Here In The Real World

Politicians. Journalists. Aren’t they cute?
Somebody on MSN had the right idea today when they did a story on people taking kids out of daycare because they can’t pay the bills. Right on. Who comes up with the rest of this stuff? As in: "People right now are concerned about how to put their kids through college. People are worried about saving enough money for retirement." And my personal favorite: "People aren’t buying SUVs anymore because they’re not environmentally friendly."
O, ye of major delusions. Here are my thoughts:
  • My kids are on their own for college. Their asses better have scholarships, and they’re going to have to suck it up and take out student loans, and get jobs, and live in hellholes, and eat ketchup and spam.
  • Retirement? Retirement? Retirement?
  • Really? Retirement?
  • I’m not buying an SUV because I can’t afford one. Period. I can’t afford to make repairs to my already-paid-for little bitty car. I can’t afford to put cheap gas in it. I’m going to drive it until it blows up. And in that event, I’ll either be riding my bike or driving my husband to work. I have a feeling we’re not the only Americans in this situation; giving $50 billion dollars to the automobile industry is not going to bring back all the broke-ass customers they lost in the first place.
  • It makes absolutely no financial sense right now for me to go to work, only to fork over twice my paycheck on daycare.
  • I’ve never been concerned with getting my nails done or my hair professionally cut or anything like that. And I’ll take that a step further: when you’ve got only so much to spend at the grocery store, and it comes down to spending $6 on Cheerios and bananas for your kids’ breakfast or $6 on razors, guess what? You have hairy legs for a couple more weeks.
  • Who the hell buys a five-hundred dollar purse? Ever? (Even when the economy wasn’t in the shitter?) The priciest purse I’ve ever owned was $30.00 at Steinmart, and that was a gift from my mother. Now, I look longingly at the $14.74 Walmart variety. And then I walk away. I don’t even bother going to the mall anymore. I imagine a lot of people doing the same thing, thus helping to make everything worse, but what are we supposed to do?
  • The dog we just adopted? Well, yes, that was our bad. Keeping this new dog wasn’t the smartest thing we’ve ever done. We can’t really do the vet thing when we’re still working on paying off Merrick’s little trip to the hospital. Most people are getting rid of their pets–which, coincidentally, is exactly where I think our new dog came from. I can’t imagine having to do this, but I won’t say we’ll never be in that position.

When Cheyenne was a baby, I sold my own plasma for grocery money, pawned jewelry to pay rent, and paid for her Christmas pictures in rolls of pennies. I don’t want to go back to those days, but I’m proud at how thrifty I’ve become. I’m amazed at what I can get for my money, even though food costs have just about doubled in the last 2 years. Lentil soup is cheap to make and it lasts forever. Chicken legs costs a small fraction of what skinless, boneless chicken breasts cost; and it’s still chicken and it’s still healthy. Frozen ground turkey instead of fresh ground beef, $1.50 per pound vs. $3.00, and that makes a huge difference when you tend to buy a lot. Spinach leaves vs. baby spinach leaves. Brown rice in bulk. Spagetti. Chili. Generic brand everything. And if we’ve got to give up our cheap, watery beer so that the girls can have fresh fruit, so be it. Sigh.

I’m not bringing all this up to complain. Making these small sacrifices makes me feel like a responsible adult, but I am by no means deprived. Tough times can’t last forever, and even if they do last for a while, I’ve got my husband and we’ve got our kids, and we’ll do what we have to do, and go where we have to go. No biggie.

I just wish the decision makers in Washington would get a clue.

About Toni

Mom. Wife. Artist. I take care of the kids and pretend to clean sometimes. I can cook spagetti and I have never been arrested. View all posts by Toni

5 responses to “Here In The Real World

  • miranda

    It was cry happy for me. I know he wont fix everything, and he’ll make some mistake along the way, but I’m a believer (I’m from the Bay Area, so that really should be ‘nuf said… ;P ). Also, I was born into an interracial marriage that had racists on both sides who wanted nothing to do with this little "brown baby" so, personally, it was quite an amazing day. I love that I’m going to be having an interracial daughter and I just feel hopeful that things will be a little better for her. And, yes. Her initials. H.O.T. We didn’t plan it that way, but when we realized what they were we didn’t change it, either. :)Also, on the money stuff. I HEAR YOU. Triforce and I just find that we have impeccable timing with this whole starting a family during the greatest economic downturn since the depression. Yay. Life is tough here in the Bay Area. It was already expensive to live in this area, but now? Now I just don’t know what we’re going to do, what we’ll have to choose and sacrifice for this family of ours.

  • Georgia

    Can I get an AMEN?!  You just took the words right out of my mouth.  You’re so darn sensible, I can’t stand it!!  Why it’s so difficult for others to grasp this simple concept is beyond me.  I am surrounded by people who’s biggest concern is being able to keep up with the Jones’.  I swear, if I hear one more person complain that they’re about to lose everything and claim bankrupcy, I’ll spit.  Sure I’m empathetic and all, but damn, not so much when you’re running around in fancy cars, new clothes, new BOOBS, and a basement that’s furnished nicer than my house including pool tables and big screens, I got no pity for your ass ~ not to mention when it’s above said complainers to get a job considering their kiddos are all in school for 8 hours a day…???  Lord have mercy, is it too early for a drink? 
    sorry for blogging on your blog.  I love reading your stuff.  And your kiddos are so freakin’ cute!!  Love all the pics!
    Be great,

  • l

    I’ll double that Amen!  I swear everytime I have to drive up to Chicago for business I am in awe of my co-workers who carry the $500 purses, I know they are making the same money as I am.  I just don’t get it and honestly if more Americans had thought like you and I do we probably wouldn’t be in this mortgage mess right now!You Toni are a real American woman whom children grow up to admire, love and strive to be like. 

  • Tiffany

    Girl… you are SO speaking my language!  I get pissed everytime I go to the store!  So, I’ve started shopping at Aldi’s… You need to check them out!  I have no shame in paying $0.33/can of veggies versus $0.50 for a can of Great Value at Wal-Mart.  I still have to go to Wal-Mart for certain things, but not many!  I can literally load a HUGE shopping cart (counting the bottom) for $200.00… I would probably pay almost double at Wal-Mart!
    Anyway… and the $500.00 purses… totally ridiculous!  Especially when you could buy a knock-off designer bag for around $65.00 from me!  hehehe
    Hugs – LOVE the new pics!

  • Joell

    HELLO!  Girl.  You couldn’t be more right.  Amen from me.

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