In Emily’s “You Can’t See the Stars in Hempstead” she begins by talking about how her and her friend were laying outside by what was left of a campfire looking at the stars. This immediately reminds me of how I spend some of my summer nights and took me to somewhat of a happy place, since I have experienced similar nights to the one she’s describing. Looking up and finding Orion’s Belt with ease since I was a child is something that I can relate to with Emily. What she follows with, however, I’m grateful that I can’t relate. She talks about her friend going to any college she wanted to and then her not being able to leave New York to go to college because her parents don’t want her to go too far away. She also talks about how her house is unfinished and cold and falling apart. Her family doesn’t have money to fix the house or to even put in heating and I’m grateful that my family doesn’t have this problem. She still says that the house makes her happy though. She grew up there and she felt that this way of life was normal for her and everyone that she grew up with.
It wasn’t until Hofstra that she met people whose families were better off than hers. She says that they talked of “spacious homes with beautiful back yards, like the kind my mom would save pictures of from her Better Homes and Gardens magazines. And they spoke of beach houses along the shoreline, and some even spoke of third and fourth homes.” Emily then goes on to say how she responded to this type of conversation since she only has the one house, and only feels the need for that one house, while her friends are complaining about selling their beach houses.
My family is by no means poor, but my parents have done a very good job raising me so that I at least know the value of a dollar and so I’m sensitive to other people’s financial problems. Never will you find me speaking like one of her friends, trying to say “oh I’m not that rich, I only have one house and my dad’s hunting cabin”, because that is insensitive to other people and I realize that. Humility is a necessary thing in life and some people don’t realize that, and that is a terrible thing.