According to some people, money makes the world go around.
For those people that’s true. But that’s only because they are lucky enough to have grown up not worrying about money all that much.
However, not everyone is born with riches.
Here’s how a few people realized they were poor.
When I was a junior in high school, I got some crappy $30 basketball shoes because I didn’t want to spend much of my hard-earned money on them. Football season was just ending and I hadn’t had a lot of time to work in the fall, so I was kind of short. My parents didn’t have money to help us out with extras like basketball shoes.
We were in a tournament in Kansas and as I was getting ready to shoot a free throw, one of my opponents said, “Nice shoes,” and laughed at me. Another said, “How you like being trailer trash?”
The ref heard them and told them he never wanted to hear anything like that ever again. The truth was that we did live in a trailer–the third one out of four that I would live in during my childhood.
One of my teammates must have told the coach because after that game, he let me wear his shoes during games the rest of the year. I still love that man.
10 years old. Told my mom I was hungry before going to bed. She said that she was too. That’s when I realized she never even ate dinner. There just wasn’t enough food.
My parents are incredible, let’s start there. Grew up in South Africa and we went from middle-class family to poor without either myself or my sister noticing for a long time. The realization came one day when we had one of our favorite treats for the week, spaghetti bolognese. Thing is, the meat sauce was no longer meat sauce, it was lentils cooked and smashed to resemble ground beef in the sauce. Turns out that as things got harder and harder, this weekly treat got ground beef gradually substituted with lentils until lentils were the only thing my parents were able to afford. That is when I realized we were on hard times. I didn’t say anything, but got a job as a golf caddy at 14, helped where I could, but full credit to my parents who still tried to give us something they knew we loved. Couple years of this and my parents made it through what I am sure was very hard for them. I respect both of them for trying to keep their pain and stress away from us kids, and still serve us spaghetti bolognese (lentilnese).
Looking forward to the free school lunch, because that was the only thing I’d get to eat that day. I felt like crap though, mom wouldn’t eat so I could and dad gave up his lunch because he felt bad eating when mom and I were hungry.
On Christmas when I was 6 my dad took me to a family Christmas breakfast with our extended family and they had a big tree with a pile of presents under it and everyone had multiple presents. My parents only got me and my siblings 1 or 2 but my cousins all had multiple presents from their parents and the rest of the family. Seeing their presents made me realize we were poor but it also made me realize that I had a terrible extended family. My one present from my parents had more sentiment than the board games I got from those guys every year. Also I just remembered my dad always got his brother and sisters t-shirts from his work and everyone thought he was getting them for free so they were mad about it but the price was actually taken out of his paycheck. The shirts were $15 each and he has 1 brother and 8 sisters.