I think there's a big part of me that kinda liked being poor. It feels like something to do, not really something I am.
For example, well-off people don't really have to think about money. They like something, they want it, they generally get it. It's very simple, really. Now, us poor people? It's always a battle of wits: you vs. the fridge, you vs. the gas tank, you vs. basic hygiene. You open that fridge and you see French's mustard, weeks-old macaroni and cheese in Tupperware and a shriveled lime: who will win? Will I scrounge up enough money to put more crap in there, thereby winning? Or will it be the florescent-lit empty fridge, smugly sitting there giving me the evil eye?
See? It's a game! I don't always win, but I feel like I'm getting better at it; getting smarter. I handle cash better now than I ever have and I think ahead because if that gas tank thinks it's gonna win by getting so empty I can't get to work, it has another thing coming. I will push that motherf*cking car if it comes down to it.
Am I really poor? I don't think so, not now. Poor, like Oliver Twist-type poor, is when you literally don't have anywhere to turn and there's no way to get more money. When I first moved down to Oklahoma with J, we were extremely low on funds, but we loved each other and had supportive family members give us a few bucks here and there when they knew we were sinking. After a couple months I got a job and things eased up considerably. Now, we're....eh, so-so but a heck of a lot better than where we were at. I mean, seriously.
This was our apartment at the beginning (and then the end) of our year in Oklahoma:
One of J's friends told us we lived "heroin chic".
Look at that poor boy, snuggling with his dog for love/warmth. I mean, this picture was taken a day or two before he shipped out and we had sold EVERYTHING because I had suddenly decided to move back in with my parents, but still. I'd say this is a fair representation of what it looked like in the beginning.
I know money is a taboo subject and I'm sorry if it makes people uncomfortable; it's just that, I actually really miss that beginning. I miss dinners on the floor, talking and laughing and J telling me that everything I made was delicious. I miss laughing while he tickled me on the floor because, hey, we didn't have TV so we had to make our own fun.
And we did have fun; we laughed, played, talked, planned, giggled, raced, kissed, and loved each other completely. Money was the only thing we didn't have. But honestly? It didn't matter.
Life was a love song.