« Last post by Cathy on Today at 12:37:31 AM »
I think most "poor people" are just complainypants for reasons I've mentioned elsewhere, especially ones who own a vehicle while simultaneously complaining about times being tough.
That said, I was just thinking of an experience I had about four years ago, when I was 19, that made me realise that some aspects of being "poor" are really not things I would ever consider, and I thought I might share that story here.
At some point in the distant past, maybe when I was 16, I received a Walmart gift certificate as a present, for some small amount ($20). However, there was no Walmart that was reasonable to access by public transit and I've never driven, so I never had any occasion to make use of the card. In my home province, there is a law that prohibits gift cards from expiring or losing value, so there was no rush to spend it (other than loss to inflation, I suppose :P).
A few years later, when I was around 19, I coincidentally found myself near a Walmart so I figured I might as well go in and see what reasonable things I could purchase with this gift card, which fortunately I happened to have in my wallet.
As I recall, I ended up purchasing a nightlight (which I was on the market for anyway), some batteries, and some other things I wanted anyway. I intentionally spent slightly over the value of the gift card to completely eliminate it.
While I was waiting in line to check out my things, somebody behind me started talking to me. Normally I do not engage strangers, but since this person initiated it, it was hard to ignore. She asked me what I was doing in the store. I explained that I had a gift card that I wanted to get rid of. She had a really animated reaction to this, like "I love wal-mart gift cards! They're always great when I'm short on money for food."
I remember thinking "what.. the... fuck". There was just so much there I couldn't relate to, including the basic concept of not being able to buy food whenever I wanted, but also somehow gift cards are a regular part of her life as opposed to a fringe rare occasion that they were for me. And clearly she owned a vehicle since she had a large cart of stuff and the area is not transit-friendly. Even though I was only 19 at the time, I was already at the point where I could quit my job and maintain my standard of living for over 2-3 years without earning another cent of money. I even already had a brokerage account. Her comment was just so unfamiliar to me that it really made me realise I was part of a different class.
Anyway, that's just a bit of rambling, but the topic of groceries reminded me of it.