We live in a very judgmental society. We are all guilty of making judgments at one time or another, myself included. But I’ve noticed one recurring point pop up on social media that I have to take a different stance on.
My husband has been unemployed since November. Every so often he picks up a small job here or there to try to put food on our table, but that’s about all these jobs do – and barely. We are struggling. Honestly, if he doesn’t get a regular job soon, I know we won’t be able to keep our cars or even our home for that matter. He has applied for unemployment, and although it was approved, the system, seems designed for failure, so we have yet to receive anything from them. I’ve applied for and finally received reduced-priced lunches for my kids at school. And most importantly, I’ve applied for food stamps so that I can feed my family. Then I read this. It’s not the first time I’ve read this. It won’t be the last. But today I have a few things to say about it.
- Cigarettes – My husband smokes. He has smoked for 30 years. It is an addiction that cannot be easily quit. But no one has had to support his addition. He has worked all 30 of those years to pay for his own cigarettes. He still has to pay for his own cigarettes now. The fact that we cannot afford to put food on the table does not change his inability to quit smoking. Quite frankly, now would be a bad time for him to quit anyway. With the stress of not having a job, would you recommend throwing in the mood-altering effect that would take place with quitting? I don’t want to deal with that. That would be more detrimental to our family than not having money. There are solutions to not having money. There aren’t any solutions to the effect him mentally losing it would have on our marriage or our children. Thank you, but he can keep smoking if you ask me.
- Beer – Again, it is my husband’s favorite beverage. He is not an alcoholic. He can stretch out a six pack to satisfy his taste buds as necessary. It helps him relax. Not relaxing when you aren’t able to support your family is detrimental. If he stays calm, I stay calm. If he starts to lose it, I start to lose it. Give the guy a break. What man doesn’t like beer? Besides, I feel if you can keep your life as normal as possible in times of duress, it helps you pickup the pieces much faster. Beer is normal.
- Manicures – I may look as if I have a manicure. I don’t. I haven’t had a manicure in many many years. If my nails look nice, it’s because I take care of them on my own, all by myself, no manicurist needed. Even when I had money, I took care of them myself. I believe paying for someone else to do them is a waste of money anyway. Enough said.
- The point I really enjoy about this – Tattoos. I have tattoos. My husband has tattoos. Tattoos we purchased when we had money to “blow”. My having tattoos does not change the position I am currently faced with of having to feed my kids. My tattoos did not take food off the table when I got them. They do not take food off the table now. They are not going to magically disappear because I am broke just so you can have a better image of me in my time of need. There is no correlation to my having tattoos and my family’s need to eat.
So what’s my point? My point is I have been a part of the work force for 25 years. My husband has been a part of the work force for 30 years. We have supported many families in their time of need via our tax dollars to welfare, food stamps, etc. So now it’s our turn to need a little assistance. Your turn may come too. Try to be a little less judgmental by what you see. Do not judge a person until you walk in their shoes. I pray you never have to feel what it is like to walk in broken down, worn out shoes. They aren’t very comfortable.