Friday, June 22, 2007

I feel poor.

I just got a small raise, I am making more money now than I ever made in my life, and I feel poor. I couldn't figure out why until I did some demographic research for another purpose, and looked up my own zip code while I was at it. The average household income in my zip code is over $118,000. I am significantly below average. Around here, I'm the poor people. And the thing that gets me is that this isn't like Southwest Orlando, where you have a cluster of pro athletes and pro golfers in Windemere and Keene's Point and such places, and also 50,000 theme park workers living with multiple roommates in thousands of apartments. I'm sure the average income down there is even higher, thanks to a few dozen zillionaires. This is a fairly homogenous area and the median and the average were within dollars of each other in this study. Which is accurate based on what I see around me. I am officially too poor to live here, and too poor to move unless I leave the state entirely, because unless I want to commute an hour by car (public transportation? Fugeddaboudit) I couldn't buy anything else here, and the apartments are no savings at all. Just another reason on the lengthy list of reasons to get out.

Actual Knitting Talk: I am loving the Lacy Prairie Shawl. It is so soothing, so fun, easy but with enough interest to keep me awake, I can do it while watching Keith Olbermann and drinking a glass of wine, which makes it Perfect Knitting. If any of my remaining stalwart readers (trust me, the hit count don't lie and they dropped like flies last month) is into knitting shawls for charity, or prayer shawls, this would be a fabulous pattern, like slicing a comfy afghan on the diagonal. I switched yarns, the eBay wool was too hairy and not soft enough for a shawl, and I was poking through my now modest stash and found a bag of Berroco Bluefaced Leicester, now discontinued, another eBay score from probably five or so years ago, in a pretty taupe, that I have been hoarding because it's so nice. It's now on its way to being the shawl, and there will probably be enough left over for a scarf or fingerless mitts or some other cuteness. Damn, this was nice yarn, why did they discontinue it? It has luster and softness, and is not "heavy and wooly" it's almost like it has silk in it, yet it doesn't. I can see that it could be a pain to use for a complicated project because it's loosely spun and a bit splitty, but for this mindless yet fun shawl, it's perfection. This will be a big, soft, neutral taupe shawl, suitable for chilly meetings and nippy evenings, casual, comfy. And I am going to take my glass of pinot grigio and retreat to the couch with it right now. Happy Weekend!

9 comments:

Janet said...

When I grow up I want to be like you and be able to drink a glass of wine and knit while watching TV. Five minutes of something or other made me screw up row 43 and I had to start over. No TV for me!

I hear you on "officially poor." You know I live in the Bay Area and while we have a significant population of the down-and-out, there are a helluva lot of shiny SUVs, stunning wedding rings, designer clothes and bags, massive homes, and families where somehow only one parent needs to work despite the above. A single gal in an apt with a 99 Corolla... that would be me!

Thanks to rent control I may never leave, though....

dragon knitter said...

i'm still here! i love an easy knit, just because i can then veg out in front of the puter or the tv, r the book tape. my idea of bliss.

even now, with the income that hubbie and i have, we are barely middle income around here (in omaha, ne!). and we're comfortable. i don't care!

ChelleC said...

I think the blog stats may be going down because of summer - that's my guess anyway. I would love to see a picture of your shawl. Yes, I am definitely into shawl knitting after completing my first one just over a month ago. They are so fun to do. That pattern was from Folk Shawls right?

Bess said...

Oh. Well. My blog stats went down so low I couldn't believe it - like I'd said something that offended everyone. And now it turns out that it's always only been 16 people who read me and all the rest must have been those span generating search pings. Huh.

I hear you too about the poverty thing. My salary will never go up as fast as the property taxes on my home do. When William was in elementary school we qualified for free lunchs. We didn't need it, but we qualified for it.

sigh. I did so love that BFL. I have a sweater's worth of it in a lovely green. Maybe I will make it this fall.

Well, sugar, hurry up and move nawth so you can wear all those woolies.

Anonymous said...

Not sure the move north to B'more area is going to do much for your feeling poor. But it will be way better than if you moved to N Va. And the salaries are probably much better up here.

I'm reduced to knitting dishcloths and a simple Feather and fan shawl right now- husband has just had prostate cancer surgery and Frost Flowers and Fern is just way too much for my brain right now. Simple knitting is great.

Kimmen

Catherine said...

Salaries are better, and housing costs are actually better in the Baltimore area. People don't seem to believe that, but Florida has become much more expensive in the last decade, while salaries have not kept up at all. You may have seen the news stories about our property taxes and homeowners' insurance going through the roof, too. I make "good money" for this area, (though not this zip code) but just middling money for my line of work in other places. I've been doing extensive research, believe me, and I do have family there as well. I know what I can afford, even if I earn no more than I'm earning right now, and there are plenty of options in that area. Here, if I lose this job to a layoff, I'd be in a world of hurt.

Sorry about your husband's surgery - I am the queen of mindless knitting when stressed. I recommend the shawl pattern I'm using right now for stress knitting, it's very feather and fan like in its soothing repetitive qualities.

Catherine said...

Yes, the pattern is from Folk Shawls. Photos later.

Tinare said...

I hear you on the feeling poor, I feel that way all the time despite making a decent living for a single gal. But, also remember the stats you see are for "household income" and many of those households are two income homes. Being single that's my mantra... (It makes me feel better anyway...)

Catherine said...

The average household size was 3.something, 3.1 or 2. Which means that a lot of 1s had to bring that average down, because there are a lot of families with 2 and 3 kids in this zip code. This is not a single people area, great schools, etc., houses that have changed hands in my own neighborhood are full of young children. So while it is certainly true that if my husband was still alive we'd be well north of Average for the zip code, it's also pretty clear that there has to be a lot of single people making six figures here, and that is logical considering the number of doctors, lawyers, dentists and executives. So while being single certainly means there is less household income than if there were two earners, it all comes down to "Damn, these people make a lot of money." I'm happy with my salary and I'm not complaining, I just need to be in a place with more single people and fewer kids and minivans. ;-)