Thursday, 9 April 2009

The Class Thing

Missmarketcrash had a delightful game of scrabble last night with the posh mums.  It is easter holidays here in leafy London and the children have been having tennis lessons during the time off from school.  With one child in state school, and, one in private, it was inevitable these two worlds of distinctly different mums would meet each other somehow.  And so they did.

Like the best hollywood kind of drama, the private school mums confided to me last night that they had met the state school mum at the tennis pickup.  And I gather it did not go so well. There seemed to be some kind of general agreement that state school mummy had been dismissive and abrupt. Oh dear.  Like a rabbit in the headlights, I imagine she was terrified by my bunch.  Or, the more sinister implied possibility, she was "ill-mannered".  Oh dear oh dear oh dear.  State school mum was taking my state school child off for a playdate.  Her son is a gem of a boy, full of zest and good manners.  An A-list type of boy.  I do not know state-school-mum well but I am pretty sure she cannot be a savage with such a fantastic child.   I did sputter to the posh mums that state-mum was a super-mum and seemed to have few faults save looking perfect at all moments and being a bit short.  The posh mums did laugh quite a lot afterward addressing the class issue head-on and it all became a bit of a folly.

On the flip-side, after an evening out with some of the new state school mums a few weeks ago, I was on the other side of the class war.  After meeting a group of new mums and being asked which school my son had transferred from.  "DCPS" I mumbled.  And where is you other son? "DCPS" I mumbled again.  A mum at the table took that very opportunity to go silent.  The rest of the table followed suit and an arctic wall was erected. Cigarettes were lit in that quiet cliff-hanger kind of way.   The head mum then began to pontificate how terrible it was that someone could be bumped down the waiting list for such a good school just because some family who happened to live a bit closer had a credit crunch and decided to change schools... How dreadfully direct.  

So. What does Missmarketcrash think about the class thing?  Nothing.  And a lot.  It is an unavoidable thing here.  In a utopia, I'd say as long as you are a good scrabble player, you are in.

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