My Middle Class Friend Makes Me Feel Poor

It’s not intentional — but it’s unavoidable.

Misty Moon
7 min readFeb 23, 2024
July's hands. Image created by author.

Ohio holds the door for me as I clamber into his house, following a whirling tornado of children and clutching Baby Bug to my chest. It’s the second time I’ve been inside but the first time I’ve come to socialize. He makes a joke that involves the phrase “I’m too old…” and I laugh, but I don’t know how to say that I don’t think he’s too old, so I don’t.

Ostensibly, I am there because Ohio is getting rid of some stuff and wondered if I needed any of it. Because I am poor, people sometimes assume that I will want anything that’s free solely because it’s free, and I resent that assumption.

Just because my income gives me few options does not mean I have no standards.

But I do not get that feeling from Ohio. His stuff is not junk, nor is he trying to pawn it off on me so that he doesn’t have to deal with it — another common experience I imagine many poor mothers will recognize. He doesn’t look at me like he’s giving me this huge treat, or like I should bow down in gratitude for FREE STUFF; he is genuinely just being a friend.

And treating me, despite the glaring socio-economic gap between us, like an equal.



Misty Moon

Writer, survivor, fledgling activist. Misty is the narrator inside my head. Buy me a coffee at