I often wonder how my parents did it. My dad, a retired police officer, painted houses for a living. My mom stayed home with me. It’s somewhat staggering to think today, but in the 1980s, a single and relatively low-income household could qualify as middle class. They certainly didn’t have a lot, but they got by.
Then, like many family stories, a life event fundamentally changed things. When I was 6 my parents divorced, and my dad moved back to New York, where he was from.