The grass may always be greener on the other side, but it’s still a truth that is very hard to stomach. When you’re a kid, there are few things as disheartening than to discover that you and your family have less money than your peers. Finding out your family’s economic struggles can bring forth feelings of dejection, resentment, and envy. However, this realization also crucially sheds light on the sacrifices parents make in order for their children to have a more bearable life. Here are some moments when people discovered the unfortunate truth of being poor.
1. A Haunting, But Familiar Sight
When my mom cried in a grocery store because her credit card was declined trying to pay for a loaf of bread and a single roll of cheap toilet paper.
2. A Reality Check Under the Tree
When I only got a Hilton Hotels complimentary sewing kit for Christmas.
3. What Started Out as a Cheap Meal, Turns Into a Cherished Treat
To this day, I still love the taste of white rice with ketchup. When I recently told my mom how much I loved rice and ketchup and that she should make some for my 25th birthday. Upon hearing this, my mother very guiltily explained that when I was very young, rice was the only thing she could afford to feed my brother and me.
She would add ketchup for some extra flavor because we had nothing else. My family is a lot more financially stable today. I just never realized that that was not always the case.
4. Looking on the Brite-Side
My mom saved my older sisters’ things for me as hand me downs…they were 10 and 12 years older. Although I was born in 1990, my parents struggle to tell my oldest sister and me apart in pictures because we are both wearing the same get-up from 1980. It wasn’t all bad though. I was lucky enough to inherit some cool stuff like Rainbow Brite, Care Bears, and Strawberry Shortcake toys and VHS tapes.
5. Turning to Robin Hood for Inspiration
My parents split up when I was young. My dad had money and my mom didn’t. She got a lot of help from food pantries, neighbors, and friends. My brother, sister and I would steal money out of my dad’s wallet and put it in my mom’s purse so she could afford to buy groceries. I didn’t think much of it at the time, but damn, we were pretty awesome kids!
6. Learning the Truth at a Really Early Age
I never had the realization because I knew we were poor earlier than I can remember. My parents told me the story of how a kid in preschool told me Santa Claus wasn’t real, and I said back, “Santa has to be real because mommy and daddy are too poor for presents.”
7. Meals are Slightly Humbler When You Don’t Have Much Money
I had a girlfriend who looked absolutely shocked when I told her I’d often had bread and cheese for dinner growing up. Or that the clothes I wore we’re never new or the correct size. Or that we’d buy the expired food from the local grocery at a discount just to have something to eat. She was the daughter of a doctor and an engineer.
8. Mom Had It Just as Bad
It was when I was 10 years old. I told my mom I was hungry before going to bed. She said that she was too. That’s when I realized she never even ate dinner. There just wasn’t enough food.
9. The Boomerang Effect
When we donated canned goods to a food drive at school…and got them back from the local food pantry that made sure we had food for Christmas.
10. When Coach Has Your Back
When I was a junior in high school, I got some crappy $30 basketball shoes because I didn’t want to spend much of my hard-earned money on them. Football season was just ending and I hadn’t had a lot of time to work in the fall, so I was kind of short. My parents didn’t have money to help us out with extras like basketball shoes.
We were in a tournament in Kansas and as I was getting ready to shoot a free throw, one of my opponents said, “Nice shoes,” and laughed at me. Another said, “How you like being trailer trash?” The ref heard them and told them he never wanted to hear anything like that ever again. The truth was that we did live in a trailer—the third one out of four that I would live in during my childhood.
One of my teammates must have told the coach because after that game, he let me wear his shoes during games the rest of the year. I still love that man.
11. Making Due With What You Have
I found out when my new clothes were my dad’s old clothes that had been cut to fit me for my birthday. I was so happy to have clothes like my dad’s, they even had the same cement stains on them! My mom was nearly in tears and I thought it was because she was so happy that I was happy. It turned out she was ashamed that they couldn’t afford new clothes at the rate I was growing.
I was fortunate because I never knew about poverty due to the love that our family had. Now 20+ years later, I’m supporting my mother and father, the fridge is always full and there will never be a moment when they go hungry. I give them both enough money to enjoy life and this year, I’m planning on surprising my mom and dad with a trip to Paris, France.
If being poor did anything for me, it taught me to not be selfish and give more than I receive. For Christmas and my birthday, all I want are socks!
12. The Lengths Parents Will Go
My class was going on a field trip. I asked my mom if I could go and she said she didn’t have the money. She felt so bad that she didn’t have the money that the next morning she went and sold some of her blood so that I could go on the trip. I’ll never forget that.
13. One Kid’s Trash, Is Another Kid’s Treasure
I didn’t realize how rough my family had it until I was older. In between my mom divorcing my dad, and her marrying my stepdad, she was a single mom of three kids working three jobs. We lived in a little two-bedroom rental house, all three of us in one bedroom, and my mom in the other. All of our furniture was second hand and donated.
She always had food on the table, but Christmas gifts and birthday gifts were bought at dollar stores and the like. I remember for my seventh birthday I got what I thought was a brand new bike. Turns out, someone on our street was tossing their bike, so my mom picked it up and completely fixed it up. New paint, those little clackers on the spokes, streamers on the handles, a cute little basket on the front, and a shiny bell.
As my sisters and I grew older, we realized how hard our mom really worked to give us a life we deserved.
14. Going Out of Your Way to Make a Memorable Holiday
When I was six, my parents took us to a family Christmas breakfast with our extended family and they had a big tree with a pile of presents under it and everyone had multiple presents. My parents only got me and my siblings one or two but my cousins all had multiple presents from their parents and the rest of the family.
Seeing their presents made me realize we were poor but it also made me realize what a crappy extended family I had. My one present from my parents had more sentiment than the board games I got from those guys every year. Also, I just remembered my dad always got his brother and sisters t-shirts from his work. Everyone thought he was getting them for free, so they were mad about it.
However, the cost of the t-shirts was actually taken out of his paycheck. The shirts were $15 each, and he has one brother and eight sisters.
15. The Small Hints of Poverty
There were a lot of signs. I used to see my mom sit at the table with a bunch of bills and look stressed out. I asked her if we were poor once, and she looked like she was going to cry. Making our Halloween costumes with things at home, and never winning the contest at school because of it. Once, my mom told me that we weren’t welcome back at one of my friend’s houses because we didn’t have as much money as them.
I never had cable, so at school, I didn’t know what other kids were talking about when they got started on Nickelodeon or Disney Channel. I didn’t have a Stretch Armstrong or like any of the toys other kids had. My dad was abusive though, so a lot of our money went towards surprise outings where my mom, my brother, and me would stay in hotels, go to fast food places, or stay with friends and family on very short notice in order to get out of the house.
16. Stretching Out a Dollar and Change
It was the summer of 1973. I was 8. My mom raised me by herself and we were desperately poor. She had been sick in bed with a cold or flu for a couple of days. We were out of food. She gave me a dollar and some change to go get food from the Piggly Wiggly. I remember her saying that’s all the money we had for a couple of days.
When I got to the store I looked around and thought about the food pyramid and what would help her get better. Then I started adding things up and ended up putting things away because I didn’t have enough money. It hit me right then. I had to get food that would last us for a couple of days. I ended up with a loaf of bread, a small jar of peanut butter and two cans of potted meat.
That was a couple of sandwiches a day for both of us. She was surprised by what I got and said that I did good. I remember my mom saying that we were poor but I really didn’t understand what that meant before that day.
17. Kids Can Be So Cruel
When I was about eight years old, my mom’s (lack of) income and the fact that she was a single mother of three young kids made her eligible for low-income housing. The apartment we stayed in was $1 a month, I kid you not. It was gross and roach-infested, but my mom was so happy that we only had to pay a dollar because she was now able to spread the money out more for food, clothes, bills, etc.
I was elated to see how grateful she was for the rent price. A week after moving in my teacher asked us if anything exciting happened lately and I raised my hand and eagerly shared that we got an apartment for $1 a month! Everyone proceeded to laugh at me. My heart broke.
18. When The Struggle Is Really Real
My dad and I would go around picking up things that had copper and aluminum cans at night so we could afford to buy food. What money my dad was making went straight to child support and rent. He would often go a day or two without eating just because he wanted to be sure that my sister and I were getting something to eat, even when we were living in a homeless shelter he would sit with us at the table in the cafeteria and make sure we ate before he would go get something.
We would ask if he wanted any of ours and he would just say that he isn’t hungry but after we got done eating and he was certain that we were full, he would get up and say that he is going to grab some food. My dad lost everything to make sure that my sister and I were safe, even when we were homeless he made sure we ate while he went without, he would spend his last $5 to make sure we got something to eat.
I owe my father my life and I am someday going to buy him a house and make sure he never has to work again.
19. Seeing the Effects of Poverty on Paper
I was a tax preparer for a while. Dad gave me his stuff to do. He also handed me a stack from his file of all his old returns. In 1998, my parents made $8,000 for the year. Our family at the time was comprised of two adults and a 14 and 16-year-old. No assistance, because dad wouldn’t hear of it. Mom babysat a little which wasn’t reported, but it wasn’t a lot.
It blows my mind that they managed to do this for years. We knew we didn’t have much money. Clothes were from Goodwill or friends. Our car got rear-ended and was effectively totaled. They used the money to repair the frame and buy a can of Bondo to patch it up. They had bills to catch up on. They used the rest of the money from the insurance for bills.
I had just never seen their income on paper in numbers I understood. Dad owned his own business. When tax time came, since he wasn’t taxed on his income throughout the year, he would owe about three grand. Mom recently apologized when I mentioned I felt she had some bias in raising me and my brother. I said she was harder on me than him and put out examples.
She said she was sorry and that their financial situation must have played a bigger part in her stress level and parenting skills than she realized. I told her not to worry. It breaks my heart.
20. It Takes a Rude Awakening (or Two) to See Your Family’s Struggles
Let me give you a little background. Up until I started in the eighth grade, my parents homeschooled me and my three siblings. Mom was a special education teacher with a Master’s degree. Dad worked as a janitor in the public school system. He’s a talented man, but my hometown has had a lot of substance abuse and not a lot of jobs for a while.
My seventh-grade year, mom was diagnosed with brain cancer. Huge, inoperable tumor—it supposedly covered almost the entire top of her brain. Needless to say, our education got a little lost in the shuffle of treatment options. That September, we started at the local private school. Mom didn’t want our education to suffer, and the public school wasn’t well known for good education.
She died in November. Prior to that, we’d lived pretty middle-class lives. Suddenly, there were five people on a single salary. The first year wasn’t too bad. Then the sympathy from mom’s death went out the window. Then we found out the family member who promised to pay the private school tuition stopped when she died.
Dad had to pay normal bills, plus last year’s and the current year’s tuition. I joined the volleyball team at the end of my ninth-grade year. Two months in, they said we all needed new shoes that we had to pay for ourselves. I didn’t think that would be a problem, so I said okay, and told dad. The shoes were $65. Professional-grade sports shoes.
I told him, “The volleyball team ordered shoes for everyone, and we have to pay for them ourselves.” He looked wary and asked how much. I told him. To this day, I think that may have been the only time he yelled at me. “$65 for a pair of shoes? I hope you like them, we’ll be eating shoes instead of groceries this month!”
It shocked me a lot. I knew things were kind of tight, but I didn’t think they were that bad. I really started trying to be money-conscious then. Away trips happened, for both volleyball and cheer. He would always give me money for food, but I made sure to order the cheapest things I could, so I could save money for the next trip, and he could keep as much as possible.
When I absolutely needed new things, I tried to find the cheapest things possible. As time passed, I got better at pinching pennies, but those were my first fumbling attempts. I’ve moved out now, but dad’s still struggling. Literally the moment I have anything ahead of my immediate bills, he’s going to get it. He’s not a perfect dad, but he tried, and still tries and works hard.
21. How Do Parents Do It?
When I started working, I earned more monthly than my mother who raised four of us and what I earned was really not much. When she died, I found her ledger from when we were growing up and she spent, literally, to the penny every month. No vacations, no nights out, nothing. I really don’t know how she pulled it off.
22. When Your Other Friends Have Other Activities
I found out I was poor when I realized all my friends in primary school did dance and gymnastics together and I didn’t do any extracurricular activities. And then the recession hit us hard. We had to sell our television and be without one for a year or two and my dad sold his mobile phone because he only went to work and came back so he didn’t really need one.
It’s just little things but I never realized it was because of money troubles until I was much older. On the plus side, I’m overly frugal as an adult now, so I guess that’s something.
23. When You Realize Not Everyone Cares About Sale Prices
I grew up in a working-class family of five. I had no idea how frugal we were until college when I went shopping for groceries with one of my flatmates to make dumplings for the entire floor. I told him that we’d go to the Asian supermarket to buy everything. He asked what kind of dumplings we were going to make, and I told him that I didn’t know yet because I wanted to see what’s on sale.
He couldn’t believe it. He had been shopping at Gelsons, Bristol Farms, and Whole Foods his entire life and initially didn’t trust the meat that was $1.29/lb, the green onions that were 10 cents for a full bunch, or the fact that a bottle of Chinese soy sauce would only go for $1.50. So in addition to blowing his mind by introducing him to a whole slew of different sights and smells, he had one last revelation at the checkout line.
Our shopping cart was pretty much full and our bill was something like $30 total—it worked out to be a little over $2 a person. This was a guy who normally spent $30 on a grocery trip, but would walk out with two bags of groceries, not a shopping cart with enough food to feed an entire floor. And that was the moment I realized that my normal shopping habits of buying stuff on sale, buying in bulk, and then couponing on top of that were the result of growing up kind of poor.
24. Struggling Without Even Realizing It
When I was 15, I went straight to work and most of my paycheck went to the family. No questions, just work. My folks did treat me a lot more like an adult than they did my sister. I got to sleep in on the rare weekends I didn’t work, my dad would talk to me about sports like I was an equal, mom would trust me with doing things a child wouldn’t be trusted to do, like taking care of my siblings when my parents were at work (which was often).
My day was working nonstop from 4:30 am to around 9:30 pm. By the time my brother and sister were old enough to work, I was out of the house and my parents were doing well enough not to need them to work. I never realized how important that was to my folks until my brother’s graduation from college, where he was to give a speech as president of the SGA and named me as his biggest influence because I worked and took care of the kids when my parents were away, making sure they had someone there for them.
My mom just grabbed my knee and just started bawling.
25. Learning That Special Cuts Are Not Just for the Holidays
I went from being destitute poor, living in a rat-infested condemnable shack as a kid, to being upper middle class, when I was put in the care of my uncle and aunt. First night, my uncle takes me grocery shopping, and he’s like “So, I was thinking rack of lamb for dinner.” And I was like “Uhhhhh, is it…Easter?” and that was the most I’ve ever realized how the other side lives.
Then I got to live on it.
26. A Grating Discovery
It was in my teenage years when I found out what “government cheese” is. Up until then I just kind of assumed that everybody went to the town hall monthly for free cheese and peanut butter.
27. A Bread by Any Other Name
A year ago during my first semester in college, I was invited to go to a barbecue and told to bring hotdog buns. I showed up with a loaf of bread not understanding that there were specific buns for hotdogs (we used bread for lots of things: burgers, hotdogs, sandwiches, etc.). Thankfully, everyone thought I had just misheard the host and played it as a big joke but it was definitely an “I grew up poor” moment for me.
28. Same Tanks, Different Amount of Fuel
I remember a group of kids in class talking about how much money their parents had to pay to fill up the gas tank in their cars. I was confused when one of the kids said $80, as my parents would only spend $10 max. I remember going home and asking my mom why they wouldn’t just get the same car as us because it cost less.
My mom told me “It takes the same amount of money that’s just all we can afford to put in it at once.”
29. Finding the Holiday Spirit
My single mom packed us all in her AMC Hornet on Christmas Eve to go get a Christmas tree. This was 1977, the first year of my parents’ divorce, and life had been fairly middle class to that point. I was seven and pretty oblivious to things up until that point. So, everything just sort of felt like an adventure. We got to the farm stand, picked out a tree, and I recall the guy just sizing us all up and let us have the tree for free.
My mom was really touched, like deeply, and she wasn’t one to display emotion like that. I remember the feeling, it was like a sense of cold coming over your body, that this man was being kind to us as things weren’t quite right for our little group. Suddenly, things started clicking for me. Huh, why did we wait to get a tree until the night before Christmas?
The government cheese and can of peanut butter weren’t given to my mom due to them having “extra, and they decided anyone could have it.” The used car we drove was a crate; lacking reverse wasn’t a funny game to manage in parking lots. This was the start of us living on the lean, and it became more and more apparent that my dad wasn’t sending child support.
I’ve got a soft spot in my heart for that man. His kindness was maybe not much of a big deal for him—heck, who was shopping for trees at that point, right? But, he shook me into reality, and I think I needed to get growing up at that point. Tougher times were ahead. I’ve repaid that kindness to others in small ways over the years, especially when I see little ones caught in an embarrassing moment for mom.
It reminds me of those moments when we didn’t have enough for the groceries, so we put things back or abandoned our cart at the register. It’s funny when you extend yourself like that—there’s an unspoken common bond between you and that other person. They start to lightly object, and it switches to almost an overly appreciative “thank you,” then you have this stillness where mom connects the little boy in the cart to the man jumping in to pay for her groceries.
It’s not a gesture seeking recognition—it’s just a real human moment.
30. Owning Where You Came From
I was talking to my boyfriend on the phone. This was when I was 16. I was telling him some funny stories of my childhood. And a few had details like one was how often largish critters got in the house because it had holes. We had a particularly annoying opossum one year that kept getting in. My boyfriend said, “Wow you guys really were poor weren’t you?”
“No, we had plenty and we’re always happy and….well now that I think about it mom and dad skipped dinner a lot because they had big lunches and we never went places that cost extra, and so we had to save cans and glass bottles for a year to pay for vacation gas money to camp on the beach,”—I start to realize—“Holy moly, we were poor!”
But my childhood was much happier than my boyfriend’s, whom I later married. I never felt poor and still prefer our way of having fun.
31. Putting the Kids First
My parents would take my sister and I out to eat every other Friday. We would order from the kid’s menu, and mom and dad would split a small house salad. They always would say, “Oh, we ate a late lunch,” if I asked them about it. Sis and I accepted that and ate our burgers. One Friday, after the same event at the same Friday restaurant, my sister and I watched movies in the living room.
I got up to get some water and saw my parents making peanut butter sandwiches in the kitchen. That’s when I realized we didn’t have much money, but my parents didn’t want to spoil the excitement my sister and I had over getting to go out to eat. I love my parents. They may not have had a lot, but they tried so hard to make sure we never felt that way ourselves.
32. Wanting What is Out of Reach
My parents had a “look, but don’t touch” rule when we were in shops. They used to take me shopping just to look at all the new toys and things to make me happy and then go back home without getting anything. One time when I was around 7, our next-door neighbor took me out with her family, and her son got to pick up various toys and choose a couple that he wanted.
I was blown away by the fact you could actually buy toys from a toy store. Also, I remember being really annoyed at the fact that my parents used to only get me clothes that were on sale, and a lot of times they used to be boys clothes and I absolutely hated when that happened. I wanted pink and cute dresses, but I only got them when family friends gifted them to me.
Choosing and buying my very own outfit at the age of 10 is one of my most treasured memories now.
33. Seeing the World Through Your Parents’ Eyes
I realized we weren’t as well off when my elementary school best friend, who was solidly middle class, was complaining with her cousin about how she had only gotten one toy that month. The last time I had gotten one was six months earlier for Christmas, which was a genuine surprise. It hit me about 15 years later how bad it actually was after I had moved out on my own and told co-workers I didn’t eat lunch because I “wasn’t hungry.”
I didn’t want them to know I didn’t have food. Then I had the “oh” moment when I realized that was the same thing my mom would tell us when she didn’t eat dinner with us.
34. Paying it Forward
When I got new Nike shoes for tennis, I noticed my dad putting on his work boots that had newspaper to plug up the holes in the bottom of his soles. I realized two things. One, my dad loved me more than himself. And two, I needed to grow up and help out with the finances. I had a full-time job and moved out a year later.
This was 20 years ago and I still mow his lawn. I love you, dad.
35. Shout Out to the Parents That Work Multiple Jobs
You know you’re poor when it’s a celebration to be spending time with your mom or dad because they’re working two or three jobs each just to keep the lights on. We would go stretches where we’d not really see our parents—mom worked two jobs, and all dad could get was three part-time gigs. Mom worked two restaurants and would bring home food when she could.
We’d have dinner and relish the fact we got to see her. Then she’d go to bed and sleep like she was the dead. She was always exhausted. We’d all wake up and the house would be devoid of parental units, come home from school and go to bed and the house would be quiet save for the cats. However, we were mature enough to understand what was going on.
We knew we were poor and they were working for us. It just confused us on why people needed to work so much for so little. But now I’m in a similar situation where if I wanted to have my own apartment, I’d need another job despite the fact I’m doing factory work for 40-50 hours a week.
36. When a Kind Deed Brings You Down to Earth
Around fourth grade, I was walking around with a hole worn through the bottom of my shoe, and usually my socks as well. I had to walk on the outside edge of my shoe when it rained so my foot didn’t get too wet. It was really embarrassing when during an assembly we were sitting cross-legged on the floor and someone noticed the hole.
My cousin gave me a used pair of shoes his friend gave him saying his friend grew out of them and they didn’t fit my cousin. Years later I realized my cousin and I had about the same size shoe and his friend was just being a good friend, giving me his old shoes without embarrassing me. Even though I’m doing much better than my parents I’m still scared to have kids, because I don’t want them to go through anything close to what I had to as a kid.
37. To Be Honest, You Don’t Always Need the Whole Sheet
When I realized it wasn’t normal to divide paper towels into fourths.
38. The Grass is Always Greener
I grew up working class, but the poorest I ever felt was hanging out with a buddy and his new girlfriend. We swung by her parent’s house, which was a mansion with a grounds staff and maids. When I got there one of the maids asked me if I wanted some clothes. She laid out like 20 outfits she was planning on throwing out that day and since I was a “friend of the family” I got first dibs.
They were all new clothes in my size. I just loaded an arm full and stuffed the back of my car full. Then I got lost trying to find my way back to her room. It was on the second floor past the gym but before the greenhouse. I then got lost in the kitchen. When I finally got back to her “small bedroom,” I couldn’t find her because she was in her bathroom.
39. Taking Matters Into Your Hands
When I was 10, I noticed that one of my parents wouldn’t eat dinner. Each night, we’d sit down, my brother and I would fill our plates, but only either my mom or dad would join us. The other (usually my dad, but mom would have a turn once or twice a week) would be “busy with work stuff,” and excuse themselves to another room.
Once I suspected, I started catching the abstaining parent eating whatever was leftover from my brother’s and my plates once we were done. It was a terrifying realization, that there wasn’t enough for all of us. I made a concentrated effort to eat less. Not go hungry, mind you, but I always made sure there was some food leftover.
My folks gave me endless crap, joking about how my “eyes being too big for my stomach.” I bartered a .22 rifle from a friend, and my brother and I would go hunting after school—a rabbit or a couple of squirrels here and there seemed to help the dinner situation. I did some light scrapping as well, like taking things from the garbage, sometimes donation bins, gifts people didn’t want, etc., and return them to the store for cash.
When I was 11, I got a job. I figured out how to shop wisely, and used whatever money I got to buy food and put it in the pantry before my parents got home from work. We never talked about it, but looking back, there’s no way my folks didn’t know something was up. I’d notice a few extra cans of beans and corn, an extra loaf of bread, and a spare block of cheese in my pantry today, so I figure they did too.
But after a while, both parents would sit down to dinner, and sometimes there would even be leftovers, so I guess we made it work.
40. New is Relative
I was in preschool and I remember being so excited about new clothes. I was especially excited about this one red dress with Pinocchio on it. I couldn’t wait to wear it to school and show off my new pretty outfit. But one of the girls grabbed at my dress and screamed that it was her dress and told everyone I stole it from her. I was so confused, I kept telling her no, it’s mine, I got it, it’s new.
It wasn’t until it was pick-up time when her mom told her, “it was the Christian thing to do,” and my mom turning three shades of red, before I realized that this dress really was the other girl’s outfit—it was a donation from her mom to mine.
41. Kids Say the Meanest Things
In fifth grade, I got to buy a new outfit from Kmart. I was so excited to show people when another kid told me “If you’re excited about Kmart clothes that means you’re poor.”
42. Realizing the Parental Sacrifices
My parents didn’t have much at all until I was seven and my dad got a better job. My mom tried to hide it, and she would take me on a Friday night “date” to A&W. We would share a kid’s meal, I would eat the burger and she would eat the small fries, saying she wasn’t really hungry. One time my mom went to the bathroom and I absentmindedly ate most of the fries.
She never said anything about it, but the next morning she fainted while drinking a cup of coffee. When she came to, she admitted she hadn’t had anything to eat since the previous morning because she spent the last of the spare change on our “date” and I had eaten the whole meal alone. I was so ashamed to have been so thoughtless.