Wednesday, August 22, 2012


The last ten years of my life, I have been busy being busy. Got married, bought a home, had three girls, and watched the economy tank in 2007. If our life was a graph, the line was on a continuous incline, until that fateful October, when we suddenly found ourselves standing on line at the Department of Social Services, hoping we could get health insurance for our kids, and myself, who had that third baby girl in my body, and felt humiliation beyond belief that I was told I had to bring proof of pregnancy, despite my swollen belly. The line on that graph took a sharp dive. In about a day.

I, nor my husband, ever expected to be hitting such a low. This was not supposed to happen to"us". We were smart, college educated people, who always had good jobs, paid out taxes, lived within our means, didn't over borrow, and didn't use credit. We were cash only. If we didn't have the money, we didn't get it. Period. For crying out loud, my living room couch is the same one I grew up with. The very one I lied on, dying from the chicken pox. Nothing fancy at my house. But enough. We had enough.

In the last few years, we have struggled. Just like so many of our friends and neighbors. Some days, there is no money left between here and pay day. Some days, we make it just fine. I don't stress about it in the way I used to, because it's pointless. I will put myself into an early grave worrying about "what if", and "what is going to happen". My husband and I have never worked harder for the very little we have to show for it. Frustrating? You bet! But we, like millions of others, are doing the very best we can at this very moment, and if I ask myself if we are doing better than we were four years ago, the answer is yes.

And if I think about going back to how things were four years ago, I shudder. I remember every other house on my block having unemployed people. I remember seeing David, and our neighbor out, blowing leaves that Fall, both out of work, and both on the brink of nervous breakdowns, because despite sending 50 resumes out daily, the phone never rang.

 Things are still, so not great. I get that. I see that. We have a huge unemployment problem. And we have way too many families eating dinner because they have food stamps. (very NOT LAZY families, I might add, because that stereotype is really antiquated)

Having three little girls also has me worried. About their future, and their choices. About their ability to pay for college, and to have every opportunity I have had. Even their choices about when motherhood is right for them. It all seems scary, and uncertain. Very uncertain.

But I'll tell ya....going back seems more uncertain. Helping out the uber-rich on the backs of my girls seems uncertain. Cutting social programs to those families, one of which my own family was one of, seems uncertain. Hitting our future in the gut, in the form of cuts to education really paints an uncertain future, in my mind. Denying health care to elderly, and children at the very least, seems horrendous.

This November, we all have a huge decision about our future. And the future of our children.

 Do we help out the people who really need it?

Or do we continue to help out those that really don't need it, in the hopes that they will help out those that really do?


1 comment:

  1. I have always wanted to post a comment on your blog since I found it after hearing you on this american life. I am not a writer and its hard for me to find the words I would want to use. I look foward to reading your blog, and this post I whole heartly agree with. I wish you had a like button so you knew people like me who don't normaly comment on blogs were reading.
    Thank you