I’m not much of a cook in the kitchen. So my job to help out is shredding cheese. And occasionally slicing tomatoes. Today, I was about to grate our cheese block when I saw mold. Just one little spot. I made the mistake of saying something to Steve. Now to understand this blog post, you’ll have to know the major difference between Steve and I: I was raised poor, he wasn’t.
My family found our dining room set on the curb the day before trash pickup and got it reupholstered. We got 3/4 cup of cereal for breakfast each morning. We had to stretch our Halloween candy to last us until we got candy again in our Christmas stockings, and that until Easter. I spent entire afternoons willing Molly across the street to invite me over so I could get a CapriSun.
Steve’s family went to the grocery store with two different carts, and he was allowed to throw whatever he wanted into it. He drank two CapriSuns for a snack. He got name brand food. I’m sure he had brand new clothes, too back then, lucky bastard. I wore hand-me-downs. My 1991 self is green with envy of Steve. My 1991 self hates him and his 1991 self is lucky I didn’t know him back then or we never would have married.
So when I saw the mold, I did what any
poor practical kid would do and turned the block to the other side and started grating. After all, the expiration date is still four months off. I know for a fact that my mom still has a block of mozzarella in the freezer from when I was 10, so cheese is pretty much immortal in my eyes. Steve finished preparing the omelettes (fuck you spell check, I know you want to shorten the word to “omelet” but I think that looks like some giant bird, so I doll it up) and we sat down to eat.
And I noticed a glaring absence of cheese on his omelette. Fucking
rich middle-class normal kids are such snobs. I bet he doesn’t even know they make cereal in bags. I bet he has never heard of Grocery Outlet. I bet he got a new pillow and it didn’t count as a Christmas present.
But as for this poor kid? I saved myself some of the leftover cheese to make nachos in a couple hours. One thing I can say about people who are raised on a
single shitty income: we are extremely durable.
Without realizing it, I was from the same family as Steve, always new clothes and shoes (leather only) at the beginning of each school year. Since I only had one brother, there were no hand me downs.
Sad to say but when you have all those things, you don't realize there are those who don't.
I always tried to teach my kids the difference though. Each December, they would have to take out at least 3 of their nice toys and give them to charity and also we would all pick a name off the angel tree together and shop…..I know they will always remember this and had fun doing it. (not so much giving good toys away, but sometimes life's a bitch.)
Thanks for the insight.