At the university I followed her instructions to the letter. But the only thing I altered was the way I labeled my family. I didn't change my actual experiences which involved thrift-store shopping, having credit card confiscated by store workers, my parents perpetual arguments about money, or even the fact that, part of the reason I was in college at all had a bit to do with a more than gentle suggestion by a judge and a probation officer.
I was active in many aspects of political organizing but especially grateful for a women's consciousness raising group where I could analyze and debrief about every issue and incident. One day after a meeting, I was walking across the oval with my new friend Ronna. She said, " I know you describe yourself as upper-middle class but when you talk about your life, it doesn't sound that way. I think you might be interested in this book." And she handed me a very early draft of Lillian Rubin's "Worlds of Pain: Life in the Working-Class Family." I opened it and read a few pages. Then came that click we used to talk about, the one that happens when everything finally falls into place. Needless to say, things have never been the same!