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By Jody Valley
Dear Readers: The Letter from “Pants Pockets Turned Inside Out” stirred up some emotionÉand helpful hints. This was about the woman who made $22.00 per hour, but never had money to buy presents for others at the holiday time
Most Readers felt upset with Pants Pockets:
Reader’s Response: I couldn’t believe what I read in your column in the January 22nd edition of Between The Lines. This person said that s/he made only $22.00 an hour! I can’t believe that this person even had the courage, or stupidity, to complain in public about that. This person is obviously out-of-touch with life, as most of us know it, not to speak of people in third world countries. I would like to give this person a suggestion so s/he would be ready for the holidays next year. Here’s my suggestion: Go and help out at a soup kitchen for a day!
Fourteen Dollars An Hour
Reader’s Response: I’d like to tell that person who is whining about making $22.00 an hour that I have been out of work for six months! What, am I supposed to feel bad for this poor Boob? Give me a break!
Zero Dollars An Hour
Reader’s Response: My grandmother lives on a very small Social Security check. She is frugal and watches the sales and is careful with her money. Each Christmas, she manages to give her ten grandchildren a present. It isn’t a big present, but it is always thoughtful. I mean, she knows us all and gives us something that fits who we are. The twenty-two dollars an hour person who complained about not having money for presents during the holidays ought to “get a grip!”
Just My Two Cents
Reader’s Response: Tell Pants Pockets Turned Out to find “A Cause” because, believe me, this person doesn’t have one right now!
A Word of Advice From Someone Who Doesn’t Care
One person agreed with Pants Pockets:
Reader’s Response: Jody, I think you were too hard on the person who didn’t have enough money at Christmas time and so felt like they couldn’t be a part of the celebration and was lonely. It irritates me that I have to shell out all this money on stupid presents each year at the holidays. This is just a big economic thing that the business community has promoted, and we are all stupid enough to let it happen. So, what we do is to spend ourselves into the poor house during that time, and end up having to pay the bill the rest of the year. Why can’t we just have a dinner, like at Thanksgiving or a get together of some kind? It seems to me that is what we would do if we just wanted to celebrate the occasion and be together. You don’t need presents; besides, so many presents are things I don’t want anyway. I just have to take them back and exchange them.
If I Had It My Way
Then there’s a reader who wished to help “Pants Pockets,” as well as offer a psychological perspective:
Reader’s Response: Regarding the woman who hated the holidays because she couldn’t afford gifts even though she makes $22 an hour: I only make about $12 an hour and each of my nieces, nephews and certain friends gets a birthday gift and a Hanukah present. This is how I do it–I share a home with two other people. This means I can afford to live in a nicer area. Also, I shop for gifts throughout the year, picking up bargains and clearance items, as they are available. I give gifts in the $15 – $20 range, less if I got a great deal and maybe a little bit more for a special occasion. My family knows and accepts that I do not make the kind of money to keep up with the latest trends and the kids don’t seem to mind getting last year’s video game instead of the most popular one today.
That being said, I don’t think “Pants Pockets” real issue is money. She seems to have a self-esteem problem and some unexplored anger issues. I think she really needs to work on social issues about her family (and friends) first and the money thing is just an excuse not to deal with it. I enjoy your column.
Been There Done That