1. A sudden encounter with economic reality that dramatically changes one's perceptions, plans or outlook.
2. A rude awakening to the stark differences between fantasy and actual life.
3. The dramatic change process that began in September 2008 with the collapse of the U.S. financial system.
Jean was planning to buy a vacation home in Hawaii until she had a Rendezvous with Reality -- her retirement fund had declined 50% since last fall.