Today I had a pedicure.
The reason that I entitled this post like I did is because those who know me through Twitter or New Jersey Moms Blog, or anywhere else online; or even those who know me in real life might say, “How dare she spend her family’s money on a pedicure!” I decided to write this post because before my husband and I lost almost everything we have due to both of us being sick, I might have said that or thought that about someone else.
In fact, I have.
Before I became extremely ill, my very good friend who has been disabled permanently for about three or four years would go shopping with me. I was working, but needed help that would depend on her pushing a wheelchair or just cheering me on, depending on how sick I was. I would shop for the season, spending a few hundred dollars at a clip (I typically did not go shopping a lot), and often she would buy some things too. I used to think, “The girl has no money, no job, and debt. WHY is she buying anything?”
Now that I find myself in a similar situation, I realize that I may be poor but I am not DEAD. There are still things that I need (underwear, clothes in the size that I am, a haircut) and still some things that I want. One of these being a pedicure, another, chemically safe shampoos, body washes, etc. Just because I am poor I am in no way less deserving of the things that I used to have when I had money. I am not less of a person because I am poor. I did not morph into a slug; I am still the same person that I was.
The same thing can be said about my whole family. We ate healthy foods when we had money. Should we now eat only foods that are canned, meats that are high in fat and no fresh fruit because we cannot afford them? Did my family change because we became poor?
I don’t want you to think that we haven’t cut back, we have cut way back. We now only have one car and I cannot remember when we went out to a restaurant or a movie. Most everything we have goes to our son and we buy very little in the way of luxuries for ourselves.
Now that I am in the lower class, below the poverty line (hopefully temporarily), I have a whole new understanding of what it is like to be poor. My family and I didn’t change because we became poor and those who have been poor all along deserve to live their lives in dignity. They may have “less than”, but do not deserve”less than”. We are all people. Our children are all children. We all still want the best for our children just like anyone else does.
And sometimes, their moms even deserve a pedicure, every once in a while.
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