Think of all the commitments you would love to back out of. Chances are, you can use the economy as an excuse to set you free, reports the New York Times. Reaping the social benefits of recession is big with everyone from the mom who didn't want to confront her subpar nanny to the man who wasn't ready to propose—"It’s providing a good excuse," he says.
Across the country, playing the R-card is getting people out of family trips and destination weddings and justifying cheapskate Valentine's Day gifts. But etiquette expert Letitia Baldrige cautions against spreading the guilt: "If I’m giving a party and call you and you say you can’t come because of the recession, I immediately feel like I’m going against the recession and doing something wrong by throwing a party."