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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?

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.

StrawberryTot Mon 10-Dec-12 12:32:58

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

StrawberryTot Mon 10-Dec-12 12:34:06

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...

prayingmantisgroupie Mon 10-Dec-12 15:32:32

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.

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