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Thursday, June 3, 2010

From the ghetto to the Westside!

Since I can remember, my family and I lived in the ghetto; don’t get me wrong we were not dirty people, let me define ghetto. For some living in the ghetto is opening cans with a knife instead of a can opener which I had to do a lot of times. I love being a Mexican because we always find a way!!! Viva la Raza… LOL

Anyways, yes I am proud to say I was fortunate to have those ugly ass Medicaid glasses when I was a kid because we were too poor to have the pretty, classy ones; the important thing was I could see! If you had Medicaid in the 1990’s then you know what I am taking about.

(The mobile home)
I was fortunate to have the welfare cheese, damn was that cheese good! We were poor, but fortunate to have food on the table even though it was beans. The clothes I owned was either from the flea market or yard sales; man I remember those times! I hated getting up at 5am on the weekend to go to the damn yard sales. My parents would get the paper and look for the good yards sales in which we used to say the rich lived LOL, but I was fortunate to have clothes on my back. I have to admit that when I found an outfit that was so pretty, I felt like a princess; yes it was used but it was now mine.

At times my parents were so poor striving to make a living, Santa would not come, but guess what if I got lucky; he would come the day after Christmas in a Salvation Army bus with lots of toys and a basket of food, man that was like the best feeling ever; it wasn’t a slay but it was Santa Clause.

I had lived in a mobile home for as long as I could remember, until a couple of months ago I still lived in the same mobile home in which I grew up in and which is almost close to dust because it is falling apart. But you know what? I wouldn’t change my hardships, at times I actually thank God for them because they have helped me appreciate what is important.

My family never ever had new things, our furniture, dishes, clothes, etc. you name it, it was either from the thrift shop, flea market, or yard sales; but yet we were thankful for what we had.

Now I have been blessed with a mansion!!! That is what our new home is to me, a mansion, and yes for the first time in my life I have a NEW couch; it was in layaway for a several weeks and had to make several payments before I could finally bring it home,but it now sits beautifully in our new home.

(The NEW couch)

The dishes are still the same ones because I had a box that I had been saving to open for when the day I bought my house finally came; let me explain!

When I worked in retail at Foleys at the mall, things would fall down in price when they were discontinued and I would put them on my Foleys credit card if I was lucky to find the opportunity. At times being a single mom, it was hard to do that, but life is a risk, after 9 years of them being boxed up they now sit in my new house kitchen cabinets.

Retail is a hard and dirty job, and I used to complain about it when I left, but know that I think about it working there was a blessing because I was able to get the deals after the season was over. I would wait till summer was over to buy my son summer clothes for the following year, I would buy them big so when summer came again; he would be set. I did the same thing with winter. I used to get brand named clothing for my hijito, at times for $1 each. That was the bonus of working there; the down fall was I only got paid $6.50 hr. and worked like a dog. Worked random hours, never had weekends off, and hardly got to see my son; he was practically always at daycare!

This is why I decided to go back to school, to show my son the importance of education and that if you don’t have it life will be harder. One day I was sitting in my USED couch that was handed down to me from three generation thinking, Cristina you can do it, you can make a difference and give your son the life you never had. My son has always been the weapon of me being were I am now, and you know what? I’m still not done, there is still much more to do.

Those who have never been poor will never know the hardships and the feeling of having something other than beans for dinner. I am blessed and I wouldn’t change it for the world. I love my life and I am thankful for what I have learned because I have character, courage and the strength to tell people to fuck off if I need to; I will have great stories to tell my grandchildren, that is if I make it there.

Now at 27 years old I have been blessed with buying a new house! It’s not a new model, but it is mine, and it is not a mobile home located in a bad neighborhood. I have had to strive and work hard for what I have and I wouldn’t change it for the world because I can say I did it on my own even while being a single mother! So no one can tell me shit.

(The NEW home)

If you didn’t go through at least a few things I mentioned, then you were RICH in my eyes and you will never see what it truly is to appreciate not having anything. Even with that we were considered Middle Class because there are worst things in life, and everyday I pray for the hungry in Mexico and around the world who don’t even have a piece of bread to eat or clean water to drink. So do I consider my self blessed? Yes I do! So if I was finally able to buy a NEW couch after the shit I been through in my life, I hell ass have earned it, and I didn’t ask anyone to buy it for me!!!

(The USED dinning table)
Oh and before I forget, the dinning table is complementary of my dearest best friend “Lluvia”. Thank you my sista, it looks great in our kitchen, I love you and I know that your childhood was way harder than mine. You had to pick the fields out in the hot sun while still being a kid. That is why we are who we are now! We do share one thing in common though; both of our mothers had to deal with our alcoholic fathers. God bless these women for their strength and will power to raise us kids even through the worst of circumstances.Viva the Ghetto and thank God for those wonderful times because they have made me who I am.


  1. Cristina, yeah, so maybe I never had to go through being poor or never had to go without help from my extremely generous parents, at least not in a time that I remember, but it doesn't mean I'm a bad, ungrateful person. I'm just as thankful for my life as you are, just because I come from a privileged background doesn't mean I don't appreciate everything that is around me and everything that I have ever had in my life. I may not remember it well, but when I was 7 my parents separated, and my mother had to work at JC Penney for probably less that 6.50/hr, and she took care of me the best she could in a tiny little apartment feeding me Tuna Helper for a year and a half. Now that my parents have the means to help and support me, they are happy and proud to help me and my sister, and I am extremely grateful to them. I rarely ask them for help - they more often offer it. I have even offered to give money back to my parents because I didn't need it, or have pushed it away when my dad tried to hand me a $20 bill when I only needed a $10 or even when I didn’t ask for anything at all, but they have told me to keep it. Why should I continually get beaten down for this and be made to feel as if I'm a weaker person than you or others less fortunate? Just because I've never had to go through financial hardships and I've had new things more often than not doesn't mean I haven't gone through hard things in my life. There are other kinds of hardships a person can go through, that can shape who you are just as much. Just because I get "things" more easily than others doesn't mean I'm not grateful. Just because I can spend money given to me as a gift and not have to pay bills with it doesn’t mean I appreciate the gifts any less. Just because I can afford to use my savings for large, unplanned-for purchases from time to time doesn’t mean I understand the value of saving any less. As hurt as you get by things a person might say to you about your poor background, I get just as hurt when people jab at my privileged upbringing. I’m proud of the way I grew up, just as you are. I may not have had to fight as hard as you have to get where I am in life, but I certainly know just how blessed my life is nonetheless. I may be fortunate and spoiled, but I’m not some ungrateful spoiled heiress who doesn’t understand just how fortunate she is. I know I’m spoiled, but I am grateful for it. I don’t, and have never, taken it for granted.

  2. I have lived both sides of the spectrum, more so on the poor side. My fathers side of the family is extrmely rich. My mothers side is higher middle class. While my parents were married which was untill I was in 2nd grade we lived good, my dad had a good job, and mom stayed at home and cared for me and my brother.But when we had money I still had to deal with my Dad using drugs, beating my mom and us kids it was NOT fun. when they got divorced my mom was a waitress putting herself thru school and raising us we were VERY Poor living in a motel then a 1 bedroom apartment. We had notha we ate beans and kool aid lol. So girl I know how it is to be rich and poor. I am very poor right now struggling to pay the bills but my kids are happy I may be stressed but the kids are happy and thats all that matters. Cristine I know hardships you prob read my last blog. Laura I know what it is like to have money BUT you know how you say we make you fill when we say stuff about you being privlidged you get hurt. Ok we get hurt when you make us feel beneath you you may not know your doing it and you might not mean it the way it comes out so just always remember me and Cristina are struggling Moms and we have a ton of stress as it is so please remember that. And I will chill on giving you shit about that phone but damn thats alot of money WOW ok last time! But dont talk crap about my rinky dinky phone cuz thats all I can afford love ya buh bye!SMOOCHES

  3. Cristina, your house is beautiful!!!!

    All I can is that thanks to my humble background, I am able to appreciate what I have and am able to withstand any obstacle without crumbling down easily. Thanks to growing up the way I did, I can take on any challenge without giving up easily. Everyone's got different hardships, and it makes them stronger.

    I can't wait to go visit you at your house!!!


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