Friday, November 26, 2010

I'm Thankful Thanksgiving is Over

I still have a turkey in my freezer.

There's a good side to being poor. People do eventually give you things. I kind of wish it was a 10pk of underwear and some socks without holes, but a turkey will do.
I'm sure we'll eat it later this week. Everyone else got to fill up on turkey... I got to chase my children around a beautiful, expensive house that was filled with breakables. Not to mention explain to toddlers that the cranberry sauce was not bloody poison.
I love my aunt. She's beautiful, graceful, and is doing all the awesome, rich people shit that I would have done had I not decided to use my body as a blonde-breeding program and become painfully poor.
But eating at her house for Thanksgiving with my two tornadoes was absolute hell.

Even in her backyard, where we banished ourselves for most of the time, was filled with fancy backyard ornaments, pottery and glass, all precariously balanced on more pottery and glass. There were tablecloths and exquisite centerpieces, and large dogs that were penned up half the time, and the other half of the time, really unsure about all of these people in their territory.. especially these little shrieking people who were uber-ly thrilled to see dogs for the first time since we moved to an apartment from our 3 bedroom house that was filled to the brim with dogs.
But this post isn't about how hellish my Thanksgiving was... or how self satisfied I was that there wasn't enough turkey to go around and someone forgot the gravy. (Or that my stuffing was the Belle of the Ball) Nevermind that my poor white-trash ass would have had enough for everyone, and lovely fattening gravy covering everything in sight, including the dogs.

It's about being thankful. Snarky... but thankful.
I complain a lot. I really do mean a lot. I'm hoping that my wry sarcastic wit comes through, and you don't all just see me as a rabid complainer... this is how I vent. I make dry, sarcastic remarks about everything, and presto... I feel better.
I'm like an EMT, you know all they do is joke all day about dead bodies and people shitting themselves, just to have strength to make it through all the gore they get to witness... no one busts their balls for wanting coffee I.V.s, they're saving lives. But I digress.
I have a great life. I'm poor as a church mouse, my kids are the devil incarnate, my husband doesn't understand why I need to be on the computer ever single moment of naptime, I don't have a car, I'm cutting my electricity bill short to get my kids Christmas presents... but I am grateful! Really, really grateful for my life.

For those of you who don't know, I used to be homeless. I'm not talking spending a few weeks on a friend's couch while I'm in between apartments... I'm talking homeless.
Sleeping behind a bush, panhandling for change, building desert forts out of boxsprings and abandoned plywood... homeless. The people you see at the turnpikes, who haven't taken a shower in months, who drink beer out of paper bags with the shaggy beards... that kind of homeless. (All except for the shaggy beard... and the beer, I hate beer.) For 5 years.
I met my husband while we were homeless. We got a van (thanks dad) then we got a hotel, then we got an apartment, then we got a house. (then we downgraded back to an apartment, but that's a different part of the story) We both worked menial jobs, that I wish to God we could still have, and we worked our way past adversity to where we are now.... or where we were a couple years before the economy fell to hell.
Being homeless is an easy life to stay in. All you have to worry about is your day to day living.
Getting out of being homeless, especially as you feel yourself growing older, and knowing you don't want to end your life as one of those burnt out old bag ladies who can't even whore anymore on even the seedy streets...that's the rough thing.
But there we were, we made it up there, a middle class working family. And as soon as the jobs come back, we can do it again. Our past experience has shown us that. Maybe that's why we're going through this right now.
We thought we were so poor, we both had jobs and could afford a Playstation 3 for Christmas the year Tyler was born... now we're forgoing Christmas for us grownups and taking money from other bills to make sure our kids don't suffer this year.
But look how far we've come! There wouldn't be any kids or Christmas if we were still living in a van... or sleeping under a bush at our camp behind Palm Desert Target. So I am grateful! Every freakin' day. We have food to eat, we are never hungry, my kids own shoes, I even have a damn cigarette in my mouth, and a factory rolled one too. All these things are cause to celebrate!
We live in the greatest country in the world, where the only people who go to bed hungry are people who are too dumb or lazy to go out and get what is offered, or people who live in such a remote area that services are few and far between. (Or the kids of those people... don't nitpick.)
People in other parts of the world are starving to death. They don't know if militia men are going to break down their door at night and kill them in their beds. They don't know how many babies that they bear are going to live to their first birthday!

And I worry about if my kids are going to suffer because we can't afford the same great toys that the spoiled brats down the block can get. I complain because the computer I got for free takes too long to load because it's a damn Millenium Edition. My husband complains because the free turkey we got on Wednesday, he had to walk four miles for.
As the awesome Mr. Lady will sometimes say.. #firstworldproblems.

We are blessed, people. We are blessed. And we have a lot to be thankful for. Maybe if we just remember that for a moment...


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