Lifestyles of the Destitute and Obscure

dazzling and interesting on a shoestring

Category Archives: introduction

Come to me, all you destitute and obscure, longing to be free

When I thought about blogging, and after I finished laughing and decided to take the idea seriously, I tried to figure out what I was really good at, or what the pros ask – ‘What are you an expert at?’ (besides dangling participles)
Well, I’m a professional bellydancer, but that doesn’t include very many of you, now does it? And I’m the mother of a three year-old, but it takes an expert with several advanced degrees, or someone with a litter of children, to be able to give qualified parenting advice, and as you know, there are plenty of experts out there with almost as many points of view.
So I thought, what AM I qualified for? I’ve spent the last fifteen years bouncing in and out of a miasma of just-above-minimum-wage jobs, picking up a few handy tips and some mad skills as a catering assistant and a baker, stretching the limits of patience, love and creativity as a nanny, and expanding both my wardrobe and my eyebrow grooming skills as a sales associate and display assistant at a fashionable high-end chain of home décor and clothing boutiques. I thought about all these years I’ve attempted to live stylishly and well below the poverty line, and I thought, ‘That’s it—I’m an expert at being poor!’ Except don’t you think ‘destitute’ makes it sound nobler?
I also happen to have an art degree and read through books at a pace that rivals the speed of child through a box of mac and cheese—so I’m crafty and fairly well-read to boot. Oh yeah, and as I mentioned before, I’m a professional bellydancer, which means I’m very flexible and able to wiggle in unusual ways. This in no way qualifies me as a writer, but it’s worth noting, and it may explain some of my life’s stranger adventures.

So here’s what I propose to offer you from my obscure, destitute and yet fairly fashionable lifestyle:
I’ll share with you how the destitute stay stylish, with ideas from years of sewing, knitting, working in fashion retail and combing the depths of sale racks, thrift stores and garage sales.
From years of working in the food industry, cooking and feeding myself and my family and trying not to spend half the day making dinner, we’ll discuss my cooking and baking style, which I like to describe as ‘Vegetarian Grandma’—nothing in it that your granny wouldn’t recognize as food, no meat (although you can add it if you want—it’s not like I’ll be offended or anything), and plenty of dairy products and TLC. It’s good stuff and it won’t cost you a fortune or take forever. It might even impress the in-laws, but don’t quote me on that one.
With a little extra craftiness, I’ll show you some nifty little do-it-yourself ideas for your home and your bored children, and you’ll get to recycle, teach yourself and your progeny something new, and show off some easy skills while your at it.
And because I’m a dancer, I’ll share with you some cheap and close-to-free ideas to stay healthy, shapely and pretty, too. Being a bellydancer’s not all glamorous, but it should look like it is, so I’ll show you how to fake it.
Whatever else you want to fake is up to you, but you know what they say—‘Fake it ‘til you make it.’ I’m not, however, faking the ‘poor thing’. I do, indeed, live below the poverty line.
Am I faking the stylish part? That’s for you to decide, but I urge you to check in weekly and decide for yourself…you won’t be sorry.