Thursday, May 29, 2014

Being Poor: Part 1, 137

I used to be a right-wing conservative.
Twenty years ago I'm not sure that was the term, but that's what I was.
Then I married an abusive idiot.
(Of COURSE I didn't know he was an abusive idiot at the time.
What kind of question IS that?)

Then I got poor. Really poor.
Too poor to get out, poor.
So poor, I woke up one morning to go to my two jobs to find that a correlating number of my tires had gone flat overnight.
Worn to the belts.

Literally too broke to go to work, now there's irony for you.

There's more, and if you know me you know a lot of it.
If you don't know me, the story is too long. I cannot sum up.

Read the rest of the blog, some of it is there.
But I wasn't lazy, or uneducated. I wasn't raised in the system.
My parents were upstanding, responsible members of the community.
My childhood was awesome.
Fucking awesome.
Amaze. Balls.

And I realized the difference between me and most of the people I grew up with.
I got poor, and they did not. I won't say they didn't have their rough patches or their financial woes, but I will say that a rough patch or a financial upset is not the same thing as


Being poor is like being in a boot camp only it's your life.
Everything revolves around it and there is no time limit.
It's not a sixteen week course. There's no end date.

You are broken and, if you're strong enough, rebuilt,
but you are not the same as you were before.
Your skin is thicker and your attitude a little tougher,

and you probably swear a lot.

your heart is kinder,
and you don't think the way you used to.
You see the human element in every person,
and you are stunned by the inhuman elements in other people
your brain is wired differently now.

There is no point, here.
I can't demand that everyone spend a certain amount of time poor.
I wouldn't wish that on my worst enemy.
I mean that.
I'm just saying you'll never get it.
Maybe it's because you can't.

Just don't let it be because you won't.

Friday, May 23, 2014

OPP (Other People's Parents)

The flyer for the TAG (the gifted program for our school district) picnic looked innocuous enough,

For the students in the gifted program...

so I thought, "Sure, we'll go to the park, and I'll suck it up long enough to make small talk with the other parents while the kids play catch or get their faces painted or build bottle rockets or something.
Why not."

Well, I will tell you why not:
Eleventy billion people.
Inadequate parking.
Nowhere to put down the covered dish I was asked to bring.
No obvious place to put the toiletry donations I was asked to bring.
No one I could see to collect the dollar I was asked to bring.
I also forgot (a second time) to grab a blanket to sit on after I angrily trudged my deviled eggs back to the car.

 At least I knew where my towel was.

Okay, the blanket was on me,
but did I mention the pollen count?
And the eleventy billion people?

The event was an organizational disaster.
The phrase "monkey fucking a football" comes to mind.
Not exactly what I expected from
the people leading our county's best and brightest...

Eventually, and by eventually I mean approximately eight minutes, my daughter found me, declared that she only found two people she knew and that the ant colony of kids on the play equipment made it impossible to actually play and that she wanted some deviled eggs. So she and I went to the car where she ate them while we debated whether we should go back into the fray for a drink or call it a day.

Bet you can't guess what we did.

The convenience store we stopped at on our way home had peach Nehi,
which made up for a lot.