The Ten Most Middle Class Things Ever

Once, whilst visiting a popular picnic spot with my brother, he felt the need to pause a conversation mid-sentence and gasp in awe at a seemingly very ordinary group of people making their way across the immaculate lawn.  An army of green canvas folding chairs, wicker picnic hampers and Prosecco bottles crossed in front of us, eyes on a secluded spot where they could lay down their wares and crack open a bottle of Waitrose’s Finest.

“That is…the most middle class thing I have ever seen,” he spluttered, admiringly.  “I love it!”

The British are well known for an obsession with class.

I would like to say that as a liberal, left-wing Guardian reading anarchist member of the bourgeoisie, I am not even remotely interested in such anachronisms, preferring instead to live on a hippy commune in Somerset with thirty five chickens and a couple of goats.

But that would be lying.

I am obsessed with class.  I love it.  And what I love the most is my own self-important sense of middle class righteousness.  The middle classes are right about everything, all of the time.  There are no social problems in middle class households.  No middle class person ever got drunk on anything other than wine (or maybe gin), no middle class person ever shouted at their errant child in public.  And if they did, I never got to hear about it.  The middle classes are strictly sensible, strictly quinoa as the preferred grain, and strictly come dancing rather than X Factor.  To cut a long story short, my single greatest aim in life is to be considered middle class.

In celebration of the middle classes, I have compiled this list of the Ten Most Middle Class Things Ever.  You’re welcome.  Picnic hampers not included.

1.) Waitrose.  The original, and still the best.  I’m pretty sure the basics range includes such dietary staples as harissa and pomegranate seeds, but don’t quote me on it.  They might not be posh enough.

2.) Naming your child a class above.  Are your children called Sebastian and Harriet?  Tristram and Crispian?  Is your daughter called India in remembrance of that gap year you spent in Kerala in the nineties?  If so, then you are officially Middle Class.

3.) Holidays in Center Parcs.  I know dahling, it’s just so much more civilised than Haven.  There’s woodland you know, and the log cabins are just to die for.  So much more aesthetically pleasing than those common caravans.  And you can hire bicycles for the whole family, which is always good for the waistline.  Obesity is the scourge of the lower echelons.

4.) Breton tops.  Are your entire family dressed in them?  Mum, dad, children, grandparents?  It’s just the classic look.  A little bit French chic, a lot practical school run.

5.) Pretending to be religious to get your child into a better school.  Come on, we’ve all done it.  It’s a dog eat dog world out there.

6.) Conservatories.  No one working class ever had a conservatory.  Only middle class gardens offer sufficiently pleasant viewing over breakfast.

7.) Skiing.  Just expensive enough to price out the proletariat.

8.) Land Rovers.  Perfect for storing the folding chairs and gazebo for those impromptu picnics in the suburban wilderness.  And they look so country-casual on the school run.

9.) Colour co-ordinated Christmas decorations.  Nothing looks as tacky as colour clashing tree lights or (gasp) those giant inflatable Santas tacked to the side of the house.  And God forbid anything flashing.  The baby Jesus would be spinning on the Virgin’s lap at such a monstrosity.

10.) Red wine.  Who would go into a salty local pub and order a red wine?  No one.  Only the middle classes have the sophisticated palate required to discern when there’s a “full-bodied field of flowers” or a “hint of saddle.”

So based on this tongue in cheek and dare I say it arbitrary list of criteria, are you middle class, or am I alone in being the one giving a gasp of astonishment when Tesco turn out not to stock pomegranate molasses?  I knew I should have stuck with Ocado.

I’ve seen you in those Breton tops.  Don’t try to deny it.


39 Comments Add yours

  1. ShoeboxofM says:

    Two out of 10.

    I’ll give you Center Parcs, we go at heavy discount and camp at the pool because the activities are ludicrously expensive. It is practically a gated community. It’s so remote from the world it feels like Wayward Pines or that outside the walls could be nothing but smoking wreckage and the undead and we’d be none the wiser.

    1. Min says:

      I have to admit, I have actually never been to Center Parcs, though I would love to. It’s like a mythical place to me. For years I actually thought it was underneath a giant glass dome like the Eden Project.

  2. Hahah dahling this is lovely. And hilarious. I can’t get enough of Waitrose, especially the free coffee, is that middle class enough? I will be pretending I am a Catholic because the primary school around the corner is magical. Thanks for the laugh!

    1. Min says:

      Definitely middle class enough. Catholic schools are hardcore though-they’ll want the little one baptised, first holy communioned and everything!

  3. Oh I love hanging around by the olives and Hummus in Waitrose, waiting for little Tistram to come along and ask if he can have a treat of stuffed vine leaves. I hang around hoping that the middle-class vibes will be absorbed by my two and that they will stop fighting over whether I should buy them chicken nuggets or fish fingers. Never happens, although Oldest is partial to an olive, so that is progress 😉

    1. Min says:

      One of my finest moments as a parent was when I managed to get Piglet-then aged under one-to eat a seaweed salad in Yo Sushi. Sadly things have gone downhill since then, and now he lives on chips and occasionally bread. I will keep trying with the vine leaves!

  4. Hilarious! Min, you are brilliant! Thanks for making me smile on this rather dismal day – I needed that – what do you think the majority of this bunch voted though? x

    1. Min says:

      Oh, I wouldn’t like to second-guess it, but as I count myself among their number, I’m going to say REMAIN! For the holidays if nothing else.

  5. ohlucy says:

    Ahh dammit, I have to admit there is something in me that longs to pack up a case of red wine in the back of my land rover in preparation for my Centre Parcs weekend with the kids, before getting off to the Alps to go skiing, of course.

    Lucy xx #TribalLove

    1. Min says:

      Don’t we all? A weekend in Center Parcs with a case of wine sounds perfect to me.

  6. Brilliant – I have never been skiing and my kids have boring names but last week I went into a pub and asked them what wine they had, and when they replied ‘red or white’ screwed my nose up and suggested we go elsewhere. Honest. Other times though I’ll neck shit low alcohol fizz from the bottle so you know…
    Thanks for linking to #chucklemums 😀

    1. Min says:

      Well, what is life without a varied selection of wine? We all love a bit of low alcohol fizz!

  7. Brilliant – I have never been skiing and my kids have boring names but last week I went into a pub and asked them what wine they had, and when they replied ‘red or white’ screwed my nose up and suggested we go elsewhere. Honest. Other times though I’ll neck shit low alcohol fizz from the bottle so you know…
    Thanks for linking to #chucklemums 😀

  8. Love a breton top me! but overwhelmed by Waitrose, am a grass roots Sainsburys voter! very funny post, had a good chuckle so I did #chucklemums

    1. Min says:

      I do love Sainsbury’s. It’s the second most middle class one after Waitrose I think!

  9. lorraine says:

    What can I say, except for the children’s names & Waitrose, haha x
    (but still a scouser at heart)

    1. Min says:

      Love a bit of Waitrose, but there isn’t one near me (I obviously don’t live in a middle class area-sob!)

  10. laughing mum says:

    haha! I got 4 out of 10 (and am no where near middle class, trust me) and the Waitrose one is on there for me, purely because it is my nearest supermarket now we have moved, so thats more convenience than anything else because Im bloody lazy lol – this is brilliant! I do love it when I hear a middle class child’s name though, It really makes me wish I had given a bit more thought about my own kids names lol 😉 truly funny post! #chucklemums

    1. Min says:

      Thanks! I’m guessing your kids are not called India and Sebastian then? Waitrose is fab, isn’t it? I wish it was my nearest supermarket!

  11. Sarah says:

    I love Waitrose and stripy tops. Clearly winning in Middle Class achievement. I would never, ever go to Church to get my kid into a school though. That’s an MC step too far for this one. #chucklemums

    1. Min says:

      Haha, it depends what the other schools are like!

  12. Sarah HP says:

    Love a Breton stripe top and a bit of red wine. We have a waitrose near us and the conversations that you over hear are so funny, my favourite was a couple debating if they were running low on truffle oil!

    1. Min says:

      Me too. That is an amazing conversation! Thanks for commenting.

  13. yvonne says:

    Ha Ha I love this list. I dream of shopping at Waitrose, in reality I just go in there and feel scared at how expensive everything is!! xx #FabFridayPost

    1. Min says:

      There isn’t even one near me, which says a lot about where I live! x

  14. lol! You are so Middle Class! After reading this, I think there is no point denying that – I am definitely lower class – full stop. I do like Ocado from time to time though. 😉 The name Crispian reminds me of crisps. lol!

    Thank you for linking up with us on #FabFridayPost – a very educational post. 🙂 x

    1. Min says:

      Haha! Crispian crisps. I had never even thought of that. Crisps are definitely not middle class. Unless they are Waitrose Finest Beetroot and Kale Vegetable Crisps, that is. Thanks for hosting and commenting. x

  15. Sarah says:

    I certainly fancy a holiday to Centre Parcs ? Not sure I know what a Breton top is?!! Thanks for linking up #FanFridayPost

    1. Min says:

      Ah, you would definitely know a Breton top if you saw one. You may well be wearing one now. It is simply a simple stripy top, usually navy blue and white. Tres chic, as the French would say, and a classic Look. Thanks for hosting and commenting.

  16. I’m almost certain I once saw a picture of one of those edible flower things labelled as a ‘Waitrose Essential’ too! I’ve never been to a Waitrose though, you have to travel 40 miles from where I live before you find a town posh enough to have one!

    1. Min says:

      Haha, I’ve never even eaten an edible flower! I thought I was unlucky with no Waitrose nearby, but 40 miles!?! How do you survive??

  17. Jerry says:

    LMAO!!! middle class UK sounds so cool…here in the US I’d say you gotta add over-sized tires on the shiny pick-up truck and a cookie cutter house in a treeless suburban development.

    1. Min says:

      It is cool. I quite like the sound of a shiny pick-up truck and a house in a treeless suburban development though-life goals.

  18. Bloody brilliant darling! Love it. I worked at the Royal Horticultural Society – middle & upperclass delux that lot! Loved it and all they embrace and stand for. ?

  19. diaryofuem says:

    I feel I need to argue. Conservatories are soooo out. It’s all about super energy and efficient extensions with bifold doors and a living wall somewhere.
    Waitrose essentials are the best – I’ve bought essential goats cheese and cambezola in the past. They’re very essential items in any refrigerator.

    1. Min says:

      OMG a living wall? Cambezola? I don’t even know what these things are! I am officially not middle class. The bar just keeps being raised higher and higher and it’s out of reach for me!

  20. Kim Styles says:

    I think Fishermans smocks heavy duty material (ie coloured thick denim with high neck) could be included to and membership to a local choir could be added to the list –

    1. Min says:

      Ha! Quite possibly-although I’ve never heard of these fisherman’s smocks. Perhaps I am not middle class enough?

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