I don't know if the kids' Christmas presents will get here or not--the charity was supposed to have wrapped up everything by the 15th and was supposed to have gotten back to people by now. That's the least of our concerns. We have to make choices with the money and can't pay all bills--necessities. And yet I'm wondering if we should spend some on Christmas presents--for them, not for us or anyone else. We need the wheelchair van, we need insurance and utilities. I don't like decisions like this. We have been given money--we *had* to spend it on necessities or I don't know what we would have done. No internet or phone means no job search (and there was an additional phone interview today, job email to answer throughout the day). I don't like this at all. My sister and her friends are sending a Target gift card--I'm hoping that comes through soon, though I've myself made one promise to one person I just have not been able to keep, not for lack of wanting to.
I hope I never forget this, what it's like for poor people. There's a difference in empathizing and really knowing that experience. I don't have the extended experience others have, of course. I don't like the myths that say that children do worse in poverty--maybe they have fewer experiences and chances, but I also think there can be a lot of family closeness that runs deep. I guess as a college student I saw so many studies about what goes wrong for people in poverty that we probably all lived in dread of living in poverty (oblivious of the fact that many of us were living in poverty then, those of us paying our own way and young newlyweds). But what about what goes wrong when there's wealth?
It's more complicated than that, I know--crime, drugs, lack of opportunities, certainly lack of housing and basic needs--these aren't minor issues. I just feel that as a society we've lost sight of the virtue in not having. I think we're in fear, phobia, and prejudice about being poor.
The thing is, I don't think anyone would believe us that we're poor--not many, anyway. Not just in poverty, but in crisis. People want to think that things are better than they are. One friend said she is surprised that I seem okay and to be "together"--I don't know. I do have the certainty that we'll be fine in the long term, that we have a support system that will catch us.
I am sure the charity will come through. But tenuousness. All is tenuous. I used to finish the shopping before Halloween!