"Choosing trust over doubt gets me burned once in a while, but I'd rather be singed than hardened." -Victoria Monfort

Thursday, April 09, 2009

Lunch Lady...

I heard in the news something about how the poor kids get cold cheese sandwiches for lunch and a fruit and milk. While the other kids who buy or pack get whatever they want. Or something to that effect. It singles the kids out, and they feel bad about being poor.

Oh. Cus, that's something new. There weren't poor kids before now, who ever felt different. Now, I never really thought I was poor, but when my mom and dad got divorced, we moved into a trailer, in a snobby community where I had no friends, and was always embaressed to say I lived in the "trailer park". We had a nice place, but my mom worked at Acme, and we never went without, we just usually went generic.

You know, like instead of a Pound Puppy, I had a Lonley Puppy. Instead of a Cabbage Patch Kid, I had a Pumpkin Patch Kid. (This happens to be the exact one I had...Penny!) Instead of Cavaricci's I had some other generic brand with a similarly placed white tag on the crotch. You get the idea. But I had new clothes every school year, and shoes on my feet, and we ate, and had cable (in high school).

But I remember we got reduced school lunches. Each week your home room teacher would call you to the front of the class to get your tickets. Everyone got a blue ticket, mine was bright pink. Everyone knew, that I got reduced lunches, or I was POOOOOOOR. But I really wasn't traumatized over it. I don't understand the world today filled with such sissified children. (Or rather, their parents teaching them to be sissies!)

I also remember getting free food for Thanksgiving from the church and telling my mom it was fun to be poor. And when we got food stamps, it was way awesome, cus we were allowed to buy name brand things, and like, cereal. We would get bags of clothes from her friends' kids, and that was always like Christmas!

I like how I grew up. It taught me to be frugal. I don't take what I do have for granted. And, nevermind that maybe I have several almost empty bottles of soap and shampoo, cus I might need to use all those little bits when I run out of the real thing. Or, how when my razors need changed, I still save the last couple I changed in case I can't buy new ones, then I have some not so new not so old ones to use! And that I save all the little last bits of my Yankee candles in a giant plastic bag, becaue SOME day I'm going to melt them together and make candles. I'm always thinking about how I might not have have something.


Mike said...

I never knew there were pumpkin patch kids. My mother worked at the place that made Cabbage Patch Kids, so she got a discount.

I was happy when I finally got a free lunch ticket instead of reduced. We had a nice, big house when I was a kid, but that's all we had. My parents did all they could to keep us in one house our whole childhood.

Ms. Megan said...

I agree with you... I think it teaches kids not to be entitled if they aren't coddled b/c their family doesn't have money... these kids grow up to think the government should do everything for them... Before my parents got divorced we were Poor or maybe I like generic better... I was never embarrassed and it made me appreciate everything I had and made me want to work hard as an adult.

Momma said...

My parents cleaned motels at one time and they brought the used soap home, melted it and used it for laundry. I always remember a jar of water with small bars of soap sitting in a cloudy mist. Now that's poor !!

brookem said...

i think it's really true when they say that our upbringing shapes who we are as adults. seems like your need to be frugal as a kid has made you more aware of not taking things for granted into adulthood. and that my dear, is never a bad thing.

Erin said...

My school does well with children and reduced lunches... the kids get exactly the same thing, and there are no tickets or anything. They get a number in the beginning of the year that links them to a lunch account the same as the full paying kids. Now the kids just give out their number and no one is the wiser! They can even buy the "cool" stuff like ice cream for dessert the same as the full paying kids - it's cool.

I'm with you, I liked growing up without full access to money - it taught me to appreciate what I have and to be very frugal with what I buy and spend. Hence why I look forward to triple coupon weekend at my grocery store like it is Christmas :-)