Friday, September 24, 2010


I am feeling trapped here. I am stuck in this place. I cannot leave. The feeling is suffocating. I roam from room to room, and see all of the things I should be doing. Clothes to put away. Dusting needing to be done. I just don't feel like it. I feel annoyed by Molly crying, and following me around like a pesky yellow jacket. I got dressed today, after I showered. I put on mascara. I guess I still have a little vanity left, buried under all the three babies later and I still have not lost it yet weight.
I went on Facebook, and all of my friends are posting TGIF!, and they are all so unbelievably happy that it is the weekend. Me...not so much. We get to catch up on a weeks worth of laundry, and re-stock the frig, and cabinets for next week. This is after we go, and talk to some agency in the morning, and hope they accept our application to get a federal loan, to help save our home. I just had to write a letter explaining our hardship. is almost four pages, single spaced. Where do I begin? When will it end?
I watched my family in Walmart last weekend. I thought that Charlotte looked cute. She had on a cute hand me down skirt from Olivia, and a sweet T-shirt. She has a great little haircut. Bright Crocs were on her feet. Olivia had on a T-shirt, and shorts, and looked like my sweet Liv, with her gangly, not quite a little girl, not quite a big girl, legs. David put himself together well. Our clothes are tattered. Not quite old, definitely not new. Well worn. Distressed. Yes, we look distressed. But as I watched them all walking in front of me, I wondered,  do we look poor? Do people know? Do my children look like have not's? I believe my face, and extra weight is conveying this. Gray hair and scowl. Sometimes, I walk around with a look of surprise. Eyes bulging. David looks mad when his face is at rest. Mad and worn down. My children though, still look happy. But do they look like they get free lunch at school? Do other kid's know that their silly bands are the cheap ones? Do they know that? Can they tell that their sneakers cost us $10.00. Will this make my girls feel bad? 
When I was in 4th grade, there was a boy in my class named Ralph. He was one of maybe two African American students at Wing Street Elementary School. He had no Dad. His Mom worked full time. He had a little brother named Sydney. Ralph wore the same clothes to school everyday. He suffered for this, do to the asshole behavior of creepy kids. My mother called the school one day, asking if they knew of a student that could use some clothing. She had bags of my brother's clothes, and she wanted to donate them to someone who could use them. She was told to send them to school with me, and have me give them to my teacher, Ms. Morace. She would handle it. 
And wouldn't you know it. By the sheer bad luck of Ralph, who was in Ms. Morace's class, he was chosen as the recipient. I say bad luck, because Ms. Morace called Ralph up to the front of the classroom, and proceeded to tell the entire class that my mother had so generously donated this big brown paper bag of clothes for him. She then took each item out, one by one, and showed them to Ralph, and to the class, commenting on each piece. She said things like "oh...isn't this a nice shirt". "oh my...a winter jacket, how great!". I looked at Ralph. He was not smiling. He was not looking at the clothes. He was staring at the floor. I suddenly felt mad at my mother, and sick to my stomach, and I had that feeling that I wish I could just shrink myself up, and slide out under the door. 
Ralph wore the clothes to school. I remember one of the shirts was a shiny, butterfly collared, multi-colored, number. My brother had a school picture taken in it. It made me sad to see Ralph in it. It made me sad to see him wear things that were clearly too small for him, and to see the same things on Sydney, that were gigantic on him.The whole thing made me just feel terrible sadness.  They knew they were poor. Thanks to Ms. Morace..the whole school knew too. How did Ralph feel, I can only guess.
 We got older, and graduated high school and I never saw Ralph again. Until, he friend requested me on Facebook. There he is. A grown man. Handsome. Everything he says on Facebook is kind, and positive, and loving. He speaks of hard times, and acceptance. He writes posts that I read to David, and David says are bumper stickers. The man could not have a more gentle soul. We have written to one another. No mention of that fateful day, but an unspoken connection. 
Screw you Ms. Morace.