“What Memory from Your Childhood Makes You Think ‘Wow, We were Poor’?”

On 25 July 2014, Redditor Luizeef asked, “What memory from your childhood makes you think ‘Wow, we were poor’?” The answers included memories of loving, caring parents and other good-deed doers:

1) Hsoup wrote, “Barbecue sauce sandwiches. The ‘wow’ moment — when I offered a friend one and he laughed. When he saw I wasn’t joking, I was invited over for dinner pretty often after that. He’s good people. Still a good friend almost 30 years later.”

Phreakzor commented, “I lived in the projects in Compton [California]. When I was around 9, my neighbor Dominic who was the same age as me, and just as poor, gave me a syrup sandwich one day when I told him that mom ‘forgot’ to buy me bread for toast. She didn’t forget; she couldn’t afford it. I ate that d[*]mn sandwich like it was Subway.”

2) ferk00 wrote, “Hot dogs and macaroni every night. Having ‘camp outs’ at the fireplace because we couldn’t afford the electric bill. Church people leaving boxes of food on our porch. My mom is the strongest person I’ve met. Raising a young child as a widow and making the poverty seem fun or invisible. No words for how much I admire that woman.”

TheFennex commented, “Ooooh, food box day was the best day! Real meat, and we had to eat it fast because it was already or almost expired! Mmmmmmmm … I never questioned where it came from.”

3) RollingInTheYeast wrote, “The three months we spent playing board games together, keeping all of our perishables in a cooler, cooking everything on the grill outside, and going to bed early. I never really thought about why we weren’t watching TV or anything like that until I went to take a shower with nothing but cold water. I just thought we were playing camping. We had candles everywhere for the night, so I thought my parents were really good at setting the scene for it. After about a month, our neighbors let us run a giant extension cord from their patio outlet to our house to power our fridge. Keith, if you’re a Redditor and remember your dorky poor neighbor Jessica back on 48th Street, thank you and your family times a billion. I’ll never forget the kindness you guys treated us with. You’re all pretty amazing people. ❤ Also I’m sorry for ditching you that one day to hang out with that little dipsh[*]t, Lenny, because he had a pool. It was hot as balls and I was 8.”

4) devlylooper wrote, “[I] remember we were dirt-poor (we still kind of are, except all my siblings and I now work). I remember my mother once taking us to Burger King and just watching us play. She didn’t buy anything for herself. Never has. This isn’t the worst, but to me it now makes me sad remembering my mother in a beige trench coat, watching us play. Both my parents are incredibly humble; it makes me want to cry how people can be so selfless. And yes, ramen soup and food stamps.”

Stormclaw11 asked, “Why do moms always spoil their kids so hard they feel guilty :(”

OvercaffeinateMe explained, “You kinda can’t not do that. For the most part, when you have kids, everything you do for them becomes the reflection of who you are as a person. A poor mother would think, ‘I should be able to provide my children with a pleasure as simple as a Happy Meal. But I can’t afford meals for all of us. So I’ll get my children Happy Meals.’ And done. Very little more thought goes into it. We don’t want to limit the normal experiences of childhood for them. So we do what we can to give them even the bare minimum of that. It probably never even occurred to OP’s [OP = Original Poster] mom that she was depriving herself in order to provide something nice for her children. You think, ‘This will make them happy,’ and then the thought train stops there.”

5) ShoutyCrackers wrote, “I grew up with just my mom. We were poor, on food stamps and welfare, but she made me realize just how good we had it. She’d volunteer us at soup kitchens, make me work at Meals on Wheels, and once she spent some of our meager savings on food for a friend of mine whose dad had bailed and his mom was trying to support four kids by herself. We loaded up the shopping cart, and took the food to his house. It was seven pm, and his mom was trying to put the kids to bed because she had nothing to feed them. When she saw all the food, she cried. As we left, my mom said, ‘See? No matter how bad you have it, others have it worse.’”

6) AnatAndr wrote, “I once asked my Mum why all our shopping was Tesco Value — she said it’s because the blue matched the kitchen. God bless parents.”

For More Information: Luizeef, “What memory from your childhood makes you think ‘Wow, we were poor’?” AskReddit. 25 July 2014


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