Jeg ville have skrevet noget om julegaver. Om at give sine børn en rejse til den anden side af jorden – og et nyt fjernsyn – i gave. Om at give gaver som familien kan få fælles glæde af i stedet for små legedimser og digenoter til os hver især.
Imellem tiden læste jeg så et blogindlæg om at være fattig, og så faldt det hele lige som lidt – eller bare fuldstændig – til jorden. Bloggeren er en amerikansk kvinde, som skriver nøgtern og gudsbenådet præcist om det, du ikke har lyst til at vide om, hvordan det er at være på røven i USA.
Det starter sådan her:
There’s no way to structure this coherently. They are random observations that might help explain the mental processes. But often, I think that we look at the academic problems of poverty and have no idea of the why. We know the what and the how, and we can see systemic problems, but it’s rare to have a poor person actually explain it on their own behalf. So this is me doing that, sort of.
Rest is a luxury for the rich. I get up at 6AM, go to school (I have a full courseload, but I only have to go to two in-person classes) then work, then I get the kids, then I pick up my husband, then I have half an hour to change and go to Job 2. I get home from that at around 1230AM, then I have the rest of my classes and work to tend to. I’m in bed by 3. This isn’t every day, I have two days off a week from each of my obligations. I use that time to clean the house and soothe Mr. Martini and see the kids for longer than an hour and catch up on schoolwork. Those nights I’m in bed by midnight, but if I go to bed too early I won’t be able to stay up the other nights because I’ll fuck my pattern up, and I drive an hour home from Job 2 so I can’t afford to be sleepy. I never get a day off from work unless I am fairly sick. It doesn’t leave you much room to think about what you are doing, only to attend to the next thing and the next. Planning isn’t in the mix.
Du kan læse resten af indlægget her
Og bagefter skal du gøre dig selv den tjeneste at læse hendes personlige historie, som Huffington Post efterfølgende har bedt hende skrive.
When people say that I am perhaps not legitimate, it is maybe sort of true if you mean that when I was at the low points I did not have time for blogs and since I do now I am not at the bottom. That is a true thing. But it is untrue if you mean that you think that because I have some knowledge of and access to an intellectual culture higher than my station I must be the average Gawker or Times reader. I am not. There are a lot of us, particularly since the economy collapsed and, well, you read the same news I do. You remember. We remember what it is to be professional a little bit and we have a few close friends who have done well for themselves and a few that haven’t. My closest friends are both living with family. One has chased work all over the country and just can’t seem to find the right door for her foot. One is a single mom of a severely autistic teenaged daughter who has hocked her future to put herself through grad school. And all of it while supporting her family and spotting friends if they were desperate. They are the ones who have done everything correctly. I just happen to have this skill to tell the stories. I didn’t even know it until last week.
Du finder resten af historien her
Længe leve internettet for at kunne netop det: Give stemme til dem, som ellers ingen har! Og så ikke et ord mere om julegaver. Det skulle da lige være, at vi måske allesammen skulle hoste om med en 50’er til fx Mødrehjælpen. I anledning af julen. I det mindste.
NB! Der er dem der siger historien er et scam. Måske har de ret. Måske har de ikke. Eller måske har de bare fat i noget. Du kan læse kritikken flere steder, blandt andet her
Men det betyder ikke, at du ikke skal give en 50’er til Mødrehjælpen. De har stadig fat i den lange ende.