Wednesday, August 4, 2010


Yesterday, we got an Act 91 notice in the mail. This is a notice from our mortgage company, that basically states that if we do not pay what we owe in back mortgage payments within 30 days, they will begin foreclosure procedings. Today, I have my "phone interview" with my case worker (still cannot believe that I have a "case worker") to see if they will continue our food stamp benefits. That is happening at 1:00 today. My week just keeps getting better and better.
When I lived in New York, things were fast, and fun, and stylish. Each experience was more amazing than the last. My days were spent working, with fabric, and sewers, and pattern makers, and in the garment district. I had to deal with upper East Side ladies, and listen to all of their "problems". I went out to the Hamptons every weekend in the summer, and partied all night, and laid on the beach all day. My biggest decisions were what was going to be for lunch, and would I order a cocktail with it. I was beautiful. Really beautiful. I was tiny, and put together. I avoided streets in the city that were under construction, when the men were out eating lunch. I knew that I would get shouted at, and cat called. If I walked down those streets today, I would go unnoticed.
I thought that my life in NYC would eventually come to an end, because I wanted to get married, and have a family. I just always assumed that the next phase of my life would overshadow my younger years. In that, I mean that I thought the years of getting married, and having children would just be easy, and carefree, and make the exciting days of my twenties seem boring. I thought that the next part of my life would be a natural progression of better. Things would just keep getting better.
That does not seem to be the case. Since getting married, and moving here to PA 7 years ago, it has been a struggle. We have had to "borrow" more money than we could ever repay, go without so much, experience a major period of unemployment, and the subsequent fallout from that. We live in a constant state of stress, and fright. My heart palpitates erratically all day. I have aged 15 years in these 7, and have become unrecognizable from the girl who I was just 10 years ago. A girl beaming with hope, and promise, and youth, and excitement. I have silver hair now, and a terrible wrinkle between my eyebrows. I no longer look put together. Just held together. I have no one to talk to, or cry to, as the shame of our life makes me feel like a loser, and an irresponsible parent. I cannot provide things that my children want so much. They ask for dance lessons, and to play on Soccer teams, and I simply say, "we'll see", hoping that they will forget.
When I was in junior high school, all the girls used to wear those T-shirts that Wham made popular. "Choose Life". I wanted one. I never asked for one, because I knew we didn't have the money. So instead of feeling bad about not having one, I simply told friends that I thought they were stupid. I also said this about Members Only jackets, and the hats girls used to wear like Simon LeBon had. High top Sacco sneakers I also turned my nose up to. Madonna bracelets, and all things flourescent, I deemed silly. A fad. Yet inside, I wanted these things. I wanted to be like everyone else.
My Olivia is reaching an age where her friends are important to her, and what clothes she wears is defining. She keeps asking me to buy her clothes at a store named Justice. I took her there one day. A shirt was $30.00. I felt her disappointment. I was disappointed for her. I remember that feeling. I remember being understanding of my parents financial circumstance. I listen to Olivia now, speak of every other Friday with hope. "Maybe on payday, we could....." It breaks my heart.
I don't want her to stop asking though. I don't want her to just accept this. I can't accept this.


  1. My heart is breaking here for you. Desperately wanting to fix things for you and make everything better. Just be near you and maybe help by lending an ear and cooking you a meal and taking your mind off of things for a spell.

    My high school clothing experience was exactly the same (Booooo - Long Island). You will always be beautiful! You were stunning when I first met you and I still saw that in the photos you posted from Olivia's spring recital/talent show.

    I think about you and David so much - even more so these days . . . xoxoxo T

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  3. I wish you could cook for me too! And make me one of those Snooki watermelon liquor bombs. Thank you so much for your encouragement. It means a lot!

  4. My kid had an experience last fall, where she was purposely excluded by her soccer coach, simply because we didn't spring another $15 for a second t-shirt. My husband and I both work hard to make sure our daughter has what she wants. She knows that sometimes I might try to 'score' it used, she's cool with that, she knows we aren't swimming in money and that I generally wait until something is on sale to buy it for her. She knows I'd rather work part time and have less material goods and more time with her and so far, she's good with that. The T-shirt situation was beyond ridiculous though. We had already paid the league fee of $95 (that included the only t-shirt they are SUPPOSED to wear on the field, and matching socks.), bought her new cleats, shorts and shin guards - I figured we had already sunk $200 into the season and at the time, just didn't have an extra $15. It happens to the best of us.
    And some little college kid who was coaching decided to take it out on my kid, because she had a vision of being able to design her own t-shrits for these kids.
    You can bet not only did she get herself a new one chewed, the head of the league got a new one chewed. Even better, this kid is getting her masters in Education at a local revered university. She tried to threaten us and told us to not involve them. Really? You can bet I made sure the University knew she needed some serious training on how to not exclude children based on money.

  5. That makes me so mad! I feel so sick sometimes, that we teach our kids that everyone is equal. That it doesn't matter what your skin color is, or how fat or skinny you are, or how much money you may have...everyone is the same. Yet, I can't tell you how many sports and dance classes I have been unable to sign them up for because we didn't have the money. I wanted to get Olivia into baseball, as she requested. The town has a team, with a "policy" that no one will be excluded, due to finances. I called, and emailed everyone I could, and no one ever returned my call, and the season came and went, and Olivia told me she was disappointed. I was too. I am always disappointed for them. Ugh.