Wednesday, 26 June 2013

Being shamelessly middle class – and apologising for it…




You go away for 24 hours and you come back fully aware that you need to shout it loud and proud.
My kids go to private school because it never entered my head that there was an alternative. Or words to that effect.
My name’s Tattie Weasle and I AM Middle Class.
If there’s one thing I learnt during my brief sojourn in Town (London for the uninitiated) at the glorious Britmums Live event, is that to have an authentic voice you need to be true to yourself.
For years I have been apologising for being Middle Class. In fact that is one of the traits of being Middle Class (pronounced “Clarse” as in arse) – forever saying that you’re sorry for being so.
That being so, I now humbly beg forgiveness.
If I were Working Class I’d tell everyone to “Foxtrot Oscar” and “What You LOOKIN at” and if I were Upper Class – well I wouldn’t speak to you anyway, or if I deigned, I might raise an eyebrow in askance.
I think being Middle Class is very confusing as you vacillate between being very proud for being so and worrying what others may think of you.
There’s a lot of guilt being Middle Class.
In fact there are 9.63 million Google hits about it and I think that is a lot.
Secretly though it’s not so much guilt as fear; fear of being laughed and derided by the Upper Classes or else beaten up by the lower orders and having everything taken away.
Thus you land up trying very hard to be invisible by seamlessly blending in to one and frantically claiming solidarity with the other. One requires expensive shopping trips and claiming that you know who won this year at Burghley and that yes you do know your chukka from your bump; and the other renders you incomprehensible to English speaking nations as you reclaim your Working Class roots (Class now pronounced as in ass) along with dropping you aitches and hastily adopting a mockney accent even though your antecedents hailed from Wales.
So it is with a great deal of trepidation and frantic crossing of fingers that I promise to speak with my own voice – possibly for the very first time in my life.
And I won’t be apologising…well, not all the time!

9 comments:

Mud said...

Brilliant. Me too.

Tattie Weasle said...

Mud - it is great to know I am not alone!!!

Clare Taylor said...

Middle class, and proud of it. No, really.

Funny you should mention this because I was just thinking recently how sick I am of people using the expression 'middle class' as an insult. I can think of many better words that are far more descriptive to use as insults: smug, parochial, insular, reactionary, rude, ignorant, all of which seem to be generally replaced by the catch-all term 'middle class' but which are characteristics apparent in all layers of society across the world. Let's get a bit more creative with our insults, please!

Sorry - rant over.

janerowena said...

Did any of you see the Grayson Perry programmes on class? I grew up in Tunbridge Wells and could have cried with relief when I watched it - guilt was mentioned frequently.

Muddling Along said...

Welcome to the gang - middle class and proud :)

Melissa said...

I have no idea what I am as I'm forrin. innit.

Probably middle class - kids at private school, Audi Q5, we visit stately homes- but I'm from a very working class background as is my husband.

But I don't align myself with upper or working classes so I must be slap bang in the middle. And I'm cool with that.

I am very much looking forward to reading your middle class musings.

SmitoniusAndSonata said...

I haven't a clue . Sorry !
( though perhaps that last might be a clue ? )

Suburbia said...

Good to see you here :)

Annie @ knitsofacto said...

I'm clearly classless ... I'm certain I'm neither upper nor lower but I'm clearly not middle either ... my kids were home educated.

Go on you know you want to...

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