Jeff Reitz and Tonya Mickesh got annual passes to the Disneyland Park as a holiday gift, and when they both got laid off from their jobs, they hatched an unusual plan:
As the months of unemployment dragged on, Mickesh grew despondent. Then she shared an idea with Reitz: resolve to go to Disneyland each day of 2012. That way, life, preferably in the form of a job, would be sure to get in the way of the plan. “You know how when you go to a restaurant and you order a meal, and it doesn’t come and doesn’t come?” she explained to me. “But you get up and go to the bathroom, and it comes.”
And you know what, it worked (at least for Mickesh). T.A. Frank of The New Republic interviewed the friends at Disneyland (where else?):
Because what they’ve done is weird, Reitz and Mickesh have gotten international press attention, which makes things weirder. Online comments in response have ranged from supportive to condemnatory (often “Why don’t you look for a job?” even though Mickesh is now full-time employed), but, either way, the idea of fighting unemployment with Disneyland touches on something visceral. Anyone who has suffered a bout of joblessness knows that one of its effects is to spoil leisure. Absent work, play loses its meaning. The bold stroke of Mickesh and Reitz was to forbid the bad from spoiling the good, to enjoy play even without work. Going to Disneyland is, sometimes, a way to persevere.