Friday, October 14, 2011

Who's that Girl?

A friend and fellow blogger of mine suggested that I write a bit more about myself because she'd like to get to know me better. I've given you glimpses of what it's like presently to be Michelle Stringer, but you haven't read much about what being Michelle Stringer has been like up until this point.

"I was born a poor black child." That's the opening line from the Steve Martin movie The Jerk. He played it for laughs, but I'm dead serious. I'm the middle child and only daughter born to poor parents in rural northeast Georgia. The land where I grew up used to be pasture land and it belonged to my maternal grandfather. He gifted it to my mother upon her marriage to my father. My parents put a single-wide trailer on that land. It had three bedrooms, the smallest of which my brothers had to share. We practically froze to death in winter and burned up in summer. People assume that because winters in the southern United States aren't as harsh as those in the midwest or the northeast, that we don't get cold down there, but it's not true. In the rural south, it's a different kind of cold. Behind and all around our trailer were woods and some open space. There were no big buildings to buffer the wind or to absorb heat from the sun during the day and radiate that heat in the evenings. Add to that the fact that it was an old trailer that was poorly insulated, and you'll understand why it would be hard to stay up past 10:00pm on the weekends watching TV during the winter.

My father was and is the sole breadwinner. My mom stopped working outside the home once she started having children. My parents got married young. My mom didn't have my older brother until they had been married almost five years, and had my younger brother just before she turned 30. It was great having young parents to grow up with. If I had chosen to have children, I would like to have done it in my 20s so that I'd be finished having them by the time I was 30, too. As fate would have it, that wasn't the path my life was meant to take.

This is just a first look at the environment and the people that have shaped me. I'm actually warming up to this so I will try to include at least one entry a week in the "Who's that Girl" series. Thanks for this suggestion, Anne. By the time I'm done, you might regret your request to get to know me better ;-).


  1. Thank you Michelle. I didn't know it got cold in the South, either. Kudos to your mom for staying home to raise you. There are some things that money can't substitute for and a good upbringing is one of them. Looking forward to more.

  2. Oh thank you Michelle for sharing yourself with us readers. Just change your story to rural WI and white child in poverty. It's amazing what we can overcome, and our backgrounds have probably just made us stronger. Will look forward to the next episode in your life.

  3. Thanks you Michelle, Iz vurry much intrested an I alreddy likes teh beginning of your history. Iz can tell you haz a rilly intresting life story to share.

  4. I'm like Mariodacat..I am grateful tthat you shared your story and you make me want to do the same. I may one day down the road. I didn't come up with much either there for a space of time. xoxoxo