Middle Class Mockery

Having worked weekends for the majority of my post graduate life I have found myself in a period of time where my Saturdays are now free. I realised I had no idea what to do with them and it’s taken me four months to get used to this new day of freedom.

I’ve had a break through though and three weeks ago I believe I experienced a What other people do on a Saturday Saturday. I think I finally understand them. I understand that if you’ve worked all week you can take it easy on a Saturday. You can potter, clean the house, read, eat late, have a lie in and do all the things you want to do during the week.

My Saturday like other people’s Saturday started off with an exercise class. Reformer Pilates in Clapham North. Then, in my work out gear and no shame, I went to the local Saturday farmer’s market that I have coveted for years but never been able to attend. At this beautiful market I bought a fennel and some eucalyptus.  I then cycled home, listened to The New Yorker radio hour podcast, cooked food, read a few Guardian articles on my phone, took a nap and then ate cheese and crackers.

It was so grossly middle class I wanted to puke.

Where has this disdain and subsequent mockery of middle classness come from? I will often hear my peers, as well as lefty liberals in the media, laughing at….well at me and my kind. They will mock Guardian readers, gentrifying home owners, Class Pass partakers, nut milk drinkers, two children-multiple holidays-gastro pub on a Sunday families. Why are we ridiculing these activities? Surely having an income that allows us to indulge in these extras in life is something we’ve always wanted? What our working class parents aimed for? According to a 2016 Guardian article* it was the turn of the millennium that saw the middle classes over take the working class and as of 2016 the percentage of the population that are middle class was 52.4%

Having discussed it with a few friends {middle class, natch} there was never a clear answer. One friend said the middle classes deserve to be mocked because they’re so chuffed with themselves all the time. Another disagreed with the piss taking altogether and said she thought my Saturday sounded amazing. One simply said quinoa was a stupid name and deserves to be laughed at. I totally agree and think kefir and quark need to be added to that list.

The conclusion I have come to for this growing class mockery is that I realise I am part of a problem but I’m not doing more to acknowledge it or change it. I really like the over priced market with the vegan brownies and the cute succulents in handmade earthenware. I like it but I gloss over the fact that the market’s very existence displaced small businesses in the street it’s on. Businesses that had been there for years and couldn’t compete with the allure of a well stocked cheese stall. I love attending an exercise class in a clean, cute, well equipped studio near my flat but push aside the fact that it is made up of only slim, 20/30 year old white women. I live in a flat near Clapham that was bought from the council perpetuating the spread of gentrification.

I laugh and I mock because I’m embarrassed. I’m embarrassed that I am part of a class that appears to not be inclusive, that has Goliath like qualities within it’s narrative and that seems ignorant about it’s power.

It’s pointless to moan about something I can’t change though. And I can’t change my class. So, I’ve acknowledged there is a problem and I need to find a solution. I need to stop feeling ashamed of purchasing an £8 tub of olives from the local farmers market even though it is a RIDICULOUS amount to pay for olives.

What I can do is I can go to the Clapham market for my olives but I can also go to the less shiny and less polished Brixton market for my fruit and veg. I can stretch to my hearts content at Dynamica Reformer pilates but I can get just as good a work out at the YMCA in town that includes people of all races, ages and sizes. I don’t need to order my screws and plugs and nails from Amazon. I have a perfectly good DIY store, owned by a very friendly and very helpful set of brothers, five minutes from my house.

Having spent three weeks thinking about this class mockery I realise it is such a middle class luxury to have time to think about this and once again want to puke. Oh dear…..I will simply have to continue to mock as well as be thankful that I am not Upper class. The piss taking would be off the scale.

 

*OF COURSE I quoted from The Guardian! What did you expect?

 

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