I mean like
I’m not gonna play it like I got it the absolute worst
I have what I need, and if I really really really really needed to, I could ask my mom and she’d make the stretch to give me some money.
But I’m not finna ask her to do that when I know it would be a stretch for her.
My summer payments? That’s tuition money. Some of it is gonna be food money, I’m tryina spend as little as possible, to save as much as possible. And if that means I gotta make a shopping schedule, budget my money, plan my meals, spend some days eating crackers and cheese, until the next scheduled Shopping Day, and to get my degree then that’s what I’m finna do. I’m not new to this, I been doin this shit every damn summer. I’m pro at this, and I ain’t never miserable from it.
And I need to stress for those who haven’t figured it out that it’s iffy and circumstantial but yes, this is my choice. And there is a privilege in that, I know. Not everybody got a choice. And I have mad respect for them. I have some amount of choice here. I could use up my paycheck on good food from Tops, but I’d rather have my degree and a good credit score than brand name food when Walmart Great Value works just as fine and is just as good. Even if I was using all my money for food, I wouldn’t be able to afford much more than the basics, not on a minimum wage check. But for real. Get me started on the gourmet I can make if you give me a vegetable and a box of lunch meat. Ax me about that low budget Good Shit.
I’m not trying to garner pity or anything, so don’t get it twisted. Nor am I trying to ask for anything. That’s not what I’m trying to do. All that I’m trying to do right now is say this:
To anyone who has ever condescended to another person for how they make their money or where they choose to spend it, fuck you.
Fuck you [general “you”] for judging that. Fuck you for judging anyone for doing what they gotta do, when you don’t know the first thing about their situation. When you don’t know what it is they’re striving for in the long run, and where that saved money is ultimately going to end up. When you don’t know about the nuances and complexities and fine details of their lives, but wanna dictate how they survive.
Struggle isn’t fun. But sometimes it’s necessary. It’s not something anyone wants to do, but it’s something people are willing to do sometimes. And in most cases, it’s something people have to do.
And your snide remarks? Your unsolicited side eyeing and harumphing and soapboxing because they got their food from a commercial business instead of supporting the local market while you’re sitting around, twiddling your Toms shoe covered feet? Nope. I don’t need that shit and neither does anyone else.
Remember that while you’re sitting pretty in your little crows nest, looking down at the rest of us poor, non-progressive simpletons who are destroying the world by opting for fresh produce at Walmart rather than the farmers market.
If you want me to buy shit from a certain place? You go on ahead and write my mama a big fat check so that she can pay for the constant car troubles that keep coming her way. So she can pay for the shit that keeps breaking down in the house. So she can pay off the loans she took out so that I could be at this damn school. So that she can refill her retirement fund and stop being exhausted every damn day because she’s trying to pay off loans, get shit fixed, get me through school, and refill her retirement fund. Write me a big ol check for my tuition. Go pay off the loans that I had to take out, and the loans I’ma be taking out in the future for school. Pay my mama’s portion of the tuition bill, and then while you’re at it, go ahead and pay my half too. Pay the rent money I’ma have to pay for living here to work.
Then maybe I’ll have enough money in my account to not shop at Walmart.
Until then, all of us who are makin a dollar stretch to the limit are gonna need you to: