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Dh always says he grew up poor. I’m sceptical.

(269 Posts)
CredulousThickos Sat 21-Oct-17 19:01:55

He bases this on the fact they had a black and white telly until he was a teenager, no phone until he was 15, they never had a car and they went to the Isle of Wight on the train for their holidays.

He says I grew up rich because we had two tellies (one was black and white though!), a phone, two cars at times and a home computer. Oh and we went to France twice.

I reckon he’s barking. Our dads both had very similar jobs and bought their (very similar) houses for tuppence but then struggled through 15% mortgage rates. We both had piano lessons. Both wore handmade or hand me down clothes and never had Nike trainers or a Mr Frosty. Both families of five.

His parents are now minted (inheritance) and other than a few nice holidays a year they still live very frugally. Same for mine although they eat out a lot too and do have the latest things, Sky, big tv etc. ILs still have an old CRT tv and a video recorder.

So my theory is that they are just frugal people who don’t put any importance on technology or ‘things’, and that his tales of abject poverty are flights of fancy.

The funny part is, when we met he had a flat furnished with stuff he’d been given (most of it went in a skip when I moved in, I’m not kidding when I say it was grim, the sofa was falling apart). He didn’t have a landline or a pc and his mobile was a Nokia Brick (this was only 11 yers ago). He wasn’t poor at all. So his theory holds no water.

He won’t have it though. And he says I’m seeing it from my ivory tower of a privileged upbringing.

WIBU to ask his mum at Sunday lunch tomorrow?

(Lighthearted obviously before you all roast me).

If you think you grew up either poor or wealthy, what were the signifiers? Because IMO we both grew up in relative comfort.

MagicFajita Sat 21-Oct-17 19:03:52

I hear you op , but did either of you grow up in a shoe box in the middle of the road?smile

glovesonstrings Sat 21-Oct-17 19:05:40

A shoebox in the road? I would have cried for joy for a shoebox. We just had a pile of leaves.

CredulousThickos Sat 21-Oct-17 19:05:46

Haha we usually finish these non arguments with that skit grin

ILoveMillhousesDad Sat 21-Oct-17 19:06:22

Well I did grow up poor and piano lessons certainly were not on the agenda in our house!

One of my signifiers is that at a particularly poor time, my mum had to mix porridge oats in with the mince to make it stretch further and feed us all.

MagicFajita Sat 21-Oct-17 19:06:59

We lived in a big room...with a hole in it.

ILoveMillhousesDad Sat 21-Oct-17 19:09:26

Not done me any harm though and you want to see what I can whip up with a chicken carcass and a packet of quakers grin

FadedRed Sat 21-Oct-17 19:10:21

A shoebox Magic? You was lucky, we grew up in a brown paper bag in't middle of a swamp........

I agree with you, Op, comfortable but frugal.

CredulousThickos Sat 21-Oct-17 19:10:33

Although this is a lighthearted row we have from time to time, it does irritate me a bit because I think he’s making a mockery of actual poverty. And I think it’s a bit disrespectful to his parents. It just doesn’t sit right somehow.

Monkeyinshoes Sat 21-Oct-17 19:11:17

One signifier for my DH was his mum making him dinner but not making anything for herself. She’d tell him she’d have something later, in reality she didn’t always have enough money to feed them both.

JaceLancs Sat 21-Oct-17 19:12:48

I grew up poor - jam butties for dinner or bread n marg - couldn’t afford jam bread n marg!
Free school dinners and a Sunday dinner at my nans
Unfortunately left me with lifelong food issues which I am still working on

CredulousThickos Sat 21-Oct-17 19:13:26

Oh that’s so sad.

And the porridge mince.

That’s something else I’ve just thought of, the first time I cooked a vegetarian meal he made a big deal of eating a meat free dinner. He grew up having some sort of meat every day. Luxury!

MagicFajita Sat 21-Oct-17 19:14:06

Seriously though I do think that my family were poor , my parents always rented and we never had a family holiday. Also our TV was on hire purchase and I always wore handed down clothing.

I have fond memories of beach days out with warm orange squash and sandy cheese sandwiches though! My parents did their best for us.

Wolfiefan Sat 21-Oct-17 19:14:54

Abject poverty is struggling to feed and clothe your family.
Could he be comparing himself to friends and neighbours at that time?

museumum Sat 21-Oct-17 19:16:03

Hmmm. I had friends with no phone. It generally meant they couldn’t get credit so electric on a 50p meter and no bt landline.
My friends in these circumstances often had one working parent who got a weekly envelope of cash.
My lower middle class parents getting paid into their bank accounts signified “posh” jobs.

DeadMorose Sat 21-Oct-17 19:16:20

I grew up in poverty. We had meat once a week or so, cheese once a month or even less. White bread with margarine was our “nice” sandwich. Our normal everyday meal was pasta with ketchup or with sugar.
No holidays. Ever. No after school activities. Obviously no car. Sometimes sitting in the dark because electricity has been cut off for not paying on time, because our parents had no money.

Your DH seem to know fuck all about poverty.
HTH.

JaceLancs Sat 21-Oct-17 19:17:16

As a struggling single parent years later I agree with Monkey - used to feed my DC and live on tea n toast myself
Once every 1-2 weeks my parents came round and I used to make an effort (DM knew I was struggling and would shove 10 or 20 pounds into my purse - bless her)
DD said once - probably age 6 “mummy why do you only eat when Grandma n Grandad are here!”
Ooops!

CredulousThickos Sat 21-Oct-17 19:17:33

I think he’s just comparing himself to my upbringing (which I think was exactly the same!) and how we live now.

I am a great lover of stuff and shiny things and he’s not, and he says it’s because I grew up wealthy. It’s a joke, and one that’s been running for almost our whole relationship, but I think it’s started to grate lately and think he should stfu.

I am hormonal and cranky today though.

SomethingNewToday Sat 21-Oct-17 19:17:54

I would say I grew up poor.

Free school dinners. Having very minimal clothes - certainly nothing fashionable like other girls wore. My mother making porridge with water instead of milk.

Having white goods on hp and a pound machine behind the TV - and nipping round the neighbours change two 50ps for a quid when the TV went off.

Gas and leccy meters and a stash of candles for when there was no money to top up the meter. Hiding from the Provvy man in the kitchen.

Piano lessons and any kind of holiday were worlds away!

Reppin Sat 21-Oct-17 19:18:19

Piano lessons? And he calls you privileged?

RedSkyAtNight Sat 21-Oct-17 19:18:54

I see where your DH is coming from. I (and my 2 siblings) went to private school and we lived in a 4 bedroom detached house in a nice area. These things alone mean we were hardly poor.

But ... my parents, although happy to pay out for things they saw value in, were extremely stingy/frugal in other areas. For example I only had 3 casual outfits of clothes at a time, we not only had a black and white tv but a 2nd hand one that regularly broke down and had to be replaced by something else that lasted a few months and then broke. I didn't get enough lunch money to actually buy a proper lunch. One Christmas I got a (not very nice) jumper - I mean that was all I got. The heating was on for an hour in the morning and an hour in the evening only.

So although my family wasn't actually poor, I guess I grew up feeling poor ( and the going to private school meant that I didn't really meet anyone who was actually poor so I had no point of comparison).

BackforGood Sat 21-Oct-17 19:19:38

I have an old style, big backed TV, and still have a video recorder / player.... does that make me poor ? grin

You are right - what he describes doesn't sound like pverty to me, it sounds like being sensible with money.

ILoveMillhousesDad Sat 21-Oct-17 19:19:57

My friends in these circumstances often had one working parent who got a weekly envelope of cash.

Yes - this was us. My dad worked his arse off so we could go to Haven with the trailer tent once a year (always during school time).

I used to go 'the office' sometimes with him to pick up his envelope.

I have no doubt my mum and dad did everything they could to give us the best life possible and now we are in a better position in life, we can look back fondly at this kind of stuff and have a laugh about the things we did to get by.

HarleyQuinnHair Sat 21-Oct-17 19:20:04

Some people die millionaire's but lived like paupers. Isn't he describing status symbols rather than money?

GreenRut Sat 21-Oct-17 19:20:08

We grew up in poverty and my lovely dh has at times insisted his family are working class (they are categorically not, but in any case mine weren't 'even' working class). We have a joke about it when he does it because I think it's his attempt to make me feel less hard done by, rather than anything more.

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