Overheard on the mean streets of Greenpoint, Brooklyn this afternoon - a 20-something, hipster-ish (who am I to judge?) guy on his cell phone in a matter of moments switching gears from talking about paying for something for his fixed gear bike to telling the person on the other end that he spent three hours in an office today applying for food stamps.
Now, gentle readers, your MatchGirl knows that things are rough out there. And she would certainly never begrudge someone a little joy - new handle bars for your bike, fancy new shoes, an overpriced cocktail - especially in such times. But, there was something in that conversation that just rubbed me the wrong way.
I recently spoke to an old friend who was explaining that in taking the job they currently have that they had taken a significant pay cut and that they had been on food stamps for a while during that transition. Which is fine. That's what they are for. And those of you who are collecting unemployment, are probably making less than half of what you were making previously (unless you've got a little summin' summin' under the table and on the side). And maybe you've contemplated food stamps. I know I have. For me, at this point, I have decided against it. If I can scrounge up a few pennies to hit up Mugs for brunch on a Sunday morning, then I think I am OK with my current food budget.
Of course, I don't have a family. I only have myself to look out for right now. Those of you who find yourself in a different position may very well want to check out food stamps and the food services programs that are offered here in New York.
But don't let me catch you paying for your food with government aid and then dropping a grand on a trendy bicycle!