Living in the Philippines has given me a different take on this phenomenon. Instead of it being a cool trend of the hipsters, it makes me embarrassed of the incredible disparity of wealth from what I came from to where I live now (the country in general, not my super-posh Marcos inhabited neighborhood, that could be a blog posting of its own).
The other day I tried on some running shoes that I hadn't worn since before Stella. They did not fit at all. I asked my maid if she wanted them. Even though they were a size and half larger, she cleaned them up so meticulously, polished them, and sure enough wore them out on her day off commenting on how bouncy they were.
Our TV that we busted by blowing up with the wrong voltage was a great treat for our driver.
Every day I go through my fridge and find food that is truly on the edge of going bad. Never once has anyone refused it. Rotten milk schmotten milk. Eggs that are expired, delicious. I even had brown gross lettuce turned into a coleslaw by adding those sample mayonnaise packets.
It makes me so grateful and so sad. I heard of a family that was reusing their dirty disposable diapers by scooping out the poop because they couldn't afford diapers. It broke my heart.
I don't know if I have a point to all of this other than, there is a huge need here that I cannot ignore, even if I wanted to. I am so grateful to be from a place where even the poorest of poor would be considered to have means. Mostly I am grateful for the opportunities that exist so that if one is determined enough they could transcend their circumstance.