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Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Thank Goodness for Quilted Toilet Paper



If you'd told me when I was young and poor and living in the trailer park wondering if the car would start that I would one day be SO thankful for the experience, I'd have kicked you in the shin.  I had the best mother in the world and she loved me unconditionally, but there were some serious hard times involving no heat, not enough food and creative toilet paper solutions, to say the least.  Thankful?  For that?

But I am just that.  Thankful.

I realized that probably in my 20s when I was having other struggles.  It made me strong.  And it made me appreciative of everything.  When I would see people who had nice things, who generally just had "more," I wasn't jealous, but instead I was hopeful.  Hopeful that one day, if I worked hard, I, too, could have nice things. It was like an inspirational poster that flashed at me in neon "This is America and You Can Have Anything You Dream!"

I will admit to some jealousy in school.  I suppose it was jealousy I felt when I saw all the other girls wearing Jordache and Gloria Vanderbilt jeans (yes, I'm that old,) but oddly, the girls who had those things and were NICE, I didn't seem to feel anything negative toward.  It was the snotty girls who judged me because I didn't have those things that got me.  So was that jealousy?  I was happy for the nice girls who had nice things.

What I didn't realize at the time and found out later was that we were just broke, while their families were hugely in debt.  Big difference.  They had nice houses that were mortgaged to the hilt and their clothes were purchased with credit cards. My family was just at zero all the time.  Never a negative number.

But as I sit in my own house watching Real Housewives, I am reminded of how truly blessed I am.  Now I am sure there are some exceptions in some of the RHof...but in general, I am finding that I pity these people.  I don't pity them because they have money.  I pity them because most of them seem to have no grasp on reality.

Now I've been around wealthy people.  Balanced wealthy people who at least have one foot in reality.  And I realize that they have a whole other set of problems that comes with having a lot of money.  But these people understand life.  Watching the Real Housewives shows are like watching a train wreck and I just can't seem to turn away.  They are so spoiled!

Again, it's not the fact that they're rich.  I can't tell you  how many times I've felt the need to "defend" the "evil rich" to ignorant people (like the rich needed ME to defend them or that the ignorant people would listen - Ha!) because of some ridiculous comment or another.  Heck, I hope to BE one of the wealthy people some day if the whole darned country doesn't turn completely socialist by then.  But these people I'm watching are just ridiculous!  I'm not going to expound on that here - there are enough other places to bash the Real Housewives.  But I am going to tell you that it reminded me, once again, how very thankful I am that I had the sort of childhood I did.

Because of that childhood, I am self-sufficient.  I am strong.  I am grounded.  I am appreciative of every nice thing I have - all the way down to the quilted toilet paper that I didn't, by the way, purchase with a credit card.

15 comments :

  1. I started to read this thinking it was going to be a funny little blurb about toilet paper - but this was actually a very well written, touching piece. Keeps things in perspective!

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  2. This is VERY well written and AMEN to everything you said.

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  3. Oh wow, this really is an inspirational post!
    I guess I am taking too many things for granted...
    Thank you for this really thought-bringing post!!!

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  4. Great post... lovely to hear someone who thinks the same :))

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  5. This Post is lovely and it makes so much sense to me right now when I'm going through shit in life.. Thank you so much for giving me that strength again that i was missing!!! My childhood has been great i think that is why it is difficult right now!! I wish I had a childhood like yours so it wouldn't be as difficult for me right now.. Anyway Thank you so much for putting this post up. Makes me feel much stronger now :) Love and Hugs!!

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  6. I was just musing about this yesterday. Class isn't related to bank account, income, debt... it is not being a snob, a snot, a snoot, a complainer, jealous, manipulative, or ungrateful. Class is definitely not showcased In RHof...
    YOLO. You only live once. Make it good.

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  7. Ha!!! I still remember a sand-paper like toilet paper in Poland... Which also makes me appreciate what I have now! And now that I'm back from the mountain I have a newfound love for porcelain toilets!! ;)

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  8. Great post! I wanted to reply to let you know that I, too, grew up in the Jordache/Gloria Vanderbilt era. My prized possessions were a pair of Diane von Furstenburg pants that I found at my local TJ Maxx and a pair of Calvin Klein's I saved for using my babysitting money. We weren't broke; I just had to pay for everything myself. And I mean everything. Long story. Love you, girl.

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  9. I too appreciate the things I learned from the lean days. Like the fact that I sleep better with money in savings. Not huge amounts, just enough to cover those minor disasters in life (like plumbers and new tires) without dipping into the retirement fund or charging up a CC. We have one CC. It gets paid off monthly when it has a balance. I have never outgrown the need for a LARGE stash of toilet paper though, lol, and have managed to infect the mate with the need as well. It's my Scarlett item, I'll never go without again! ;)

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    1. It's my "scarlett" item too! I'm the exact same way.

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  10. Still stands with the time. Well written.

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