Tuesday, July 17, 2007

What's Rich?

Sunday evening after watching Miss Marple solve another crime, I was treated to an unexpected pleasure. In the 30 minutes left until 10 pm, there was a program called The Queen Family. According to the link they are traditional music icons. I'm not overly fond of current country music. I don't hate it. It's just, for the most part, not something I look for. But traditional...bluegrass, blues, acoustic..oh yeah. The older the better. And this little program had some amazing music. And really interesting people.

But something I heard (and have heard many times before) has been working in my brain. One of the women said something like 'We were poor. But everyone we knew were poor so we didn't know it.'

Growing up as I did in a small Ohio village to start with and then in a small predominately farming town in Oklahoma, I certainly wasn't rich. The earlier years may have been financially easier..I'm not sure. My daddy worked, my mom stayed home. But he was often ill for long periods of time and then died when I was going into 5th grade. After that Mama went back to work and we got on with life.

I always had good food and was pretty spoiled I think. However, the must-haves of my teen age years didn't cost much. Very few of my peers had their own vehicles..and then they were older cars that they had worked on. There were a few rich kids...they lived in 'ranch style' houses! *G*

Each school year I chose fabric and patterns for 3 outfits which my mom made. Hopefully, I hadn't totally outgrown the clothes from the year before..but that didn't often happen. I got one new pants outfit. I was hard to fit even then so these tended to end up being Christmas gifts and I'd better take care of them cause there wasn't going to be another one until the following year.

My friends and I traded clothes. And my friends were of all financial ranges so sometimes you got to wear really cool stuff!

We did all the usual stuff..played until dark thirty when we were young, and chased boys and girls as we got older. Our outside influences were American Bandstand *G*, or maybe movies.

I never really dreamed of being rich...and didn't realize until I was much older what a struggle my mom had in holding us together.

But here's the point of this wandering soliloquy. I hear about welfare moms repeating the process because that is what they know. And I believe that to be true.

I wonder though if having so much information available today on how the 'other half' lives is a good thing. Is it a good thing that young people can know that you can make a better (if dangerous)living as a drug dealer as you can a teacher? And, if it's imperative that you have an iPod and an Xbox and the right shoes (that cost a LOT) and you're not wealthy..what are you going to do? Save up? By the time that happens the cool thing has come out with a new model that costs more. Is it so important that you mug someone for their shoes or their gold teeth? Who made it that important? Advertising agencies? Ourselves?

Haha! This post really wasn't going to be about money. It had a whole other focus but my brain obviously went off on a tangent. And now it's time to get my butt in gear and get ready for work. I'll make a note of the tangent and post about it later.


~FParis said...

You write so well, it doesn't read like a *tangent* therefore ... keep writing (((((friend))))) ... your thoughts are quite clear and easy to agree with; the media tends to say *too much* most all the time. Last night they spoke of how vulnerable we might be to terrorists! How stupid is that?!?!

Sorry ... your post reminded me of last nights news ... I'll again try not to ramble

Sheri said...

I agree with you. Sometimes "simple" is so much better! Life was so much simpler back then, huh?
Sheri in GA (who is still admiring my school supplies)

Susan said...

Paris, I'm quite sure any potential terrorists already know more vulnerable spots than you or I could ever think of. Now, I'll watch you wander down your tangent path ;-)

Sheri, maybe this makes us old. LOL A co-worker was talking about her 5th grade grandson playing 5th grade football. First it costs $45 just to play and that doesn't account for uniform, pads, helmet etc. He's lucky. All his g'parents are pitching in. I guess that's why we mostly played baseball and b-ball. Not nearly as expensive, although not very organized and there weren't trophies.

Ann said...

My oh my...a very deep and thought provoking post!