1989, Growing up poor but happy.

1989, Growing up poor but happy.

That furniture pattern. Every working class family I knew had at least one chair or couch like it for a time in the 70s and 80s .

Like hanging photos crooked.

There are worse things then being poor, that's for sure.

My friend told me a story once about how he was reminiscing with his mom about good old times and happened to mention to her "You remember that time we camped out the whole summer?!" and she replied "Sweetie, we were homeless." He had no clue, but they were fond memories for him. He thought they were just really into camping or something.

Don't know if that's your dad or grandpa but he looks proud.

I played Super Metroid on that chair at in one friend's house and made out with another friends sister on a couch just like it at another house.

I think every poor person in the 80's had that chair! My grandma and aunt had one each and I spent a lot of time at both of their houses. I loved the way it felt, smooth velvety goodness!

He had no clue, but they were fond memories for him. He thought they were just really into camping or something.

I came home to a mostly empty house. My ex hid the kids, played dirty in the divorce, and got damned near everything. I had an empty house worth less than I owed on it. I was so broke I could only budget gas to get back and forth from work (and I lived close).

For the better part of two years (when I had the kids for a weekend) we played hide and go seek, "camped out" downstairs, and had "parties" which consisted of a dollar pack of balloons and a big bowl of popcorn.

I was miserable. I felt so shitty about how bare the house was.

My kids didn't care. We still play hide and seek once in awhile, it's not as much fun with furniture.

I love this picture because he looks like my grandpa and I really miss him. Seeing this brought a smile to my face.

My grandpa would whoop your ass if you did something and didn't use a level.

Doing ok. I have the kids full time now, and we even have furniture.

My mom and her first husband bought a similar patterned set in 1978 out in OKC and brought it back to their house here. She got it in the divorce, it was the couch and chair of my childhood until 1993 and then got a new life in the basement of my mom's house where it all still gets used today. Pushing 40 years old and they are in better condition and more comfortable than a couch and chair my wife bought 4 years ago.

Until you sit down and Grandpas farts envelop every inch of your being for next 20 mins.

It's hard at times, I know from experience, but if growing up poor has taught me anything, it's that family means everything. I was really close to my family, still am, my siblings were my closest friends and we spent our times playing with broomsticks (pretending they were light sabers), or making action figures with tin foil.

Same. Anytime there is a medium length paragraph I immediately check the end of it for nineteen ninety eight when the undertaker threw mankind off hеll in a cell, and plummeted sixteen feet through an announcer's table.

Level? Pfft. Poor people dont have levels. We have a glass of water and a hell of an imagination.

Super Metroid came out the same year I was born, so it was one of the latest in my collection. Still don't regret buying it from the Nintendo store. I have yet to make out in the chair I played it in though.

I immediately checked the username when I got to ...until 199... alarms went off.

I'm sure it helped you build character. I grew up rich and now I am poor. I can't give my children 10% of the things I enjoyed growing up and it burns inside. The funny thing is that they are happy-go-lucky kids and have big smiles on their faces just like you do on that picture.

Only poor people say dumb shit like this

The '90s and the '20s?

Are you your own grandpa?

We had very different upbringings. I grew up poor, and it taught me that being blood doesn't mean a thing. My house was an "every man for himself" type of home. So now, I'll squash anyone like a bug if it means my survival in a certain scenario....except my wife. She's changed me a bit.

And now the only way. :D

My grandpa had rules he lived by.

You always keep screwdrivers, a level and a green bucket in your car and with you when you work on stuff. There was more tools than that but he said those are the most common ones you would need.

The green bucket is for shit you move around, you put it in the bucket. You put anything down for a second not in the bucket and your ass is going to forget where you put it.

Put your shit in the bucket and the shit will always be in the bucket.

No no you need to make out with someone on a similar couch in another house.

My grandma didn't fart. Her dog did though

My favourite saying of all time is "some people are so poor all they have is money"

You're an awesome dad!


I did the same thing.

Fucking u/shittymorph PTSD.

Same here, really reminded me of my Papa.

Almost broke me to tears, well done mate.

Damn man hope things are going better for you right now.

what language is that sadface in

Fuck yeah. I grew up poor as fuck.

It's the best way, as an American, to grow up.

THATS POOR!? Wow I grow up poor and I didn't know.

I grew up poor, but never knew it. My parents made the best with what they had, and if they ever stressed out about our situation, they never did it in front of me. I don't remember ever once thinking "man, we're poor, this sucks". It just was what it was.

You do know grandma only had the dog so she could blame her farts in somebody other than grandpa, right?


Plus you can always shit in the bucket

And then try that with rice

Thanks for somehow simultaneously making Reddit a little shittier and a little more awesome at the same time!

Same. My dad's dad owned a large company and was a millionaire, he also refused to speak to his own son. His step-children got all the money. My dad and his brother literally had to share a bedroom in the ratty basement of a large house while his step-siblings got nice rooms to themselves.

My parents don't speak to each other either. We lived in some bad situations when I was a kid. My parents were good to us though, and anything permanent they tried to make good, they were really talented at finding cheap places with decent school districts. My dad finally started making decent money when I was in high school, first thing he did was buy us a nice house. My mom then split with him and now gets a huge share of my dad's money as child support. She wastes it on shopping sprees, she's under water on the mortgage on the house my dad bought her. My dad lives in a shitty studio apartment because he's broke now thanks to the divorce.

I get that "every man for himself" attitude, I've lived that shit. If anything, poverty brings out the worst of people, at least in my experience. Nothing about being poor was fun, and blood doesn't mean a thing.

Anyway I live 2,000 miles away from that mess and I'm glad, I'm doing ok for myself too. My work is paying for my school so I'll have a bachelor's soon which is cool.


Poor? I had that chair / couch combo till about 5 years ago and I got it second hand! Gotta say, it was might comfortable though.

Ever been starving but also happy?

Same here. My upper-middle class childhood was really shitty. Now, I'm living paycheck to paycheck, which sucks, but I actually feel like I have a support structure. People care about me and I can about them. Growing up I never really had that.

right? get your shit together dude you don't need money to sort that out

One of my fondest memories of childhood is the day my mom took us to the dollar movie and we saw three movies in a row. Years later I found out it was because our electricity had been turned off in the middle of summer.

Thanks to gentrification, it's now a wine cellar.

No its not

You sound incredibly fun to talk to. Especially by paragraph 3.

Just found out i was poor cause we had that same chair.

That's awesome that they presented it that way and we're able to get it together in time.

I see a smiling child and a proud man behind him. Cool.....

I grew up very poor as well. Never had a clue until I older. And when I talk about my childhood my generationally wealthy friends and colleagues are almost always envious. I did things and had freedoms in Podunk America that you don't get in gated communities or the suburbs. Looking back I now can only imagine the stress my parents felt worrying about rent or food, but from my naïve perspective life couldn't have been better.

This looks just like my grandpa, but my grandpa was a mean piece of shit who I saw like 6 times in my life.

u/Knight2043 you summoned him

I have a bucket down in my shop that I shit in because my house is about 1000' up a 10 degree slope. I put some water in it, put a toilet seats on it (yup, I have an extra), grab my cell phone, and then throw the shit out into the pasture when I'm done.

10/10 would recommend a shit bucket.

I just found out I was destitute. We had a whole set of furniture with that pattern installed in our Maid's quarters. :(

Somebody's super divorced....

So happy for you and your kids. Well done.

We didn't even have a glass to piss in or a window to throw it out.

It's just some bullshit people tell themselves to feel better about being poor. Being rich with money (aka: the only kind of rich that matters) is ALWAYS better than being poor. Your home will be nicer, your clothes cleaner and fashionable, people will treat you better, more opportunities to succeed will be available to you, you don't have to try and achieve them they just find you because you have money, you have free leisure time and the ability to go anywhere and do anything with it---at the drop of a (very expensive) hat. Police will not harass you. You can afford criminal defense. Your rights will always be protected by the government. The world is literally your oyster and outside of physical mutilation and incurable disease there's NOTHING to prevent you from experiencing the best possible version of everything the world has to offer.

Compare that to being poor. When an unexpected bill of as little as $400 can make you homeless. Where you have to choose between medicine or food. Where you can't even apply for jobs because all the applications are online and you can't afford internet. Where you have to go into crippling debt just for the slightest wiff of a chance to better yourself (college). Where you can be targeted and killed with impunity or railroaded for crimes you didn't commit by the police. Where not only do no politicians not protect or advocate for your rights they actively campaign against them and blame you for all of society's problems and scapegoat you at every turn.

But none of that's supposed to matter because why? Love? Fuck that. Love ain't worth shit. Love don't pay bills. Love doesn't protect you. Love doesn't curry status or favor or success. Love doesn't do shit but sit there like a dumb, stupid, useless dog. It's worthless. And telling yourself it matters more than money is just a comforting lie the poor have to internalize to compensate for the soul-crushing reality of poverty and extra-meaninglessness that is their lives.

Fry was.

The Papa Chair. Yep. I knew I was a man when I came home on leave from the army and dad let me sit in the papa chair that night. Whoo.

I had the EXACT same experience! I had such a wonderful time camping! We picked berries and caught trout. We cooked hot dogs on a stick and made a tarp tent. We had three dogs and I would go hiking around with them, only because my mom knew I was safe with the dogs. I had to be about 7. I also got worms from eating some unknown berries. That was the one time we came all the way into town, to get me worm medicine. I didn't know we were homeless until I was a teenager.

About 25 years ago, my parents took us 2 kids to Disney World and even managed to score a dinner reservation at Cinderella's Castle. We all caught up for brunch recently and started reminiscing about that trip. When asked about the castle dinner, I mentioned remembering the castle was really cool, but the meal itself was pretty bland. I then asked what they thought about their food.

I got an answer I wasn't expecting.

"We didn't order anything. We looked at the prices and realized we couldn't afford for the four of us to eat, but your father and I wanted to make sure you two ate. We just watched you two eat that night. In fact, we couldn't afford the trip, but your dad worked an insane amount of overtime that year, put the trip on layaway, and somehow made it happen." The conversation then led to revealing that my parents missed meals all the time but always made sure their two kids always ate 3 square meals. God. Damn.

As a parent now, this hit me even harder - like a god damn sledgehammer blow. I burst into tears on the way home that night because it was so selfless of them. I knew I was poor growing up in inner city Chicago, but we were rich in love. This trip was a highlight of my childhood, but so were free outings to Buckingham fountain, Lincoln Park Zoo, the beach, and dad playing catch with me outside.

If you're in a tough spot and you're worried about your kids, don't be. Love them like crazy, and spend some time with them. They'll grow up to cherish those moments and appreciate what they DID have. Parents that love them dearly.

That chair (or a close version of it) was in all homes in the 80's!

TIL: 80s poor is the new middle class.

I grew up in the 90s-20s and had that chair. Am I poor? lmao


Hey man, I was also about your age here in 1989 and I didn't have a dad to proudly stand behind like me that.

You were rich.

Was that a poor person's chair?? I always loved that chair and never realized it was an indicator of being poor.

I love when people still have them, they're comfy as fuck.

As someone in the same position, and not to say your situation was the same, but I can say that my kids are happier than I was at their age, and have parents that aren't in constant competition with each other and will be together throughout their lives, despite them not having a 1/10th of the things/opportunities I did.

I wouldn't necessarily swap my childhood for anything, I was quite fortunate, but none of my childhood's friends' parents are still together, and they themselves are in and out of relationships and doing the kid swap thing between ex partners.

Not saying materialism/wealth is the devil, but it certainly doesn't buy the happiness and well-being some think it does.

Although I disagree with his "love aint shit" why do people always act like rich people have no love. You can be rich and loved as much as poor and loved

We did that in my childhood too, but it was for the 3 winter months. I still loved the heck out of it and miss the tent life style. I revisited it when I was an adult while working out in a remote park. Had to hand wash my clothes on a wash board and the old people would bring their camping chairs over and watch me while reminiscing on how they remembered seeing their grandparents do it that way. It was tough at times and I certainly learned a lot of the hazards of living in thin canvas, but I got the best sleep I've ever had while living in walls that pulse and breath.

I also remember the summer I lived in a 30ft trailer with 4 other family members. Luckily we lived on a bunch of acreage. We had a living room of hammocks set up in the forest and could go hang out and read books in the warm summer air. I miss that place too. I grew up living between deep poverty and upper middle class, all my best and worst memories are from poverty.



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My parents bought their house in '73. It was built in '68. It came with an avocado-green-appliance-filled kitchen. The fridge died in '95. My parents have had at least 3 new ones since then.

The dishwasher? Died in 2001. They are on their 4th since then.

Everything made today is crap, and still expensive.

It works because I'm always engaged, like oh this is an interesting comment...fuck!

You can be poor but not starving..

My parents still have this chair, although it's been reupholstered several times since the late 70s. It is actually extremely well made, unlike the disposable crap that is sold nowadays.

Probably not when it was new, but at a certain point people began getting rid of them and they became hand-me-downs and dumpster treasure. I feel like maybe 1989 was far enough past its prime that the assumption could pass.

5/7 with rice

And have food in your belly and shelter from the elements.

Horse shit. I grew up loved on a Native American reservation called Pine Ridge in South Dakota. And spent some of my time on Rosebud Reservation.

Love and poor have no relation in those places.

I spent much of my childhood in houses that had no plumbing, electricity or anything. People chopped holes into the roofs to allow ventilation for cook fires. These were homes that looked great from outside, which is the only way an inspector viewed them, as they stole the money that would have finished the interior.

It was shameful on the part of the government and I will never forget, though there isn't much I can really do.

Edit: I DO like your sentiment. In an ideal world all that would be true. But this is reality and it is sometimes a very difficult place to live.

Try sawdust instead of water.

If this is anything like the house I grew up in, which it definitely looks like...The slanted picture was due to "those damn kids jumping on the bed"

TIL, I am Metroid old, not Super Metroid young : (

You are a good dad

:( someone will probably love you one day

Finally, some poor normal people on this sub

I sleep like a baby, too. I go to sleep crying and wake up screaming.

I'm guessing he's broke and just got dumped.

You are a very negative person. Growing up my mother always said "We may be poor in money but we are rich in love." It would seem you are neither.

Such a beautiful story

I upvote for Super Metroid

I last spoke to him when I was 5, don't really remember him. He died when I was 19, I happened to be an hour away from the funeral at the time so I went for some reason. His obit called him a great father who put family first. I lol'd at that one.

It looks just like my wife's G-pa and the house she grew up in. It really could be...

I knew a dude who's grandad beat his dad so his dad beat him with jumper cables like his father before him

I like that saying. I foresee me saying this in the future. Thank you.

You're never poor if you're loved.

When I was little I would ask my mom and dad if we were rich? They would always respond that we were rich in love. I now get what he ment by that.

The only kind of rich that matters is with money? Poor child, you've got a lot to learn. To believe that money is the root of all joy and happiness, you must have an extremely large ego with no soul left. Intelligence is useless if not tempered by wisdom.

You're so edgy lmao

That's not a chair! That's furniture!

I read a study in a psychology journal years ago that seemed to show that up to a point money did make you happier but it ended with making slightly more than middle class. Once your needs were taken care of and you had some disposable income, more money did not improve your level of happiness. I found it really interesting but I can't find it online.

You lived in a cave

A timeless classic

The pattern was on couches in the late 60's- early 70's, but it was a nubby material rather than the velvety couches that looked like this in late 70's - early 80's. My grandparents had the earlier, scratchy version.

This is one of the most middle class posts I think I've ever seen. I can't believe you know many truly wealthy people or seriously poor people, either. Meet a billionaire with clinical depression and a nearly destitute person with lots of close relatives, friends, and community support and you're in for an attitude adjustment. Being depressed with money is better than being depressed without it but there are a lot of miserable rich people and happy poor people. You just don't meet either in sheltered suburbs (or wherever you got so sheltered).

Have you ever been truly poor and then rich? True happiness doesn't come from just some money. You can buy all of the Ferraris and gold jewelry that you want but you'll always be searching for more happiness. This coming from someone who grew up poor and became rich and poor and rich and back and forth.

Money buys happiness up to $75,000. After that, "increasing amounts of money had no further effect on happiness".