Thursday, February 12, 2009

No Money for Food

There was a time in my life where I had run out of money due to some unfortunate circumstances. I was working, but a financial emergency had taken all I had, and I had no money for food.

As it was I had been financially strapped, I actually bought food based on calorie content. Just 17 cents for 400 calories of ramen was a good deal back then. So it wasn't like I had alot of money for food, but then I was out of cash and the cupboards were nearly bare. I wasn't going to be paid again for another week or so.

So I ate what I had. Flour. I made what a babysitter of mine had shown me as a kid for fun. She described it as food her mother ate when she was poor. You make a dough with water and flour. Boil it in water. Then serve it with butter and sugar.

I had the flour, but I think I was out of butter or margarine, and at this point I can't remember if I had sugar, but I must have had some.

So for about a week, this was what I ate.

When I think back, I probably could have asked for and gotten help from a friend, my parents, or even the government. But I was particularly proud, and embarrassed to find myself in that circumstance.

I think the easier your life, the more difficult it is to understand what it's like to live paycheck to paycheck. Having to skimp on the food you buy, or even going without is hard to empathize with if you've never had to do that.

So I appreciate what I have now and I understand what people are going through when the money is tight and employment uncertain. And I know from experience a few extra dollars a week can make a big difference when you don't have much to begin with.