On the survey Rosa was not asked about spousal alignment, since she is not yet married and did not at the time say she was living with a partner. However, during the interview she did discuss the financial arrangement between her and her fiance now that they live in the same household: “My money’s my money. His is his. But we meet in the middle, and like make a budget. What needs to be paid, how much and stuff, and we put out money together and pay the bills.” Although we do not have the survey data to confirm it, we can see from the interview that she and her fiance align on financial matters, including agreement that they do not have money to give away.


Rosa had a fairly meager upbringing as a child. She describes their house as crowded with children on these limited resources:

In the beginning [my mom] was on the welfare system for so many years. And then in the process of being on welfare, she became a foster mother herself and she took in my best friend, her brother.

And then, because we had more room in the house, they gave her two more children. And then, my niece... . The two boys we didn’t know. We didn’t know. And my niece she took in also. So there were five plus myself.

Although Rosa sees her mother as relationally generous in this way, she then recounts that her mom became dissatisfied with her niece’s attitude and actually returned her to the foster care system: “And then when she stopped the whole foster thing because, I don’t know, she just was tired of the kids, the drama, and stuff.”

Rosa describes her mother as having been a sporadic financial giver: “Still to this day, the fire people call her, the police call her, and she gives—they ask for like $20 and she’ll be like, ‘I don’t have $20, but I’ll give you $10.’ ” We asked if her mother ever did any volunteer work that she was aware of, and she said, “No. Not that I know of.” In summarizing her mom’s generosity, she says, “She was very generous. When she had it, she always gave. Even when she didn’t have it, she would figure out something to give.” All her examples circle around relational giving, such as helping a relative cover the cost of a funeral. In describing the influence that her mom had on her, Rosa says:

I do basically everything that she’s done. Like I’m in the process of becoming a foster mother. I would like to take on, besides my nephew, two other children. If they work out and listen to the rules of my household and go by what I say, I would like to adopt them.

Thus Rosa is following in her mother’s footsteps of being relationally generous by taking on a foster child and helping out neighbors. There is a dearth of modeling other forms of generosity besides these examples, however.

< Prev   CONTENTS   Source   Next >