Maybe you remember me. I am that woman for whom life has been slightly difficult, but who is doing her best.
I am that girl who didn’t procure a state-funded abortion and has spent a cumulative total of 2 of her daughter’s six years utilizing any sort of state- or federally-funded programs, because she is capable and smart and resourceful and good at things.
You know, the one who’s been working and paying taxes since she was fifteen? The one who bucks the statistics about women like her, unfortunate women who were not blessed with her incorrigible drive, resourcefulness, and intelligence, who have also faced some bumps in the road.
You remember me. I’m that chick who has shitty credit, but who provides for her daughter anyhow. I make my payments at their inflated interest rates and bust my ass to get better. I help my daughter with her homework, punish her when she misbehaves, so that you red tape loving, condescending wankers won’t have to do it for me. For her. For society.
I view my role as a person who lives in this country who has bravely faced and thrived in poverty, who has seen to her own education despite it, who has reached out to her community for help and contributed in ways she could as a positive one. I look forward to having an increasingly positive impact as I claim more of the success that can be mine, as I push the boulder of my standards up a long, steep hill.
But you lordly fucks just won’t leave me alone. You massive corporations with the power to exploit people without the financial chutzpah to hire the lawyers they need to stand up for themselves; you tax collection bureaus who insist on extorting another $20 from me when I have already paid you hundreds in penalties for money I couldn’t afford to pay you, but did, in full, several months ago; you school principals with rubber stamp signatures who send me letters about how much school my kid has missed when you approved the time for which I petitioned in advance; you financial institutions who can only see the fact that I haven’t been writing my own paychecks longer than two years, who think you can assess my devotion to my responsibilities by an arbitrary number assigned to me on top of another arbitrary number assigned to me at birth, who hold all the cards, who have the hubris to take my tax money and use it to write yourselves bonus checks big enough to buy two average middle class homes, and laugh as the chasm between the rich and the poor gets wider, and then tell me that I’m not credit worthy.
Leave. Me. Alone.
Take your legal jargon and your postage machine and your automated voice messages and wrap yourselves up in that red tape of which you are so fond, that you use to wrap up people who happen to be less male or less white or less rich than you are, that you use to contain potential, and scorn people who realize theirs anyhow. Get yourselves all cozy in your red tape and go hang out alone in a corner.
Leave me and all my middle class friends alone.
I don’t blame capitalism, B.B.A.s. I don’t blame our founding fathers. I blame whatever happened that let the government get so big it couldn’t see the people it was governing anymore. I blame you, B.B.A.s, for using your massive power to get bigger and forgetting that people–whatever else they are–are people who deserve fair compensation for their toil, and doing something about it. I blame us for standing for it. I blame myself and all my fellow Americans.
I blame whatever happened that let us forget our priorities. That made the power of the dollar trump every. other. concern.
But we’re fed up. Shit has gone so far, B.B.A.s, that I can’t go two weeks without some haughty message from one person or another telling me how I’ve got it wrong, or how I paid them, but they made a mistake, so now I have to pay them some more.
Suck it, B.B.A.s, and let me have my middle class life, and let me run my little under-$20,000/year freelancing business. That’s all the money I need. You can have anybody else’s money who’ll give it to you. But leave me alone. Let me toil away over here because I have what’s really important: enough. And people who love me. And a relationship with my child that extends beyond what I can buy her, or what Ivy admission letter I can instigate.
But watch out, B.B.A.s, because I–and lots of others like me–am going to come after you someday. When my boulder gets lighter and my pockets get fuller. And you’re not going to like it. You’ll get hung up by your toes and poked hourly. Your phone will ring constantly, and you’ll get enough letters about some invented fee you didn’t pay to paper every inch of your 10,000 square foot home. And we will all laugh and take pictures, and put them up on the news and talk about how sad and hippie-like you are. We’ll talk about your removal like it’s a beautification project, and it will be.