Wednesday, January 11, 2006


So, yeah, I had to put the burnt orange jacket on this morning to walk the dog because I only own one lightweight jacket. And you know it just pisses me off that six years of higher education didn't make me rich enough to afford, say, two jackets or maybe a jacket and a sweatshirt that wasn't lost in the great car repossession of 2005 and never replaced because I spend my extra money, when I have it, on booze like the true fucking trash I am. No, all six years of higher education did for me was move me from the kind of poor person who lives out in the country and shits out some babies for a man she's slowly poisoning with all that fried food to the kind of poor person who's supposed to feel okay about being poor because she has the priviledge of being around "smart" people. The recalcitrant brother's first son's mother is this pissed-off rural Georgia girl whose family's all in the Klan. She has this way of spitting out "Whatever" so that it sizzles in your ear like bacon in a hot pan and stings like flying grease. I say it all the time in her honor, but most days I lack her ability to infuse it with the right amount of bitchy fire. Today, though, walking around my "WT"* neighborhood in my burnt up coat with my shoes I can about put a finger through the bottoms of, I sounded just like her when I was like "whatever."** *Did I tell you how when the Man from GM came to visit me the first thing he said when I pulled onto my street was "This really is a WT neighborhood" and I was like "What the fuck is a WT neighborhood?" and he lowered his voice like there might be someone else in the car who might overhear him and said "White Trash." **I believe this is what the Boy Scout calls impotent rage.


Blogger Exador said...

Today, though, walking around my "WT"* neighborhood in my burnt up coat with my shoes I can about put a finger through the bottoms of

And it sounds like you looked like you fit right in.

1/11/2006 08:34:00 AM  
Blogger Ted said...

Yanno, I spent 12 years on continuing education (it was to get a 4-year degree (switching majors from Psychology to English to Theatre to Music to Computer Science (while working my way through the outrageous tuition) will do that to you)), and now, working in "the industry" (read: Bill Gates' Personal Hell), I miss the simple machine shop job.

Other than the pretentious conversation and misplaced sense of entitlement, continuing education is overrated, I think.

1/11/2006 09:30:00 AM  
Blogger Kat Coble said...

I've so far got about 9 years invested in an undergrad degree that I've yet to complete. I hate hate hate academia. Love the learning, hate the hoops.

I'll probably get my degree before I die, but at this rate only just. The thing is, everywhere I've been, everywhere I've worked, I've worked alongside college grads and UNDER people who never finished college. I get the feeling more and more that college is pretty optional.

Let me rephrase that: a college DEGREE is pretty optional. Whenever hiring managers/personnell staff hear how many hours I have--that I've at least been--they consider it pretty much the same as if I had the actual degree. Granted, I'm not pursuing teaching or law or surgery. Nevertheless....

1/11/2006 11:07:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Dear Aunt B,
I've never commented on any of your stuff before, but I feel a bit moved to do so now. "Whatever" seemed a bit despondent, bitter, resentful. It seems like you have a sense of defeat, like you are resigned to the fact that it will always be this way. Guess theres a lot of us white trash out there. When I was a kid it was not unusual for the house to suddenly go dark because the light bill went unpaid, my parents did the best they knew how, I never went hungry and they sent me to college, but it was always paycheck to paycheck. After college I found myself working in jobs that were below what I felt my education entitled me to. The point is, I identify with the circumstances you describe, I was poorer than shit. Way back then I began to develop something resembling a philosophy for living - always consider the possibility of NOT doing what everybody else is doing. Everybody else was busily acquiring various forms of personal debt, I felt like I was too poor to do that, so I didn't. I bought used cars and drove one till the floor literally rusted away. Along the way somebody suggested I start putting aside some money in an IRA, which I did. That was many years ago, long story short; I was doing the "Dave Ramsey" thing while Dave was still in junior high. The result is that now after so many years I can legitimately consider myself in good shape financially. My net worth is well above average. My wife and I buy new cars when we feel like it (not often, we still like to get as much out of a depreciating asset as possible) and put our kids through private school. I'm in my 50's and I never quite got that job to equal my education, I got over feeling bad about that, I'll probably retire in less than 10 years. My goal has never been to become rich, only to be financially secure. As I type this, I realize it sounds like bragging, that is absolutely not my intent. My intent is simply to say that we make our own beds, and that generally speaking nobody with at least average intellect and abilities should feel like they can't change their circumstances, no matter what side of the tracks you come from. You are only locked in place if you let yourself believe that change is impossible. Change is hard, hard as hell and can seem to take forever, staying the same is easy. My life is different than it seemed like it should have been, because I dared to be different, and I felt the urge to share these thoughts. Change is possible. I have many jackets, coats, etc. One favorite is a sort of classic tweedy looking sportcoat with an upscale label inside, and I have gotten compliments when I wear it. I paid $5 for it at Goodwill, and the only reason the electricity in my house ever goes out is due to a bad storm, by God. I enjoy reading your Blog Aunt B, and I look forward to more.

(White Trash with Attitude)

1/11/2006 12:09:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I think it depends greatly on the field Katherine. I forsee it being hard in 10 years to get a job in my field without a graduate degree.


1/11/2006 12:15:00 PM  
Blogger Aunt B said...

Boy Scout--whatever.

Ted and Kat--Still I think it's one of those hoops that you have to jump through to get a good job. For all my complaining, I'm the only person in my family not regularly begging money off the folks and I'm the only one with a college education. I don't think those things are unrelated.

WTA--I was a little down this morning, but it's funny to me now. Thanks for your kind words, though.

1/11/2006 12:50:00 PM  
Blogger Kat Coble said...

Still I think it's one of those hoops that you have to jump through to get a good job.

I imagine you're correct. Seeing as I haven't had any "good" jobs for a while.

1/11/2006 02:04:00 PM  

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