My family of four is middle class. Not that long ago, given my husband's salary, we would have been classified as "upper middle class" I suppose. Not any more. This is a short story that is being told over and over around this country. This is my reality today. Please follow below the Fleur-de-Kos.
Please forgive any grammatical errors or ramblings, but I am in withdrawal from my anti-depression meds. This is because I could not afford them for a week. I am sick to my stomach, and a little light-headed. Like most months, we were running tight on the budget. But then, and it takes so little, doesn't it, a couple of crises hit. A couple of doctor bills, the cat had to go to the vet, and my car needed repairs. Since we are long-time customers, the car repair place "kindly" let me pay half my bill in Nov. with the understanding I will pay the other half this coming Monday. I knew that would wipe out all I had left for the month for groceries and medicines, but you need a car and I figured I could manage somehow. The kids fortunately had just enough of their own money left to buy their own meds, and we had plenty of food. So I started taking a smaller dosage every day so I could make it last until today, when my husband got paid.
This afternoon, despite feeling like I might toss my cookies any minute, I got dressed and went out to my car so I could go buy my meds. The universe laughed, and my car didn't start. So, I gave all my end-of-the-month money to a car repair shop, leaving myself without enough money to buy my medicine, and they didn't repair my car. I am sick, trembly, angry, and utterly impotent at the moment. It will work out. My son will be home from work soon and can pick up my medicine. My husband can jump-start my car in the morning and we will take it back for more work. But I want to know, when will it get better? For us, for you? We've had tough times before, but never so bad I had to go without medicine. Next time, will we have to go without food, too?
If President Obama had not won reelection, I would have absolutely no hope right now. But he did, so I hang on. And hope he stays tough against the agents of evil who have driven the middle class to the place we are today; hanging on by a thread, praying it doesn't get worse, and finding it hard to believe it will ever get better again.