icon caret-left icon caret-right instagram pinterest linkedin facebook twitter goodreads question-circle facebook circle twitter circle linkedin circle instagram circle goodreads circle pinterest circle


Pet peeve VI: Broke is broke—poor is something else

When I was in my 20s I often said I was poor. After all, I was living on $15 a week, hitchhiking everywhere, eating abandoned commodity foods like kasha & powdered milk. I wasn't complaining: I loved getting by on very little, the feeling that my needs would always be met because they were so moderate.

And then I realized that I wasn't poor. I was broke, but I wasn't poor. The difference?

Poor is permanent, or really hard to escape. Poor is hopeless. Poor is not having the luxury to forgo government assistance no matter how much indignity they heap on you to get it. I was passing through poor. I had access to money, even if I had no intention of asking, & so I wasn't poor.

Many or most of us are short on funds in our 20s—we're in school, we're bumming around, we don't have careers or decent jobs. Yet. My friends & I believed we were downwardly mobile but we ended up somewhere in the middle class. We weren't poor.
Be the first to comment