Friday, April 2, 2010

The Progression of Poor

Now, many of you know the side effects of a recession. You cut back on things. Fewer trips out on the town, you start cooking at home, you shop at resale shops, you cancel (heaven forbid!) the HBO. But when you’re really deep into the depths of getting by, those things seem like a treat.

In my case, “cutting back” has gone well beyond these small things. I’ve had to cancel my cable. I only have gas service in the winter. I don’t have trash service. Things that we take for granted have gone by the wayside. A treat anymore is buying the “good milk” at the grocery store or a $1 redbox rental. But with these changes you also are exposed to a new side of things that you didn’t know before.

Here is how those interesting observations come about:

I don’t have a bank account any longer. Some things didn’t shake out and I got overdrawn. i couldn’t cover the overdraft charges, and what do you know…voila! No account. So, instead of taking checks to the bank, I now do most of my banking at Wal-Mart and Check Into Cash.

I could be bitter. I could dwell on the fact that the charges I pay to these places would fill my tank with gas. Or pay for trash pick-up, or give me the treat of an actual manicure. That would just piss me off and what fun is that. So, I look at the humor these things could bring me.

Let’s take today for example. I ran to Check Into Cash to, duh, cash my paycheck. The guy in front of me was borrowing money so he would have cash for his daughters visit this weekend. Then the baby mama drama began. Evidently they were doing the “great baby swap” at the check cashing place and it was going horribly wrong. From what I could pick up, the baby mama boyfriend (versus the baby daddy) didn’t know that they were meeting “in person” for the exchange and he was calling every 30 seconds to see where baby mama was. She (baby mama) was shaking like a dog crapping razor blades afraid that she was going to get “in trouble.” Baby Daddy on the other hand was going to “whoop his ass.”

All the while, the baby is in the car. Alone. During a rain storm. Baby Mama finally answered the phone and I could hear her boyfriend screaming that he was gonna get even for this and she was lucky he didn’t call the police (i know, i was confused too…keep up.)

Please remember – they are in line to get money while this is playing out. Would you give these people money? I made the sad mistake of asking:

If you don’t usually pass off your child face-to-face, how exactly do you do this? Do you just leave her hanging out somewhere…like now?

This got me a REALLY ugly look and a “mind your own damn business bitch.” (When you run that little statement through your mind, think of the guys from Deliverance for an accent)

So…I then go tonight to get a money order for rent (remember, no bank account…no checks) at Wal-Mart. So there I was, the only English speaking person in line, waiting for my turn with Dorthea when a woman walked through the front door that was a vision.

them are some eyebrows

Now, those eyebrows look like commas gone wild. You can’t see it in the picture, but the have a big dot at inside making them look like a freakin’ connect the dots picture head on. The black circle you see under her eyes looked like a reverse “smoky eye” where instead of lining the eye and smudging the liner out, she lined about a half inch under the eye and smudged in. Combine that with the lip liner, the overly bedazzled sweat jacket and her friend with the Irene Cara Flash Dance outfit and you haven’t seen a more happening 70 year old.

Would I have seen this at the bank? Hell no.

You keep your direct deposit and online banking. I’ll hang with this freak-show for now!


  1. I can truly identify with you on this one. Back a few years, we had one of these economic hick ups (politicians don't like words such as recession or depression) and I figured out how to feed a family of 5 on $2.63 a meal. That is 3 teenagers and 2 adults all putting in way too much physical activity to cut back on the volume of food we ate. For variety in taste, we would substitute pork sausage for beef in the spaghetti sauce when we got tired of just plain spaghetti sauce from the can. Clerk K, you are headed for saint hood and you will make it. I have faith in you.

  2. My whole childhood was one big recession. I am grateful that I had this type of "training" for what was yet to come. Going to grocery outlets and there is a free bread store on Neiman Rd. (behind the big craft store). That saved my life.... on more than one occasion. Also there is a catholic charities that will provide you with free decent clothing for work and depending on how bad off you are they will also pay some utilities. You can also apply for commodities. They are U.S. government issued and you can have them one a month. Getting this type of help was one step short of eating at the free soup kitchen. Which I have also done more than once. Now people I was raised like this. There was nothing that I could do about it. However it does motivate you to work three jobs.. anything not to be in that place anymore. Now I am recession proof!

  3. Hang in there girl! Right now, I am also housing my soon-to-be-divorced niece (your age) and my 11-year-old grandniece because her s-t-b ex-husband has a gigantic "L" plastered on his forehead and he's done nothing but drag his family deeply into debt with his grand schemes (hence the s-t-b ex status). My niece took out student loans to go back to school and is getting food stamps, which helps with the "rent." The economy sucks, job situations suck, and the government sucks. It's like one huge vacuum cleaner threatening to suck the life out of it's inhabitants. So what does KC do to aid the future? They close a bunch of schools. Nothing like preparing for the future by cutting education. Hmm, maybe they'll just open more McDonald's. Can you say "would you like fries with that?" Hang in there~!!

  4. If you don't get paid to blog, maybe you could use the computer time to continue perfecting your finacial situation. There are sources out there for help, it's just a matter of figuring out how to utilize them for your situation.