All Apologies: Broke-Ass Responds to Comments and Promises to Supply Bean Recipes

Babydolls, Broke-Ass has happily received all your lovely messages of encouragement, following her piece in the New York Times last Sunday. Thank you. You can’t know how far and wide these missives go to cheer her up. As for some angry or bewilderingly critical responses that have been posted on the Times’ site, Broke-Ass has nothing to say: She just doesn’t read them.

Broke-Ass has three goals in life: to love up, feed, and educate her schmushkies as well as she can. That’s it. Maybe it doesn’t seem like an all-consuming aim, but in this economic climate for a middling writer such as Broke-Ass, it’s pretty damn tough sledding. Broke-Ass could break out the white board to quantify and qualify why this is so, but she hates PowerPoint, and plus, it’s kind of humiliating.

The basic thing is that financial fall-out and its consequent stresses have left Broke-Ass with a blown-out thyroid, a couple of holes in her stomach, and a daily regimen of anti-nausea medicine given to chemo patients; without it, she literally stress-pukes her guts out, unable to stop until an IV of the stuff is jammed into her arm. Suffice it to say, she needs to read mean things like she needs a third hole in her addled tummy. But she writes for a living, such as that living is. So there we are.

People always get mad when you write stuff. They’re mad about a lot of stuff, and when they read your stuff on a public platform, they often feel even madder. They kind of forget that the stuff is just written by a person with a lot of crap to deal with, too. It’s all fine. Broke-Ass doesn’t sweat it too much anymore. We’re all angry, irrational, sad, flawed, and lovely–everybody’s a Tom Waits song, to one extent or another. What can we do but just keep doing our best, even when it strikes some as bullshit? It’s what we got.

The more important thing is beans. So, look out: Tomorrow is going to be full of fucking beans. Awe. Some.


About brokeassgrouch

I'm goddamned broke and grouchy. I live in the middle of the damned ghetto and raise chickens for eggs; grow all my own vegetables and fruit; bake the bread and make the cleaning products. Why? Because I fucking have to, that's why! That's what you do when you're fucking poor! You have to make the shit yourself, dumb-ass! Broke-Ass Grouch is sick of all you Bennington and RISD trustafarians yapping about your "urban farming co-ops" and your "carbon conscious lifestyle" and your "green choices" in the Times Styles section and every alternapress periodical that you can pick up for free in every eye-wateringly expensive, edgy bakery or green-market. Maybe when you have a trust fund, you can make "choices" or have a "lifestyle" or "decide" how to "spend" your "money." Excuse me, but Mama is just trying to feed her kids over here, you little shits. And stop spraying your art-school graffiti on the fence of the vacant lot across the street from my house. I know who you are, and I'm telling my friend Keith (who lives in the projects) that it was you who painted that cartoon of the African mask. So what can I tell you? I don't fucking know. I know a lot about being broke, sure as Bob's your fucking uncle. I know about how useless an Ivy League degree is when you're flat-ass broke. I know how to unclog a drain with baking soda and vinegar, and I know how to make my own CHEESE, for fuck's sake. You tell me.
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6 Responses to All Apologies: Broke-Ass Responds to Comments and Promises to Supply Bean Recipes

  1. I thought the article was inspiring………honestly. And I love the pesto! I dried a bunch of home-grown herbs last year and wondered what to do with them after this much time. And now, they are soaking in some olive oil and some fried garlic ( I went ahead and cooked my garlic in oil, mostly because I like that flavor better), and I’ve used it in many things. And, my stems float to the top, which makes my laziness last winter a little easier! I don’t understand the hateful comments, but want to wish you best of luck and congrats on a great article. BTW, I want to get your book, too – as the child of divorced parents who is married to a child of divorced parents, we will celebrate our 25th next week. You know what you are doing – keep doing it.

  2. ~ s.f. prima momma ~ says:

    I am from the burbs of Philly (Media, PA—-> everybody’s hometown!). I now live in San Francisco, one of the most boho chic, artisanal cheesiest, green ass places on the planet. I am raising a 6th grade lovelyhuman, while eeking out a living trying to teach drama to other lovelyhumans. It is difficult to be all hippie-dippie organic Momma in the land of Whole Paycheck, where my monthly rent alone could feed a Kenyan family for a year. I confess to being guilty of buying a tiny wedge of cowgirl creamery red hawk instead of paying my pg&e bill. And I know I have spent more than a pot o’ gold’s share at Rainbow Grocery in this fabled Land of Oz. I have to say that I totally relate to your voice, dude. It’s evocative, and funny, genuine, and as down to earth and complex as the compost gathering flies under my sink. You have the genuine heart of a Momma lion. I’m sending some certified organic California good vibes your way…solar powered of course. Shine on, Momma! We’re all doing the best we can. 🙂

  3. Heather says:

    Love. You. Beans or no beans.

  4. C willis says:

    Dear Broke-Ass,
    I read and enjoyed your NYT’s piece, bought your book ( which I am really loving) and found this site. But I am a little concerned. Did you not get the memo? You will not become Rich-Ass writing a book or a blog with actual words for people to read, think about and discuss with others. No Broke-Ass, if you want to become Rich-Ass, you need a camera. Go buy a nice didgital camera, or go Philly style and steal one. Take beautiful pictures of your soaking beans, your baking soda box on the counter and maybe even some beautiful pictures of you brushing your teeth with baking soda. Then you will inspire hordes of middle-class white housewives. Then they will call you Mama. Then you will get a NEW book deal. Not one about words, but more pictures. Haven’t you ever heard of SouleMama? She is Rich-Ass!
    Fellow Gen-X Philly Latch Key Girl
    (Center City Philly, NOT the Burbs)

  5. Cameron D. McIntosh says:

    Dear Broke-Ass:
    I heard a wonderful interview on Earth Beat from Radio Netherlands Worldwide today on the Radio in Seattle (the broadcast first aired 10/21/2011). You were describing a less-constrained way of growing organically for economic reasons. I am interested and hope you might consider writing a book about it someday. I hope the many challenges in your life will eventually be resolved; in the meantime, I admire your fiery determination.
    Yours, Cam McIntosh

  6. joe says:

    The public radio station in Philly recently rebroadcast an interview of you talking about your book, “In Spite of…”. Thanks for reviving those wonderful memories of my own fucked up childhood, can’t wait to read the book ;). Anyhow, for GI issues, the paleo diet is a good one to try. To put it in a nutshell, eliminate legumes, wheat and those industrial seed oils (ie “vegetable oils”) from your diet (they can be quite detrimental to the GI tract). Lots more I could share about this, but I don’t want to be annoying, so I’ll leave it there for now. It seems you attribute most of your issues to stress, which I am sure is a huge part of the problem, but diet might be another way to address these issues, if reducing stress isn’t possible right now.

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