As most of you well know, from recent or current experience, poverty sucks! Because once you’re down, my loves, they keep kicking you, is pretty much how it goes, or whatever. Things that suck the most:
1)The people who are most patient with you and therefore most deserving will invariably get paid last and latest because you are forced to deal first with those who threaten to sue you, take your kids away, cut off your utilities, etc.
2)It’s more expensive to be poor than middle class. Duh, that’s how they keep you there. Raise your hands all ye who in the past year have run out of gas due to only filling the tank $5 at a time or had your phone service shut off or gathered enough spare change from around your house for a dollar burger at McDonalds only to come up three cents short. Bonus points if you still have a checking account and have had your entire paycheck eaten by bank fees or have had to go to the emergency room due to lack of health insurance lately. There is an undeclared tax on poverty and once you’re down it’s all but impossible not to stay there.
3)People who are not in your boat can be judgemental pricks, like poverty needs to be punished or something. Favorite examples of this are the following:
“You go out too much. I bet you could save a lot of money by not going out.”
In actuality, I go “out” only every couple of weeks or so and never pay more than about $3 – $6 to get in. I don’t drink when I’m there. I don’t rent movies the rest of the week. I don’t buy beer. I don’t spend any money on grooming products beyond $1 bottles of shampoo and toothpaste, I spend maybe $20 or so per year on clothes at thrift stores and that’s it. Don’t begrudge me my small entertainments because you think all poor people should suffer or all things worth doing involve drinking/vast expenditures of cash.
“You need to drop your cable because poor people can’t afford cable”
My boyfriend has cable. He now lives in my home and pays for the cable here that he would have had elsewhere. He is not responsible for my bills and has in spite of this has helped me out a great deal monetarily, in addition to helping me squeak by each month with his share of the rent and other bills. I’m not going to respond to his help by demanding that he drop his cable and give me the money for it. Ditto anyone who demands I settle outstanding amounts owed by “just borrowing the money from him” like he’s the bank of my misfortune and like he hasn’t already put off his dog’s $1600 operation to keep me from going without groceries ot child care money. And double fuck you bonus points to anyone who suggested putting the dog to sleep and then borrowing the money(more than one person, I shite you not.)
“If you just budget wisely, you’ll have money.”
Hmmm…nothing divided by seven days a week still equals…nothing. I’m not fucking frittering the funds away, I never made them in the first place. I am poor because I was fucking living hand to mouth and then got divorced and have to support myself and half the expenses of my kids on clerical wages and deal with the stupid ass financial disasters I inherited upon the breakup. Let he who is without sin cast the first aspersion and tell me how I can cut my expenses by cutting out my $6 a month entertainment budget.
“Please call back 1-800-unlastnamedcollectionserf at extension 456897 regarding a very important business matter.”
Yeah, I’m so right on that. Like you could ruin my credit worse. Get the fuck in line for gettng blood out of this particular turnip.
I just have to pray that it will get better. Happy with my job, my relationship and my kids. Make enough to pay my basic bills except what I owe retroactively. Not as likely to off myself as previously. Nor as likely to lose my sanity. Just got to make it through this last little bout of fuckedness. Karma will catch up to me someday, right?
“The punk rock’ll kill you if the government don’t get you first…”)
-Rhett Miller of The Old 97s