Had an experience in the grocery store this morning which hearkens back to the concepts posited in my mentally exhausted posting last night.
After picking up a few things and heading to the register, the cashier finished her scanning and came up with her total. She was an older woman, but based on her choice and application of makeup she was desperately trying to hang on some semblance of youth (I suspect because she feels young, as if her life has still yet to start). "Your total is $19.83... I was in high school that year". Not prompted for the latter portion of the statement at all, she uttered the words with depressed disappointment. I kindly paid and smiled, moving to be on my way.
Before I made it out the door the woman behind me made it up to the register. Greetings between the two were shared, then the woman behind me proudly proclaimed, "My tax return finally came in so I'm buying myself some real food!"
The register woman mirrored the joy and excitement.
This is where I live. This is who the new middle class American is. This is what it is to be blue collar today. We are the Working Poor.