Poor 'r' Us

Setting aside the percentages of the now infamous 47% who, like me, are on Social Security, veterans' benefits, Pell grants or Medicaid for conditions that inhibit independence, there does persist a percentage of those who are, otherwise, poor. This is for them.

I don't need to give you all the link to Romney's petty-ass little whine about taking personal responsibility, but just in case you are afflicted with pictures of the poor having a high old time living high on the hog and thumbing their noses at the schnooks who insist on working for a living, I stole a few quotes from this website:

In addition, we were in somewhat less debt when two unexpected and long term medical problems came into our lives. That added over a dozen monthly medications, a more expensive & strict diet, and increased medical visits into our budget. I feel so hopeless. I feel like a failure. I am afraid to tell my parents.

i don't want to be old and alone and also poor.. i'm terrified of these thoughts... i don't want to repeat my father's mistakes.. i look at my uncles, friends.. people at work and everyone i know, and i feel like i'm left behind.. and i hate it... i need to leave this country... i'd rather be poor somewhere nobody knows me..

My husband was diagnosed with a chronic kidney disease in 2002, right after graduating Culinary school in Portland and getting a job as a kitchen manager of an upscale deli making $45,000 a year. He was told to get out of the business as it was very stressful and he would end up on dialysis very quickly. Fast forward 20 years; My husband is unable to work as the result of a severe, debilitating panic disorder, and I make $13.00 an hour as an assistant director in a childcare center. We had to file bankruptcy in March and we live paycheck to paycheck. Our younger 2 kids know what it means to eat a jelly sandwich for dinner 2 nights in a row because we are 2 days away from payday. They know what it like to take all the change found in the car, couch and random places to scrape enough together to buy gas

A friend of mine with a six-year-old son and a husband who can't find work cleans houses for a living. They live in a drafty old house that belongs to the mother of an old friend of theirs who agreed to let them have it for very low rent - their credit won't let them live elsewhere. She cleans houses for a living and a few years ago snapped both of her Achilles tendons which laid her up for six months in two casts. They drive a gas guzzler car that they could only afford because another friend sold it to them in small installments - I think it's paid off now but it's starting to need more frequent repairs. She needs it to get to work and charges her customers an extra $5 for gas money - that she uses to fill the tank to get back home and to her next job. Last winter they lived in the downstairs section of their house with quilts over the windows and had to borrow buckets of water from the neighbors - they spent the water bill money on heating oil. She did her laundry at my house and took her son for showers both here and at other friends' houses. They get food stamps and some assistance, but she doesn't like to talk about it. She cleans for me twice a month, but if my daughter wasn't living with me and helping to pay for that, I couldn't afford the help for much longer.

I shared this status yesterday and think it deserves another outing:

I've been poor - could be again. Life is uncertain. And I have poor friends. And there's one thing in particular that I noticed and still notice about being poor. Things become less and less likely to work out in your favor. If you spend the money to get car insurance, the muffler will go out and you won't have the money to pay for it. If you get a ticket for that, now you don't have the money to both get the muffler *and* pay the ticket. If you save up enough to pay for the muffler, your kid will wake up with a high fever and a screaming ear ache - now you're going to get another ticket driving to the emergency room (because you haven't had time to get the car in for the new muffler yet), and now you've got another unexpected bill to pay. It just goes on and on