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 population...as 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.**