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So Poor, continued

Updated: Dec 28, 2022

The behind-the-scenes story of “We were so poor" began when we were newlyweds, we were continually seeking ways to better understand each other. As it was, we both came from somewhat different geographic backgrounds. me, an X-Californian and my wife, a Southern Baptist with all the trimming from Texas and Louisiana-as that was how she was raised. This was certainly a learning curve for both of us and that of how to share humor, as in the south, they have wonderful dry humor, in California, it would be sometimes considered insulting.

As it was, we were much in-love and knew that adjustments were necessary, some little-some bigger. My Bride (Whom years later, I still from the Heart, referring to her as My Bride with pride.

Upon our marriage in Hawaii, we lived in a condominium in Washington State in a lower level, our neighbor above us, just so happened to be our later family doctor and his wife, his R.N. Assistant, awesome and a super lovely couple. We are pretty certain that they thought us a very unusual and weird couple, due to our habit of once in bed, creating howling laughter and tears in our eyes from said laughter for over an hour, plus.

It all began about two months after our union, we lay in bed, headed for slumber, it was about 11;30 PM, my bride was about half-way to sleep and I said out loud “We were so poor, we could not afford sleep”, with this, my wife moved to her elbow, looked down at me with “WHAT” did you just say, and I continued sharing my life of being poor, (albeit, we both came from middle class and loving families). When she realized that this was kidding and potentially story telling time, she retorted, that her brother (actuallly, she had no brother) and she shared one pair of shoes, as every other day we exchanged the shoe from the other foot, as she was a girl and he a boy, this must have been a sight? I then continued that, we may have been poor, but Mama insisted that her children have the latest in fashion, so she always made sure that we were dressed in the latest Christine Doir onion or potato sack clothing, right off the burlap rack, it kind of looked strange on the boys, but this took place in the South, and what Mama said was the rule of law.

This exchange went on for a few hours, drawing us together in a fashion one could not imagine, this became a ritual for many months, and we laughed ourselves to sleep many times, and found a source of union, one could not have imagined.

As to our upstairs neighbors, with those below, creating a almost nightly laughing stir, it must have brought about many looks between them, listing to the muffled sounds from the crazies downstairs, actually it was that of loving laughter by two much in-love neighbors. This “We were so poor” entertainment, thus, the sharing continues almost thirty years later.


We were taught that you only use two squares of toilet paper, one for business and the other to blow your nose.

We were so excited when we found a whole bunch of new pets to play with, we were told that they were called bed bugs.

Poverty is not always so bad.

We were so poor that we could not afford a roof over us.

We thought our family car was a very used red American flyer wagon.

We were so poor, that we had to share dreams.

And it continues…

We thought that a Freezer Delight Surprise was Ice cubes with peanut butter, each of us got one when it froze outside. (We did not have a refrigerator).

We were so poor, that we had to take the acorn nuts from the squirrels hiding place.

A night at the movies, we had no TV, so we stood at the window and watched the neighbor’s television through the window.

We were so poor that we changed the channels on the TV with our hands.

We were so lucky, for our giant screen TV. We found a large appliance box, cut a hole in the side, and took turns being the TV actor. Our neighbors were full of envy.

We were so poor that we only had a ½ holler in our out-house.

We were so poor and Mama felt so bad that we never had dessert, so one night she tore out a picture of a dessert she found at the welfare office and all of us told each other how it would taste.

A used pull of floss could last our family a whole week.

We utilized fire flies as lighting in our shanty, and we thought of ourselves as really blessed, as the fire fly's buzzed, the rich people did not have luxury of the “buzz in a jar”.

Mama had to make our homemade food.

We were so poor that we did not even reach poverty level.

We loved Peanut butter on crackers, of course, that was what we ate every night.

We collected mud pies for heating, not eating.

Mama let us walk along the side of the highway on Saturdays, as it was called a 'freeway'.

We were so poor, that we were grateful just to have a cardboard roof over our heads.

Sadly, we were so poor, we did not have socks or shoe laces, but we did have shoes, that we shared.

We were so poor that we could not even afford a home address.

More to come...............


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