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What does middle class mean to you?

(295 Posts)
GeraldineGransnet (GNHQ) Mon 29-Oct-12 15:08:10

We're giving away 25 copies of a new book, The Middle Class ABC to gransnetters who post on this thread.

When you think middle class, is it those annoying Chelsea tractors that come to mind, or organic markets selling food covered in mud for twice the price, or girls with long flicky hair? (You can probably tell we're not taking this very seriously.)

We'll be drawing the winners at random on 9 November.

Greatnan Mon 29-Oct-12 15:11:34

Using napkins when only the family are present.
Being on the PTA committee.

MiceElf Mon 29-Oct-12 15:16:35

Waitrose yes, Asda no

Sencerre yes, Cardonnay no

Bond Street yes, Oxford Street no

Isis yes, Tracy no

Benedick yes, Harley no

Gransnet yes, Facebook no

NanaNel Mon 29-Oct-12 15:32:56

Candlelight suppers.

Dressing up to pick the kids up from school.

Air kisses & calling everyone darling.

Matching cars

whenim64 Mon 29-Oct-12 15:37:01

Households with bread makers, pasta machines, Le Creuset pans, Smeg fridge, online Waitrose and organic veg box deliveries, classical concert tickets, Pilates class, dinner parties, gap year children, piano and ballet lessons, golf club membership, villa holidays in Provence and skiing in winter, school governor parents, house ownership, gardener, cleaning lady and nanny, votes LibDem, has a dog with a human's name, shops at Aldi!!! grin

Mishap Mon 29-Oct-12 15:43:56

Dinner parties.

jeni Mon 29-Oct-12 16:00:22

Professional classes. White collar workers. Cleaning ladies. Private schools. Holidays abroad in villas in Tuscany!

kittylester Mon 29-Oct-12 16:02:02

Grown ups calling their parents Mummy and Daddy!

baNANA Mon 29-Oct-12 16:14:50

John Prescott, cause he told us so!

Ana Mon 29-Oct-12 16:16:11

grin baNANA!

baNANA Mon 29-Oct-12 16:17:19

Well Ana that's what he said, so it must be true!

feetlebaum Mon 29-Oct-12 16:18:39

One measure used to be whether or no a man's job had the chance for promotion - a bricklayer, for example, remained a bricklayer, and thus working class, while a bank clerk might rise through the ranks to become a manager, and so middle.

I can't see why my breadmaker has any effect on my social status!

feetlebaum Mon 29-Oct-12 16:20:50

PS: When I was at Infants' and Junior Schools, We middle boys wore shoes, while the worker kids wore boots - usually with Blakeys attached that they could strike sparks from the pavement with - I was dead jealous!

janeainsworth Mon 29-Oct-12 16:25:37

Well off enough to subsidise the lower classes but not as adept as the upper classes at avoiding tax!
The words 'lower' and upper' used in a totally non-judgemental way, I hope you all understandwink

Greatnan Mon 29-Oct-12 16:28:19

Is there any connection between wealth and social class? I remember adverts for The Distressed Gentlefolks charity and I always wondered how they knew you were a 'gentlefolk'. I was the first person in my family to have higher education and a professional career so I suppose I could be called 'First generation middle class'. Apart from owning my flat outright and being able to travel, I no longer have any of the trappings of the middle class as I don't have room in my tiny corner kitchen for any gadgets. I am looking forward to living in NZ, which really does seem to be a classless society, except for the Maoris , who seem to be disadvantaged in several ways.

nightowl Mon 29-Oct-12 17:00:20

When I was a child, my mother's measure of class was how clean your house was.

Common as muck: pigsty.

Working class: spotless, although everything was handed down or second hand. The true measure was how clean were your skirting boards.

Middle class: big house but 'not very spicy' - which apparently meant dirty (related to smell? - I have no idea) Of course they may have had cleaners - she was one herself at the age of 14, but that didn't count.

Upper class: I don't think the upper class entered her consciousness, apart from the King or Queen.

petallus Mon 29-Oct-12 17:07:47

The middle classes go to the lavatory and sit on the sofa in the living room watching a small square television (or they don't have a television at all). Their children are allowed 20p pocket money a week but only so long as they help with the household chores.

baNANA Mon 29-Oct-12 17:19:09

I wonder how many things on the Nancy Mitford "U and non U" list the supposed definitive upper class guide would apply to the middle classes today. Possibly John Prescott would know!

annodomini Mon 29-Oct-12 17:26:45

Not particularly caring what class people think you are.

Ana Mon 29-Oct-12 17:32:17

That probably rules out John Prescott, then!

baNANA Mon 29-Oct-12 17:37:14

I think it may well apply to him now he has a seat in the House of Lords, he's possibly already come out with "we're all upper class now!"

Granny23 Mon 29-Oct-12 17:47:31

I may have said this on Gransnet before. If so I apologise for the repetition.
I recognise 3 classes of people:

SCRUFF = Parasites who will neither work nor want, tax dodgers, thieves, wasters, etc.

ORDINARY PUNTERS = The vast majority of the population, who work when they can, pay their way and try to improve things for the next generation.

POSH = Parasites with more money at their disposal than Scruff (QV)

merlotgran Mon 29-Oct-12 17:50:53

Hunter wellies, Barbour jackets that smell strongly of wax because they never get dirty. Posh Eglu plastic chicken coops, subscriptions to Country Life, National Trust and RHS. The largest 4X4 on the school run, fridge magnets from exotic holidays to anchor homework timetables, and orthodontist appointments (middle class families don't go to a common old dentist) in a prominent position on the fridge. grin

grrrranny Mon 29-Oct-12 18:06:44

A house much bigger than needed with at least a couple of studies because they are both writers/journalists/dreamers. A range cooker which could cater for 100 or an Aga which they can't quite get to grips with but it is so lovely and warm and 'the kitchen is the heart of the house'. Rooms cold because they can't afford the fuel bills or the Aga again - keeps going out when it is supposed to be supplying the central heating.

Anyone see the programmes about Grayson Perry's tapestries depicting the lives of the classes. Very funny and I was sorry I missed the exhibition.

soop Mon 29-Oct-12 18:11:39

grin Granny23