Thursday, August 16, 2012

Peeling Back the Layers of Pretense

In my wanderings around the area I've discovered a few things.

Lots of people appear to be doing fine when in fact, they're not.

1.A local man has kept up with the boating crowd by stealing gas for his motor.

2. A family takes in short term boarders for two to five day stays in their home while they camp out in the garage with a makeshift kitchen and porta potti so they can hopefully generate enough money to pay waterfront taxes.

3.Others place a Craigslist ad for "furniture wanted" and your phone will ring non-stop from people who admit to being desperate for cash or those who sing a familiar line: "I never use that anymore." When you arrive to pick up that never used item there are lots of nearly empty rooms.

4. More land line phones are being disconnected to avoid the monthly fees and collection calls. Cell phones numbers are changed because someone got an Obama phone but carries their old phone for looks. I kid you not!

5. Other adjustments are: growing your hair out; taking fewer baths and doing less laundry to save on the water bill; inviting yourself to lunch or dinner at a friends; going to church potlucks for a better meal; advertising your home on For Sale By Owner so a real estate sign doesn't tip the neighbors off and last, but not least, advertising your house sitting, lawn maintenance and painting skills on northern Craigslists for the snowbird owners.

Now, other than stealing gas and inviting myself to dinner, I don't knock these strategies. It's a shame, though, that people are so tied to appearances that they pretend all is well. What does that teach their children?

There is no shame in having a rough time. Being afraid of acknowwledging reality is.


Anonymous said...

Sad but true!! Have seen the same here too. Neighbors bought a used travel trailer a few months back. Then we started noticing household things being taken to the curb..then to the travel trailer. Husband did some work and repair to it for a couple months. I took their dogs home a couple times as they had gotten loose when wife answered the door I could see inside they had no furniture..(three little boys mind you) Then all the sudden in the night they were gone.!!! Have seen a lot of bargaining at yard sales and the thrift stores have now put up signs they will not come down on marked prices. I asked why they did this and said it was because people were asking to pay half of what was marked and they run soley on what is brought in. There have been a lot of garage sales here all summer which is almost unheard of. Always start after snowbirds come until easter. We are small town and the food pantry is hurting serving over 500 people a day!!!! Makes me sad. I see a lot of early morning dumpster diving too.

Blessings to you both--Florida Mom

treesong said...

I volunteered at a once monthly food give away today (where I heard a lot of the things I mentioned).

Imagine my surprise when I was sweeping the floor and a familiar face came in - the mother of our well off neighbor from Naples who bought the foreclosure next to us. I said nothing, just smiled because she was obviously embarrassed.

At this place, people can line up to go through a second time if there's any left over boxes of food. NOT TODAY. At least a dozen people didn't get served.

Sixbears said...

We are in a slow grinding collapse and this is what it looks like.

One good thing here is that you can sell anything you add value to at the local farmer's market. It's huge this year. Of course there are veggies, but also lots of arts and craft type stuff.

Mamma Bear said...

I'm with Sixbears...It is slow and grinding. I think it is so slow and so gradual that a lot of folks aren't paying attention. I don't get out much but I do read Craig s list regular. There are more and more listings each day.

HermitJim said...

I'm afraid it's only going to get worse before it gets better for a lot of folks.

For many, hindsight will be 20/20!