A Facebook meme that more than 1 million people "like" shows four identical slices of white bread. They are labeled "sandwich bread," "hotdog bun," "hamburger bun" and "garlic bread." It says this illustrates "Growing Up Poor."
I hope it's a joke because that ain't poor.
Who could afford store-bought bread?
We bought bread at a place that sold day-old bread, or so they said. The place had a fine name: Ye Olde Nolde Bread Shoppe. We called it Ye Olde Moldy.
And, yes, old bread works fine for hot dogs and hamburgers.
But only the rich kids has stuff bought from stores. Or school lunches.
Poor folk made do with what they could make. It was cheaper that way. And several decades later we discovered it was a lot better that way too.
Bread meant biscuits. And biscuits meant dessert, if you poked a hole in it with your finger and poured homemade cane syrup in it.
Bread meant corn pone and hoecakes, not Little Miss Sunbeam.
For that matter, hot dogs were an oddity because they had to be store-bought.
Poor means the kids get the chicken feet -- not the legs, the feet.
It's cardboard in shoes and newspapers for wall paper.
It's dogs howling all night when it's too hot to sleep with no air conditioner.
It's gliding down the hill in neutral.
It's used oil, and recapped tires.
It's baseballs made of tin cans, and skate boards made of old skates and scrap lumber.
It's Greyhounds and Prince Albert cigarettes.
It's extension cords run from one home to power the place next door.
It's kids with worms.
It's powdered milk and homemade pancake syrup.
It's knee patches and yard sales.
It's name brands from thrift stores, and hand-me-down sweaters.
It's a pretend universe on an old wood pile.
It's clothes that don't exactly fit.
It's haircuts at the barber college and fillings at the dental school.
It's washing your plastic Baggies and saving used tin foil.
It's keeping the shampoo until water squirted in the empty bottle quits producing suds.
It's sharing. It's borrowing. It's renting out rooms. It's catching rides. It's looking under the drive-through window for dropped coins. It's turning in bottles and aluminum cans.
It's going to bed hungry so the kids don't have to.
It's praying and saving for a rainy day. It's being clean and smiling, always putting your best foot forward. It's never failing to tithe, and always having a gift, be it ever so humble.
No, hot dogs on loaf bread ain't poor. But it's a poor state of affairs if somebody thinks so.