Clareified

Where does the good go

You can’t buy happiness and other retarded things retarded people say

My cousin called the other day to ask if I would “lend” her five hundred dollars to hire Yo Gabba Gabba characters and a circus for Sammy’s second birthday party. Now, once upon a time when I earned a lot of money, I would cut these conversations off with “how much do you need? Come by my office at 3 to get it.” It was a lot easier to hit the ATM than deal with the unfocused ramblings and empty promises of repayment that my family is known for. When I made less money, I would have a number in my head of how much I was willing to give to end the conversation, if the request was equal to or less, I would extract the promise for repayment and tell them to pick the money up from my mom. (I would tell my mom the deal and say that she could keep how ever much of the money she could get them to repay.)

Now, that I pretty much make no money, fifty bucks is my ceiling. Obviously, $500 way exceeded that…though, she could throw a slamming 12th birthday party for him with Yo Gabba Gabba…though I suspect by then he won’t so much be into it. Heck, he’s not even TWO, I doubt he’s much into it now. I tried to impress upon my cousin that Sammy would be better off if she took a hundred dollars and bought him a winter coat. Or found money to pay for the specialist his pediatrician suggested to her. (Random fact: He has the same pediatrician I had when I was a kid!)

But no. She has it in her head to have a huge carnival party for him in my aunt’s one bedroom apartment and she cannot be dissuaded. And as crazy as it is, part of me understands, the part of me that was so sad about my poverty that I bought a snowcone machine to cheer myself up.

Not having money sucks, not having the things you want sucks more. And so, I chose today’s poem mostly because if I ever meet this dude, I’m kicking him in the nuts. Anyone who romanticizes poverty should be robbed and kicked in the nuts. Fine, maybe not robbed, but definitely kicked in the nuts.

Poor men’s hearts aren’t light; they do not laugh. Their hearts are heavy and they cry. And their kids don’t ever get to go to Disney World even though they have memorized every word of every Disney World commercial because they spend all their free time watching TV, because it’s too dangerous to play outside. And the kids fantasize about sinking buzzer beating three pointers to win basketball championships because THEN you get to go to Disneyworld for free! But of course, that’ll never happen because you are a girl (And are barely five feet tall.)

The world without money is a bleak place of terrible choices and awful decisions and you’ll foolishly squander hundreds of dollars to see your son smile for a day because…well, because you know his life will probably suck in unbearably relentless ways for a very long time.

I get that. I do. And I wish I could throw money at them like I used to. Alas, I cannot. And that, my friends, is why I invented the vodka snowcone.

Money – W.H. Davies

WHEN I had money, money, O!
I knew no joy till I went poor;
For many a false man as a friend
Came knocking at my door.

Then felt I like a child that holds
A trumpet that he must not blow
Because a man is dead; I dared
Not speak to let this false world know.

Much have I thought of life, and seen
How poor men’s hearts are ever light;
And how their wives do hum like bees
About their work from morn till night.

So, when I hear these poor ones laugh,
And see the rich ones coldly frown–
Poor men, think I, need not go up
So much as rich men should come down.

When I had money, money, O!
My many friends proved all untrue;
But now I have no money, O!
My friends are real though very few.

16 Responses to “You can’t buy happiness and other retarded things retarded people say”

  1. Pearatty Says:

    Yeah, this guy seems kind of like an asshole.

  2. Pearatty Says:

    Oh, good post. Good lead in. I’m sad now. And also angry. And want to hug Sammy.

  3. Consi Says:

    The world without money is a bleak place of terrible choices and awful decisions….

    Ya know, there are huge differences between my upbringing and those of my youngest brothers. The folks were in totally different positions financially. I get the embarassment of not having clothes for all seasons and being made fun of for the clothes you do have. I get how sucky gov’t “cheese” is for a grilled cheese sandwich. I get that it would have been better if we could have ridden in a warm car instead of having to walk miles to see a doctor. In spite of that, I disagree with the above assessment.

    I wouldn’t trade my parents or my childhood for anything. There is value in knowing that using a coupon saves money, and that is a good idea no matter how many C notes you have. There is value in knowing that shirts without alligators and ponies keep you just as warm as those without them. I wouldn’t glorify being penniless, and would join you in kicking him in the nuts, but lacking money does not mean one is poor or that the world is bleak place. The only time I ever felt poor was when the Jones pointed out the differences.

    The world is a bleak place when instead of reaching my hand out to my brothers and sisters, I have become one of the Jones.

  4. Dawn Summers Says:

    No, I would agree with you. I think being poor is fine if you don’t know any other way. I really didn’t get bitter about poverty till I started going to prep schools when I was 11. But as long as there are TV commercials and billboards and all the other things the Joneses put out there to show you that some kids can afford medical treatment AND yo gabba gabba parties, being poor kinda sucks.

  5. Astin Says:

    What’s a Yo Gabba Gabba?

  6. Dawn Summers Says:

    They are apparently a singing show for kids…like…donnie and marie were in the 70s…not that I know anything about the 70s.

  7. Pdov Says:

    “Anyone who romanticizes poverty should be robbed and kicked in the nuts. Fine, maybe not robbed, but definitely kicked in the nuts.”

    Yup kick in the nuts indeed. Poor people or rich people can be equally disingenuous and use people. #thisiswhyTitanicwassoawful

    And while I do think money is always good to have, I also think there is logic to valuing what you have, no matter how little. As a child who was on welfare for the first year of her life in America, I never felt “poor” (maybe b/c I came from the Soviet Union where we had toilet paper but no food in grocery stores) my parents made me feel loved and taken care off. Granted, I went to one of the most rich neighborhoods in my town – and felt a little strange about my outdated clothes and my lack of sports equipment or English speaking parents…but that was later and so yes, money totally buys happiness but one also needs to learn how to be okay with what one has, to not relate ones happiness to what others have and you don’t. #justificationofmebeingpoor

  8. Dawn Summers Says:

    Dude, that scene in Titantic where all the steerage people are dancing around in the boiler room STILL MAKES ME SOOOOOO MAADDDD.

  9. Pdov Says:

    Yeah, minus the cool shot of boat snapping in two, that movie sucked.

  10. Pdov Says:

    Also, Leo froze, that was pretty sweet.

  11. Dawn Summers Says:

    haha I would have preferred if the stupid girl froze. selfish whore! Just slide over a little bit on the door.

  12. Angela Says:

    Being poor=not great
    Being rich=pretty great

    Happiness (or misery) is not classist.

    That said, money absolutely makes things better. The dude that wrote this poem just found a way to sort out the assholes in his life from the real friends.

  13. Dawn Summers Says:

    Thing is, once he became poor, he probably was just mean and resentful to his rich friends so that’s why they dropped him! Self fulfilling!

  14. F-Train Says:

    Wait. Is the pediatrician Dr Joseph? I need to meet this man.

  15. bub Says:

    The best poetry was the last 3 paragraphs of the introduction.

  16. Dawn Summers Says:

    hahahaa

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