Failing Success – UYW March

In between birth and death, every human is tasked with making choices which will directly affect their future. However, we aren’t born with the maturity or wisdom necessary to choose right and guarantee a stable, secure, and comfortable life as an adult. We are given parents to teach and guide us until we are competent on our own. But… not everyone is so fortunate to be born into a family with both parents present, let alone have them be capable of providing the nurturing and support a child needs to tame the wild oats they love so much to sow. This can make a difference in the kind of life one will come to have as an adult.

Sometimes, it’s not even about the parents. Sometimes the child is just too adventurous and independent to be tamed by anyone other than himself. Either way, not everyone has the early foundation put in place to ensure they are prosperous in what they do. Sometimes their fixations with living on the edge will lead them down dangerous or unorthodox roads. When realized sooner, rather than later, it’s much easier to jump back on track and rebuild again. Eventually, though, time catches up with us, as it always does, and the hope for an easy, comfortable life is lost on them forever.


When one has to learn the hard way about everything, there’s undoubtedly a price to be paid. No amount of begging the universe, praying to a higher power, or wishing on a lucky star will change one’s fate – every choice, every decision, every action that is taken – leads us to where we are. People like to turn a blind eye while promising that it’s never too late, but that couldn’t be farther from the truth.

Take my husband, for example. He was a mischievous little rebel who partied way too hard throughout his teens and twenties. This led to him spending the majority of his thirties battling various addictions, as he only managed to escape one by substituting it with another. From alcohol to prescription pills, excessive exercising/body image obsession to gambling, this man has experienced more layers of Hell in his mind then I even knew existed. He ended up with a pretty decent rap sheet on file with law enforcement, labeling him as a three-time felon, by the end of his wild oat sowing run.

There’s no taking any of it back. He would sell his soul to be able to, believe me, but he can’t. There is nothing more he can do but accept what is because of what was and make the most out of the situation he is in. Life is anything but easy or comfortable. Financial stability, not even security, is a merely a fantasy which will never come to fruition. Job options and opportunities are extremely limited for those like him, for the system was not designed to give anyone a second chance, let alone the benefit of doubt for their change of ways. Our justice system may have been founded on the premise of innocent until proven guilty, but society runs on the opposite line where people are always guilty until they prove, but, also, demonstrate and rescind their innocence for eternity to come. They call this, Democracy. I call this, bullshit.


No wonder mental health issues are on the rise. No wonder so many people are angry, cynical, and jaded. No wonder poverty is a cycle that sucks in generation after generation after generation of families. There is no wiggle room in the equation necessary to have the stereotypical successful life we are taught to covet through constant subliminal messaging about materialism and image projection. While there’s always an example of an exception to be found, those are merely an aberration formed in the alignment of perfect circumstances which rarely develop for the majority of folks. A stroke of sheer luck, to sound cliche if you will.

As it is, society’s definition of a successful life reads like Darwin’s theory on Survival Of The Fittest and Asch’s Social Conformity experiments merged while a blind eye was turned to the history of humanity which proves, time and time again, how oppressive this structure is for all but a select few.

I will never understand how such a superior animal species became so entirely self-serving and greed-driven. So neglectful and uncompassionate towards the well-being and comfort of their fellow citizens. Why there is only one respected avenue for success for which we judge all others by? To me, it seems, humans are not worthy of the superiority label they have claimed, for our standards of living are more barbaric and inclusive than any other species I have studied during my years of education.


Today’s post is a writing challenge. This is how it works: participating bloggers picked 4 – 6 words or short phrases for someone else to craft into a post. All words must be used at least once and all the posts will be unique as each writer has received their own set of words. That’s the challenge, here’s a fun twist; no one who’s participating knows who got their words and in what direction the writer will take them. Until now.

Your words are:

late ~ job ~ fixation ~ star ~ make a difference

They were submitted by:

Links to the other “Use Your Words” posts:

Baking In A Tornado 

Spatulas on Parade  

The Diary of an Alzheimer’s Caregiver 

On the Border 

Dinosaur Superhero Mommy 

The Bergham Chronicles 

Simply Shannon   

Confessions of a part time working mom 

Southern Belle Charm 


Not That Sarah Michelle


Seeing The Gray In A Black & White World


Welcome to a Secret Subject Swap. This week 13 brave bloggers picked a secret subject for someone else and were assigned a secret subject to interpret in their own style. Today we are all simultaneously divulging our topics and submitting our posts. 

My subject is “Tell us a story from your childhood”.  It was submitted by http://Bakinginatornado.  Here goes:

Like many others, my childhood was the foundation for the person I grew to be today. My mind swirls as clips of memories dance around, each highlighting a frozen piece of time before my innocence was lost and the harshness of the cruel world became a frightening reality. There were good times and bad times aplenty- some seemingly storybook perfect and some so ugly, they’re best left buried within the hidden passages of lost time. Still, they are mine. The index which precedes the multitude of chapters my adult life has written.

A police officer’s daughter, I was kept sheltered from the evils that lurk around every corner, hiding not only in the shadows but plain sight, as well. We lived in a predominantly white, upper-middle class suburbia on the outskirts of Detroit, where it was easy for my parents to pull the wool over my eyes about the ways of the world. I believed that everyone, everywhere, worth a damn, lived the same way we did or better. I thought to graduate high school, attend a good college, establish a career which would provide financial security, get married in a church and begin a family was the circle of life which only the good people of the world followed. That anyone who didn’t adhere to this plan were the bad people I was warned about, time and time again.

I was the epitome of privileged children across the nation.

Then the house next door to ours was put up for sale one day when I was 8. It was bought by a pretentious, ornery, fur-coat-wearing old lady who’s rouge could be spotted coming towards you long before her actual face was distinguishable. Only, she never moved in. A family with four young children did. The oldest being a girl who was going into the fourth grade that school year, just the same as me. I was swimming in my humongous, above ground pool the first time we met. Her mother had just talked to my step-mother and she was promptly sent to introduce herself to me. Like any kid, I immediately invited her to go grab her suit and come in with me. It struck me as odd when she turned down my proposal and sadly went back home. What kid wouldn’t want to jump in and cool off on a blistering late-August afternoon? Strange, indeed.

As the days rambled on, she continued to make excuses for not wanting to go swimming. We played tag, hide-n-go-seek, red rover, and dungeon master with her three siblings and my brother without a hitch. She came inside to play Barbies and house with me in my bedroom, but I had yet to go over to hers. They were still unpacking, she would say. Her mom wasn’t ready for a houseful of kids, yet. All the while, still refusing to go into my pool with me. I didn’t care, though. I was beyond thrilled to have a new friend. And a girl, at that. All the kids my age within a few blocks were boys. She was right next door to me, nonetheless, and that was just the coolest thing ever in my youthful naivety. We quickly became inseparable. Besties.

When school started, the icing on the friendship cake came when we discovered we had been placed in the same teacher’s class. Life couldn’t have been more perfect at that moment. At least, for me, that is. I had no idea of the truth was hidden behind her closed front door.

You see, the difference between kids and adults is the fact that children live directly in the moment, unaffected by either the past or the future. They don’t care where you’ve been or where you come from. They could care less about what hasn’t happened yet or what’s predicted to happen at a later date. Their only concern is the here and now unless it involves the anticipation of Christmas and the presents Santa will bring. It was months into our relationship before I ever wondered where my BFF next door had lived before moving in next to me. It had never really interested me enough since it wasn’t like she had come from someplace exotic in the mind of a newly turned 9yo- like another state.

Her revelation began the unveiling of the wool my parents had so carefully placed over my eyes.

My new best friend had come from Detroit. Whereas most major cities across the nation are flourishing to some extent, with only the inner-city areas reflecting the underprivileged, long forgotten about, outcasted members of society, Detroit is different. It is all one giant inner-city except a small protected area in the middle of downtown, where corporate businesses and entertainment arenas are sheltered away from the slums (especially at this point in time). No one with financial stability resided within its borders; a fact that even the most privileged and well-off rich kids knew about, regardless of how thick the wool was layered on fresh outta the womb. I actually thought this girl might have been lying to sound cool in an era where hip-hop and gangsta rap began flourishing across the airwaves with hits from NWA, Tupac, and Biggie Smalls. (Ahhhh….the early nineties. Good times, eh?)

She wasn’t, though. It wasn’t long after this that I was finally invited inside of her house. Fall was changing quickly to winter and the weather was getting too nasty for us kids to play outside. Walking in her front door for the first time presented a huge shock for my culturally-impaired, suburban brat self. Her home was nothing like my own – and my own was on the lowly end of what other classmates homes looked like on the inside, to begin with. Being shielded from the ugliness of the world on the wrong side of the tracks, I had never come face to face with anyone who was truly living in poverty, until I saw inside my best friend’s home. Worn out couches and crooked-legged end tables filled her living room. Outdated curtains hung limply across the windows. Shabby rugs, beaten out more times than they could withstand, lay scattered across the floors as if they had died in vain.

I instantly felt ashamed for every time I had ever wished my family was more well-to-do, for every tantrum I ever threw for wanting more than I could have, for every complaint I ever made because what I had wasn’t good enough.

My best friend never came swimming in my pool because not only could she not swim, she had never even owned a bathing suit before. My best friend “borrowed” all my Barbies and the piles of extra Barbie clothes I had for them because she had never owned more than one, with only the outfit it came dressed in. My best friend begged to eat dinner with us every night because there wasn’t enough food to go around at home. The most humbling moment came at the beginning of spring when her mother shamefully asked my father to pull our garden hose over the fence and into their kitchen window. They couldn’t afford to pay their water bill and their service had been shut off. They only lived in this pretentious suburbia of white privilege because their great-grandmother had taken pity on the kids being raised in the ghetto and bought the house for them.

The more I learned about her family, the quicker my eyes began to see the world as it really is- a cruel, heartless place where people only care about what directly affects them. Where people would rather have the best of everything and squander in greed than lend a helping hand to those who were dealt a shitty hand. Her mother had grown up poor, as well, and was forced to drop out of school to support her own family. She married young because of this, trying to escape the life of poverty. Her husband, however, was an abusive drunk. She had no choice but to leave with her four children after her youngest twins were born, to save her life. No matter how hard she worked, life was continuously hard on her. There was no privilege to fall back on. 

Opportunity had never come knocking at her door. 

My best friend and her family wiped the privileged attitude right out of me. I vowed never to turn my back on those with less than me. To always do what I could to support the underdogs in life for as long as I lived.

Now, as this country is at odds again with race, equality, and political and religious beliefs, with discontent and unrest rippling from coast to coast, I couldn’t be more grateful for the girl who moved in next door from my childhood. She changed my life in ways I could never have comprehended as a young child. Without her, the wool would have remained firmly in place until I, too, became another Sheeple who was blindly led to chase the pretty things falsely valued in this world. Without her, I wouldn’t be able to see beauty on the side of life deemed ugly by those of privilege.

My childhood best friend freed me so I could see the many shades of gray hidden beneath a black and white world.

Writing this as the world is today, I can’t thank her enough because I can’t think of anything worse than living in the lies of the privileged. Even living in poverty like she had, as I, myself, experienced first hand not that very long ago.


Here are links to all the sites now featuring Secret Subject Swap posts.  Sit back, grab a cup, and check them all out. See you there:

The Angrivated Night Before Christmas: Secret Subject Swap December


‘Twas the night before Christmas and all through the house,
The family was angrivated, especially I with my spouse.
The tree wasn’t up, Damn!, the presents were not even bought,
The chaos ensued, in a hurry to be done we fought.
Our children were so far from going to sleep in their beds,
Hyped up on stolen candy canes, a sugar rush straight to their heads.
Angrivated Mom was three days overdue for a shower,
Angrivated Dad, counting every penny, dime, and dollar.
When they finally got to the store, the place was left in tatters,
Their Christmas hope died, the broken pieces in tiny shatters.
Away to the toy aisle to salvage what’s left,
The price to pay when you’ve never lived without debt.
When what did our marveling eyes did set upon?
The perfect gift for each of our tween sons.
Over there, the one our older daughter wanted so bad,
Look! Even our youngest won’t have to be sad!
A Christmas miracle had come, to you albeit small, but, alas,
A Christmas miracle true, and it was huge for us income low-class.
Now, Razor! Now, Monster High! Now, Nerf and CODBO3!
On Little People! On, Lego! On Elsa and Anna Barbies!
To the shopping cart, to the mile-long checkout lines, and away,
I wish we didn’t have to pay for any of these over-priced presents today.
We waited our turn, then took off for home in a mad dash,
Hoping on our way we did didn’t spin out and crash.
Barely in the front door and we can already hear the cries,
Four Angrivated children now quickly spinning their lies.
This one threw the tinsel at him and that one threw the stockings at her,
The living room is lost in a green and red twinkling blur.
We corral them together, clean the mess, and place the top star,
Well past midnight now, jolly old St. Nick can’t be too far.
The cookies you say? Oh shit, we knew there was more,
Leave Santa a Twinkie, his reindeer shant mind a few apple cores.
Get to bed we say, it’s been a helluvah angrivated day to boot,
This mom has to stay up till ass crack dawn to wrap your damn loot.
I’ll look hung over tomorrow with cellulite as jiggly as Jello,
At least I have my stash to smoke myself mellow.
These Angrivated Parents have some elving to do,
Thankful that this nightmare is once again almost through.
Finally the children are fast asleep and the house is quietly still,
It’s so silent you can actually hear the snow falling on the sill.
The lopsided Charlie Brown tree aglow in the lonely night
Shimmers like the moon, dancing across the gifts soon to bring delight.
It isn’t much, not nearly enough, but more than we could spare,
We would give them our last breath so the tree is never bare.
When the sun does rise the squeals and laughter will abound,
Every struggle will be worth the happiness they’ve found.
Toys may not be a’plenty, but love will fill the empty space,
Grateful to have each other, share the value of a warm embrace.
Christmas is a time for giving and caring,
Breaking bread, making merry and good tidings sharing.
We may not have it all and can’t do the holiday for glory,
At least we stick to the original meaning of the real Christmas Story.
Just another night before Christmas with the Angrivated bunch,
And, as always, The Angrivated Family has their panties up in bunch.
Merry Christmas, Happy Holidays!

Your “Secret Subject” is: was the night before Christmas……AND GO!
It was submitted by: Not That Sarah Michelle

*Here are links to all the sites now featuring Secret Subject Swap posts.  Sit back, grab a cup, and check them all out. Wonder who got my subject? Hope to see you there!*
Baking In A Tornado
Not That Sarah Michele
Spatulas on Parade
Sparkly Poetic Weirdo
Southern Belle Charm
Rena’s World
Dinosaur Superhero Mommy
The Bergham Chronicles
Never Ever Give Up Hope
Someone Else’s Genius
Confessions of a part time working mom
The Lieber Family Blog
Juicebox Confession

By: Kristina Hammer, aka, The Angrivated Mom

Got A Problem With Steak & Seafood on Foodstamps? Walk In My Foodstamp Shoes Before You Judge.


I’m on Foodstamps. Snap benefits. EBT.  Whatever it is that you, personally, refer to the damning atrocity that is government assistance. I hate it. My family hates it. My husband hates it. We all wish we didn’t have to need it. My husband and I would gladly go back in time to our early twenties and stick thoughts of future consequences into our subconsciouses so we could avoid the mistakes that would follow us through time. With that said, we also love the assistance. We need it. Our family has to have it to keep from going hungry. We want to eat nutritionally valuable foods of variety, not just the bologna and imitation cheese our finances would otherwise be able to afford on their own, so our kids can be healthy, learn healthy habits. This is not the financial position we wanted for ourselves, or, are deserving of based on who we are as individual human beings, but it is what it is. This is the hand we’ve been dealt, due impart to a few bad choices and some doozy mistakes, not for the lack of trying to do right.
The stigma out there for those who receive state aid government assistance is asinine and ridiculous. The assumptions of these families and their lifestyles are even more outrageous. Not all of us are the La’Shantae’s of our ‘hoods, with more baby daddies than kids, and more kids than IQ points, purposely sitting around on the taxpayer’s dime because her weave is pulling so tight, the lack of oxygen to her brain cells has killed off any desire to lead a meaningful, productive, self-supporting life. Nor is my hubs Ty-Wizzle DaShizzle, the lazy dope slinger driving around in his momma’s Cady looking for his homeboys to throw down a game of Dice, all the while trying to keep his pants from slipping off his ass and holding onto his limp dick so it don’t run off making another baby, singlehandedly. The majority of us are hard-working, honest, and respectful citizens who never found the opportunities in life to rise above poverty, or made such poor choices that they landed in the back of the pack of this race called Life. Sometimes, it’s none of those typical factors, but the unforeseen, uncalculated ones of crisis and tragedy, like for disabilities and social security, that cause someone to need government assistance.

For my family specifically, it was those poor choices that landed us in a position to need to be on assistance. Long before my husband ever considered marriage, having a family, or even the greater picture of adulthood outside of being legal now to drive, smoke, drink, and get credit cards, he made some not-so-wise decisions that will continue following him for the rest of his life, hindering his choices and limiting the doors that will open to brighter pastures. He’s had to work at life twice as hard as the average person, only to make a living at the end of the day, instead of a career. My own career had to be put on hold for circumstances resulting from the onset of my degenerative disc disease and an unexpected, prevented-yet-happened pregnancy. Now, with four young children to raise, my husband’s unpredictably rotational 55-70 hour afternoon shift work schedule, one vehicle, and the disease that’s ravaging my spine, coupled with the fact that my husband’s licence is permanently revoked and we have no family or friend support, it’s become not only convenient, but more economical for me to do the stay at home mom gig for my family to bring in.

Our income is barely sufficient in covering our bills and necessities, let alone leaving any extra to have a little fun with or saving for rainy day expenses. If we had to pay for more of our food than we do right now, we’d probably be homeless, but only after exhausting countless other government resources and assistance programs, wasting even more of the taxpayer’s dime. Technically, since my husband is working, he’s also paying out part of his weekly earnings to taxes, just the same as everyone else. So, to those who complain about their wasted tax money, in a roundabout way, he’s paying for his own family’s food, even if not directly out of his pocket. Plus, there’s all the money I paid out in taxes back when I was working full-time as a Health Unit Coordinator, before that option was interrupted by life. Jobs in metro-Detroit are slim pickings of your not tailored for the automotive industry, especially now after the huge bailout during the beginning of the recession. Everyone’s over-qualified, no one’s hiring, and those blue-collared laborer’s are shit out of luck with previously white-collared folks scooping up the jobs that once were theirs only for the picking. Add into that a criminal record, regardless of the fact that his last bit of trouble was over eight years ago, and a revoked licence and you get denied for any decent wage job. You can’t even apply, because you’ll fail the background checks. Even with the right degrees or trade certificates, his record would continue to shut doors in his face. It’s a very disheartening and depressing fact to to live with when there’s a family to support, backs to clothe, and mouths to feed. If I could be the one to work, I’d make just slightly more than my husband does, but only just enough to lose the assistance without making up the gap for the out-of-pocket spending on food, leaving us in a position to struggle even worse.


Despite what you may think, our Foodstamp allowance is not unlimited and is strictly monitored with bi-annual reviews and yearly proof submittal to maintain your determination for qualification. You only get a predetermined amount based on a formula that considers income level, type of income, average cost of living vs your own current cost of living, utility expenses, and personal holdings. There’s been times when I made enough off of babysitting for a couple of friends full-time during the summer that combined with a few seventy hour work weeks, our assistance was brought down to a mere $43.73 a month. Yes, a month. Until we could prove for six consecutive weeks that our income had lessened by my icome. There’s no getting around claiming under the table income, either. They will find out somehow. This is known to be actual-factually true after a blacked out SUV, looking straight out of a Criminal Minds episode, came rolling up on my house, with two agents in the standard, classic black suits stepping out, flipping State Department Bureau of Investigations badges in our faces as they entered and proceeded to interrogate us as to whether or not my husband was indeed working part-time for cash at a small, family-owned pizzeria to subsequent our income. We were advised to either report the so-called income or terminate his employment within five days, or else we could face losing our qualifications for assistance for the rest of our life, as well as, federal fraud charges. We went right back to counting pennies and buying the sandpaper-esque toilet paper that leaves your ass stripped bare of dermal layers so deep, you won’t ever find a need for waxing the ol’ brown pucker hole again!

We live extremely frugal, trying to save a buck every chance we can. Just because our food money doesn’t come directly from our pocket, doesn’t mean that we have that much more money to spend on our family. We buy the majority of our household necessities from the Dollar Store. There’s no Tide, Lysol, or Clorox brands to be found here. No Charmin Triple-Layer Pillow Softness for our tushes. And certainly no Oil of Olay or Dove, to keep our skin tones even and complexions clear, either. You can completely forget about organic, all-natural products, there’s just no way to make those price stickers work for our budget, we make many sacrifices as it is. Like garbage bags. Since we do our grocery shopping at Save-A-Lot stores, to stretch our Foodstamps as far as we can, and we use the extra thick, extra large, recommended for reuse grocery bags that they sell for a nickel, making it a more practical expense than both the good quality brands of garbage bags and the shitty, paper-thin dollar quality garbage bags. I can buy forty of those Save-A-Lot bags, which would last me just over two months, for $2.00! (If you’re unfamiliar, it’s a discount brand grocery store chain that has no baggers and you must either purchase grocery bags or bring your own, or use any empty packing boxes they leave for customer use, which adds to the reduced prices.)

Things like fabric softener are skipped on most of the time, with the exception of those couple winter months when static is at it’s worst. We don’t purchase kid-friendly shampoos either after our little ones are over two and can to their heads back during rinsing, using one universal shampoo for all of us. There’s no fancy soaps or scented body washes, just a good old bar of Tone that does the cleaning job on us all just the same. We don’t buy air fresheners, candles, or fabric deodorizers. We don’t have Kleenex or paper towel handy, either. Better grab some of the efficient thousand-sheet roll of toilet paper to blow your runny nose or use the community dish towel at the kitchen table to wipe your hands and face after dinner. When we have allergies, minor injuries, or common colds that need OTC medications, we buy the Dollar Store stuff. It doesn’t always work as well, but if we want to stay on the low-income budget plans with our utilities to protect us from being put into shut-off status and keep a small emergency fund, than we have to keep the reigns tight on our spending.


Our Foodstamp qualifying income doesn’t allow for much fun outside of our home, either. Especially with four children, the cost for family fun these days is preposterous and extravagant. If the entry cost isn’t free, it’s not going to happen. My children have never been bowling, to the movies with us (the big three were taken once by their Papa), to Toys-R-Us, or to a carnival. The boys have never been able to play on a sports team despite begging to play football every single fall since they were five. My girls cannot sign up for gymnastics, dance, or cheer squad as they’ve continually expressed interest in until they’ve turned blue in the face. We don’t ever go out to eat at restaurants unless it’s been offered by a family member or friend willing to fork out the cost of the bill. We’re a family of 6…..those offers are practically non-existent. McDonald’s and Taco Bell are considered treats in our family, something real special because we can only afford it once a month, if that.  Plus there’s the fact that we’ve never taken anything close to being called a vacation with our kids. Unless, of course, you count that one time six years ago when we stayed in a hotel room for a couple months between our lease being up at our old place and our new house being finished with it’s renovations. That was long before our little extra surprise of a baby, conceived on the Depo Provera shot, came to be. Life for low-income families consistently presents with restrictions and off-limits expenditures at every bend along the way, stifling the opportunities for those experiences thought of as stereotypical representations of childhood.

There seems to be an ignorance our there that government assistance programs are like getting free hand-outs. They judge the book by the cover, assuming that what they see is what they’ll get- a lazy, unwilling to work, uneducated, con artist living a life of luxury on the taxpayer’s dime. Apparently, with their audacious perspective, I’m scamming the tax payer’s money with my coach purse. You know, the one I received for a combined birthday and Christmas gift from my real mother who has watched me continue to rise past the struggles I’ve faced while keeping my family and marriage together, with our morale and spirits intact, and she wanted me to have something super nice that I would use everyday to help me stay motivated until the day I can afford to buy my own. My mom will always worry her firstborn daughter will fall wayward down the path of dope, no matter how long I’ve been clean, and she celebrates my sobriety for me every day, so don’t come looking sideways at one gift that I never asked for, just because it doesn’t sit well with the crackhead image you want to believe make up the population of Foodstamp recipients.. Or the fact that my husband wears name brand Polo shirts and Levi jeans. The clothes that he’s spent countless trips to thrift stores all over our county to purchase, just so he can feel good about himself the one day a week he can dress in something other than his nasty, oil-soaked, grease-laden work uniform that he practically lives in the other six days of the week.

I actually know of people who have forgone with cable and WiFi, or majorly cut other utilities and monthly payments more than the average person could tolerate living with the effects of, just to hang on to a newer-used car, because their job field requires something more reputable and respectful looking. You’d never buy carpet from a salesman who shows up with his samples in a rusted-out beater of a car, now would you? Yet, with the economy in the tank the way it’s been, carpet sales might be low, so maybe the poor guy needs a little help feeding his family. If he gives up the ride, he’ll lose more customers. It’s a catch-22. The government also knows better then to pay for your food just so you can pay a car payment, which is why those people forgo what they do, because that handy dandy calculation system of theirs, limits your monthly spending on cost of living items to 75% of your totally gross monthly income. You calculate over that percentage and their going to expect you to make some serious changes, somewhere, before you’ll qualify for assistance. It’s not the easy, free, hand-out as it is assumed to be by public consensus.


Lately, all I hear about is how all these taxpayer’s who have absolutely no experience with living at poverty level, no knowledge of how the system actually works, and no compassion for those who are struggling to make life work out better for them because of the few bad seeds that draw more attention for doing it wrong, saying they think our options for living, aren’t limited enough already. People who may not have it all, bit still have nice things. People who think that they’ve got it just as bad, because they struggle to pay a few bills here and there due to living with better means and higher standards than those at poverty level. People who’ve never stopped and taken heed of what it’s like to walk in our shoes for any amount of time.
               Let’s punish the less fortunate for being the less fortunate, because they must be less of a human being. They must suffer more discrimination, more hate, more oppression, because bad things don’t ever happen to good people. All you have to do is go to work once, and just like that, magically of you will, it’ll turn into a career paying enough in salary to pay for your own food like every other good citizen, so long as your genetically inherited lazy instincts to stop showing up and ruin your life doesn’t take over first. Only second class citizens get assistance and they certainly shouldn’t be allowed to eat like anything but that, either. If it’s fancy or costly, let’s ban ’em from eating it, because we’re secretly jealous that they might be eating better than the hard-working middle class, since no one on assistance could ever be hard-working.
              That sounds TOTALLY ridiculous, but that’s exactly what’s being said in all those petitions and calls to reform the Foodstamp allowances to ban steak and seafood from being purchased. The average Foodstamp family can’t even afford to eat expensively like that, just the same as every other average-income family, because our allotted monthly limit would be gone in a week and we’d be starving the next three and a half weeks until our assistance is reloaded again. Foodstamps does not give you limitless access to food. We still have to budget, especially those of us working families who don’t get the maximum monthly benefit amount.

We all have birthdays and anniversaries, we all celebrate holidays. Our kids still graduate and win awards that need recognition. We still have desires to get together for fun. Our socio-economic level doesn’t change that factor. But whereas your family gets to go out to Outback Steakhouse to celebrate, or you take your kids to Chuck-E-Cheese or The Bounce Zone for birthday fun, we’ll be sitting at home or a free-entry park with our dollar store bargains, grilling our store-bought steak and salmon, making the best out of our less than desirable situation. Got a problem with that, now? Too bad. Walk a week in my shoes then, and we’ll see if you can survive it with your warm smile, kindness, and enthusiastic spirit for life still intact at the end of it…. along with the hope and faith that one day, the right door may open after all, allowing us to move into your class one day, leaving behind the stigma that follows us.