As you see by the title of my blog page, yes, yes I am a welfare mother. There is a misconception that all people on welfare are lazy, drug addicted, uneducated, dregs of society. Well I am here to tell you that misconception needs to be changed. The simple facts of the matter are that many people like me on welfare are single working moms.
I make no excuses for the choices I have made, like being in love with a drug addict, or that I played a role in my own demise from a bright future. I have made a lot of irresponsible choices along the way to this somewhat happy stage of my forty-something life. Choices that led me to be on and off of welfare for the last 18 years. I have also worked or been in college for those last 18 years. I work at a job that pays me $11.00 dollars an hour, and I have benefits; benefits that I cannot afford. According to the poverty guidelines our state has set for welfare recipients I still qualify for full coverage Medi-cal and food stamps. I have two children that are on my welfare case. Not ten...
The thing that got me writing this blog was, believe it or not, Facebook. I was Facebooking it on break from my job, and I ran across a status that an old high school friend had posted. Something to the effect that she was irritated that someone getting their medication from the pharmacy she works at with Medi-cal benefits had a cell phone with better apps than hers. Well, of course I was reading this on MY cellphone. She went on to say that people on welfare had no business owning cellphones.This really got me thinking how whitebread that statement was. Whitebread is a term I will frequently use for people I view as conservative.
So I had to post a comment back. It basically said that I was sorry she felt that way and that she must feel that way about me, because I too received assistance and worked. I went on to say that my cell phone is my only phone, and that I had commented via my facebook application. Well, if that did not ignite a firestorm. I will admit that throughout the morning I checked for any notifications regarding her status. She went on to comment later that, it was ok if I had a cellphone, OUCH, just not people who abuse the system. Like I needed her approval to have my cellphone -- Cricket didn't even do a credit check!
During the day I kept track of comments left, and the women who did respond all agreed with her. The last person to respond commented that she had just left a Von's grocery store and was in line behind a woman with a multicolored weave and a Juicy Couture track suit, with Rockstar nails and Coach shoes and a Gucci bag. This lady in front of her was complaining about the size of the cereal box she was getting. according to the commentator, with her "foodstamp card thingy". She went on to say that she and her husband who are school teachers work very hard and that they have a budget, blah blah blah blahzooo. I imagined her voice sounding like the Peanuts schoolteacher as I read this, "WAAAH WAAAH WAAAH WAAAH." So me, being the type who has to have the last word, commented back.
I explained in my post that what that lady was complaining about was probably the WIC program, because with food stamps you can get any size of cereal box! I went on to say that her multicolored weave was probably a "kitchen weave," and her namebrand clothes, shoes, and purse were all probably knockoffs found at the local flea-market and the "Rockstar" nail polish could be found there too! I then explained that the WIC (learn more) or Women Infants and Childrens program were vouchers for specific healthy foods for pregnant, and lactating women and children under five. The food stamp program (learn more) is funded by the USDA as is the WIC program. Then I closed with this little thought: I told her to take a look at her students in whatever school she was teaching in and try to guess which one would go without any dinner that night, a meal most of us take for granted. Maybe their parents let pride stand in the way of getting assistance, maybe they worry about the people that would smile in their faces and then grumble behind their backs in that grocery store checkout line. People like her.
I did this all from my handy dandy pre-paid Cricket cellphone. So I had the last word I think because I received no other notifications. So thanks friend, and friend's friend for inspiring my first blog! I love to inform misinformed people, think of it as community service for the assistance I get!
Right now so many people are going without -- sometimes because of misinformation, sometimes because of pride. The economy being what it is I don't see less people on aid anytime soon. Working class poor, people who live paycheck to paycheck like myself, will make the best of it. That is, after all, what we have learned to do -- or do without. I will feed my kids whether I pay cash or use my benefits, because we know all too well what it is like to be hungry. I try to be a no nonsense kind of shopper (it helps that I am a great cook, but that is another blog), but every once in a while we eat a steak bought with food stamps. The hardships I have endured with my children -- everything from hunger to homlessness -- have made us who we are today. I do not live with regrets, because anything I have lived and learned has been well worth it. Now I have the opportunity to write about it -- on the computer I own with internet service. Something else people on welfare should not have. OOOPS.
WHO CARES WHERE YOU COME FROM, ITS WHERE YOU ARE GOING THAT MATTERS! DEVS GLAMMA http://www.noturtypicalgma.blogspot.com
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