While I was on hospital bed rest with E, I spent a lot of time on Baby Center. I especially liked to visit the BabyCenter Community and read all the drama on their Debate Team board. Some of those debates get super duper heated, and I was super duper bored so I read them.
Anyway, one of the really hot button issues is government assistance and its proper use. I read so. many. "debates" about how awful it is when some Latina takes her cash-stuffed Juicy Couture wallet out of her Coach purse while talking on her BlackBerry and pays for her groceries with an EBT card (food stamps, if you're unfamiliar).
I'm not Latina. But in every other sense, I'm now that girl.
My food stamp assistance just went through last week. I get $257 per month in benefits. Applying for assistance in the first place was the most humiliating and humbling thing I've ever done. But when your husband leaves you with an infant and no education, what choice do you have?
Anyway, it was the most humiliating thing, until I was using my EBT card for the first time and realized I'm totally that girl. Then I was completely mortified.
Yes, I have a Coach bag. It's a lovely Coach patchwork. It's a $400 bag that M bought me for $140 from a Coach outlet when he got his first bonus check from his job.
And in that Coach bag is a Juicy Couture wallet. M bought it for me for Christmas our second year together.
That Juicy wallet is stuffed with twenty dollar bills. Because I don't have my own bank account yet, my only choice is to carry around my $400/mo in child support that is my sole income around in cash. (FYI, I hate cash. I'm a chronically forgetful person and I lose everything.)
And M turned off my beloved BlackBerry, but if he hadn't, you can bet that I'd have been tweeting or something on it in the checkout line.
The thing I've learned is, don't judge too harshly. It may look like I'm taking government assistance and living it up, but the truth is, I'm not. I have nice things from before, when I had a husband to support me. I have a lot of cash in my wallet, but it's still in there because I'm terrified to spend it on anything in case I don't get child support next month. And I know for certain that the BlackBerry is a true addiction. Perhaps I need government funded BlackBerry rehab. :)