Sunday, May 16, 2010

Poor white trash

Several years ago, I found a cheap trash can that was painted white and had the word "trash" painted on the side...get it? I got it on sale, so "poor", it's painted white, so "white", and it says it is for trash, so "trash"...ergo..Poor White Trash... PWT!

Oh, come on that's funny. No, not PC, but it still is what it is!

Actually, it is a fear of mine. Do you know that? I hate the idea of being broke, but more so, I hate the idea of anyone thinking I am broke.

My dad grew up in what could truly be called abject poverty. He use to tell the story about his own dad sending him and his two older brothers down to the train tracks in the motherland, AKA, Brooklyn, to gather up coal that had fallen off the trains. He wouldn't do it. He would go to the basements of other apartment buildings and steel the coal.

My mom grew up well off in upstate NY...okay, Yonkers is not upstate but to a guy from Brooklyn it is!

...and they appeared to be the well off couple.

We were just blue collar in truth. Dad was a thief...I mean moving man and mom was a stay at home mom who volunteered her time at everything. My brother and I were in private school our entire lives and we lived in a lovely cape on a quiet street in Yonkers.

I wonder if there were times, when dad would walk up that tree lined street and marvel at where he came from. He never had a driver's license (his thinking was that since he liked a drink or two, he might wind up killing someone with the car. Now there are a million answers to that one, but, right, another post for another day! LOL!) so he took public transportation. He didn't mind it at all. Being a NY-er if there wasn't a train or a bus, there was always a cab.
I mean honestly, to grow up in the cold water flats of Brooklyn to the life he got in Yonkers must have been shocking.

I have looked at my kitchen and marveled myself more then once. Some days every counter if full of junk. I think to myself "I wish I had a bigger kitchen." and then I remember my own grandmother. She use to have corrugated piece of medal that she placed over her double sink and that was what she used for counter space...shut up Mair. In just one and a half generatins, look how we get to live.

So what does all of this have to do with my PWT can?

Labels. We all have them. I happen to like them. I think I might even wear a pair of shoes that don't fit and just swing the bottom of them so people can read the label.

Case in point: I was given a Brooks Brother's camel hair coat...did you read that? Meditate on that for a moment please. Do you have any idea how much I wanted that coat? Do you have any idea how great I made that coat look? I mean honestly, me in a BB camel hair coat? Couldn't you just scream for me? No? Okay, this may not be the right blog for you again!

I wanted to wear it inside out. I wanted to hang the coat over my arm, so that people could read the label on the inside. I wanted to wear it in July to empty the garbage for crying out loud.

I slipped into that coat one Sunday morning to wear it to church...duh. If I am going to show off my labels anywhere, it is in church. Why do you think we wear our Sunday give our best to the Lord is perhaps the answer you may be looking for. But I have to say, I think it is so we can show everyone just how blessed we are by wearing a Brooks Brother's coat! Look how blessed I am!
And blessed I looked that fine winter/spring morning!

What was that? Was that a Still Small Voice? Nope, not listening. My labels are screaming in my ear. Darn it all, that looks just delicious on me!

In the car, the kids chattered. John was at work, so it was just me and the clan heading to service...and I looked fantastic in that coat. Still Small Voice...must be the Maggie I'm hearing.

I took off my BROOKS BROTHER'S coat and hung it over the back of the pew (label side out, of course. Again, duh!) and I sat next to my dear friend who was about to go for a radical mastectomy that week. We hugged and prayed together in that pew. Still Small Voice.

"Are you kidding me Lord? You want me to do what with my BB coat? Nope."

I can't tell you what our pastor was speaking on that day. I have no idea. I was too busy arguing with God about what I knew He was telling me to do.

When the service was over. I told my friend to take off her little green corduroy blazer. She complied. I took my coat and put it on her. It was made for her. She was so gracious and received it in love. She put her corduroy jacket on me and I wore it home with the kids asking where my new coat was. I told them it belonged to my friend now. She actually didn't have a winter coat and while I didn't know that at the time, she needed it more then I did. I have a perfectly good, brand new knock-off one at home.

Now part of me was wishing I had worn the knock off to church that morning and perhaps The Lord would have put it on my heart to give that one away instead. LOL!

All in all, He could not have cared less what the label inside the coat said. He told us that if there is a need and He calls on us to fill it, to obey Him.

So the label on my trash can is what is. The label inside my coat, is what it is. I still like pretty and expensive labels...but the only one God cares about is the one on my heart: Child of the King. That is only one that will ever matter.

Proverbs 22
"A good name is more desirable than great riches;
to be esteemed is better than silver or gold."

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

I am clueless about brand names, but my daughter all seem to know which ones are good!

God was very proud of you for giving your friend that coat...I am proud of you too!