Wednesday, April 11, 2007

Hanging onto middleclassness by your fingernails

Do you have bizarre class biases about certain behaviors? By this, I mean are there things about which you have a learned revulsion based on their association in your mind with a social class of which you are not (or do not wish to be) a part? I sometimes find myself struggling with a tiny voice, no doubt created by a sense of financial insecurity during my developing years, that screeches, "don't do that! Only poor people do that!" Things my brain was trained to think middle-class people do not do (many of which are Houston-specific and/or wrong):

  • Put beans in chili
  • Make sandwiches from bread heels
  • Ride the bus
  • Live in an apartment
Am I alone in this?

UPDATE: Jacob Levy gets it: "it's not about not *looking* poor, but about not *feeling* poor to myself." Nobody may see you make your bread-heel sandwich, but you know.

UPDATE II: If you came away from this post thinking that I hate poor people, you need to read this follow-up.
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