I’ve got a post rattling around in my head, and I’m not really sure if this is going to be any good or whether it will be the worst thing I’ve ever written. But I want to get it out, because it’s been bothering me for about ten years now and I know that seems like an awful long time- but it’s always sat at the back of my mind.
Social classes. Why on earth do they exist? As someone who has sat squarely in the middle all of her life, I really don’t understand them. The lower classes/working class people look down on those with money, as if they are lower than them because they work for all they have and the upper class get it handed to them on a silver platter. So where does that put the middle class people? And is it easy to swap from one class to another? Can you be born into a lower class and end your life as an upper classman? Even if you work your whole life, maybe strike gold or get lucky- with money, does that just make you a lower class person with a large bank account? If you’re upper class, but you behave rudely and childish, doesn’t that make you a lower class being with a lot of money and heritage?
Does attitude and posterity decide your class or is it the size of your bank account? As I said, I was born into a middle class family. Both my father’s side and my mother’s side were both working class and my parents had saved all their money to give myself and my brother what they didn’t have as children. I never had to ask for anything, and I never felt like I went without. We were not spoiled though, if we wanted the latest shoes or the latest computer- it was either a birthday/Christmas gift or nothing. My parents didn’t have the money to just splash around willy-nilly. I couldn’t have the Kickers shoes that everyone at school had, or Reebok trainers for physical education. Or the leather River Island bag I wanted to carry my school stuff around.
For this, I got bullied. HARD. Especially after I came out of the closet at the age of 13 and realized I liked girls as well as boys. I still do, it wasn’t a phase. I was spat upon, pulled through the mud by my hair, had my things stolen and thrown into the bin. My locker was broken into and my posters would be defaced. From the age of 13 to the age of 15- my life was made a torrid hell. I sat in the corner and kept myself to myself. I kept my head down in school. I buried myself in fantasy novels and played D&D with friends, if not only to escape the horrific nature of my surroundings. When I saw my bullies coming towards me in the halls and on the fields, I would turn tail and walk away like a scared puppy. I would spend hours at home, plotting my routes around the school so I could avoid bumping into them. They would laugh at me constantly, tell me I was never going to be any good at anything and for all that- my grades at school slipped and my work fell into a bad area. I stopped writing. I stopped caring. I thought about suicide several times, I would get to school in the morning and I would get off the bus and walk out of school.
After a while, my parents found out. They wanted to know why my attendance was so low. I couldn’t tell them. I just wanted to sit in the corner and cry, letting it all wash over me and my life would just pass me by. They eventually forced it out of me and things started to get better at school. My grades went up, people started talking to me again and by the time I was 16 I could say I had a few friends again. College came along, and I blossomed. I came out of my shell a little, now that the people who bullied me were not around. But again, I felt out of place when I was given a brand new film SLR camera for my first year as my 17th birthday gift from my parents. The rest of my course borrowed cameras or had second hand ones. I felt incredibly wrong, like a fish out of water for having this shiny toy in my hands. I passed my course with flying colours, both years and graduated onto University where things seemed to level out because of student loans. I didn’t seem to have anything more or less than anyone else.
Even now. I feel out of place for liking nice things. I was raised middle class. I am still middle class. Just because I work in a retail store doesn’t mean I have to act like a chav and buy my clothes from Primark. Gone are my teenage styles of River Island and Topshop, I’ve been there done that and worn the tshirt. I look for things made out of good materials and good brands. So I won’t apologise for liking Michael Kors and Mulberry, or buying £150 shoes. I’m 30. If I can’t treat myself to nice things now, I never will be able to. I work hard for my nice things, and I save my money while paying my bills. And gadgets! Haha, I’m known as the gadget queen in my family. I love my shiny toys and my handbag is always full of them :)