Suddenly, celebrity chefs’ recipes seem curiously out of touch. I wonder if they have had to shop that list of food ingredients and have paused to wonder. Wondered if the grocery list was not only overpriced, but even do-able for the average cook-at-home.
Cost of Living
I hope I haven’t been the only one fretting over the price of lean protein for weeks now. Hope I haven’t been the lone shopper. That person pondering the price of eggs, milk, coffee, staples and so many foods. Foods that I took for granted in the last few years.
Maybe I am not alone.
I recently have been on a work project with a large tax business.
I have seen the anxious looks of retirees as they waited expectantly for a verdict on their tax refunds. They no longer have jobs to fall back on. Ending social security benefits is out of the question for them.
I have seen the look of stress on faces of hourly workers with no benefits. Will they get their tax rebates and credits? They wonder how they are going to cope in March, with higher inflation and tighter household budgets. After all, the end of February marked the end of pandemic-era grocery benefits for many people living paycheck-to-paycheck.
I saw the anxiety of parents coming in to file taxes. They were hoping their children could be fed and clothed for at least another year.
Thank goodness we are leaving winter and the high heating bills that made most of our eyes grow round with shock.
Not Ordinary nor Enlightened
Meanwhile, there is a whole other sector of society. This is the sector which wants us to focus on bailing out banks, bailing out politicians and on getting us outraged. Outraged over “wokeness” and wants us to prevent our children from reading widely. Even preventing writers from publishing on the web. The grand censorship of thought.
So, please excuse me if I don’t want to discuss abortion as taking a life, because middle school children not having enough to eat, is more real to me right now.
I also don’t care about the yacht vacation that some famous person took to escape the harshness of the winter. The winter that the rest of us faced. I don’t even know if this other sector of society lives on the same planet as I do.
I don’t know about you, but I can wake up and can stay awake in the middle of the night. Awake, over the prospect of the rising cost of living.
All I know is that I am using olive oil more sparingly in my cooking. I analyze recipes with cream cheese and heavy cream for proportions, to see if they are even worth following. Forget truffle oil, fancy cuts of meat or heirloom anything.
If you can relate to my set of predicaments, maybe we can relate to each other when it comes to the first day of every month. I have a bill-paying calendar. The order in which I make payments is crucial. There are late payment fees, penalties, high interest rates to think about and I am mindful of it all. And I am truly middle class and lucky in so many ways. So I can re-think my subscriptions and fee costs and decide what discomfort I am willing to face. After all, if I tighten my belt, then maybe it will help me reprioritize what I truly care about. I then write about these ordinary challenges. Something that writers working for glossy publishers, cannot understand, without sounding oddly hollow.
So don’t expect me to care about that lot of people who might have to forego their summer vacation on the Amalfi Coast. Nor the ones who bemoan their loss of freedoms while, in the same breath, threaten the survival of Social Security or aid programs, that provide basic needs for people doing their best to try and get by.
Those people, the lot of them, aren’t ordinary or average. They are out of touch.
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