids?" the question is "how long have you been unemployed?" Are you on your first Federal extension yet? At one point a woman jumped up and yelled, "I just got a job!" Everyone in the room applauded. She'd been unemployed for two years. People are exchanging tips on where to find part time work and how this is great for your unemployment benefits as it actually extends them. We clarified that part time work is very different from full time (short contract) contract work. If you get one of those jobs, forget it, your unemployment is gone forever.
I started to ask some of them if they'd ever thought they'd be experts on unemployment insurance and the unanimous response was that they never thought they'd ever have to collect it let alone be an expert at the mind boggling maze that it is.
Of course, as is becoming readily apparent in the American Society in general, there has become a great divide in the scrapbooking room between the rich and the middle class. The middle class has less and the rich scrapbookers couldn't care less. It's a brave new world we live in.