"I guess I have a lot of problems, so many that I don't have time to go into them all in detail. Suffice it to say I'm anal, obsessive, vain, quick to temper, overly introspective, lazy, judgmental, insecure, and self-righteous. Probably the most annoying thing about me is that I'm hugely opinionated. But I kind of make up for that by always being right."

Wednesday, August 02, 2006

Day 58: Growing Up Poor

Two of the most vivid memories of my childhood deal with being poor. One was when I was in the second grade and my mother couldn't afford a gift for the kid whose name I had drawn for our class Christmas party. An hour before we were to open our presents, I took my teacher, Mrs. Powell, aside and told her that I had forgotten to bring mine. She knew the truth, of course, and gave me two dollars and sent me to a store in the neighborhood to buy something. (I remember I got one of those Life Saver books. Remember those? You opened it up and there was a row of maybe eight rolls of Life Savers on either side.) Mrs. Powell was one of my favorite teachers of all time. We shared the same birthday, and every year, through the sixth grade, she would come to my class on December 13th and give me a present.

The other memory is of having to go to the Wood Village Scotty Store -- I think I was about ten years old at the time -- and buy some groceries on credit. The problem was that the owner of the store, Al, had told me just days before that we couldn't buy anything else on credit because our account was too high. When I told this to my mother, she said to just wait until they rang everything up and then tell them it was a charge. I can't tell you how hard that was to do. I sat outside of the store for about an hour working up the nerve to go in. As Al rang everything up, I started to cry. I just couldn't help myself. When I said to charge it he yelled at me in front of all of these other people, and I just wanted to die.

I bring this all up because somebody in one of the comments here asked what I was doing about making a living. I just wanted to give you a little insight into why I have so many issues with money, and to assure you that I have a plan in place to make plenty of it. Meanwhile, the project is what I am doing to make my living worthwhile.