Growing up in various boroughs in and around Dallas, I wasn’t keenly aware of my social status until I was around 11 years old. It was then that I realized exactly how poor my family was. I just always assumed that drive-by shootings, german cockroaches and used drug needles were problems that everyone dealt with. I never had to worry about the woes of affluenza that other people were burdened with, because my family was affected by a severe case of poorlio (please excuse the dad joke). For example at school, virtually everyone utilized the free/reduced meal plans, so I really didn’t feel like it was a big deal. Actually it wasn’t a big deal, until I made it so.
I remember the moment that I had my epiphany. I am not kidding about this. I was hanging out with my girlfriend whose family was a notch or two above my social class. I think about this now and completely understand why her dad hated me. Anyway, I was sitting in her living room thinking about how “out of place” I felt, considering her house was a stand-alone brick home with an actual private driveway, garage and not one but two yards! As I was sitting there on the sofa I looked around. I have always had a knack for noticing details, it’s just what I do. Looking around I realized that there were no insects. Again, I am not joking about this. I was fascinated with the fact that this house had no roaches running along the top edges of the walls or scurrying behind picture frames. I was amazed by this because I believe it was the first time I truly realized that being poor didn’t have to be a life sentence. I was also pissed because my mother told me that “every house had roaches.” She lied. I am not saying that my parents were bad people because they were poor. I just don’t understand why people tend to give up on life and resign themselves to live in a way that never allows progress.
In my neighborhood, every Friday night, I mean EVERY Friday without fail, there would be a massive drunken brawl, a drug-fueled party, drive-by shooting or sometimes all of the above. Most people looked forward to the weekend, I always dreaded it. Between muzzle flashes from various firearms, the intermittent scream of sirens and hoards of on-lookers, I was always glad to return to school the following Monday. Why is it that people are determined to be fucktards? Why is it that some people figure that the only way to make it in life is to do stupid shit that involves violence or other means that benefit absolutely no one?!? This is why I hate people. I am not saying that all people are fucktards, just that John Q. Public as a whole, is a massively stupid fucktard. Can you tell what type of mood I’m in?
Thankfully, I eventually learned to counter the mindset of my parents and climb out of that fucktard mentality, educate myself and provide a better life for my children.
2 thoughts on “Being Poor Used to Suck”
I completely get you on this. Been there…
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I’m proud of what you’ve accomplished!
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