to ask if you think you have been overlooked because of your perceived lack of wealth?

(160 Posts)
suebfg Sun 09-Dec-12 21:58:18

I didn't used to think that this sort of thing existed (maybe I am too naive) but since DS started at school, I feel as if I have been bypassed by a few people because I don't wear certain clothes, drive a fancy car etc. Are people really so shallow?

People are attracted to people like them- its not meant personally. It's tiny, infinitesimal things that attract people. We often don't know what's going on, on a conscious level.

Adversecalendar Sun 09-Dec-12 22:05:06

People that would judge you because you lack money or designer brands are not worth knowing.

And yes some people are shallow, again not worth knowing.

imaginethat Sun 09-Dec-12 22:06:46

It absolutely exists but truly if you were not bothered by status, you probably wouldn't notice being "overlooked"

suebfg Sun 09-Dec-12 22:10:16

I don't think you need to be status driven to feel a bit cast out.

hellhasnofurylikeahungrywoman Sun 09-Dec-12 22:17:54

My mum hasn't visited me in about 8 years because I live in social housing so that attitude certainly does exist. The biggest laugh? She visits my sister who lives locally to me but has an EX-council house. An even bigger laugh? Mum herself lives in an ex-council house.

OutragedAtThePriceOfFreddos Sun 09-Dec-12 22:18:33

In what way do you think you have been bypassed?

Are you sure it's that you are been bypassed, and not that people have just gravitated to others they think will be more like them?

And what makes you think that you are being bypassed because you don't dr e the right car or wear the right clothes? Could it be something else about you?

No, I agree. I am completely unfussed by status and just try to chat in a friendly way to whoever is happy to chat, but it still rankles when I am being completely ignored by certain individuals. I have no idea why, and I wouldn't care, except that I worry tht it will affect the social life of my DS. I was kind of hoping that maybe when DD started at school it would be friendlier as I notice the girl mums tend to organise more stuff together, but my hope for that is fading, particularly as we now find that DD has ASD and so far the people I have mentioned it to (out of necessity) haven't really dazzled me with the way they have handled it sad.

And yes, OP, i do think sadly that people can be highly shallow.

Fakebook Sun 09-Dec-12 22:22:19

Yes. Some people are THAT shallow. I've found out from personal experience from my bitch SIL. It's pathetic, but hey.

SkinnyMarinkADink Sun 09-Dec-12 22:23:35

Me and dh often talk about this sort of thing, We get the impression we are treated differently by professionals because we look young.

Dh is 26 i am 24, were married and have a comfortable life however when we go into hospitals or see 'professionals' we feel like we get shrugged off as being erratic or to young to understand, 2 examples..

Dd was 8 weeks old she had been crying for hours and something was just not right with her so i went to the Dr, she told me i was being stupid and that Dd was just doing what babies do, refused to check her over and sent me on my way saying she would tell my health visitor im not coping..

The very next day Dd was worse so i went to a&e and i found a lump, was in an ambulance with a groin hernia within half an hour taken to leicester hospital many miles away. We were told if i had found the hernia a day later she would of died.

Another more recent example.. i was in hospital and dh went to ask a nurse to take my canula off the machine so i could change from the clothes id worn for 2 days nearly, we waited 2 hours and he asked again before he was leaving the nurse told him there was more important people than him..

dh aunt pops to see me, she's very middle class and well to do type last she asked and they did it within minutes.

It does seem that certain people treat others with disregard, and there is a massive divide with class and people going by appearance when judging someone.

WorraLorraTurkey Sun 09-Dec-12 22:24:05

Some people really are that shallow but equally some people really are paranoid, and sometimes assume reasons why people aren't falling over themselves to socialise with them.

uptheamp Sun 09-Dec-12 22:24:43

people women are generally that shallow in certain social circles

sad thing is that probably their husbands bring in all the money and they don't really have that much to contribute to society other than an ability to lord it over others

doesn't make for long term friendships so you are prob best off our of it!

goralka Sun 09-Dec-12 22:27:14

my brother told me years ago that I was not rich enough to have an opinion...

BrawToken Sun 09-Dec-12 22:28:00

Fuck them. Seriously, you are better then that Sister. Hold your head high because you have your priorities right (I am assuming this is the case!). Do not let what you think other people think of you get you down. smile

ViperInTheManger Sun 09-Dec-12 22:30:03

I agree that this sort of thing happens OP. Mothers at one of DCs schools were never unpleasant but always rather aloof as I was working and didn't fit their "married well, walked the dogs wearing green wellies" brigade. I just wasn't one of them.

DowagersHump Sun 09-Dec-12 22:33:12

Some people really are that shallow but fuck 'em. Do you really want to be friends with people who judge you on how nice your car/clothes are?

suebfg Sun 09-Dec-12 22:36:06

Maybe I am being a little paranoid but it does tend to be a few flashy types who will literally turn their back on me when I join the group at the school gates or avoid eye contact. So I have assumed it is because I don't measure up. Funny thing is I do like nice things but I have different priorities now and being a working mum, I don"t always have a lot of time to spend on myself, shopping etc.

noisytoys Mon 10-Dec-12 07:19:36

I find the reverse is true in some cases too. My friends who have nothing the same as I have nothing are getting bitchy that I am making something of my life and going back to work. Little digs and comments hmm

exoticfruits Mon 10-Dec-12 07:25:22

If I have then I wouldn't notice- they are not the sort of people I like. I don't dress up for school runs, have no interest in cars other than wanting a reliable one that gets you from a to b.

olddogs Mon 10-Dec-12 07:29:57

yes, i agree.... I used to have this mental image of myself, and largely it was accurate.... based on my job etc

Now i have moved 300 miles and:
1 i'm seen as inferior because of my accent
2 I'm seen inferior because of my new job
3 Im seen as inferior becuase of my new salary

People and groups i would naturally graviate to, seem not to be welcoming (but maybe i ws like that when i was 'in')

TBH i dont mind. I really dont care. I have a lovely time in my life and am much happier now.

Its thier loss.... it really is!

I'm fab I am.

exoticfruits Mon 10-Dec-12 07:38:15

It is their loss olddogs- . The shallow 'in' crowd are generally boring - the 'out' individuals are far more interesting, once you get to know them.

SCOTCHandWRY Mon 10-Dec-12 07:45:45

People DO judge.

A few years ago, we expressed interest in a development of houses. When the show home opened, we were phoned several times by the sales staff, who were very keen to use the title "Dr scotch husband" as often as possible...

When we arrived for our appointment to view plans etc (it was also "open house" so there were a few people there), we were pointedly ignored when trying to catch the attention of the sales person - everyone else was dressed to the nines, and the cars to match - we had turned up in jeans and with a 12 year old car (cars are just not important to us!), we looked round the house ourselves an introduced ourselves on the way out - "Hi, we are Dr and Mrs Scotch, thanks for showing us round the development" and walked out - her jaw dropped.

Sugarbeach Mon 10-Dec-12 08:01:33

Hi suebfg, fancy seeing you here? It's Sugarbeach from expat woman! Hope all the research is going well.

Anyway, to answer your OP, yes a lot of the mums in private schools can be very snooty, and think they are better than others because they are obviously moneyed. This attitude was very acute in the prep school dd was in, located in affluent and leafy buckle would not believe a particular run in i had with a mum who asked me to reschedule my dd's birthday party , and all the drama and fallout.......anyway, as I always say, money does not buy class or manners.

I too have only really noticed this snobbery since dd started prep school.

BikeRunSki Mon 10-Dec-12 08:04:46

Yes, I have a group of friends who go away for the w/e, out for dinner and on foreign holidays several times. I turned down a couple of w/e trips due to cost (and we are never going to be in that league) and now I just don't get invited anymore. I don't mind, except for when I "accidentally" get copied into messages regarding arrangements.

Sugarbeach Mon 10-Dec-12 08:09:38

I don't think they were being shallow though we're they Bike? At least they tried to include you at the beginning.

I think the OP was referring to school gate mums who blank you because they've judged where you sit in their mentally constructed social hierarchy...if even people share this mental construct then it becomes a social reality....iykwim.

Sugarbeach Mon 10-Dec-12 08:10:55

If enough people...

BikeRunSki Mon 10-Dec-12 08:12:24

Yes, you are right Sugarbeach.

BikeRunSki Mon 10-Dec-12 08:14:19

Yes, you are right Sugarbeach. But one if them (a prep school mum as it happens) barely deigns to look at me - apart from when she drive her Range Rover into my Skoda!

BikeRunSki Mon 10-Dec-12 08:15:10

Yes, you are right Sugarbeach. But one of them (a prep school mum as it happens) barely deigns to look at me - apart from when she drive her Range Rover into my Skoda!

Sugarbeach Mon 10-Dec-12 08:16:22

And expect you to move out of the way? Yes, sounds familiar.....

Not at all.

There was one very posh wedding i went to once though, where we felt judged on our accents. But it was laughable really, because the people in question were pretty horrible and arrogant and not the sort of people you'd choose to spend time with anyway.

Anyone like this with you - it really is their problem and shows them up for the vapid snotty small minded person they are. Plus, life can change at the flip of a coin. They never know where they could end up.

HolofernesesHead Mon 10-Dec-12 08:25:11

It's not just prep schools that have this kind of attitude. My dcs' first pre-school was in an area with mostly social housing and ex council housing, and when I went to look round that wasn't a problem for me at all. But when dc went to the pre-school, I was completely frozen out by the other parents as I didn't have the right accent for them, II didn't have the same clothes (they were much trendier!) and so on.

I tried really hard to fit in, make genuine friends etc, but it was never going to happen because I was perceived as 'posh' or rich (hah!) It was really sad, tbh, and at that time I was quite lonely. Getting across any perceived divide can be really tough.

I find it apalling that attitudes like that still exist Holo.
And usually not amongst the very rich either. I have a friend who makes Prince Charles sound common and he is the loveliest person you could ever mett - couldn't give a stuff if you travelled in a limo, old banger, or bike tbh.

RichManPoorManBeggarmanThief Mon 10-Dec-12 08:33:05

Often I think it's not about perceptions of superiority/inferiority but of difference. People don't know how to talk to people who they perceive as being very different to themselves. We all know those few people who can talk to anybody and everybody, but they are not the majority (it's quite a skill i think).

It is just as common the other way. I'm on the other side of the fence, I'm one of those rich cows you all hate. When I first moved to the village I met a lovely lady (bought a second hand sofa from her) and we met up once a week to walk the dogs. I thought we got on really well. Then (stupidly) one day I invited her round for a coffee after the walk, and that was it. Once she knew I was the 'lady from the big house' she never spoke to me again, ignored my texts and blanked me in the street. I was really upset. I had similar experiences with other people.

I think people judge, either way. I genuinely want to be friends with anyone who has anything in common with me, but have been pushed out by everyone but those with a similar financial position. It makes me embarrassed and awkward about where I live. I dress in stuff from topshop, drive a small inexpensive car, and don't use private schools, but I'm still not worthy to socialise with some people.

saccrofolium Mon 10-Dec-12 08:45:08

What worsestershiresauce said. I was quite friendly with the wife of one of DH's friends who whenever she had had a drink would bang on and on about "and I suppose you look at my clothes and think How Cheap, and I suppose you look at our house and think How Small" ad infinitum. It firstly wasn't true, and secondly was incredibly unnerving and tedious to have to defend myself against her pathetic projections.
Then I spent most of the next few years pregnant or breastfeeding and didn't see her (we only really saw them after work for drinks) and then she told my other friend "saccro dropped me because I'm not posh enough." So annoying and unfair!

Tanith Mon 10-Dec-12 08:46:19

If this is in the school playground, then I'm not surprised. There are indeed some very superficial people at the school gate. I have had lots of fun with them over the years wink

I think they are usually insecure in themselves. Perhaps they are afraid that association with the likes of you and I will rub off on them smile

I have found that most truly well off people, those who are comfortable in their position, wouldn't dream of behaving like this: they are genuinely friendly without patronising.
Mind you, you don't often find them at the local school gate!

Don't mind the superficial ones, chat to who you get on with, and thank the Lord you don't have to bother about status smile

PessimisticMissPiggy Mon 10-Dec-12 08:51:15

I find this in shops and at make up counters! I'm not loaded but if I'm looking it at I can generally afford it.

I was looking for an evening gown in a very nice shop recently and after 10mins of not being approached (and whispered about) I left. I did cut my nose off to spite my face but I wasn't buying if my money was no good. I wore an older one and updated it with new accessories.

GrendelsMum Mon 10-Dec-12 08:56:20

There are some people where it's a blessing if they decide you're not worth talking to. DH and I appear to have a lot of the trappings of a certain social status, which I then discovered means that horrendous bores tell you at length about how fabulous they are and how fabulous their life is. Really, really dull. Seriously, I have nearly started threads in the past about how awful it is to have these snobs telling you about their possessions.

There was this one guy who told us for about 40 mins at a Christmas party about why he needed a big car, why his job was very important, how his holiday home was amazing and very high status, etc etc yawn yawn yawn. DH was far too polite to make an excuse and escape. We guessed afterwards that he was feeling embarassed because our house is 'better' than his (and he knew our house and we didn't know his), we are 'better' connected, and DH has a 'better' job (and we may have a crappy car but it manages to drive through snow and mud just as well as his Landrover).

FellatioNelson Mon 10-Dec-12 09:02:25

I think it is human nature to gravitate towards people who look/behave most obviously like you, and to whom you feel a natural, comfortable affinity with firstly, and secondly to make tentative steps towards people you aspire to be like. (this doesn't have to be about financial/social status, but it often is.)

I am sure that the same would be true in reverse as well; if one school gate mum appeared to be a 'posh,' well spoken, slightly serious professional in an expensive car and a sharp suit then she is probably not going to be inundated with invitations for coffee from the core group of SAHMs from the council estate. The difference is, she probably doesn't notice or care, because she is not looking for signs of validation from them in the first place.

I always made friendly conversation with all the mums of my DCs friends, even if I knew deep down they were not really the type I would usually be good friends with. In one place I lived I was definitely one of the most high income mums at school, and several of my DC's friends were definitely among the lowest. I got on great with their mums; some of them I became very fond of and we would spend ages gassing and having coffee if I had to go there to pick up a DC, or if they came to mine. But I was aware that there were differences in our lifestyles that made it unlikely that we would be good friends much beyond that. Would I have invited them for dinner? No. It's nothing personal - it's just the way things are. And frankly, they would probably have been horrified if I had.

If you don't live in a total bubble of either privilege or disadvantage then you will need to mix with people from all backgrounds, especially if your DCs are at state school. So if people came to my house and always said 'Oooh, it's so big!' or 'Oooh your DH does that for a living?!' or 'Oooh you are so much posher than me' or 'Ooh, how do you manage to have such a fabulous holiday when I can't afford a caravan in Clacton?' then it becomes a bit awkward after a while to just have normal, relaxed conversation without the wild difference in our incomes always being the elephant in the room. I got scared to say anything about my life for fear of making other people feel bad about theirs, and relaxed friendships can rarely work like that.

People often perceive it as a rejection of them based purely on their status but in reality it's much more complicated than that.

I don't think I would ever seek to attract or reject a potential friend based purely on how much money they had, or how beautiful they were though. I have known people like that and they are arseholes.

HolofernesesHead Mon 10-Dec-12 09:05:35

Pessimistic, I know! I once spent a good half an hour being studiously ignored in an upmarket shop because I'd just come from working and looked a bit scruffy. I was probably bad for business! smile

FellatioNelson Mon 10-Dec-12 09:09:08

haha - just read the thread and I can totally agree with what worcester and sacro said. I have experienced things like like that many times. It does get a bit wearing.

BaresarkBunny Mon 10-Dec-12 09:11:19

Dh is in the army and when we were applying for a house when we were moving we weren't allowed to move into the newer ones I was told we couldn't because due to my husband's rank we wouldn't be able to afford it.

I was shock that someone said this to my face because they have no idea of our financial situation. For one he is paid more than some people of a rank higher due to his pay grade and two I work and earned more than him. (a wife who works seems to be unknown to some people in the army)

HolofernesesHead Mon 10-Dec-12 09:12:06

Tbh Fellatio, I was that 'posh', well spoken mum at the council estate preschool gate, working odd hours, somewhat over-educated, highly idealistic, poor as a church mouse (due to high idealism), one decent suit and lots of nice scarves to hide the fact i was wearing it most days. So I didn't really fit any of those categories. Which is where social stratification falls down; yes, if everyone's happy to stay within their 'tribes', that's okay as far as it goes, but what about the oddments left over (like me)?

FellatioNelson Mon 10-Dec-12 09:12:44

bringback what you say is interesting and I wonder whether those people really did judge you, or whether you just felt judged. In my experience if you put a bunch of posh people round the table with someone very working class they would absolutely NOT mention the accent, or make them the object of ridicule or curiosity (at least to their face) but if you put a posh person around a table with a bunch of salt of the earth working class types they would get eaten alive and be expected to take it on the chin and be a jolly good sport about it.

LaCiccolina Mon 10-Dec-12 09:13:12

Well here's a reverse one for u, we live in rented presently. It's a massive house. But because its not been done up much or have double glazing etc its well under budget locally of where it should be. This luckily means its in our budget though. We've never had a big house and just got swept away with the sheer "why not? We will never own this! " of it.

Dd had her birthday in October. All friends know we rent. They all know why etc too. One half of one pair got really snippy at one point of how their whole flat would fit in one or two rooms. It went further than that too, made it extremely uncomfortable. We've known each other for nearly 5 yrs but as we meet out at groups it's only birthdays where houses are shown really. I've barely seen them since and it's been said its because the house made them uncomfortable! Well one half anyway...

I don't own it! They saw previous tiny house we did own. So, shallowness and (is this inverted?) snobbery exists in all. Sadly....

exoticfruits Mon 10-Dec-12 09:18:25

The real answer is that you have to know people and not judge by what you think you see. If people are too shallow to do that then they are not really the type you want to bother with in the first place.

Sugarbeach Mon 10-Dec-12 09:21:07

Holo. like you, I don't fit into any tribe! I was the only ethic minority in my village, apart from the shop owner, i hold down a professional job in a male dominated industry, i speak with a posh accent - i think i freak some people out when they first hear me speak english because i don 't sound like how i look! i wouldn 't be surprised if some people thought that i 'married up' from the philippines or something on first impressions. Over the years, I've learnt to accept that it'll be difficult to find like minded people easily and that I'll always be an 'outcast' wherever I go. But I've made a few, not many, but a few really good life long friends and I think that's enough for me...

fruitstick Mon 10-Dec-12 09:21:14

But it's a short hand isn't it. On the school playground it's very difficult to know whether you like someone or not so you make snap judgements.

When I first moved to an area toddler groups used to terrify me. I did choose the people I approached based on their handbag blush because I had nothing else to go on (I opted for the mid-price oversized non-changing bag).

It's the same with school now. Practically ALL my friends wear Parkas. I'm not friends with them because of that.

I tend to avoid the very groomed ones - apart from the ones I have met properly who are lovely confused.

What I'm trying to say that I hate all this playground cliquey/blanking nonsense. It's not a party, or a dating agency, or a networking function. People are just taking their kids to school and might have a bit of a chat with some people while they're doing it.

GoldQuintessenceAndMyhrr Mon 10-Dec-12 09:25:23

Thinks have changed noticeably for me in the last couple of weeks since I bought myself

1. A couple of pairs of Good shoes (after not buying shoes for 5 years or so hmm unless mountain walking boots and trainers)
2. A Tommy Hilfiger down coat. (After looking like a scarecrow for months)

Shop assistants are extremely attentive. The mums at gymnastics talk to me (at least until they see my car, it is a pppp-Peugeot against ther Lexuses and Volvos)

I think in Britain you are judged on
1. Your accent.
A foreign accent is lower in the pecking order than regional British accents
2. Class Background
3. Economic situation

As a foreigner it is hard to even "gain" a "classification". I personally dont care. But it is amazing to see how people can nod and smile and as soon as they discover your accent, they blank you.
As a foreigner, I think the only real friends you can possibly make are either other foreigners, or people with a mixed heritage one way or the other.
My sons have few friends who are Brits, they are mostly mixed, European, Asian, etc. After moving to the UK back in 1993, I have made just 2-3 British friends, the rest are all foreigners.

I think people just tend to stick to people that are like themselves. Foreigners end up with other foreigners, British middle class with middle class, etc. Northeners with Northeners, people you have something in common with according to external rules of Classification. They do say there is little social mobility in the UK, and I think that is true.

FellatioNelson Mon 10-Dec-12 09:25:36

Everybody avoids the very groomed ones, except the other very groomed ones! They intimidate everyone - rich or poor!

Sugarbeach Mon 10-Dec-12 09:27:11

Maybe we all do it it all the time to each other without realising it. It's only when we are at the receiving end that it 's felt?

FellatioNelson Mon 10-Dec-12 09:28:11

I think you are right SB. I am on Expat Woman as well btw. wink

fruitstick Mon 10-Dec-12 09:28:34

Thanks Nelson, that's good to know wink

Sugarbeach Mon 10-Dec-12 09:30:54

Omg fellatio! Who are you on EW? Please confess. I HAVE to know!

HullyEastergully Mon 10-Dec-12 09:31:23

I have absolutely no interest in anything about anyone other than whether or not they are interesting.

Wish everyone was like that.

Sugarbeach Mon 10-Dec-12 09:33:26

And how do you first decide whether they would be interesting to get to know hully if not by judging on first impressions?hmm

FellatioNelson Mon 10-Dec-12 09:35:41

PM sent SB

HullyEastergully Mon 10-Dec-12 09:35:42

Talk to them/ eavesdrop on their conversations.

How else?

I talk to everyone unless they glare at me in a don't-approach-me way

FellatioNelson Mon 10-Dec-12 09:36:31

Exactly Hully. I know loads of people who should be my 'type' in theory but they are dull as mud.

FellatioNelson Mon 10-Dec-12 09:37:26

Eavesdrop? grin

freddiefrog Mon 10-Dec-12 09:37:45

Unfortunately there are people like this

There are a group of mums at my kids school who used to ignore me, she had seen both me and DH at school quite a bit and had assumed we were both unemployed layabouts (we both work flexi from home)

I make an effort with clothes, but unless DH is going into the office, he generally looks like a scruff, our car is a bit of a banger and we rent our house (we rented to start with when we moved a few hundred miles away, we love our house, the rent is cheap and our landlord won't sell so we're happily renting) so she looked down on us

Then one of them realised my husband was her husband's boss.

Now she falls over herself to invite me round for coffee and her horrible jewellery parties. It does make me laugh

FellatioNelson Mon 10-Dec-12 09:37:54

Hulls, you are that mad old woman at the bus stop aren't you?

HullyEastergully Mon 10-Dec-12 09:39:35

I am.

I don't get out much so I have to make the most of it

TheHoneyDragonsDrunkInTheIvy Mon 10-Dec-12 09:59:32

I like people as a whole. Its usually hard to find a dull a person. I'll talk to anyone. And yes some people don't want to socialise with us as you are not the right sort - that is their choice. It's all groovy.

There is a father at ds's school, who is rather sweet in his own nobbish way. He likes to ask how work is going for my dh and waffle on about how he misses the days when he was "just a sales rep" and the simple times before he was in terribly important senior management. Dh is not a sales rep. He is the Director of the rather large company in question.
Its been eight years, I haven't the heart to correct him, and it means we don't get invited to the Summer and Xmas soirees thank god.
None of the other parents who know me well can bring themselves to do so either.

TunipTheVegedude Mon 10-Dec-12 10:04:27

When I was doing my MA I got my nose pierced and all of a sudden the cool people on my course started talking to me and old ladies stopped sitting next to me on buses.

CashmereHoodlum Mon 10-Dec-12 10:44:01

I have found this to be true. We have always lived well below our means without really considering that we were giving the impression of always being skint. We didn't realise we were being spoken about until kids started saying to us 'mummy says you're poor because you have a rubbish car'.

Without saying too much we work/ed on the edges of academia where conspicuous consumption would be eyed with suspicion, but we live in an environment far removed from that. For example, we haven't got a TV, and round here people say it is because we can't afford one because it is unheard of not to have a TV. But if we lived nearer work nobody would make that inference, because it is quite common to not have a TV.

I think a lot of it is to do with your experience and expectations. I would tend to assume someone running an ancient estate car, and wearing an old tweed coat with elbow patches would be quite well off, but most of the people where I live would assume that person didn't have two pennies to rub together.

CogitOCrapNotMoreSprouts Mon 10-Dec-12 10:54:45

You're talking about snobbery. Snobbish people make assumptions based on all kinds of irrational pointers and it says far more about them than it does about you. Then again inverse snobbery ... 'think you're too good for us do you?'... is just as bad.

Sugarbeach Mon 10-Dec-12 11:00:27

I can't say I've ever experienced inverse snobbery......does that mean I'm at the bottom of the social pile not worthy of inverse snobbery? hmm

APMF Mon 10-Dec-12 11:14:25

To the poster who thinks that her mum hasn't visited her in 8 years because of where she lives, I don't think that is the reason grin

I drive a 10 yr old Honda and wear M&S to school functions at DCs private schools. I've never encountered the above mentioned snobby parents.

picketywick Mon 10-Dec-12 11:40:49

I suppose income groups of a feather/do flock together (There are exceptionjs

I mean someone on a low wage would not be paying 90 quid for a meal

And of course, Networking is very popular now. Which is people looking for
people similar to themselves.

Snobbery is not very often discussed. Because no one thinks they are a snob. (I have met a few money snobs in my life)

LDNmummy Mon 10-Dec-12 11:50:42

"Thinks have changed noticeably for me in the last couple of weeks since I bought myself

1. A couple of pairs of Good shoes (after not buying shoes for 5 years or so unless mountain walking boots and trainers)
2. A Tommy Hilfiger down coat. (After looking like a scarecrow for months)

Shop assistants are extremely attentive. The mums at gymnastics talk to me (at least until they see my car, it is a pppp-Peugeot against ther Lexuses and Volvos)

I think in Britain you are judged on
1. Your accent.
A foreign accent is lower in the pecking order than regional British accents
2. Class Background
3. Economic situation"

I find this to be very true.

I don't give a monkeys about how I look since DD has come into my world but I know a definite difference is there in how people used to treat me and how they treat me now. When I do bother to dress myself up a bit, people are very different.

I just don't bother about it. my one pair of jeans right now are 3 sizes too big, I only have one pair of boots, one pair of flats and one pair of trainers. I have one skirt and one dress. I have a 5 year old coat and a few vest tops and two jumpers. That is truly it. These are the only things that would fit me after having DD and I haven't been able to go shopping for new clothes yet.

MiniTheMinx Mon 10-Dec-12 11:53:25

Its the occupation of the middle class to always have their heads stuck up their own backsides.

I have friends who claim benefits but I also have long standing friends who are neither working class or aspiring middle, they are lovely and not for one minute are they snobs.

DueInSeptember Mon 10-Dec-12 12:21:46

I have a friend (long term friend who I've known for 20 odd years) who seems to care about 'getting in' with the 'in' people. I put it down to insecurity in some ways, she was the same in school too.

I'm someone who will talk to anyone. At the school gates I am not looking for new best friends. It's just a matter of passing a few minutes talking to friendly people.

APMF Mon 10-Dec-12 12:25:09

grin at all the anti middle class rants.

BigShinyBaubles Mon 10-Dec-12 12:27:57

I used to think I was getting 'overlooked' because of my size!
I now dont give a crap if people judge me. I've got a great set of friends who see past my appearance and see what a fantastic personality I have got wink
Surround yourself with those type of friends and forget about those others. They're the ones missing out

BlackBagFestiveBorderBinLiner Mon 10-Dec-12 12:29:44

DD1s school gate experience was easy big varied mix of GPs, parents, Aunts, etc. You walk in, stand there chat to person next to you. Sometimes its inane, sometimes funny or informative. But it's always polite and inclusive.

DD2s experience of state rural, completely different. Local 'Royalty' have an outer court of courtiers all climbing over each other to get within licking distance. It has a weird way of distorting what should be a nice ten minute bit of adult interaction.
Their eyes glaze over, they look past you when someone more 'useful' walks past. The organising of the xmas drinks meet up has been paricularly toxic.

Aside from spoiling the sense of community the worst thing about these Harpies is the way it impacts the childrens friendships. Children that naturally gravitate towards each other in class never get to socialise outside.

In the future, it will bit them, big time on the arse.

Yanbu, sadly people can still act that shallow!! Thankfully never been overlooked because of my wealth (we aren't wealthy I should add, we earn enough to pay the bills and keep our heads above water) but we are often overlooked as a result of not being 'conventional'. Doesn't bother me in the slightest as i can take or leave it plud my dp is bloody awesome you just need to talk to hom to realise. Though the main thing for me is my child is all good in school, which she is thankfully, obviously doesn't take after her parents as she's normal grin

Argh i apologise for the typos, bloody phone and my fat fingers!!

Sugarbeach Mon 10-Dec-12 12:40:17

Blackbag, my experience of dd's prep school was exactly as you described for your DD2. I wonder if it was to do with the fact her class mate was the grandchild of the earl of blah de blah who owns most of the land of the village down the road.....

FarrahFawcettsFlick Mon 10-Dec-12 12:58:47

BlackBag - you don't live near me by any chance?

I have definitely been appraised and put in a mental box. 1st term of DS reception had a feel of the county show - I was the black and white cow being led around the ring.

I like my box - it keeps you away from me.

Plomino Mon 10-Dec-12 13:29:15

We have been well and truly overlooked at our local Montessori nursery , which used to be attached to a private school . We sent dd1 there for nursery because they accepted the nursery vouchers , so it didn't cost us , but the school knew full well that a significant percentage of nursery kids then went on to state primaries, rather than join the main school, which was fine and they had no problem with that. What irritated me was the successful campaign by the paying parents , to have separate clothing for the kids . Those who were staying on , got to wear the school uniform, same as the rest of the school, and those kids who weren't , well they wore a blue sweatshirt instead . The amusing thing was watching SOME parents obviously steer their uniform wearing child , to be friends with other uniform wearing children , instead of our blue sweatshirt clad ones . And I wasn't the only one to notice either .

The funny thing was , that as I used to turn up to the school most days , in the filthy landrover and wearing my riding stuff with the dogs in the back , I was clasped to the bosom of the county set and invited to go out drag hunting and shooting instead !

BlackBagFestiveBorderBinLiner Mon 10-Dec-12 13:34:59

I'm not scary FarrahFawcettsFlick I actually feel sorry for our local 'prize cow' it was just as you describe it, the nightmare of being appraised and judged whilst trying to deal with a child starting school and a toddler.

She's obviously got some close friends, it's the behaviour of the outer circle that's so difficult. The diplomatic nightmare of sorting that childs birthday party out must have kept her awake at night. Everyone desperate to be seen at the event no matter how tenious the connection.

My DD is in a different class and does n't really know her but friends parents
are desperate to be included so change swimming lessons, volunteer at school, 360 swival head at pick-up.

Do you like the attention or do you dread the school run?

MmeGuillotine Mon 10-Dec-12 13:59:16

We are the token goth parents in our school playground and it's taken a pretty long time for people to warm to us. We're not unfriendly or anything but I have Aspergers (is it still okay to call it that?) so am quite reserved until someone talks to me and don't really tend to notice that I'm being blanked unless it's done really ostentatiously as in a proper Turn Their Back on me type malarkey.

I actually find it liberating that people can't pin down our socio-economic status from the way that we dress. Little do they know that my scruffy husband actually went to public school and I was the 'posh girl from the big house' when I was growing up and found the way that school mothers shoved their children at me in the hopes that I'd invite them around to use the pool etc really quite hideous. ;)

helpyourself Mon 10-Dec-12 14:06:26

A mutual friend of dds friend's Mum confused sat in her car rather than stand with me once. She'd had a big spread in Hello that week. I briefly fantasised about my imaginary driver screeching up to rescue me from the imaginary paparazzi. But peo

helpyourself Mon 10-Dec-12 14:08:30

But people who do this have people who make them feel inferior too- aforementioned mutual friend is even prettier richer and nicer!

suebfg Mon 10-Dec-12 14:08:38

Waves at Sugarbeach, hi! Yes, the research is going well thanks. Hoping for a look see visit very soon!

BlackBagFestiveBorderBinLiner Mon 10-Dec-12 14:13:59

I talk our token Goth parent, she's just got a new car - it's black!!!

I'm the Steam Punk Academic grin

MmeGuillotine Mon 10-Dec-12 14:19:11

Ours is a disappointingly pewter Honda Civic. It's not even a hearse or anything. sad

oohlaalaa Mon 10-Dec-12 14:22:33

Sometimes the people without the status symbols are the richest. It's very silly really. I went to a private school and recall a certain family who were meant to be minted, had the fleet of cars, designer clothes, swimming pool etc. & everyone made a fuss of them. Their business went bust about a year after I finished school, owing millions.

Notcontent Mon 10-Dec-12 14:32:36

I agree that people are usually drawn to people who they think are like them.
I have found that I don't seem to fit in at all with the parents at my dd's school. I am not from the UK (another English speaking country), and I am a lone parent. But I don't fit the usual stereotypes, as I have quite a well paying professional job. I think the "posh" parents look down on me, while the non-posh parents think I am a bit strange...

In my experience, (in my line of work), the 'proper' posh ie. aristocracy, the titled etc, DON'T behave like this, they really couldn't care less what you have/wear/drive, and they don't give a toss what you think about them either. It's the upper middle classes and the nouveau riche who generally have this awful attitude, (and, yes, we have been on the receiving end of this, from family who have 'done good', and no longer wish to associate with us plebs). It's ridiculous. I ignore/pity them. grin

Lavenderhoney Mon 10-Dec-12 17:32:47

Years ago, My then bf did a romantic dinner in one valentines, and the next day I told my friend at work about the meal- he did steak and chips. " oh, we stayed in and had steak too," she said, " but we had it with salad, because our class doesn't eat chips"

Invited to tea at a new friends when about 10, massive house, ponies, nanny, the whole thing. Really lovely time. Friends mum insisted on dropping me home. Pulled up outside the bog standard 3 bed tiny garden. My friend trilled " oh, what a sweet litte house" her mum didn't speak. Never got nvited again. It was then I realised about snobbery and the class divide.

Dm went into bank straight from gardening, so wellies, dirty old coat, hair everywhere etc ( mum was very scruffy when she liked) to pay money in from her business. The clerk refused to allow her to, and insisted dm was not the account holder. Dm showed her cards etc but was still refused. She stormed out, straight over the road to lloyds, opened an account and moved all her money.

3 days later the bank manager of the first bank turned up round her house with a bunch of flowers and asked her to reconsider. Dm took the flowers and told him to get lostsmile

SecretSantaFix Mon 10-Dec-12 17:42:44

When John Lewis opened up in Cardiff, I needed to pick up something from their kitchen dept, so I went into town in what I would normally wear. Jeans, trainers and a red hoodie that admittedly had seen better days. Hair pulled up in a ponytail, I don't wear makeup apart from special occasions

I was followed around the dept by about 5 members of staff while I was browsing.

I found one of the items I was looking for and had had enough so paid and left.

Two weeks later I went in in a skirt, wearing boots and a cardigan and was asked if I needed any help and when I declined wasn't followed by anyone.

juneau Mon 10-Dec-12 17:48:29

My DS goes to a private school and there are definitely different types of mothers at the school gate. Most fall into one of the following categories:

1) Big car, styled hair, visible jewellery, full make-up, heels, not very friendly. I'm guessing that most of them did not go to private school themselves.
2) Middle class mums, down to earth, don't 'dress up' for the school gate, variety of cars from the understated expensive to the positively decrepit. Most did go to private school. Will chat to anyone.
3) The overseas mums, wide variety of appearance, cars etc, who tend to chat with other speakers of their native language.

Birds of a feather flock together. It's human nature.

meddie Mon 10-Dec-12 17:54:55

Both my children went to private school, paid for by their dad as part of the divorce proceedings.(I work as a nurse so not exactly a brilliant salary) He never paid me any maintenance and often paid school fees short, plus he left the country so I got lumbered with his debts as well.
For years I was poor as a church mouse. Battered old car, 2 pair of shoes (one of them was a work pair) generally just run down and scruffy as I was surviving hand to mouth. Just refused to take my children out of that school as it was the only good thing he had done for them.
I was totally overlooked by the majority of mothers and given an extremely hard time by the head mistress as I was the single parent with a regional accent and didn't fit in with her idea of the parents she liked for her school.
Funnily enough the parents who I did talk to who treated me like a fellow human being and who's children my children were friends with and used to have sleep overs with, were the wealthiest in the school. I found the aspirational/new money types to be the most snobbish and judgmental.

zlist Mon 10-Dec-12 18:49:47

Yes, lots of time I think. Some of them pretty obvious and quite funny at the time - those were all to do with people making assumptions about me/us and then not liking it when the reality didn't fit.
When I was quite a bit younger and living in a small rented flat amongst private semi/detached houses there was a woman who was friendly to us but clearly thought she was just that little bit better. Fine, I put it mainly down to her being older. One day she asked me what my boyfriend did for a living. I told her - hospital doctor. She looked furious and actually said 'no he isn't!' and stormed off inside. She didn't speak to me after that.
Gosh there have been many more since!
I would agree that the most judgy people tend to be those who seem most concerned about being judged themselves and putting on a 'show'.

GoEasyPudding Mon 10-Dec-12 19:28:29

I have experienced the effects of this perception of wealth, at work, at home, the upwards type and the downwards kind and then some more types and every which way! It's a confusing world out there where judgements are made based on clothes, accent, cars, watches, shoes and handbags or even how you curl your hair.

I don't know how to dress like the other mums and so I am not fitting in so well recently, so I must look into that! This thread has made me realise the hard facts of life here that it might be as simple as birds of a feather and all that.

However isn't it just THE greatest thing ever when you make a friend and they are different from you and yet its all cool and ok and groovey? It's like love through the barricades or something to quote the mighty Spandau!

I once worked in "posh" sales. I used to clean up big time as I didn't judge on first impressions and therefore treated every person that walked into the showroom the same. I got some big sales that other suppliers let slip as they were too stuck up to give the VIP treatment to everyone.

It is hard though when you are feeling open to making some new pals and you find that you are, as the OP says, sometimes overlooked. I think I may be spiritually American as I really appreciate their open and chatty way of including everyone in their conversations.

TheReturnOfBridezilla Mon 10-Dec-12 19:57:29

It's hard.

I think I'm one of the Very Groomed ones people avoid. Nice clothes and car and fairly respectable job but quite young and lacking in gob confidence. So kind of in-between groups really.

I say hello to everyone but haven't made any firm friends. I'm hoping it'll be different at dc's new school.

LaQueen Mon 10-Dec-12 20:31:53

I don't think it's that people are necessarily shallow, but I think that often people are quite lazy, and they are subconciously choosing to mingle with people like themselves.

For the simple fact, that when you mingle with people like yourself then an awful lot is just understood without needing to explain in detail. It makes life easier.

For example, at present my group of local friends are all fretting over the 11+, we all understand what it's like to have DHs who are self employed and so prone to the vagaries of cashflow, and we all have DDs of a very similar age (with associate issues).

We're all university educated, with similar socio-economic know, the conversation is just kinda easy.

LaQueen Mon 10-Dec-12 20:40:21

To further add...there were a couple of Mums I sort of knew locally, but we weren't especially friendly. I'm pretty sure (not certain) that I passed their subconcious test when they came to my house - and I kinda got the impression that they subconciously registered me as one of them.

They are really lovely women, and one in particular has been so kind and helpful recently with childcare (my work hours altered at shirt notice). They're not remotely shallow or bitchy.

Like I said, I just think people tend to gravitate towards similar minded people.

Hobbitation Mon 10-Dec-12 20:45:07

I have definitely had people make snap judgements, even before I've opened my mouth. Then some people hear my (slight Manchester) accent and think I'm posh (ha!) as I don't drop my aitches or speak with a glottal stop and some think "Oh she's NORTHERN" with whatever stereotypes come with that. Some people definitely do stop talking to you deliberately because you aren't as wealthy as them. Also others feel intimidated by your intelligence and education and think you are more posh than them, maybe snobby.

Of course people gravitate to others where they have things in common, a similar world view and the conversation flows easily. But some definitely do judge very quickly on superficial things. Fuck em basically!

LaQueen Mon 10-Dec-12 21:02:06

Hobb you are right, there are some women like this.

One such woman once came here...I think she'd got my pegged as a ditzy blonde beauty therapist, driving an ageing VW Polo...which was perfectly fine because I was blonde...I was working in a beauty salon (which I co-owned, actually)...and I did drive an ageing VW Polo.

I think she came she fully expected to spend a pleasant hour patronising me...big mistake, huge wink

Firstly, when she saw my house she looked a bit choked 'Oh, is this your house?' when we pulled up outside grin

And, then when she'd recovered her composure slightly, she decided a different tack and tried to impress me with her '...being two thirds through an Open University degree' (what with me being a ditzy blonde beauty therapist and everyfink...)

I confess, I derived an ungoldly amount of pleasure in informing her that I had a honours degree in the very subject she was currently studying, and had in fact studied it as post-grad level. that makes a bitch, too...but it was fun smile

Plomino Mon 10-Dec-12 21:08:43

When my DH retired , he got quite a good lump sum to go with his pension . We had scraped and saved and got by , and made do for quite some years beforehand , but he had promised himself a decent Landrover as his treat to himself , as every other Landrover we'd had , had been at least 15 years old and a bit dodgy . So we thought , why not ? At last we were in a position to get one . The day after he retired , the money came in, and he woke me up from night duty to go and look . Now bear in mind I look really tired , no slap on, and frankly am barely awake . Add to that the fact the DH hasn't shaved for 3 days (because he didn't have to!) and is a natural scruff .

We walk into the dealership, and are comprehensively ignored . By everyone . We wander round , have a look at the new ones , still ignored . Go outside , have a look at the car we'd seen on the website , come back in , still ignored . As we almost turn round and leave , the trainee salesman is quite obviously told to come and see what we want . He's a nice lad , about 19 ish , we mention the car , and we go and have another look inside . Then DH says ' Do you work on commission ? '. and the lad says 'Um, yes'. 'That's handy ' says DH , handing over his debit card in full view of the whole sales team 'we'll take that one . Can you have it ready tomorrow? '.

Oddly when we went to pick it up the following day , they were all over us . And have been ever since .

marriedandwreathedinholly Mon 10-Dec-12 21:12:51

I dunno. I find it all rather confusing. We are not outwardly materialistic and I know people have met us on holiday from time to time and looked us up and down and clocked DH's scruffy shorts and deck shoes and socks and my clapped out French car and me in an old pair of cropped M&S kegs and tatty top and thought hmm and been a bit dismissive in conversation. Then they have asked where we are staying and have said "oh that must be quite expensive". Oh how I have enjoyed when I have said so sweetly "oh nothing, we rent it out when we don't use it ourselves. They think it here in London too sometimes (they stuck their little noses up when the dc started school and their faces were a little picture in the where do you live convo "oh a flat", "oh on the other side of the road" - er no actually) - it's quite satisfying really.

It isn't nice and frankly I couldn't care - it's the people who matter. I think in some ways that some people care so much it takes their focus away from earning the green stuff that would the fund the lifestyles they hanker after so much.

The most wonderful lady I know is dappily blonde, at least 80 now - never seen without black socks (with holes) and millets type sandals, a hippy skirt, etc.. Look at her face and you might notice the diamond earrings that must be worth at least 30k; gasps as she clangs off in an ancient golf in case the exhaust falls off. She and her husband sold their house adj. to Richmond Park - it needed a bit of work and was too big for them. The five houses that were built went for more than £2m at least 10 years ago. I so love the way "people" look down their noses at her in Sainsburys. She would never ever pay Waitrose prices grin.

The people who care really don't matter OP. Stand straight and look them in the eye.

RichTeas Mon 10-Dec-12 21:27:19

I think there are two kinds of blanking. The first is simply "keeping distance" not wanting to have too many acquaintances, simply to avoid the burden of having to constantly small talk on the school run. Not judgemental, more like in the office where there are plenty of people who mutually recognise each other, but for whom daily contact would be impractical and unnecessary.

The second kind of blanking is judgemental, and it appears to be quite common. It is understandable where there is a large-ish social gap, common interests, issues and values tend to diverge. What's less understandable and less acceptable is when the blanking is done out of pure snobbery, as a means of claiming superiority. In those cases the problem is with the person doing the blanking rather than the one being blanked.

LynetteScavo Mon 10-Dec-12 21:29:32

The one and only time this happened to me was when I was looking round some show homes on a new estate one Sunday afternoon. I was pregnant, and wearing jogging gear. I can't remember what DH was wearing but it definitely wasn't smart.

The show home lady took one look at us and said in a very uperty tone "Our houses start at £250K." "OK, that's fine." I said. confused DH had to point out to me that we didn't look like we could afford one of the houses, which is why she had been so off with us. grin

If it had been smaller item, such as something on a makeup counter I would have bought it to make a point, but even I wouldn't do that with something as major as a house. grin I just like to remind myself that she lost a sale as we bought a house nearby from a different builder.

usualsocksprezzie Mon 10-Dec-12 21:58:45

Money can't buy you class though.

usualsocksprezzie Mon 10-Dec-12 22:00:20

You can have a big house,a flash car a rich husband etc and still be a dick.

BridgetBidet Mon 10-Dec-12 22:11:05

Oh yeah, I got blanked at baby massage classes because I live slightly about 5 roads down the hill from the 'middle middle class' area and the 'lower middle class' area down the hill and was a bit more Primark than Boden.

I put it down to the fact they were cunts and stopped going. I went to a class further down the hill with the other plebs like me instead.

Generally though I find that people who do things like this are unpleasant people who are not worth befriending anyway.

Incidentally I went to a private boarding school and my parents are wealthy and we didn't have this sort of thing at all there, everyone was just polite to each other and we had some girls there who were army and not at all well off and it never made any difference.

I find it's people who are a bit lower down and insecure in their own status that do this. It's a bit, well, common really.

amillionyears Mon 10-Dec-12 22:12:36

It has happened to me, but I didnt notice or guess. It took another relative to point out to me what was happening.

LessMissAbs Mon 10-Dec-12 22:18:36

Hmmn, its happened to me a little but I've noticed it only ever comes from, how can I put this, the uneducated. Tends to be those women who have been fortunate enough to get rich husbands, never worked or much education themselves, spoil their children, and assess people's worth on their material possesions.

I am a professional, very well paid and private school then prestigious university, but I don't flash it around or talk about it. Its obvious to anyone from a similar background that I'm well off, so I find it amusing when the type of woman I describe above looks down on me because I work for a living.

pixwix Mon 10-Dec-12 22:19:41

Ha ha!

I live in a fairly posh area. I used to live in the village when Ds1 was 5-6. I also had ds2 who was 1- ish. I used to march across the fields with ds1, and ds2 in a back-pack carrier, wearing wellies and paint stained leggings (I was doing up the cottage to sell, cos it was getting too small…) In my defence, I was also doing my MSc and had two kids…

Ds1 got on well with one wee chap at school, but his mum – although chatty with other mums – always used to stare through me whenever I tried to make small talk – I thought I was imagining it at first, but it became clear I wasn't. I mentally shrugged, and moved on.

Summer comes. It is sports day. Now I am in paint stained shorts. We have moved, but am redecorating, and doing exams. Ex dh (then Dh) is there getting ds1 a drink, and now slightly older ds2 is hoofing it around in a happy fashion.

Our children are in the same race, and she deigns to talk to me.

"Isn't it hot?" she says

"It certainly is! Let’s hope it stays like this!" I exclaim

"It's lovely that your partner is here for sports day – erm – is he working at the moment?"

"Yes – he is – he's taken a days annual leave" I say shortly

"Well – that's very handy – my husbands work wouldn't spare him the time – what does your partner do?"

"He's a G.P" I reply


30 second silence whilst she recalibrates her social radar. Then.

"Would your Ds1 like to come to tea one day….?"

I kid you not! grin

misterwife Tue 11-Dec-12 01:34:16

I have a posh accent, an Oxbridge degree, a private school education (thanks assisted place!) and the wife and I are double-barrelled (her taking my name, not a joining of names). So people are often very surprised to find that my family live in a 'compact' 2-up 2-down with subsidence, and that my dad is a bus driver with a rural Co Durham accent so strong that even people from the next town struggle to understand him.

This puts me in the situation of being both ignored by Made in Chelsea types and spurned by people I have more in common with economically... it's fun!

APMF Tue 11-Dec-12 07:19:03

People avoid people for lots of reasons. At the school gate I was drawn to the pushy (usually professional) parents and avoided the let children be children homework is bad parents who tended to be not so well off. No doubt these parents thought I was being snobby.

zookeeper Tue 11-Dec-12 07:48:13

Yes I do. I have a particular group of friends who I do quite a lot with. They go on foreign holidays together a couple of times times a year. Once one of them said they'd love me to come but don't ask because they know I can't afford it.

She didn't mean it horribly and she was right so I don't mind.

I did mind when another friend was having a group of couples around to eat once a month and said that I could come when I found a DP hmm

impty Tue 11-Dec-12 07:52:31

Two tales....

When dd1 was at nursery I always picked up in jeans, trainers and t shirt, and when dh did he did too. He picked up more than a lot of Dads because he often worked at home, and dd2 was brand new. The catchment was 50/50 council and private housing. Most people happily had amid of friends. One lady wouldn't and was without a doubt very, very snobby in her out look.

One day dh drops off dd1 on his way to the office, in his suit. I go to pick up and this 'lady' ran up to me to be friends. Her first words were, "I saw your husband wearing a suit this morning!" I looked at her and replied that he had to go to court. "Oh.." she said and walked off. Obviously assuming that there's no way he could have been working in a court.

Tale two...

Land rover garage again. We walk in and look around, there's no staff about. An older couple also arrive. The sales staff walk back into the show room and both head towards the elderly couple. We walk out to our car, a new Audi A6. It is parked next to the other couples car an old VW golf. The salesmen must have
noticed and run out to talk to us. They had obviously made an assumption on whose car was whose in the car park.... Not that we could actually afford a car at the time!

APMF Tue 11-Dec-12 08:26:12

These days it's not uncommon for young relatively low paid people to max out their income on designer brands so sales assistants tend not to judge your customer potential by appearance.

Well, things were a bit different when I was in my 20s. Despite having a very well paid job in the City I still dressed like I was still working for my former employet an engineering company in the Midlands. Top Shop as opposed to Armani or even M&S :-) Anyway, I had a number of experiences where a sales assistant tried to fob me off when I asked for a closer look at some display items with comments like that I was the wrong height so it wouldn't look right on me so why bother trying it on. After a few episodes like this I decided to stick with the larger stores which were more used to casually dressed European tourists.

APMF Tue 11-Dec-12 08:29:59

... having said that, I dress in M&S and drive a 12 year old Honda and I've yet to be blanked by the rich parents at our DCs' Indies.

marriedandwreathedinholly Tue 11-Dec-12 09:33:12

Agrees with APMF - I do much the same and have never felt overlooked. Many many mums at our dc's indy schools turn up in jeans and a jumper. I don't really think anyone gives a jot.

NiniLegsInTheAir Tue 11-Dec-12 10:03:06

The nursery we send DD to can be a bit like this - the majority of parents drive large 4x4s, BMWs or Lotuses. I drive a KA. grin I have definitely been given looks by people when I get out.

Most days, though, I walk in with DD in her pushchair and I'm the only parent who does this on a regular basis (they have a buggy shed with only my buggy in it most days grin). The looks I get from the parents in fancy cars are even more dismissive than when I drive my little car and they keep trying to run me over. grin

ijustwant8hours Tue 11-Dec-12 10:15:51

I look a right scruff bag, my house is small and falling to bits, my clothes are all from charity shops and supermarkets. My kids dress themselves so they usually do not look very groomed.... I don't buy branded products if I can help it.

I have just quit my six figure salary job.

If people "overlook" me because of how I look and the things I have then that is fine by me. I don't think it will damage my kids, they can make thier own friends for thier own reasons.

BegoniaBampot Tue 11-Dec-12 10:26:37

Now I'm wondering what the other mums think of me as we arrived a few years after all the others had started reception. it's a nice MC area school and I'm a scruff with a rough sounding regional accent even though we are very comfortably off. Wonder where they bracket me. Saying that they all seem quite nice.

BlackBagFestiveBorderBinLiner Tue 11-Dec-12 10:32:08

APMF At the school gate I was drawn to the pushy (usually professional) parents and avoided the let children be children homework is bad parents who tended to be not so well off

Interesting but ultimately flawed, round here we have kids with DP & GPs in 'Professional' jobs who basically outsource their parental input to the school. They're not hungry for success because can't imagine anything else. Their kids don't work hard, they're basically buying brains. Inheritences will give them a cushion.

We also have a large cohort of people who have done better then their parents but are stuck in a job with little chance of progression. Those are the parents on their kids backs, education is an escape from a dull working life, it gives you options.

I know who I want my DDs to be friends with and it's not the ones with the swimming pool.

HormonalHousewife Tue 11-Dec-12 10:32:46

I think some of these sales assistants are getting a hard time on here and I certainly have never felt anything but attention - despite often looking a total scruff bag.

A case in point many years ago buying our new home. We took our best friends around with us - it was a building site but the show home was immaculate. Our friendship is started from being neighbours as we are from very different backgrounds. Friends have 10 o levels between them whilst we have a collection of degrees and professional qualifications. Best friend dresses very differently from us in ripped jeans and logo'd type t shirts hoodies etc. Anyway, I digress, just trying to set the scene.

Sales negotiator was drilled by our friend but answered all his questions politely despite him looking like he hadnt got 2 pennies to rub together and his kids were teething and being a general nightmare (along with mine I hasten to add).

The next time we saw her we mentioned that our friend was a multimillionaire and in property development himself and she didnt bat an eyelid. She said her experience in the field meant that she judged nobody by the way they looked - it just wasnt possible to pigeon hole people these says !

APMF Tue 11-Dec-12 10:39:55

How many of these anecdotes are from people projecting?

We aren't into cars so we tend to buy Fords or Hondas and drive them into the ground. Clothes wise its M&S for the adults and Matalan/Primark for the kids. Our car is mud free, our clothes are clean and our children are well behaved. Apart from a few snobby shop assistant stories from 20years ago I never experienced the snobby look from the 4x4 BMW mom or her friends either on the roads or at the schol gate. Maybe it's just I'm too thick skinned to feel it smile

There is a common theme here and in past snobby parents threads ie people posting - look at me. I'm posh and well off but I dress down and drive a crappy car. if only these other people knew I got more money or degrees than them. My point? Some people just love to insert snobby thoughts into other people's heads.

I accept that there are snobby people out there but a lot of people here come across as insecure types. Rather than blanking you out because in are in your Ka they are probably thinking - neeeeed coffeeeee.

BegoniaBampot Tue 11-Dec-12 10:42:46

Don't think you can always judge how much money people have by how they look but you can judge other things and that's not always a negative thing.

Heroine Tue 11-Dec-12 11:02:21

I have some serious fun with this! I have been working on a local project that is a bit 'community' and I went to the first few meetings in jeans and t-shirt, fleece etc and was a bit late to one, some 'suits' were SUPREMELY bitchy and one even sent me e-mails saying I was narrow-minded and had no idea what I was doing. To fuck with them, I went to the next meeting with them and far more senior people fully suited up - more so than most in the room, and it was highly amusing watching said 'narrow-minded' finger pointer fall over himself to commend me and say how positive and useful my input was hehehe..

People who overly rely on clothes and status cues are so ridiculous, because you can confuse them with one or two items of clothes. Its like they are caught in their own game, not you excluded from theirs.

its not the only time I have picked this up - used to go to big negotiations with a flowery notepad and one person on the other side used to be really dismissive, so I took a leather (look!) folder out and an old expensive-looking (charity shop!) fountain pen along to a meeting and when he started speaking to me I asked him to hang on whilst I got the notes, and brought out a desktop set up that looked exactly like his. It was amusing - no-one noticed, but he actually started stammering when speaking to me grin

Just fuck about with them - borrow a really expensive watch occasionally or talk about a villa that was difficult to get into when you turned up because of the security requirements of the previous guest.. or something..

LaQueen Tue 11-Dec-12 11:05:12

The sad fact is, that an awful lot of people do judge on superficial appearances.

APMF Tue 11-Dec-12 11:13:40


I didn't say that I was drawn to them BECAUSE they were professional or had money.

I didn't say our that our DCs were not free to develop whatever friendships they wanted.

Here on MN I'll actively engage those who think I have an unhealthy attitude towards steering my kids towards academic and professional success. However, in the Real World I tend to avoid such people.

To some it may seem like snobbery but its not

NiniLegsInTheAir Tue 11-Dec-12 13:39:03

Rather than blanking you out because in are in your Ka they are probably thinking - neeeeed coffeeeee.

That's entirely possible. But there are looks from some people when I pull up in my old banger KA, it's happened often enough for me to notice. I don't really care, I'll still talk to anybody and make idle chitchat since that's the kind of thing you do at drop-off. And most of the mums/dads will respond, but it doesn't stop 'the.looks'. grin

For what it's worth, I drive a crappy car because we can't afford anything bigger, not for any reason of 'being posh but dressing down'. confused

I agree with LaQueen, people DO judge on appearances.

APMF Tue 11-Dec-12 13:53:53

If I see someone in a rust bucket I would probably give the car (not the driver) The Look. Similarly the other day a woman walked into Sainsburys wearing pyjama bottoms. She wasn't looking my way else she would have seen The Look and thought snobby tw*t when in fact the look was for someone who wore pyjama bottoms to go shopping.

The point that I am trying to make is that we too readily pull out the snob card when it is unwarranted.

MrsMangelfanciedPaulRobinson Tue 11-Dec-12 14:19:43

Yep, I've seen that kind of thing happen before. In fact, it's happened fairly recently to me.

My youngest DC goes to a nursery in a fairly middle class area. Think lots of nouveau riche parents owning plumbing companies and roofing companies, driving big white 4 by 4s with their surname as a personalised numberplate. DC3 has been attending for a term now and at the beginning very few parents spoke to me, or I'd just get a very dismissive 'hi' if I tried to make conversation with some of them.

I generally walk to nursery as it's very nearby, but recently with the weather being so bad I've driven there. It just so happens that my car is a brand new convertible. The first time I turned up by car, I could visibly see that I was somehow more welcomed into the group of parents, and that they seemed to think I was one of them! One parent actually saw me pull up, got out of her car and waited by my car for me to get out, commented on what a lovely car I have, and asked if it was mine! Two days previously I'd held the door open at nursery for her and said hello and she'd marched through, without a hello or a thank you, and any attempts to chat to her had been rebuffed.

I can't say I am bothered one way or the other about having 'friends' at the nursery pick up, but I have noticed that since I've travelled by car I do get spoken to, and included a lot more in things. Co-incidence? Perhaps, but it all seems quite strange.

NiniLegsInTheAir Tue 11-Dec-12 14:24:54

So based on your example APMF, what's wrong with wearing PJ bottoms to the supermarket? What difference does it make what the woman was wearing? Sorry but sounds like snobbery to me.

Mangel, I can picture 'the.looks' when you rolled up in the convertible grin

MrsMangelfanciedPaulRobinson Tue 11-Dec-12 14:25:39

It was rather funny, Nini, I could almost hear their brows raising and their jaws dropping open grin

NiniLegsInTheAir Tue 11-Dec-12 14:35:14

Now the real test of this would be for me to borrow your shiny convertible and drive it to my DD's nursery instead of the KA, and watch for reactions wink grin.

FarrahFawcettsFlick Tue 11-Dec-12 14:44:07

Ahhh BlackBag - I was ignored at first, then "Queen Bee" started to talk to me one day at pick-up when she found out I live in a naice village! I was appraised fairly quickly and left alone. I thought at first she was shy, then I thought, ok, she might be fed up of being gossiped about (she/DH are rich - no other way to describe) now I just think, meh I didn't make the cut :-)

It's not her I have a problem with, but the attitude of others. I don't get the fawning. There was a lot of pressure at school to be seen to be driving the 'right' type of car, live in the 'right' kind of place, holiday in the 'right' place etc...

We've moved schools now. Just before leaving people were almost confiding in me. Awful really - how they were under enormous pressure buying 'the' house. Private number plates (so you can't tell how old the car is!) it goes on. I truly believe the attitudes of some parents were rubbing off on their kids - not nice at all.

MrsMangelfanciedPaulRobinson Tue 11-Dec-12 14:50:31

We should definitely do that, Nini! Would be an interesting experiment grin

Farrah, that school sounds awful!

marriedandwreathedinholly Tue 11-Dec-12 15:12:35

If I'm honest I'd make a judgement about someone in a white 4x4 with Personalised plates. It would be that they were probably common, uneducated and rather vulgar. Anyone in a rust bucket I'd keep an open mind

my grandparents live a five minute walk from my house, less in the car. They have never been in my house as i live on whats perceived as a rough housing estate and they wont leave their car outside...

APMF Tue 11-Dec-12 15:23:10

Nini Kate Middleton would have got The Look if she had turned up in pajama bottoms which was my point.

And if you think that its 'snobby' to think that you don't wear night wear out to Sainsbury then its time for me to hit the Agree To Disagree button and to quietly slip away.

FarrahFawcettsFlick Tue 11-Dec-12 15:57:11

MrsMangal - I just think the real/imagined social pressure from some sections of the parents was crushing and devisive. Turned normal people into quivering wrecks.

There were some lovely people there - you just had to find them. I did, and have stayed in touch.

NiniLegsInTheAir Tue 11-Dec-12 15:58:08

Ok APMF, bye now smile

CashmereHoodlum Tue 11-Dec-12 17:04:56

"Hmm, its happened to me a little but I've noticed it only ever comes from, how can I put this, the uneducated. Tends to be those women who have been fortunate enough to get rich husbands, never worked or much education themselves, spoil their children, and assess people's worth on their material possessions."

This is what I have experienced. I have even been asked what was the point of us doing all that studying as we are not any better off than them. I have no idea if I am better off than them or not - it is just their assumption based on our respective spending patterns.

Another thing I have noticed is that if I do splash out and buy something expensive-ish, certain people will ask how I can afford it, which is a bit unsettling.

LynetteScavo Tue 11-Dec-12 17:08:02

HormonalHousewife - I can 2nd that. When I worked in an estate agents, I learned you never could tell who had money and who didn't by looking at them.

Scruffy people would shuffle in and purchase several properties to rent out in cash, and then folk in designer clothes and a flash car would find it difficult to get a mortgage on a small house.

MrsMangelfanciedPaulRobinson Tue 11-Dec-12 17:26:40

Whoever said the quote that CashmereHoodlum has quoted, I totally agree! That is exactly the type of mums that are at DS's nursery. I know several from school days and they all seemingly tried to bag themselves rich/well off husbands, then spend their time looking down their noses at those that don't deck their kids out in Boden/have a white 4 by 4/buy all their furniture from John Lewis.

CashmereHoodlum Tue 11-Dec-12 17:31:00

It was LessMissAbs

LaQueen Tue 11-Dec-12 20:16:09

What is it with huge white 4X4s???

I know of 6 women who drive them...not one of them is educated beyond the age of 16. Is it the Law they have to drive them, or something?

Do they come free with the botox, the Versace sweatshirts and the Mock-Tudor McMansion hmm

FellatioNelson Tue 11-Dec-12 20:22:55

We have a huge white 4x4, but in my defence so does just about everyone, where I live! It is the Ford Focus of Qatar. grin

LaQueen Tue 11-Dec-12 20:33:11

Oh Sweetie you're exempt because I know where you Aunt and Uncle lived out there (well Bahrain & Qatar) and they both had white Range's something to do with the white reflecting the heat better, isn't it?

BlackBagFestiveBorderBinLiner Tue 11-Dec-12 20:34:33

OK so it's not the local Queen but she's at least a Duchess has issued a decree. Her child wishes to entertain 4 class mates at a birthday tea in her home.
Finally after three years Violet Beauregarde is allowed to have her school friends rather then her DM's choice cross the threshold. (She's been here to Bohemian Towers a few times.)

I bet there's another party for the golf club kids. grin

Should I get DD to casually mention that her DM has just won the Booker Prize/Oscar for my field or shall I just warn her not to say ' Pull my finger'.

FellatioNelson Tue 11-Dec-12 20:37:30

I suppose so. I don't know why really, but it is just by far the most common color, and it takes ages to order a car in, so you just have what's on the forecourt!

marriedandwreathedinholly Tue 11-Dec-12 23:31:13

FGS - we spend 34k pa on school fees. Nobody gives monkey's elbow about what cars anyone else drives and there is a wonderful variety tootling up to the common every morning. From the 12 plate audis, the odd Bentley, the beamers and mercs, the convertible minis and fiat 500s to the ancient French cars and Volvos, an ancient Nissan, a Meriva and all sorts of other rust buckets. Nobody has a white 4x4 with cherish plates though - just doesn't attract that type. Thank God.

WayneDeer Tue 11-Dec-12 23:52:28

I think sometimes we project our own insecurities onto other people.

I had no school gate skills. I truly had no ability to socialise outside a very niche circle of people I met through work and old old friends.

Everything had to be v v precisely timed. V organised and often I was arranging meetings calls things on the hoof. I was always a fast moving type.

My hairdresser amazed me as has said that his colourist knows me at the school and .....blah blah blah
I was !
I have never met her let alone spoken to her and yet she has loads of ideas based on her stuff and how I appear

The school gate isn't a barometer

Mimishimi Thu 13-Dec-12 05:15:36

They might just be quite shy? Whilst you think they are snubbing you by not making eye contact, have you observed them acting in a similar manner with others? I know that people have always assumed I'm terribly snotty (from a young age) but the truth is just that I am very shy until I get to know someone.

exoticfruits Thu 13-Dec-12 07:38:06

A lot of people seem standoffish when they are merely shy.

suebfg Thu 13-Dec-12 17:23:18

They aren't shy, quite the reverse

CashmereHoodlum Thu 13-Dec-12 18:28:22

What I am referring to isn't shyness either! I always make allowances for shyness as I know that shy people can be seen as stand-offish. But referring to people as povvos because they don't have a Porsche isn't a classic symptom of shyness and that is the sort of thing I have experienced.

MummytoKatie Thu 13-Dec-12 20:24:15

Maybe it's a school thing. Can't say this has ever happened to me. I'm nice to people and people are nice to me.

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