I like being poor and the freedom it gives me to lead a life on the margins

“My immigrant grandparents were poor, and proud of it. They told great stories of the Depression, making potatoes for unemployed men walking by the house in the middle of the day and being happy to do it. Stories of victory gardens and neighbors helping neighbors. Jell-O salad, once thought of as ingenuity in stretching the budget is now a staple at family picnics where my siblings each own two cars per family. My simple gifts of organic veggies, which would go for top dollar at health food stores, are frowned upon merely because they identify me in my poverty-ridden state. I can’t even afford the bananas to float in the gelatin. I remain the elite of the poor, living on the poverty line but raising children who see a socially conscious, active parent.”

Posted August 17, 2001

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