| LOS ANGELES
LOS ANGELES (Reuters Life!) - Their clothing allowance has been halved, they've had to fire their personal trainers and their sex lives have tanked.
They're the once-pampered -- now highly disgruntled -- women partners of U.S. bankers and they're speaking out about how the financial meltdown has changed their lives and their relationships.
Dating A Banker Anonymous (dabagirls.wordpress.com), a blog started by two New Yorkers, has made waves on the blogosphere this week with its tales of woe.
The venture has sparked a feminist backlash, suspicions of a marketing stunt, and hilarity over accounts of weekends in Europe and opera tickets being traded for gloomy nights at home with anxious bankers who are fixated by TV financial news.
"The sitter's hours are cut, both the family and my private credit card are cut in half, and I'm switching from having my facials and massages in my earthy, yoga-and-wine serving downtown spa to a midtown been-in-business-forever place with ladies in cubbies wearing pink jackets and lots of make-up giving facials only," says one entry from Cathy, who wrote about life in Manhattan with a banker husband whose income was cut in January by 75 percent.
The blog is described as a "a safe place where women can come together -- free from the scrutiny of feminists -- and share their tearful tales of how the mortgage meltdown has affected their relationships."
Comments on the blog in recent days ranged from sympathy, accusations of heartless gold digging, scorn from feminists and laughter at what some presume is satire in a era when Wall Street's excesses are facing plenty of mockery.
In a blog on the National Public Radio website, Linda Holmes suspected the venture was a publicity stunt aimed at getting its creators a TV show or book deal.
"My guess is that the women are setting themselves up for a kind of reality-show 'Confessions Of A Shopaholic' book, real-but-not-real, and ... whatever, they're not hurting anyone," Hunt wrote on Thursday.
Ryan Tate, writing on Gawker.com, called the women "an imploding caste of spoiled harpies" whose boyfriends and ex-lovers "spent their economic plunder as carelessly as they hoarded it."
Best friends Laney Crowell, a beauty editor, and lawyer Megan Petrus of New York, say they started the site when they realized their FBF's (finance guy boyfriends) had become emotional trainwrecks due to the collapse of venerable financial institutions.
"We felt our relationships were being victimized by the economy ... Not knowing what else to do, we did what enraged yet articulate people have done since the beginning of time. We started a blog," they wrote on their blog.
Crowell and Petrus spoke to the New York Times this week but could not immediately be contacted by Reuters on Thursday.
(Editing by Bob Tourtellotte and Frances Kerry)