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Filling The Pantry (profanity)

It's tough being "middle class". By definition, folks like us are stuck "in the middle", neither rich nor poor.
For the rich, the benefits are obvious. Power, comfort, safety, opportunity... the list is long.
For the poor, you own the moral "high-ground". The poor are "victims" and are given societal benefits and "resources" (i.e. Money).

The middle class, often referred to as the "working class", our great power is that we, well... we work. We are used by the rich, and support the poor.
We buy silly crap with our left-over money. Admit it. You do. But we also pay our bills. Pay the rent / mortgage. The power, water, the phone bill.
We also feed ourselves. With food that we buy. Our sweat feeds our families. Not literally, of course. That would be gross.

The rich eat-out. Or they have folks buy and prepare food for them. (If you use "Blue Apron" or such nonsense, stop pretending to be middle class. You're rich.)
The poor are given food stamps (EBT) and their kids get free meals from their school. Good on you. Work that system. Make sure you have enough cash left to buy a case of Bud and a carton of Camels.

Not sure if you're middle class? Have you ever got the "loaf" of bread (two heels), and (mostly empty) jars of peanut butter and jelly and try to make a sandwich? Payday is tomorrow, and there's no money left in your account. You're not an idiot, so you don't do a payday loan for $7 in groceries. You make it work.
You find a rubber spatula, and you SCRAPE those jars. You get every last bit of PB and J out of the jars and onto those two semi-stale heels of bread. The dog is as hungry as you are, so you throw the jars to Fido to claim what you couldn't scrape out. That "sandwich" goes into a brown paper bag with an over-ripe banana, a stale granola bar and a bottle of Wal-Mart water. You will eat that for lunch, while others buy a Chipotle burrito and get e-coli. You enjoy the taste of Victory. They crap their pants.

Payday was yesterday, and I looked forward to grocery shopping. We went to Costco and Winco. Filled-up a grocery cart at each. We buy tha fancy shit like Top Ramen, Rice A Roni and Spam. Oh, and the Totinos pizzas for my nephew, $1.17 a piece. Splurged on a tube of chorzo and a pint of fancy beer. No Organic or Gluten Free anything. The plantains may have been organic. The tortilla chips were definitely not.

The pantry is now full. So is our refrigerator, our freezer, and our other refrigerator and freezer. We have a lot of food. We don't have an Audi, vacation home or any disposable income. We work to live, not to be indebted to a bank, paying off some crap that we don't need.

In the end, it really isn't a class thing. It's about pride. I own that food. Me. My wife. The kids (when they do their chores). My half-assed lazy nephew. We eat.
We eat because we work. We earned our food.
And I will feed anyone who shows up on our doorstep. As long as they cook our chorizo and eggs.

Comments

In the UK the middle class and the working class are different. It somewhat has to do with money but its more about how you carry yourself, and to a degree how you look and how you "are" - a classification. You can be working class and and a billionaire. You can be upper class or upper middle and in a state of penury, though the chances are fair to middling that you will have a safety net of some kind.
 
Reminds me of the over weight guy who says he knows he is out of shape but is happy. He is soft and 40 pounds heavier than he should be. He looks at the guy who works out everyday and says it's genetics or says he's not willing to put in the time to get in shape so will settle for what he has. He misses out on a lot of good things in life but says it was just meant to be.

bdcharles hit the nail on the head with his comparison. The poor will always be poor because of their attitude. When a well off individual gets knocked on their ass it is will only be a matter of time before they are back up.


Making money, getting in shape, learning how to write are all things to be mastered. I work at getting rich, I work at getting in shape and I work to learn to write. I don't plan on settling or be complacent. You can never earn enough, never be in good enough shape and never ever master the skill of writing, they are all steep mountains all challenges that I am thankful to have.
 
I've been known to re-use aluminum foil and use a spatula to scrape all the mayo out of the jar. No use in being wasteful, no matter how much money you make. Am I middle class? My family has a lot of college grads, including lawyers, asst. D.A.'s, shopkeepers, business owners and managers. Is that upper middle? I try not to think in terms of class, but it must be a carry-over from the European feudal system. I do think this country places too much emphasis on money and possessions to the point of obsession.
 
midnightpoet;bt10669 said:
I do think this country places too much emphasis on money and possessions to the point of obsession.
That's not an Americanism midnightpoet, that's life.
 
Winston's OP reminded me of something a sociology lecturer said to a class many years ago. You work and you slave all your life. With any luck you live long enough to pay of you mortgage and all and still you save. Then retirement comes and still, sometimes just keeping your head above water, you make do and you save. But you're doing okay, you don't need any help. Keep paying your taxes buddy.
Then there are those who don't, never did, give a damn. Spent it when they had it and lived the dream. When they reach retirement age they're probably in the benefit system anyway but if they're not it's cool, whatever you need you can have. It's on the house. Mr. middle class tax-payers house. And that grates it really does.
 
I think Plastic is wrong about well off individuals bouncing back. The face of the homeless is changing. More and more are college educated folks, dressed for white collar jobs. Will they get out of homelessness? I don't know. That remains to be seen.

Too many are one paycheck away from disaster. And not because of splurging on frivolous things.
 
Jack of all trades;bt10672 said:
I think Plastic is wrong about well off individuals bouncing back. The face of the homeless is changing. More and more are college educated folks, dressed for white collar jobs. Will they get out of homelessness? I don't know. That remains to be seen.

Too many are one paycheck away from disaster. And not because of splurging on frivolous things.


I have made a million, lost a million. It is always easier to make it the second time. The skills needed to make money are no different than any other skill set. I have no idea why there is such a stigma to success. If you read any author you truly love, you will find works that are garbage and fall flat and those that ring home and you love. Anyone worth their salt is going to fail some of the time, it is the price of success. The true losers in life are those that give in to apathy and settle for just good enough.

My narrow minded take on things for what it is worth.
 
The trouble is that some people can't see beyond the here and now and they blow it.

And that's life I'm afraid.

PW,
I DO take your point about people settling for " just good enough ".
I've worked all my life, never been out of work, I paid my way, made my contributions into the system and never ever took anything from anybody. Could afford to, and DID get totally pie-eyed on a Saturday night.
Just good enough.
And on that basis I claim a win albeit a hollow one.
Not a total loser.
 
b.d.- class in America 98% of the time refers to how much dollars one earns or has. While it's true that there are cultures of poverty often referred to as trash or ghetto...and of ultra-wealthy inheritors, the relative ease with which one's personal fortunes may rise or fall obliterate any general sense ( notion) of American aristocracy. Perhaps our oligarchy notice but we (the 98%, regardless of income level) barely note or don't even note someone like a Vanderbilt, or a Getty. I , for instance, did some work for a Rothechild. I was not impressed. Yes, he had oil money, played tennis everyday, but big deal: his knees were blown and he wore a bad toupe. I have friends who live a similar lifestyle 1st generation money they made themselves. I am impressed at their know-how, but that's it. Same with anyone, and conversely those who inherit are generally looked down upon. And that inheritance is all we see ( unless they have some other noteable personal quality) I would say that we would say to a royal: "(uhm)... That's great," ( politely), but would then look for some other way to judge them besides their genealogy, which is not of their own doing, so..?
And judge them we do; each and every individual. Mannerisms and grabbing the left knife into the right hand after cutting can easily be learned :)
 
Kev, I worked for the rich as well (Seattle / Bellevue WA). I've seen the New Money folks and the Old Money people.

New Money doesn't care. They waste resources, and stress about the money coming in. Thy are awash in consumerism, drowning in stuff. They try to do too much, and be too much They wear their wealth the way a junior officer wears their rank. Their homes are thick with stress.
Old Money shows respect. Like PW noted, they are not afraid of losing money, because they know that from rock-bottom, they can crawl back up. Old Money appreciates working people. They show appreciation for all their blessings. They just seem to enjoy living more.

The big difference in resource management is this: New Money is fixated on New Things. The latest trends and fads. So they have to buy stuff, all the time. They are your worst nightmare for "destroying the planet". They feel guilty being such consumeristc gluttons, so they buy more stuff. Supposedly "Earth friendly" junk.
Old Money knows and appreciates timeless quality. Their homes and cars are older. But their floors are 100 year old mahogany. They have good art. They are articulate, educated and not condescending. They focus on long-term, generational growth.

Of the two, Old Money is much more likely to take the time to scrape the last bit of peanut butter out of the jar. New Money will stop by the food truck, spend $15 on a PB&J, and tell themselves that they are "hip".

Regardless, neither group usually had a stocked pantry. If you've never known hunger, it's not a priority.
 

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