Home > family, humor > I am so poor that I am “po”… (part 1)

I am so poor that I am “po”… (part 1)




Those that grew up in the ghetto probably know what I am talking about.  “po” is half of poor, which should be enough explanation as to what it means.  You know its election season when you hear poor people this and poor people that.  But does anybody even understand what poor is?  Or the evil rich? 

I believe I am well qualified to address this because I’ve been through all the various wealth stages.  I want to discuss meaning of “po” class, middle class, poor class, wealthy class, & evil wealthy class.  First part will talk about my po phase.

Part 1 start

I grew up in pretty rough part of NYC with my sister, mom, and pop.  My dad worked full 7 days from 5am to 11pm, my mother worked from 8am to 8pm, while my sister and I attended local public school together.  Everybody in this public school would be considered poor because almost all the family was on food stamp and welfare.  It was actually pretty easy to see who was on welfare and who was not.

Most kids had real lunch boxes with lots of candies/snacks, & real milk.  They dressed pretty nicely, for living in a ghetto.  Keep in my all this has to be in perspective.  I am not comparing ghetto kids to average kids in some wealthy districts.  They looked good for ghetto standard.

I didn’t have a lunch box, but a mere paper lunch bag that I would use over and over until it was non-functional.  I actually remember crying as a kid because some punk blew up my new lunch bag by blowing air into it and popping it.  I also wore girls clothing to school because my mother sold women’s clothing at a flea market, and I would end up wearing clothes that were returned by customers.  Most kids wore Lee and Levi’s while I was wearing Jordache, Gitano, or Sergio Valente with pink stripes, rhinestones, or little flowers.  Needless to say, I had my fair share of ass-whoopin and bullying.  My lunch was always the same bologna sandwich with water from the fountain, everyday.  I used to always be on a lookout for which kid is throwing away what snacks and I would go pick it out from the trash can to eat it.  Dumpster diving was a way of surviving back in those days.

So by now you have a pretty good understanding of who is “po” and who is poor.  I definitely grew up “po” while those other kids grew up poor.  Now let’s look at the family.

Most of the parents from this school were on welfare, various subsidy, & food stamp programs.  That also meant their kids qualified for free milk at school.  They also lived in nice apartments because it had air conditioning.  Most of them also had cable TV and a car.   

According to the tax codes, my parents made too much money to qualify for welfare, food stamp, & apartment subsidy.  Our apartment was so hot, we didn’t have a/c.  I always hated summer for this reason.  According to the government, my family was a middle class.  

Based on my experience I am going to say, poor is if you are in certain welfare class and certain middle class.

Based on my experience I am going to say, Po is if you are in the bottom middle class, just above the welfare cutoff threshold.  You get no free help even though you can be a penny above the cutoff mark.  Bottom middle class people need most amount of help and most amount of sympathy.  They are usually the type that work their asses off and refuse to take a handout.  I admire these people for their strength and durability.  I have no sympathy for anybody living under the welfare cutoff number, because there are group of people who has far less, in worse condition.  I’ll go one step further and say most of these welfare recipients live better than most middle income families. 

To be continued…

Categories: family, humor
  1. kzackuslheureux
    March 24, 2012 at 4:47 pm

    Oh my goodness do I ever agree with you. But no need to comment, did you notice the “like?” hee hee, it’s so true though, and it’s time things get set in a better order. I suppose it was time for that 1500 years ago too 😉

    • March 24, 2012 at 5:55 pm

      lol, and I didn’t even have to twist you arm this time. Thanks for visiting 🙂

  2. April 2, 2012 at 9:32 pm

    I must say, as one who has grown up in probably what you might have labeled here as the evil wealthy class, it is true that most people living below the poverty line have flat screen T.V.’s and cell phones, and those right at the line or slightly above are vastly worse off. Won’t it be nice when we can live in a world where everyone is a have, and there are no have nots.

    • April 2, 2012 at 9:59 pm

      Fela, this is only part1, I’ll be getting to part2 and 3 hopefully in the near future. But you better believe its gonna deal with the evil wealthy class, which I am part of. Yes, I wear free shirts and wear holey underpants, but I am in the so called evil wealthy class, so stay tuned.
      Hey, you ever gonna tell me the name of that broken truck book? 🙂

  3. April 3, 2012 at 6:07 pm

    The clothing part was so heartwrenching, very brave of you to talk about this.

    • April 3, 2012 at 8:36 pm

      speaking of which…I recently read a blog about a brave young lady that was stranded on a wooden pole, somewhere along “hudson river” 🙂
      Thanks for visiting Dana, you are always welcome here.

  4. April 18, 2012 at 10:05 pm

    Usually they can live better then those just above average middle incomed families if they work the system correctly & it sucks for those who work their asses iff. Moral of the story sit on your ass, make no money & get help/paid for it :-p

    • April 18, 2012 at 10:26 pm

      oh definitely. I didn’t want to get into the whole working the system part, but you are 100% correct. The bottom middle income family are hurting every day. They don’t know when their next check will come, and from where.

  5. purpleowltree1234
    May 8, 2012 at 12:11 pm

    It boggles my mind what a lucky- or unlucky- dip it is to be born in certain parts of the world. From about three to six years old I grew up in an extremely remote village in the Philippines. We were 44 kms from the nearest road- 44 kms of up and down rainforested mountains. We had no running water, no elecricity, no gas. When my family moved there (my father was a linguist and studied this area’s previously unwritten language), people were dying en masse every time an epidemic came through- often measles (a weird strain they had there that included pneumonia and meningitis-like symptoms), maleria or whooping cough. My mom was a mothercraft nurse (a nurse for infants and toddlers) with years of experience working in an orphanage and training other mothercraft nurses there in Australia. She saw people dying- often two or three kids in a family just in one epidemic- for the lack of $1 worth of medicine. She started running a clinic pretty fast from our house, and educated herself awfully quickly on basic tropical diseases which swept through that area. It was a 20 foot by 20 foot house which included in it, a translation office, three bedrooms, a kitchen/dining room and a front verandah. We had a tiny airstrip built and had access to a JAARS helio plane, which would fly in boxes of medicines which my mom would give as needed, to the people there. Of course people still couldn’t pay for the necessary medicine to save their lives or treat their wounds or whatever, so my mom accepted mung beans, coffee, rice and vegetables as payments instead. She continued to work there in this clinic she ran, for 12 years (my brother and I went to dorms as we got older). In all her time working there only two babies died whom she treated, and she saved countless lives of adults. Anyway, I told you about this village and what my mom did, to make us all stop and rethink what is extreme poverty. Not po or poor or middle class or any of those, but extreme poverty. I remind myself constantly where I could have been born, and am enormously grateful I was born in Australia, and got to come back to Australia when I finished living in the Philippines. I don’t mean to make your experiences sound trite, because they were not, but just to remind us all that there is much, Much more desperate, every single day, and those people usually have almost no hope of getting out of that cycle of extreme poverty. We are the minority in the world- and are Extremely Lucky- to have been born in Western countries where there is regular food (however meagre), access to basic healthcare, schooling, etc. When you mentioned the evil rich, I often ask myself, am *I* the evil rich? I’m on a disability support pension in Australia and KNOW what these people I grew up with are living like still today. What am *I* doing to help them survive, help them get out of their extreme poverty cycles, showing them they *matter* to me? On my limited pension I’ve been lucky to be able to help friends from there get out of human trafficking situations, get essential surgeries done on them, put some money towards basic medical equipment for the single room clinic which now operates there after my family left 23 years ago, and contribute occasionally towards peoples’ educations there. We only see what is in our experience. I’m challenging all of us to look more widely.
    Sorry, I think I just broke one of my own rules of etiquette of commenting on Blogs- never write a comment that is longer than the post you’re commenting on!! Sorry!

    • May 8, 2012 at 1:55 pm

      Rach, when your reply is longer than my content, you are MY KIND of commenter…lol. Thank you very much for adding tremendous content and reality check to folks viewing my blogs 🙂
      You were quoted as saying “…your experiences sound trite…”. Are you freakin kidding me? OFCOURSE it is trite. People have no idea what poor is until they experience what you’ve experienced. I tuned into a news channel a while back where they were trying to make a connection between obesity and poor, in this country. A rather large lady comes out and says, “I am too poor to lose weight, I can only afford to eat McDonalds and KFC, etc…” Being poor in this country is a sick joke. This country has the wealthiest “poor” people in the World, and that is a FACT! So PLEASE do not feel guilty for saying my experience sounds trite, because it is. Excellent comment Rach!

      • purpleowltree1234
        May 8, 2012 at 8:55 pm

        oh, whewf! I was worried maybe you’d take offense. But silly me, you’re not that kind of a person!! 🙂 Wondering about writing some different stuff in my Blog about having lived in the Philippines. I kind of buried myself in the sh*t of my Blog at the moment- one reason which drove me out exploring new Blogs and finding yours and Dana’s and the New View “Mr About Me”‘s Blogs. Feeling totally uninspired with my own Blog now. Anyway, I’m rambling. Thanks for your response. You are an awesome person.
        Love from Rach.

        • May 8, 2012 at 9:30 pm

          That is exactly how I evolved, too. I started wanting to do tech related reviews because so many popular tech review sites were so bad…lol. My blogs were so unfulfilling, to say the least. I almost forgot that I had this wordpress account. I then started venturing into other people’s blogs and I found themes that were lot more fulfilling. Looks like you are well on your way to having a fantastic website 🙂 Can’t wait to check out your revised about-me page. I know “Mr.About-me” raised the bar pretty high in that department, but I think yours will be just as interesting…lol.

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