It’s not Poverty, It’s Lack of Money

My wife sent me off to the big store. Some might call it the big-box store. I just call it big. I have C.O.P.D. and anything larger than my closet is big. She gave me a list and the last of our monthly income. I turned my oxygen tank to six and off I went. Huffing and puffing I made it to those beautiful gray shopping carts lifted my tank and placed it awkwardly into my cart, and with list in hand I trekked to the food aisle. I bought all possible generic items I could find and with each item came a wave of anxiety. Rudely I added item price in my head with each find. It didn’t look good. Should I put back the generic cream cheese, the powdered sugar, or maybe the frozen whip cream?

I fussed for awhile staring down at my bounteous collection. I’m sure there were people watching as I closed my eyes to pick which item that would not be leaving with me today. Lo and behold it was two miniature fruit pies that would be great for a snack tonight. They stayed. I wasn’t sad that I had to put them back. Generally I was pissed off because I didn’t get enough Social Security to provide for my wife and me. I was pissed off because I was sick and couldn’t work a part time job. I suppose I was feeling sorry for myself. I admit it, but the glory of serendipity found me at the cash register. My total purchase was forty-two cents less than my budget. My god I had forty-two cents left, enough to donate to a cause like maybe the Help the Starving Congress fund or maybe feed the bankrupt political advisers association, or maybe the Send the President to a golfing school endowment.

This little blurb does have a positive note. As I wrestled with my purchase trying to push it through the hatch, a very nice youthful appearing lady grabbed the rest of my stuff in the cart and loaded it for me. She then helped me get my oxygen tank and off she went with the cart, kind of like the Lone Ranger or Zorro. I hollered “thank you” to her. I was profusely grateful for her kindness. She glanced back at me and merely smiled. I thought about offering her the forty-two cents I had left, but that would have been disrespectful. Besides, I think Donald might put it to better use, maybe place it as a down payment on a golf ball.