This is a stream of consciousness thread. This article is about how I feel around Middle Class/Upper Middle Class plus women. Yes some envy is in here. Yes I know envy is a sin. Hey I'm not perfect.
The feeling of loneliness from being poor though can be immense. Even in a poorer rural area, all the poor people kept to themselves. While trying to do the usual thing of wanting to"meet" friends,, I met mostly middle class or above people. How come I never meet anyone like me? I don't mean EXACTLY but Poor like I am? It is a strange aspect of American society especially among whites, that the poor are so isolated.
At least if I lived in the inner city, there would be far more chance of friends and family in the same boat with me. We would not be so alone. We would not be judged and would be seen as people too. Instead of meeting those who defend our oppression, we would have people around us, who know and admit the system is crooked. Perhaps in some niches of Appalachia, there are fellow poor white people in one community but not around here. We live on the edge.
The majority of non-disabled working class or poor people are working all the time, there's no leisure time for book clubs or bible studies. If they are unemployed or disabled, they are at home sick, housebound or depressed. Even my getting out happens only in two moderate seasons of the year. So especially for the poor white woman, if you are poor and down and out, you are surrounded by people of a higher socioeconomic class then you if you dare to leave your apartment or rented room......
Some of the rich people are nice too. I don't want to put down the nice rich people just express how I feel inside. Yes there are people poorer who do not have Internet hook up and weren't blessed with some education. I have friends who are richer then me too but sometimes it gets hard being the one poor woman in the crowd all the time.
I'll never fit in.
There's some stray threads on my old dress, I should have snipped them off. I wonder if I am going to have to figure out how to get all the grey in my hair dyed. How is their hair so smooth? How on earth do they afford all those dye jobs for their hair, and two tone ones too? None of their hair ever seems scraggly or with split ends. The perms, and hair coloring look good. I have never been able to afford something like that.
All those fancy I-phones and Kindles, and they got crisp new models with fancy covers. Book clubs can be scary now when one has to admit, "I don't have a Kindle". Library book clubs are free but forget book clubs where you have to BUY the book or not be able to find it at the library.
How come they ALL have families? Didn't anyone else not have children? Am I the only infertile woman in the world? Their families all seem to respect and care about them. They have barbecues, dinner parties, and host the family over for various holidays. They spend my entire week's food budget on a giant turkey or beef rump roast or steaks for the grill.
They are always going on visits to their family even people who are far away on airplanes or being able to drive hundreds or thousands of miles and rent a hotel. Everyone seems to have grandchildren and their grown children are always having babies and there's no 20 somethings struggling and living with the milk crates. Their jobs are gotten right out of college and there's no problem with supporting all those babies, the cars to drive to work to take care of them, the cribs and day-care. My family threw me away because I didn't have the right economic life. They fly to Switzerland while I wait in line at the food pantry for a box of food. They talk about their families a lot. How do you tell people, "I have no family?".
Will they believe me when I say I am married? I don't wear a wedding ring. How did they all afford those double-tier rocks on their fingers both young and old? My finger is too swollen for the thirty dollar silver ring we used for the ceremony 18 years ago. Some old fashioned people have assumed I "live in sin", and am not legally married but I have our marriage certificate just like them.
All those new clothes, everything looks neat, new and very clean. There are no stains, or stray threads. They wear newer shoes and a variety of shoes, where one isn't wearing the same shoes all the time. Their outfits change, they don't wear the same 4 outfits on a row in a repeating cycle. They have "summer" and "winter" clothes. You wear the brown dress in the middle of July and November. They buy their clothes new.
They live in suburban houses with neat lawns and new furniture. These houses or sometimes rarely apartments and condos have clean kitchens, new dishes, knickknacks and polished marble surfaces. I envy how easy it would be to clean nice new things and to polish smooth wooden floors. These things are so beyond my means it's not funny. "Don't let those two nice church ladies visit your apartment and see how poor you are." You know the few you dared to let in have talked. Be careful to keep your mouth shut about money problems or being poor. Act like you are a normal person too. You don't want to be judged. The less more people know the better off you are.
One ex-friend remarked on how you wore the same clothes all the time and for years. Another remarked on how "those two own nothing". Going to visit other people's houses [not as much in the last few years] and seeing new rugs, and couches, and hearing about re-modelings and things that you could never imagine. Being stuck with an old carpet that is always too dirty. Judgment on the eyes of some who always asked, "why don't you fix this place up?"
Things I have heard around here:
"I'm going to the Virgin Islands this week, it's the fourth time I've been there!"
"I just went on a cruise down the Mediterranean, and visited Italy and Spain!"
"My husband took me and my children to China"
"I spent two years in Honduras"
Do any of our rich ever stay home? So wonder they are in love with globalism and vote for people who throw the poor of America over the side of the boat. This is JUST some of what I get to hear around my rich resort town. Why is everyone here so rich? How did they get so much money? Wht secret did I miss out on? Money seems to pour into their lives.
They not only afford the new cars and nice homes but constant travel. It's like living around people who won the Lotto. One advantage is there is more charity here, but one major disadvantage is "WHO IS THERE TO TALK TO?"
But beyond the STUFF and the TRAVEL THAT HAS TO COST THOUSANDS OF DOLLARS JUST FOR THE PLANE TICKETS, which is only so important......
They all seem so happy, and like they feel safe, and at ease and like they belong in the world. I think that's the worse part. That's the part I envy MOST. They BELONG. Why couldn't that be me? ---The Squawker.