Thursday, September 9, 2010

This Is Not New

One, from the Dollar Menu and we're splitting it four ways.

I'm going to start by saying, I know, I know, Huffington Post. In my defense, HuffPo has a free iPhone app that loads articles into the iPhone* so you can read them later, which is nice for me because I wait at least 10 minutes at the bus stop and there's no wifi there.

This story, however, really has nothing to do with woo, it has to do with perspective.

With the recession bearing down on the country, jobs seem to have evaporated. In the past, Wands was able to easily navigate from one job to another. NorthJersey.com reports that after sending out 9,000 resumes without finding steady employment, things are looking bleak for Wands and his family.

Wands was forced to sell his beloved 1969 Plymouth Barracuda, a loyal companion over the last 30 years. The family is currently subsisting off Wands' weekly $400 unemployment checks, benefits which are slated to run out in October.

"Literally, there will be nights where I will stay up until 5:30 in the morning," [Wands] said. "I talk to friends and they say, 'Oh, don't worry. It'll work out.' I say, 'You are not there. You are not going to the food bank. You are not watching: 'Oh, my God, if I drive this distance it'll cost me $3 that way and it'll cost me $3 that way.' Isn't it ridiculous to live that way?"
I sympathize, Mr. Wands, believe me, I do, but this is nothing new. People live this way in America every day and have their entire lives. $400 a week is subsistence? That is more than I make in a week, and I make more than most of my friends. Just so you don't think I live in an extremely low cost area, a one-bedroom apartment is now averaging $800 a month.

It's not ridiculous to me to consider the costs of every outing, that's life. I consider every paper towel I use. Really, does the table really need to be wiped down, because I can't really afford to buy another roll until Friday. Mr. Wands' ridiculous is my normal.

A monthly trip to a local food bank helps them out with some basic groceries, but Wands finds himself embarrassed his family can no longer attend any social gatherings that would require them to spend money.

"The one time we did go, we stopped at a restaurant and the kids were all ordering stuff," Wands recalled. "I'm going through my wallet. Oh, my God, do I even have enough? ... We couldn't even get a chocolate milk."
I must be getting callous, because this made me chuckle. Who goes to a restaurant without carefully checking the contents of their wallet and considering all expenditures to be made until the next pay period? Please. I count that trip to McDonalds 2 months ago as my last experience with eating out. In a fit of downright hedonistic glory, we did not order from the Dollar Menu. "Haha!" We laughed. "A number five! Large! None of that poor people dollar stuff for us- we're celebrating!"**

Welcome to poverty, n00b.



*(Un)necessary poor person explanation: A friend of mine gave me his first gen iPhone when he got the new 3G. When you're poor, you get to explain where all your stuff came from. It's fun!

**No, really, we said that.

9 comments:

  1. In fairness to Mr. Wands, I can think of a number of scenarios where he might have wound up at the restaurant without knowing he was going to end up there beforehand. Maybe the group he was with wanted to go there and he just went along or something. We’d need more context.

    It’s times like this I feel devoutly and humbly thankful I happened to be born in Canada, or that we returned here to stay in 2001 (having spent the previous 5 years in Texas).

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  2. Canada to Texas to Canada really deserves a blog post, Joe-ay.

    Ending up in restaurants accidentally really does not happen if you're acclimated to poverty.

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  3. Eh, I would imagine if the group all wanted to go and pressured him, he wouldn�’t wanna be the black sheep (or whatever the saying is), or to let them know that he’s poor. I assume there’s often an unfortunate measure of shame in such situations. (Not that there should be.)

    As for my grand tale … sorry to disappoint, but we basically just followed my father’s work there in ’95, then came back in ’01 when things weren’t really working anymore (5 years and my mother still hadn’t received her fucking green card – we actually got it by mail a few months after we came back. Brilliant timing). Plenty of fun stuff happen, but it’s mostly just a lot of disjointed memories that would be rather difficult to write about in a format of a blog post.

    Then again, you just planted that seed of inspiration in me, dammit. ;-)

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  4. Having lived in Texas and known Canadians, I just can't imagine two places more dissimilar.

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  5. Oh, things were quite different, alright. And from my childhood perspective, about 10× better. Schools actually had discipline and kids were actually learning stuff, whereas Qc schools are some of the most underfunded, overcrowded and have the single highest drop-out rates in the world.

    But, hey, at least we don’t have Creationists around here. Nothing serious, anyway. Qc is one of the most heavily secularized places in the world and the sort of goofy evangelical talk that’s so mainstream in the U.S. would be openly laughed at around here.

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  6. I love the picture of the kitty.

    And I would never be able to resist-my last $ would be spent on a cheezburger for my kitty-or that one...

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  7. Poverty is very odd in America. If you experience it, you come to find out that Emma Goldberg, Marx, and Engels were juuuusst right enough.

    On kind of the reverse end of what you have cited, a local woman here was pretty bad off but wrote a newspaper column for years chronicling her ups and downs. It was quite poignent, often hilarious. She lived in a coal mining community that was pretty much dead.

    Then ... finally ... she caught a break and actually got a full time job. No benefits, but she was now in a position where she could see that the ladder of success actually existed, though she was not even in reach of its bottom rung.

    And, since she was now no longer a "loser", she left their ranks with a parting kick in the teeth as per the old American ritual of upward mobility.

    Certain people had told her she was "lucky" and she took quite a bit of umbrage to this, and her last column was quite a scathing commentary on the sloth, cluelessness, hopelessness, and general unworthiness of these folks. If they wanted success, get off their duffs and go after it like she did! It was long, hard, and she did it all herself. Just hard work, and she had no time for pathetic, lazy cry babies.

    There was a letter to the editor shortly afterward in which many of her (former) friends and nieghbors remembered certain inconvenient things, after what she called them. Like forgiving a debt of several thousand dollars at certain business establishments where she'd wracked bills for food and services, people who GAVE her a car, people who baby sat for free so she could "Go To School", gave her money outright, clothed her kids...the list went on and on.

    She, however, had no problem still condemning them for their lack of worth. She was no, "SOMEONE"... sort of.

    ReplyDelete
  8. HOW TO FLUSH AN ATHEIST... CLICK!



    hawking is WRONG

    science cannot explain NOTHING!

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PMRJJcfEXls&




    FAIR AND BALANCED!



    KING OF TERROR


    add comment moderation to your BS or more people will die with you...


    NO GODS AND NO POLITICS WITH THESE LITTLE IDIOTS!


    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gyEISfS15g4&feature=player_embedded



    plush safe he think

    http://www.christies.com/lotfinderimages/D14781/d1478164x.jpg




    http://vimeo.com/13704095


    but with recent revelations about James Randi, I think he likes DICKS!


    ____________________

    THE SECOND COMING!

    THE END OF ATHEISM

    FOLLOW THE WHITE RABBIT...

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Smwrw4sNCxE


    THE B**BQUAKE - 911

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yeblvLoVJCA&feature=related

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cpZZ2PPBzP8&feature=related

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EvSljPf9on4&feature=related

    you are going to pay the price for this….

    THE RUBBER DUCKY OF PSEUDOSCIENCE III - JAMES RANDI



    http://daddytypes.com/archive/hofman_rubber_duckie.jpg

    there is a lot of sh*t to flush!

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cg2AezJo8aQ

    THE HEAD OF THE INFIDEL!

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ojR-XRt4rrA

    Is America burning yet?

    Maybe we need some more...

    we use the DIVINE against the ESTABLISHMENT... you?

    we do better DEMOLITIONS than you, savage...

    RENOUNCE YOUR ATHEISM AND JOIN THE SOCIALIST FAITH!

    let them know if the MDC continues more people will die...

    the WORLD TRADE CENTER PROPHECY - THE DANCE OF DEATH

    WORLD TRADE CENTER PROPHECY

    FLUSH ATHEISM!

    Actually it is a ROYAL FLUSH!!!

    Let me show you how ATHEISTS were partially responsible for 911

    These ATHEISTS NEED TO BE ON THE TERRORIST WATCH LIST!

    You don’t even have SCIENCE on your side…

    You’re a perfect example of when PHILOSOPHY becomes an ENEMY OF LIFE...

    http://stephenlaw.blogspot.com/2010/06/playing-mystery-card.html

    not quite samantha with her *supernatural spit*, eh?

    this isn't one of your little WORD GAMES...

    blasphemy is a DEATH SENTENCE

    you people actually BELIEVE the BS you preach!

    GOD 1 - atheists 0

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jQcNiD0Z3MU

    Atheists,

    you are ENEMIES OF GOD AND ARE GOING TO BE ANNIHILATED...

    Repent and turn to God or be destroyed...

    YOU HAVE NO CHOICE...

    my interpretation of the STATUE FIRE... it symbolizes the SPIRITUAL DEATH of atheism...

    http://www.salon.com/news/2010/06/15/us_lightning_strikes_jesus_statue

    http://static.guim.co.uk/sys-images/Guardian/Pix/pictures/2010/6/16/1276680110544/The-King-of-Kings-statue--005.jpg

    http://www.latimes.com/media/photo/2010-06/54332292.jpg

    http://friendlyatheist.com/wp-content/uploads/2010/06/butterjesus-1.jpg

    PRINCESS DI IS WEARING A NEW DRESS!

    http://www.princeofwales.gov.uk/speechesandarticles/a_speech_by_hrh_the_prince_of_wales_titled_islam_and_the_env_252516346.html
    ______________________________
    http://skepticblog.org/2010/04/06/would-i-ever-pray-for-a-miracle/

    Shermer, I WANT TO SEE YOU BEG FOR A MIRACLE...

    The B**BQUAKE - 911

    Let me show you the FATE OF TRAITORS...

    http://www.loiterink.com/photos/products/182_3424_500x500.jpg

    they are incapable of telling the difference between SCIENTIFIC *FACT* AND
    RELIGIOUS AND PHILOSOPHICAL *TRUTH*... FATAL ERROR!

    they also preach a *VALUE FREE SCIENCE* called *POSITIVISM* that ignores the
    inequalities of wealth and power in capitalist civilization...

    for a sample taste of PZ Myers' GARBAGE...

    http://scienceblogs.com/pharyngula/2010/06/sunday_sacrilege_imagine_no_he.php


    http://www.peterkreeft.com/topics/pascals-wager.htm

    THE BOOBQUAKE - 911!

    http://dissidentphilosophy.lifediscussion.net/philosophy-f1/the-boobquake-911-t1310.htm

    ReplyDelete
  9. $400 a WEEK!?!?! damn, i'm jealous. i mean... i get a whole $110 a month for disability [which is new - i didn't know until a few months ago that Ohio HAD State Disability. i mean, when i get SSI, i have to pay it back, but it's needed NOW] and i get food stamps. and Pete makes about $800 a month.

    so, yeah - jealous. sigh.

    ReplyDelete

Comments are for you guys, not for me. Say what you will. Don't feel compelled to stay on topic, I enjoy it when comments enter Tangentville or veer off into Non Sequitur Town. Just keep it polite, okay?

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