When I was a child my father informed me that we were not a middle class American family. He said we were upper poverty. He was joking of course for we did fit into the middle class wage bracket.
Now, when I married, I think if there were a class known as upper poverty, my husband and I probably fit in that category. We were both in college and lived off of beans, rice, and ground turkey. I felt positively rich when I could finally afford, at last, to buy chicken and beef to eat. Today, I would feel positively rich if I could afford to buy organic vegetables. Perhaps one day, but until then I’m putting in a garden next summer.
As a teen I had it made. My mom showered me with all the latest styles of clothing I could want. When I married I had to make the old styles last for years and years. We welcomed hand-me-downs and occasionally shopped at Wal-Mart for clothing. It’s nice to have hand-me-downs but the trade-off is that you don’t get to pick your own style if that is your thing, which I admit, is my thing. I do like to have my own style of clothing, colors that I like, etc.
At this point in my life I find that we do not have to wear second-hand clothing if we choose not to. How nice! I like shopping at JCPenneys. I haven’t done that since my early college days, before I was married, and my parents still paid my credit card bill. Yes, I shop at Penneys again. How nice! I’m quite satisfied with good old middle class JCPenneys!
I realize some people are not satisfied with that however. For instance, I recently re-connected with many of my old high school classmates on Facebook which is sort of like an unending class reunion. What was the inventor of Facebook thinking?!! Who wants an unending class reunion? Go home already and get back to living your life!
At any rate, there was this girl I met soon after my parents moved back to my hometown when I was fifteen. She was trouble and I knew it. I had just moved away from a school where the tension between the popular kids and unpopular kids was thick. I was an unpopular kid in that school. How unpopular? It went from being ridiculed for my hair color to being surrounded in the hallway and threatened with bodily injury. When we moved I didn’t want anymore of that and so I kept a low profile as much as possible. Thankfully the popular kids in my new school were not so intimidating. Some were quite friendly inviting me over to their house or out cruising the drag occasionally. One popular male student even flattered me once by telling his friend I had a sexy sounding name. But all in all I didn’t want to make waves and so I laid low most of the time. Except I had this troublesome friend which I have already mentioned.
She wanted to hang out with the popular crowd, but the popular crowd did not want to hang out with her. She grew angry over this, she had quite the temper as I recall. She made it no secret that she scorned ALL popular kids. Being her friend brought me under suspicion and one particular popular girl who had once been friendly to me saw me one day with this other girl and snubbed me because of it. Our friendship didn’t last very long because she got angry with me because I wouldn’t go to youth camp with her one summer. After that she got pregnant and dropped out of school. I didn’t see her much after that. I made other friends which I had things in common with, but all in all I laid low biding my time until graduation.
Flash forward to the age of Facebook. The angry girl sends me a friend request. I suppose that she is not still angry with me over not going to summer camp with her. I also note that she is sending friend requests to some of those popular kids we went to school with. Hmm, that’s interesting. I wonder why? Is she really letting bygones be bygones? Or…is she one of those people who come to the class reunion to gloat. Call me pessimistic, but I think she is.
She was poorer than my family as I recall. Today she is married to a man who apparently has some money. By his picture on her Facebook page I can see that he is quite a bit older than her, at least old enough to be her father I am guessing. He has adult children as does she. I’m curious to know where she found him and what he does for a living. I probably watch too many crime shows, but he has the look of someone involved in organized crime. That is uncharitable of me, I know.
So, a few days ago she posts on her Facebook status how appalled she is that Target is now carrying (she mentioned some designer name which I cannot recall) handbags. She’ll never look at one of those bags again without thinking of Target, she complained. Whatever! I don’t shop at Target either. But she better not ever say a word against JCPenney or I’m unfriending her.
I’m kidding! I don’t unfriend anybody. I just wait for them to unfriend me…and I lay low.