Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Us

Every single person I know, and I mean everybody, is struggling. I was thinking about that the other day, and as I went through each friend of ours in my mind, I realized that no one I know is having an easy time. No one, at least I know, has been immune.

One girlfriend of mine has experienced job loss three times in less than a year and a half. Her husband has been laid off that many times, and he is a contractor who does not qualify for unemployment. When he loses his job, they go from living paycheck to paycheck, to terrified. Her minimum wage job at the mall can't support her family of five, let alone pay the bills. And recently, in the midst of all of their turmoil, their only car was totaled. It just keeps piling on for them.

Another friend of mine works, again, full time for minimum wage. Her husband has been out of work for months. They are struggling to feed their three children, pay their bills, and are unable to pay their mortgage at this time. Their once certain future seems damned. She is stressed, and depressed. Their marriage is suffering. How could it not, right? Even their kids are feeling it. A once healthy, happy family, now left floundering.

From writing here, in this space, I have met so many people going through the same story. Just under a different roof. People approach me everyday (thanks to that terribly unflattering photo of me!) and share what is going on in their life. They tell me I could be writing about them. And really, I am. I tell the story of my own families struggles, and joys here, but really, I am talking about all of us.

All of us wanting our fair shot. All of us who are responsible homeowners. All of us who work harder than ever, for less than we have ever had to show for it. And all of us who lay in bed at night, and think not of ourselves, but our children. Where will we wind up? What will become of us? How much harder can we work, to make it all better?

While I know I am in good company, regarding this whole mess, and my families story could be any body's story, and sadly, is millions of families, and individuals, story, someone reached out to me last week, and told me that what I write about here is getting terribly annoying.

 Bingo! It sure is! I am tired of it too. Really, I would love nothing more than to see every body's quality of life improve. I would love it if the bank that is illegally foreclosing on my home would take a good look at the very contracts we signed with them, and adhered to, and realized that they are violating their own agreement with us! I would love to write about not just my own families triumphs, and successes, but every suffering person I know.

This same person advised me to "pack it up, move somewhere more affordable, and get on with life!" While I appreciate their suggestions, I can't even afford to rent a moving truck!Why would I walk away from a home that my husband and I worked so hard for. My mortgage payment is less than a rental! The mere notion of just "giving up" saddened me. Sorry pal. That is just not in my makeup.

 To suggest throwing in the towel when I know how wronged we have been seems cowardly to me. That would be the easy thing to do. Walking away from my debts would be the irresponsible thing to do, when all we want to do is pay them. Sticking debt to others would be adding to an already massive problem. Fighting to pay for what is mine, is, in my opinion, the only option.

You see, my situation is what is happening everywhere. A snowball effect, that we, and by we, I mean the millions of people suffering in this financial fallout, did not create. Yet it is here,  on top us, and we are all rolling down the hill, crammed in the nucleus of that snowball, racing at top speed, unable to stop. And it is annoying! It is tiring! It is downright maddening! It sucks!

But there are tons of us. And I am hoping with every bit of might that I have within me, that the powers that be are listening. That someone in Washington D.C. is really hearing us. All of us who are just getting by, day to day, and trying not to think about the future, because the future seems so frightening. So uncertain. 

In the State of the Union address on Tuesday night, President Obama said that it was time for everyone to pay their fair share, including the wealthy, in order for everyone to have a level playing field for economic success. My heart leapt as he said this. I thought, yes! Why should all the families I know of, my own included, pay for the greed and irresponsibility of others? Why should all of us, trying to play by the rules, play with others, who the rules don't apply for? Is that fair? I thought that was how it supposed to be all along. When did that change, and why did it? 

He also said that the American dream, (you remember that one...the one about working hard, and being able to raise your family, provide a home for them, and get your kids off to college, and then retire, and have a life! yeah...that one!)  is a promise that needs to be kept. The American dream is simply not dead.

I have held that belief for so long. And at times, I have all but considered it off the table. But maybe, someone is listening. Maybe, this could really happen. Maybe we can all get on with our lives, and our hard work will pay off. And it won't be so scary anymore.

For all of us.





7 comments:

  1. OK, that post is getting printed and put on the fridge. You pretty much nailed it. Thanks for writing it.

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  2. Whoa.... who is this person? Did you suggest to her (or him) that she is welcome to pack it up and stop logging onto your blog? The reason I blog about my problems, as opposed to putting them on facebook, or shouting them from the rooftops is that people have to option to read or not. You're not shoving it down anyone's throat. People are annoying. That's what's annoying.

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  3. Preach on, sister!

    It's sooooo unfair that the wealthiest people in America get the biggest tax breaks. Why do I, as a teacher, have to pay more in taxes than the millionaires?

    Oh geez....don't even get me started.

    I love this post!

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  4. Erin, hold in there - America is waking up. We are making huge strides in stopping the banksters and their fraudclosures. Judges get it, State Attorney Generals get it; and finally, the Investors are getting it. The banks not only robbed millions of Americans of their homes, but they robbed the investors of their money, and their right to the equity in the homes. See how your school taxes are being increased because of "shortfalls" in the school retirement funds? That's because the retirement funds invested in mortgages, and the banks stole their money through fees and illegal foreclosures, often being paid 5 times for the same foreclosed home. Hang in there, and tell that troll to go find another blog to haunt.

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  5. You are a terrific writer. Have you thought of monetizing your blog? Done tastefully I don't think it would take away from the content and I know many of us would love to help you out by going through your links. Just a thought. My little blog helps pay some odds and ends and it seems that you have a pretty steady following and could do very well by monetizing the blog a little.

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  6. Thank you, Erin! It's your blog, write what you want. You write so beautifully!

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