I've been in your shoes  

rm_MariGrrl 40F
2485 posts
6/24/2006 8:50 pm

Last Read:
4/2/2007 8:53 pm

I've been in your shoes

Today as I headed up to the rental company to return the car I got for my trip I stopped at a gas station.

I pulled up in a brand new car and paid for my gas with a crisp $100 bill (I had stopped at the bank on the way and that just happened to be what they gave me).

I walked inside and smiled at the man that was one register over from me. He glanced at me and gave me a nervous smile. Then looked down to the floor. He proceeded to count out the change from his pocket to pay for his gas... $3.67 worth. He glanced over once more as I was paying and saw the $100 bill. This only seemed to add to his embarrassment.

I just smiled and made a quick comment about the outrageous price of gas. He anxiously took his receipt and exited the store (looking down in shame the whole time).

I guess this image stuck in my head today because I realize how I must have looked to him. A 20 something woman with a nice car and plenty of cash. But, the truth is I've been in his shoes. I've known the shame of counting change just to get to work. I've known many days where it seemed everyone had it better than me. Looks, however, can be deceiving. The car wasn't mine and the cash was the last of what was in my bank account taken out for the sole purpose of gassing up my rental before retuning it.

So, if you are ever that person... counting your change to get by... don't hang your head in shame. Because, I and many others have been in your shoes. The amount of money you have does not define your value and more times than not those that seem to have it better than you are struggling in their own ways as well.

If you're lucky enough not to be that person, then show him all the kindness you can. Give him a smile. Give him your respect. Someday you might be in his overly worn shoes.

norprin5 56M

6/24/2006 10:56 pm

yup...been there, done that, couldn't afford the t-shirt...

good post, Mariluv

King Nor XVIII

rm_MariGrrl replies on 6/25/2006 10:14 am:
Been there too Nor. Right after my youngest daughter was born, my husband and I put in for transfers at work. We both worked for the same company but in different towns and our commutes were allowing us very little time at home. It was a good job and although with the birth of a new baby and moving to a new town things were tight we were confident that it wouldn't take long to build things back up. Well, within a couple months of moving our company lost its most lucrative contract and we were both laid off. I actually had to go to a food bank just to make sure my kids could eat. I just needed a little bit to get us by until I got my paycheck from my new job. I was looked at with mistrust and disgust. I actually overheard a woman that worked there say, "She sure doesn't look poor to me." It was one of the lowest points in my life.

bulging_boy 50M

6/24/2006 11:11 pm

Compassion is one of those things that seems to be on the verge of extinction.

I feel for the guy, and have been the guy myself. It sucks, this monetary world we live in.

There are so many people who add so much value to it, yet are treated with disdain because they aren't overflowing with cash. To some people, caring for others is more important than earning the big dollars.

Of course, there are exceptions. Still... sometimes you wonder what you can do or say to help lift their spirits if you're the stranger like you were.

Fuck. Now I'm plagued with the thoughts of that guy now, and I wasn't even there!

Thanks for posting this tho Mari, even though a little close to the bone for me, it's always good to remember that life can be a struggle, and not everyone has a silver spoon in their mouth.

rm_MariGrrl replies on 6/25/2006 10:17 am:
Life is a struggle and without my own personal struggles I might not have the compassion for those in need that I do.

I really felt for this man and was tempted to offer him some cash for gas. But, I was afraid of embarrassing him further. So, I just offered him a smile.

(What the fuck is this shit..?? *rolls eyes*)

6/25/2006 6:17 am

WOW you said it ALL...Been there and I am doing that AGAIN...Been living in shame for to long myself...Because of All the Harassment at work and the years of it I was Placed on Disability for Delayed Stress Syndrome...Not much of a income compared to what I was taking home each week, I was living phat but now I can't even afford to replace my High-tops that have holes in the bottom in them and my walking shoes need replacement too...And to add insult to injury I lost my Truck because it broke down and couldn't afford to get it out of the storage lot it had been towed to let alone the repairs so I just had to say FUCK IT not worth it...But I still have some retirement left and I am Grateful for that...Ready


rm_MariGrrl replies on 6/25/2006 10:21 am:
I feel for ya Ready. My minivan was totaled a little while back and I still haven't been able to find an affordable replacement. You have no reason to live in shame Ready. That's why I wanted to post this to show that more people are going through this kind of shit than any of us realize. Sometimes it helps just knowing your not the only one.

sexyariesgirl 59F

6/25/2006 6:50 am

I've been there, and some days come close to being there again! "There but for the grace of God go I..."

Power To FOK

rm_MariGrrl replies on 6/25/2006 10:23 am:
I think the majority of us have been there or close to it.

flagg134 37M
1582 posts
6/25/2006 8:03 am

So know that feeling I have been to the bottom scraping pennies just to get by. Its depressing and a helpless feeling to be stuck in such a desperate situation. This world driven by money makes the have nots feel ashamed of themselves. Its sad the duress people have to put themselves through just to make ends meet.


rm_MariGrrl replies on 6/25/2006 10:24 am:
It is very sad. Not only to be in need of money... but, in danger of losing ones dignity as well.

loadeddice05 45M

6/25/2006 8:12 am

Thank god for people like you. No joking on this one!! I remember a christmas long ago my mother barely had enough money for a tree!! Luckily I have a job that will allow me to make ends meet and will allow for overtime when needed.
This is a sad situation for many people now. And unfortunately the economy isn't helping??? Thank God the reign of king George is almost done!! Although he isn't the whole problem....he hasn't helped!!!

thanx for killing my carefree mood!!!!

rm_MariGrrl replies on 6/25/2006 10:28 am:
You are so right. Our economy is suffering severly. I lost my job many years back when my company's client couldn't pay their bill. Due to enron style bookkeeping on their part the little man got fucked once again.

Oh, and thank you for the sweet compliment... didn't mean to be a buzz kill though

rm_kelli4u2dew 42F
5220 posts
6/25/2006 5:52 pm

I have been lucky. I've never had a time in my life when I was in need. I know how lucky that is. I have never understood why being poor would be a cause for shame. I also have never understood why people who have money think it makes them intellectually or morally superior. Most of the rich people I've known were rather bankrupt morally, no matter how smart they thought they were.

rm_MariGrrl replies on 6/25/2006 6:53 pm:
I hear where you're coming from. When I first started tending bar I worked at an upscale lounge. Local millionaires came in every week for their poker game. They always thanked us for the excellent service and then gave us the lowest tips we had ever received. A couple years later, I began tending bar part time at a tavern frequented by bikers. Most of the guys were laborers of some sort and they always were very generous with their tips. Not trying to stereotype the wealthy, but I've found that those who work for what they have seem to be more generous with what little they have.

imaxtoy 34M
1289 posts
6/26/2006 7:48 am

*hugs* There's a tear in my eye about this post. Thanks... I dunno what for, but this post reminded me so much about myself not too long ago.

imax, the toyed

rm_MariGrrl replies on 6/26/2006 6:54 pm:
I've been there too. The worst part is feeling like you're the only one.

p33c3y0 43M

6/26/2006 4:30 pm

it's true ... we all had are different starts and our own pace in getting wherever we're at it in life ... you gotta find your own happiness in it ... no matter what ...

rm_MariGrrl replies on 6/26/2006 6:55 pm:
Yep, the struggles help make us who we are. Happiness can be found sometimes you just have to dig a little deeper to find it.

julie4daddy34 46F
599 posts
6/26/2006 8:46 pm

While reading that all I could think was "awwwwww". I've been in those shoes..I can remember a time when my hubby was out of work because of surgery..my girls were 1 and 2..the disability wasnt enough to make it...social services wouldnt help..and I had to go to my father..tears all the way..just to ask for money to buy diapers. He gave it willingly and I've never forgotten that. Those that have money..and have never had to deal with the "omg how am I gonna get by" feeling have no clue what others go through. Things are better now..but I would never look down on someone else who wears the shoes I wore not long ago.

rm_MariGrrl replies on 6/27/2006 12:56 pm:
I know all too well that "omg how am I going to get by" feeling and having children that depend on you just makes it all even more difficult. Thanks for sharing Julie

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