Over the weekend, I watched a lovely, ragtag group of protesters make their way down C Street in San Diego, a military town with a wonderful literary/activist niche of which my City Works editors are kick-ass leaders. As I contemplated missing my train to join their ranks (I didn’t; shocking, I know), I wondered whether I could rightfully call myself part of the 99 percent. I mean, there’s a 99 percent chance I am. But one of the great things about this alleged class war is that it includes people from multiple classes. Take these ladies:
I have a history of being hyperaware of my own privilege, and of making everything about me. So instead of taking to the streets, I made a mental list:
Evidence I’m in the 99 percent:
- I went to public schools up until grad school, and I have a five-digit student loan to show for that.
- My family rarely went out to eat, went to the movies, flew anywhere or stayed in hotels.
- I drive a 14-year-old car.
- I’ve gotten four pedicures in my life.
- I buy most of my clothes in thrift stores and sale racks.
- My last three apartments had bars on the windows.
- I’ve worked since I was 14 years old.
- Those public schools were in an affluent suburb, and my parents paid for my undergrad degree.
- My family owned a VCR and camcorder before anyone else we knew and we took several vacations each year.
- Even though we never had a new car, we had five old ones.
- When the investments that made us poor in the ‘90s finally paid off, my dad set aside some money for my sister and I, to be used at a later date. It is, technically, um, a trust fund.
- I’ve never been involuntarily unemployed for more than a few weeks at a time.