Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Blueberries and Bras

DS began his blueberry picking job yesterday. He said it wasn't difficult, just boring. Do you ever think about people who work in factories, doing the same job over and over? In my early 20's I worked in the accounting department of a company which manufactured bra cups. They made other things too, but the bra cups were their main product. For real, Moldex/Metric in Culver City, CA.

Mexican women sewed all day long. This was a reputable company, no one was being exploited. I used to wonder how a person could sit behind a machine 40 plus hours a week, for oh, 20 or so years. My young mind didn't realize you do what you have to do. I remember a woman who worked in the office too. Her name was Josie and she was just a few years older than me. She had a three year old daughter out of wedlock and then married a great guy named Fernando and was pregnant again.

Josie and I became fast friends and I was included in all the family celebrations. There I would be, the only blond head in the crowd, understanding about 20% of what was said to me, and having a blast. I was always made to feel welcome. Fernando and Josie had were able to buy a tiny little house in Inglewood, directly under the flight path of LAX. Your typical California home buying experience. Pay 10 times what you would pay anywhere else in the country, and be happy to do it.

I remember vividly Josie getting her paycheck on Friday and taking it to the bank on her lunch hour. Often I would ride with her. She had no checking account. She had a savings account. And she had her list of what bills needed to be paid that week. She got money orders for those bills, kept out enough cash for gas and groceries, and put what was left into the savings account. No credit cards so of course, no debt. If they didn't have the money for something, they didn't buy it. Interesting concept.......

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