[UPDATE BELOW]

A small but growing collective of shallow, gold-digging sybarites (numbering at least 30) have banded together and formed Dating a Banker Anonymous [DABA], a support group intended to help them cope with the recession's effects on their relationships. The Times got the scoop on this acquisitive little coven, which isn't really anonymous at all, perhaps because these young ladies want to be sure any remaining males with means know they're available. Megan Petrus and Laney Crowell (pictured), both 27, started the group in November because, with their relationships suffering, "We put two and two together and figured out that it was the economy, not us."

Recounting a recent breakup, one charming young lady reminded the group that "next time you are stressing over some finance guy, remember that he is just a math-club nerd. This recession just bought everyone an extra two years of the single life." But don't call them materialists! Ms. Petrus explains, "It’s not even about a $200 dinner. It’s that he’s an alpha male, he’s aggressive, he’s a go-getter, he doesn’t take no for an answer, he’s confident, people respect him and that creates the whole mystique of who he is."

And without that mystique, some DABA members whine that what's left is a just a needy boyfriend with nothing to offer beyond the dubious pleasure of his company. In a post on the DABA blog entitled "Ain’t Messin’ With No Broke Banker," one poor princess writes:

"This whole messy ordeal has advanced my Botox start date by at least two years. Like every other DABA girl, the economy was wreaking havoc on my relationship and youthful good looks...Until - the horror of all horrors - my FBF lost his job, which I guess technically downgrades him to just my BF. Overnight, he went from unavailable to downright clingy. He wants to have dinner every night. By dinner I mean staying in and cooking as Megu is no longer in the budget. AND, FYI DABA girls - chopping vegetables along side your man in a hot New York sized kitchen is NOTHING like the sexy kitchen scene between Mickey Rourke and Kim Basinger in Nine and a Half Weeks. Seriously. It sucks.


Anyhow, he suggested I meet his parents over the holidays... My take on his 180: having no steady source of income for the foreseeable future, he realized that his chances of securing another fashion industry type girl are pretty much zilch and so he is cleaving to me as the last vestige of his former high rolling lifestyle.

Your heart just bleeds for them, doesn't it? Dawn Spinner Davis, a 26-year-old "beauty writer," tells the Times that she knew trouble was brewing when her husband, a private wealth manager, stopped playing golf, which was once his passion. "One of his best friends told me that my job is now to keep him calm and keep him from dying at the age of 35. It’s not what I signed up for." Til wealth do us part!

UPDATE: Aaaaand now they have a book deal, at least according to Fashionista. And if the publisher's smart, there'll be a vomit bag in every copy.