Monday, September 28, 2015

Nouveau Pauvre

I am almost positive everyone who reads my blog has heard of Nouveau Riche...I am coining a new one today {see title}!
Have you ever read a book or a magazine in which people who are considered to be nouveau riche are criticized?  They are always the butt of jokes for a certain set of the population.  They can be the butt of jokes for people with old money, for intellectual snobs, or even for poor people, as in "they got a little bit of money and now they think they are somethin!"
We all know some people who came upon money, but {might} not really have any class...etc.
I really don't care either way to be perfectly honest.  If you have money...spend it and be however you want to be!  
I am finding myself in a new set of the in I think it is just arising.  I am going to call us the nouveau pauvre.
Here is how it works for us.  
1.  Our parents had decent jobs, but they both had to work and be frugal etc.
2.  We went to college and got good jobs.
3.  When we were growing up we got a lot of what we wanted (not go carts and four wheelers and shit, but a hand me down members only from time to time).
4.  I personally got to travel all over the world as a young person.
5. We had braces and a car when we turned 16.

Now we work all the time and here are our circumstances:
1.  We run out of money every month.
2.  We only cook meat once per week.  My reason is that I think meat sucks, but if I wanted to cook it more I could not b/c it is very expensive.
3.  When a big expense comes we have no money to pay it, so we need shit like loads of dirt for the driveway or a new roof and we have no money.
4.  traveling anywhere is basically a pipe dream, except to my parent's beach house b/c i get to go there free.
5.  We have credit card debt.
6.  We have a car payment.
7.  The other car is 15 years old...which we love it, don't get me wrong!!

You might be thinking, this makes no sense...Susan must be spending money somewhere that she does not realize what she is doing....
Oh no!  If one inspects my bank statement each month my money is spent at the grocery store and buying gas and insurance and funding a dance lesson (just one).  There is never an "other" expense category.  There  is no willy nilly spending.
So,, I have stopped thinking of myself as belonging to the middle class.
I now fully embrace that I am part of the new group--the nouveau pauvre.
We did all the sh*! we thought we were supposed to do...not necessarily with an end in sight all the time, maybe we were on automatic pilot for a lot of it, maintaining...
but here we are, and we are barely bailing water.
I have to ask my Mama and Daddy for money, and after a while that gets embarrassing.
Have you ever read Upton Sinclair's book, The Jungle?
That is what I feel like when it is raining in my house.
If you have not read that book, do.  It's a good one for knowing about US History.

The difference in us and the people who have always been poor--I can only assume b/c I have never been poor, but it might have something to do with expectations?? maybe?  
I live in one of the cheapest places to live in the country --poor ass eastern NC, I have a Master's degree and a good job, and my husband does too.  So, no, I never expected to be this strapped for cash every year, every month, and every day.
I am, however, growing used to it.  Thank God Yoga With Adri3n3, b/c it is free and I can try to at least breathe and find peace in my new {and seemingly permanent} station.

Saturday, September 12, 2015

With friends like these....(a Wishington Post)

**It has been a long time, but I am continuing with the Wishington posts--remember these are fictional stories about a girl named Susanne (or was it Susannah?) who has moved to her home town of Wishington with her husband Randy.**

Susanne and Randy quickly began reconnecting and connecting socially.  Susanne decided that trying to keep the old flame of friendship with her "bestie" and rekindle anything was whistling in the gale, so she let that one flicker.  Next on the horizon Susanne and Randy saw lots of chances to hang out with new people.  It seemed to them that the social scene in Wishington was really hopping.  Also, being quite shy, they did not have to connect with total strangers, most of the people were somewhat known to them already.
Susanne met some new friends who were new in town too, just in her momming etc. she met people.   Soon Susanne and Randy were hanging out in a circle of other couples with young children.  They would get together on Friday or Saturday nights and let all the kids play etc., they would have a meal, a couple drinks and then go home.  It was fun!  Susanne made one friend in particular who was a lot of fun.  She was from a bigger town far(ish) away.  They were fellow moms.  It was nice.  At least on a weekly basis Susanne and Kate would get together.  They would let the girls play, have a glass of wine, and chat.  Several times they were out socially together too.  At the time it never really struck Susanne as wierd that Kate never really came around during big social outings, they would dish afterward.  There were girls nights out with large groups and small groups.  There were birthday parties for kids and grown ups.  Susanne told Kate everything.  She shared opinions, history etc.  They were quick friends.  Kate was able to have really fun conversations about life, interests, happenings.  There were some very real differences.  Kate was a boarding school girl.  She did not ever share quite as much as Susanne, she was mostly all ears.  Susanne also noticed that Kate really seemed to have a spoon in every pot.  She had friends wherever she went--and seemingly really good ones too.  There could have been warning flags, if the naive Susanne would have paid any attention.  BUT she was really enjoying herself so she did not.  Then a strange thing began to happen.  Susanne  noticed that Kate was actually a {liar}.  One weekend Susanne was headed to her family's beach cottage.  She asked Kate what she was going to be up to and Kate told her, "oh, we are staying around town, nothing much."  Then when she got to the beach, an aquaintance told Susanne that she had just seen Kate up the road at the shops!  Hmmm..thought Susanne, why in the world would she lie to me about that?  What a strange thing to lie about...Other lies popped up too..
After not very long Susanne was ousted from her group of {friends} all together.  It was sad and frustrating for Susanne to so quickly from "a" list, to not even on a list...Susanne had no idea what she even did!  When the girls were planning things, if they happened to see Susanne they would quickly try to hide or disquise what they were doing...On the boat, if they were all together at a gathering to which Susanne and Randy would have previously been invited...the looked embarrassed, as if they had been caught (Kate in particular).  Susanne pondered it for many months and then she decided,... ef it!  Who really cares.  If that is a group of {friends}...who needs it?
So, there she was in Wishington with a social life that included hanging out with her parents on Sunday afternoons.  OR, she and Randy might hang out with his parents sometimes too.  That was, actually fun.  She did realize that hanging out with her parents was a big reason to move back to her town, which became a consolation.  Susanne also realized that most of those people were not really that intersting to her.  They cared about very few things which were basically limited to, their children, their clothes, their children's clothes, Namebrands, leisure time, talking about themselves, finding babysitters, vacations without children, big houses....If Susanne reviewed that list she could not name any of those that really interested her in the least.  So, maybe it was Susanne's choices of attempts at conversation that had been off-putting.  Maybe?  Going through this experience was what made Susanne realize that even in one's thirties, one can still get their feelings hurt, and learn very big lessons!  
** Maybe another Wishington post will come sooner this time.  This one has been writing itself in my mind for a while.**

Wednesday, July 22, 2015

Part two (Dante's Infterno)

There we were cruising along, dando un paseo en this strange place --along with about everyone else I could ever imgaine not wanting to EVER EVER see. There were planked walkways--so maybe one might feel like one were walking along actual piers?? There were jet boat rides in the "lake". BTW at Broadway on the Beach "lake" equals strangely blue water FULL of voracious cat fish waiting to be fed food by spectators who just bought some food out of a machine nearby. The fish climb atop one another clamoring to get some of the pellets. This was slightly amusing to me. Slightly. The place goes in a circle, at the end of which, our destination lay in wait--the giant putt putt course. I realized how expensive this place was so I gave the girls a head's up. If putt putt is too expensive (I could just picture the 20 dollar price on the board already), we will have to go back to the cottage and play games. I cannot spend forty dollars to play putt putt, when we have to buy gas to get home. We kept walking...going into shops became then thing to do b/c there was a blast of air conditioning that awaited the customer who ventured in. I did wonder, however, how did all those businesses afford to cool their shops with the doors wide open? How does an air conditioning unit overcome that kind of stress? 100 degrees outside, cooled to 72 inside with open doors... (WTF?) If you have not already caught one, care for the environment is not {exactly} what one should focus on when visiting this particular {place}. We finally got to putt putt--thirty minutes early. We bought a 1.50 bottle of water (does anyone else remember the free cup of water one could get from a spigot?). We sat peacefully on a bench and waited. I would say we people watched, but I no longer like to people watch in these situations b/c I wished I were not with those people in that place.  I don't want to look at all of them and watch them sweat as they wait, apparently miserably, for their overpriced giant steaks, as they argue with their bratty kids about buying over-priced plastic shit from china, as they buy five dollar pretzel rods, as they feed the freaky fish, as they take pictures of aquarium fish, as they buy soda and water after soda and water to quench their neverending thirst induced by walking on the hot ass asphalt and planks of wood.  There is not an 8 dollar beer in the world that could make me enjoy a place like  this..  
I think there was more written in part two.  It disappeared at some point.  Now I have to find a way to get back on my train of though b/c this post must be finished! :)  I have to get us out of this place.  We did escape.  
Elena and Yineth went to play putt putt with some wonderful dad who took a team of little girls to putt putt.  This putt putt was the fanciest one I have ever seen, complete with a fire breathing dragon who only appeared every thirty minutes, just to build up that anticipation.  There was an exploding volcano that was so hot it spread heat onto us twenty feet below it, that could be felt above and beyond the sweltering summer heat that already enveloped us (so it was very very hot).  While they played putt putt some other dance moms and I went to get a beer.  Just deciding where to try to get the beer was an event, as all of the restaurants had hoardes of people waiting outside them for some food--I won't go there again.  We ended up at the Margaritaville bar--it was called the sandbar or something catchy, we bussed a table for ourselves and after about ten minutes someone came over to sell me a five dollar and 25 cent Michelob Ultra--I have included a tip in that price--but still!  As we sat enjoying our beers we chatted and this is what I said, "This place is just wild to me, it is like Wal-Mart on steroids!"  When you put my proclamation into context, it could have been disastrous.  I was sitting among four other women.  They might have been women who just loved this place---eek!  There were a lot of women who loved this place too, the people were crowded shoulder to shoulder in every inch of walking space.  One could not walk without dodging people.  So, people do love this place, make no mistake about it.  One  of my co dance moms goes there "all the time"  They have a condo at M.B. so they go there for entertainment on the regular.  She said they never go around the whole thing, they just skip to the parts they like.  I liked none of the parts. ;).  
As we walked I was careful not to overshare my opinions b/c you never know, the 10 year old little girls might have been having the time of their lives.  I tried to keep it upbeat and positive--and keep breathing.  When the putt putt was finished we had to stay for some pictures and then we were released to exit via the same port we entered.  Thankfully we were very close to the lighthouse b/c we had gone full circle at Broadway at the Beach.  The girls, it turns out, were thrilled with this place.  They were thrilled with the visit to the aquarium, seeing the freaky fish, the upside down building, and most of all playing putt putt with the other girls and the dad hero.  I just did a little Aunt Mary style umm hmmm chuckled to myself and boogied to the car.  
I can not say I will never go to this place again b/c I will.  Elena will dance again next year and I will take her to play putt putt again with her dance friends.  I think we will do it like my dance mom friend and only go for that part.  In the mean time I will find other parts of Myrtle beach to explore.
While I walked around I really wondered to myself, for whom is this a true vacation destination. 
*People who could afford five dollar pretzel rods are not vacationing here--they are in the bahamas in a villa with a nanny for their children--swimming and boating in the real ocean with the sting rays etc--not in the aquarium.
**People who are like me at all--broke as hell and agoraphobic--don't enjoy this place b/c we immediately realize we don't have money to spend here and we can't stand that many people around us--ever.
* Are people saving up money all year long to go here and buy plastic aquarium fish and eat crappy food at chain restaurants?? ughh...I don't even want to think about that.
**here is a funny--at somepoint I might have to stay at that Hampton Inn b/c the dance competition happens right across the road at Myrtle beach high school LOL!  I can wake up and enjoy the view of a lighthouse, a volcano, an upside down house, and a dragon all at once!  I bet that crazy blue water looks like the carribbean from 10 stories up. ;)
**I felt bad about knocking the place in front of the other ladies, but then I thought--nah!  They are grown ups, they can handle an opposite opinion.  I have places I love and if someone knocks them, I don't care.
Okay, over and out!

Tuesday, July 21, 2015

Y las fotos...

Dante's Inferno

Does anyone remember reading The Inferno in about 10th grade?  Yeah, I hardly do either.  I just remember Dante described nine rings of hell in this renaisance work of literature (was it from the renaisance?).  Since reading The Inferno, I have referred back to it throughout my life whenever I am in situations that are horrible. Usually these situations are 1.  crowded, 2. urban, 3.  involve heavy commercialism, 4.  seem very contrived and unecessary.
Recently I had an experience that definitely fit my "rings of hell" description.  I said it right out loud--I always do when I experience my personal versions of hell.
We went to Myrtle Beach.  We were at the High School.  We were finished dancing and we had time to pass before we were going to play putt-putt with all of the dance girls.  We had three and a half hours to pass.
So we headed across the road to Broadway at the Beach.  We pulled into the parking lot on the end where there was a medium sized fake light house and a Hampton Inn.  We parked, close enough to the place and walked in through an archway.  This end of the place was labeled with some contrived moniker...I don't remember what it was called (thank God).  When we walked in I saw some large rides--like the kind at Busch Gardens, not the kind at the fair.  Then I saw some shops.  My 10 year old little girls are not shoppers, and without ANY money--nor am I.  We were thirsty, so we walked over to a sweet shop to see what they would have to drink. It was the blistering hot part of the day.  In the sweet shop the bile began to rise up in my throat when I saw 13.49 per lb. bulk candy.  Just to clue my daughter in about how ridiculous this was, I told her you can buy THE best pound of shrimp for that much at home.  Just to clue you in, in case you are not a seafood eater, a lb. of fried shrimp is enough for five people. :)  Also, there were treats like turtles, caramels, and chocolate dipped pretzel rods, which cost FIVE DOLLARS APIECE!  Okay anyone who takes two ten year old little girls into a sweet shop and does not let them get some candy is getting hell points.  We (no, I) decided that they could buy a quarter pound of candy and I bought each of them a three dollar lemonade.  I thought to myself, let my buy two of those pretzel rods so that I can poke my eyes out and pretend that I never saw a four dollar pretzel rod!! There was some man in there who was my dad's age who inquired about one of the treats and you could just see his face fall when the cashier told him the price...Old guys love sweet treats.  
Moving right along, I went into the next store to ask the clerk what in the hell type of place were we in here??  She  clued me in that this place was everything in one.  You've got your rides, your museums, your movie theaters, your shops, your giant chain restaurants....umm hmmm I thought.  So...what in the hell are we going to do for three hours??  My girls did not want to ride rides.  They are scared of rides.  We NEVER have money to shop, so going in stores is like torture.  We decided on the Ripley's aquarium.  That part was fine, no complaints--oh wait, yes, I do have one--no two!  There were so many damn people in that place that you could barely get up there to see the fish, also the clerk sold me two guidebooks for two dollars apiece.  She said she was "giving" them to me, but when I got home and looked at the receipt--they cost 2 bucks!! {dishonesty probably abounds in hell}.  We did manage to spend an hour and pico in the aquarium.  I love a good aquarium.  I mean watching a trapped giant octopus glide through a tank will calm even the most frazzled nerves.  I was even amused at all the people taking pictures of the animals..newsflash--that is what Google images is don't have to photograph the animals. :)  I mean are they experiencing some kind of emotional connection with that particular shark or something??  We were herded through the gift shop to leave the museum, as in that was the ONLY way out!  We had to look at all the overpriced, plastic stuff, made in China that was ocean-themed before we could leave--good try commercial demon spawn!! 
After this I was hungry.  The girls said they were not, but they eat like birds and it was almost supper time.  I went with the very early supper, bc nothing makes me furiouser than being forced to wait for shitty food at a chain restaurant along with a giant herd of drooling fellow humans.  We went to Carlos and Charlie's b/c it was the first restaurant we saw when we left the aquarium.  If you ever pass one of these restaurants--keep walking-- Please, I beg you!  This was the shittiest shitty big restaurant food I have ever paid for.  The fried shrimp (for the girls, I know better) looked like the ends of golf clubs.  Both girls looked at me like, "what the f*#$ is the this??"  They both tried to eat a couple.  Then there was the {guacamole}.  It was green slimey goo.  If you ever make you own, you will realize that guacamole is not supposed to be green slimey goo.  My soup cost 9 dollars.  It was this:  a can of cream of tomato soup, some canned corn, and some canned beans.  BAM!  there you have it folks, Tamale soup!  When we left this restaurant we saw about fifty more that all looked a lot better.  We also saw all of the people sitting around outside in the summer heat waiting to pay way to much money for some shitty food.. LOL!  They all looked ill and tired --there they sat, with the 1.50 bottles of water waiting for their vittles.  I was glad we were not doing that.  :)
This post is going to have to finish up with part two...I have to run an errand, and my IPAd might mess it up if I don't publish soon. :)

Wednesday, July 15, 2015

Eva's special shells

We went to the beach last Wednesday for a half week.  Eva, Victor, Dylan, and Matthew and I all went in my car on Weds. afternoon.  The rest of the people trickled in as they were able.  We finished up with Elena coming Saturday morning.  Wednesday afternoon we all went to the beach to swim and play.  The big boys were doing their thing --playing in the ocean in the waves.  With all the talk of sharks lately Eva was a bit reticent to venture off into the surf.  So we played in the edge and she found these {special} shells.  She found the first two little ones and then the biggger one was the place for the little ones to go--so they would be "safe".  When we finally decided to swim Eva had to place these  underneath the edge of the towel where I was sitting.  She was really worried that the shells would not be safe.  It is very interesting to me that children do this.  These were among the gazillions of shells on the beach.  But instantly they became hers and she had to protect them.  I remember doing this when I was little.  And don't we all get a bit annoyed finding shells everydamnwhere after a trip to the beach?  With my oldest two I have them convinced just not to pick them up.  But these...these are going to be protected.  They are going in my memory box.  What a tender moment!  What a tender heart!  These are going to be {protected} don't worry sweet girl. ;).

Tuesday, June 30, 2015

Cutie Pie things (II)

Look at this VERY cute bottle of vinegar!
Can you all see how very teeny it is??  Have you ever seen such a cute bottle of vinegar??
I have not, at least until this week, I had not.
We are about to make a yummy salad, and then the girls are going to play with it with their Julie dolls (translation:  American Girl dolls).