Friday, November 7, 2008

Do I really look that trashy?

I was checking out at the grocery store today when the checker and I got into a conversation about the price of formula (aka liquid gold). Suddenly the conversation took an unexpected turn.

Checker: "Why don't you just get W.I.C?"

Me (not quite knowing what to say...which is a rarity): Ummmm, I make way too much money to qualify for W.I.C."

Checker (with disbelief): "Really?"

Me (a little taken aback that my ability to earn a decent income was so questionable): "Really. I have a good job. (After another quizzical look from the checker I add in) "I have a master's degree any everything".

I don't know whether to be annoyed or embarrassed. Annoyed because perhaps this lady thinks that government assistance is simply an entitlement to feed all children born in this country. And if that is not the case then I guess I am embarrassed because I look so trashy that it is apparently impossible to believe that I could actually support a child. Perhaps my four week post-partum look is a little less than classy. Or perhaps it was because the other items I purchased was a 6-pack of bud light tall boys and 2 bottles of cheap wine (hey, everybody in the family needed something to drink!)

And for anybody out there receiving W.I.C. I'm sorry for making the association between trashy and government assistance. Wait a minute...I'm not sorry. If you can't afford to support a baby then don't make one! And don't give me the whole accident argument. The failure to use proper preventative measures does not count, and when you exclude those cases there are very few true accidents. Keep in mind that I'm making a generalization here, and I do realize there are exceptions where such programs are indeed warranted (e.g. the unexpected loss of a job or illness). However, I believe those situations are relatively rare, and that far too many people rely on such assistance rather than helping themselves. Okay...I'm stepping off my soapbox now.


Nicky said...

That story just made my day. :) But then, I love to go to the store and buy jumbo containers of beer and condoms just to watch the expressions of the check-out people.... If they give a questioning look, I just say, "Big night tonight!" and I wink. Loads of fun.

Perhaps she questioned your good job because you were shopping for beer and formula in the middle of the work day?

Birdee said...


Christina said...

I totally agree about the WIC thing. It's not the government's duty to pay for baby formula for people.
What a rude cashier too!

Sunny said...

I agree with you -- I have no trouble with government assistance when it's honestly needed. But someone I know is on WIC and her husband is perfectly healthy and capable of maintaining a job... but he keeps QUITTING! He'd rather stay home and watch TV. Grrr.

Kelly said...

I too agree with the WIC thing... it is definitely abused. Don't make one if you can't afford it!

KatieM said...

OMG I would have been quite speechless myself, and I'm the queen of smiling nicely and making stupid chit chat, lol.

What a rude thing to ask! I would have asked for a manager.

Cheryl said...

She probably thought you were a teenage mom because you look so young. Good genes!

Love, Aunt Cheryl

Kathy V said...

I am sorry that you had this experience at the grocery store. It is terrible when you go to the store and are hit with something that is nobody's business but your own. I agree with you on many of the things that you said. It just seems like sometimes people believe that they are entitled to things just because they live in America and not taking responsibility for their actions.

Anonymous said...

WOW. You are really something else.

WIC is available for incomes that are over the line for poverty. It is available to ensure that children and women are fed properly during pregnancy and child hood.

MANY women whose husbands are in the military are WIC eligible, but I guess they are trashy and unable to care for their children.

WIC is not food stamps, it is not welfare. You say you have a masters degree, well i suggest you use your education to do some research as to who utilizes WIC and why.

Barb said...

Unfortunately, the need for WIC does happen to good people who apply themselves and try to make good decisions a lot more than you may think. I was a teenager "accident," and my Mom is awesome. I'm really glad she did that!! ;)

I bet it was like an above comment.. you look too young. :)

Anonymous said...

In this economy, you really think that "loss of job", etc is "rare"?

WIC is in place to help ensure good nutrition for pregnant/nursing mothers and young children. While agree, it can and is abused, your sweeping generalizations make you sound far more ignorant than you seem to be.

And the cashier? WAY out of line, but sadly, people are idiots. Try not to expect too much out of them.

Jamie said...

It is amazing how checkers at the grocery store can be so judgemental. Especially the ones around here. I get a lot of 'just how many cats DO you have?'

Come on, people. It's litter. It doesn't go bad, I'll use it all eventually and it is better to have too much than not enough.

Anonymous said...

LOL about the WIC story. I agree. People who cannot afford kids should not have them.