I am happy to have some of these. Today our local Wal-Mart announced the return of its layaway program. Exciting! Wal-Mart finally got rid of its anachronistic layaway program, only to revive it in these dire times.
I am happy to have some of these because I like being able to buy food, and pay the mortgage, and get the refrigerator leak repaired, and take the kids to the dentist, and pay for a background check so I can volunteer in the public school district, and go to yoga class, and refill my prescriptions, and buy plane tickets, and send oldest child cookies at college, and buy lobsters for husband’s birthday dinner, and pay the medical co-pays, and take the train to New York and go to MOMA, and pay for the part of college that the college says we’re able to, and subscribe to The New Yorker because it makes me think, and buy socks and a new frying pan.
I am happy to have some of these, and that I grew up in a lucky place and time with parents who had dollars, so I could read all kinds of books and travel and go to college and be able to earn some myself. All the reading and traveling and having parents who sponsored orphans and volunteered for Headstart let me know that not everyone had the kind of money we did—we had enough. Susan Gregory Thomas wrote in The New York Times (“Back to the Land, Reluctantly,” Oct. 16, 2011) that she learned to grow food and raise chickens because, after a divorce, taking care of two children, she was poor and hungry. I’m not hungry. (Knock on wood. I have a duffel bag of coins in the attic just in case.) Our newest car is twelve years old, I realized today. But oh, we are lucky.