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I've got Oxbridge educated professional parents - from an affluent area - my partner was brought up on a council estate by parents on benefits AMA

103 replies

SteepleJill · 20/02/2023 18:01

This basically!! AMA!!!!

OP posts:
louise5754 · 21/02/2023 07:02

Same with me and my husband although you can't tell between us as we are both thick 😂😂

SteepleJill · 21/02/2023 07:26

Hollyhead · 21/02/2023 06:50

Op thank you for sharing your experiences. Do you know why your parents didn’t privately educate you?

They tried to - but j failed the entrance interview for a prestigious private school. I also resisted it when they tried to get me in a year later "I don't want to go to NO school' was my attitude - but to be fair my mum was an abusive alcoholic

OP posts:
SteepleJill · 21/02/2023 07:29

HaggisBurger · 20/02/2023 18:16

Are you noticeably from
different backgrounds? To the extent that’s it’s apparent to people that don’t know you?

Our leisure interests are the same - bingo, football, watching soaps.

His accent is very 'Blimey, Guv'nor!' and mine is much closer to RP

OP posts:
Greenfairydust · 21/02/2023 08:03

So what?

NotableSilences · 21/02/2023 09:22

I'm not sure I'm buying this entirely as stated, OP. Private schools are not all academically selective, far from it. For parents who cared even in the most technical about their child's education or social future, regardless of whether or not they were decent people or good parents, here would have been lots of other options between a 'prestigious' private school and a comprehensive/a sixth form on a sink estate. And surely there were other options for affluent established MC people (especially as you describe your mother as a snob) whose child needed a chance to start over at sixth form, other than a 'WC school'?

Also, to be frank, you don't write like the child of an Oxbridge-educated surgeon and charity director. You say you speak RP, but you also say that your teenage self refused a further attempt at private education with the words '"I don't want to go to NO school'. Or were you already rebelling against them by performing WC-ness? Is that what guided your choice of partner and your hobbies? I know a fair few surgeons, and I can't think of one who would list their hobbies as 'bingo, football, watching soaps' -- it seems pretty unlikely you were around those as pastimes in your childhood., surely?

It seems to me that you have decided MC-ness is a matter of bad parenting, rejection and failure, and WC-ness as warm, nurturing etc.

SteepleJill · 21/02/2023 10:32

NotableSilences · 21/02/2023 09:22

I'm not sure I'm buying this entirely as stated, OP. Private schools are not all academically selective, far from it. For parents who cared even in the most technical about their child's education or social future, regardless of whether or not they were decent people or good parents, here would have been lots of other options between a 'prestigious' private school and a comprehensive/a sixth form on a sink estate. And surely there were other options for affluent established MC people (especially as you describe your mother as a snob) whose child needed a chance to start over at sixth form, other than a 'WC school'?

Also, to be frank, you don't write like the child of an Oxbridge-educated surgeon and charity director. You say you speak RP, but you also say that your teenage self refused a further attempt at private education with the words '"I don't want to go to NO school'. Or were you already rebelling against them by performing WC-ness? Is that what guided your choice of partner and your hobbies? I know a fair few surgeons, and I can't think of one who would list their hobbies as 'bingo, football, watching soaps' -- it seems pretty unlikely you were around those as pastimes in your childhood., surely?

It seems to me that you have decided MC-ness is a matter of bad parenting, rejection and failure, and WC-ness as warm, nurturing etc.

With the private education thing my parents tried to get me into 2 separate private schools, but when I wasn't having any of it dropped it. The w/c 6th form option really appealed to me and had the courses I wanted to do - just before I went there was one evening where my mum had a bit of a meltdown because of, well, the AREA! Shock - which meant she basically retired to the 'drawing room' and had an attack of the vapours. I can remember thinking - "oh no - she's not gonna be stupid over this" - - luckily she dropped this act and j ended up going. I went to a very predominantly m/c primary as an aside and I can remember her having 'an attack of the vapours' because she learned that one of the girls in my class was from a very deprived area .. I was only around 5 at the time and as a 5 year old her behaviour left me baffled.
To be honest I didn't actually say "Don't want to go to NO school" I was mimicking a 4 year old (w/c) boy we know who was expressing his lack of keenness of going to primary school - the cuteness of it amuses me - but although I didn't actually say the 'NO school' thing myself - this was very much the vibe iyswim.
Actually, my upper middle class childhood did expose me a lot to football and soaps. My dad went to Oxbridge but his parents were both uneducated and left school at 15 to do manual jobs. My dads passion was football - as is my partner's - and my Dad watched Corrie so got me hooked on it. Mum never said anything negative about football but it was obvious that she was 'horrified' that as a 6 year old, I was watching Corrie with my dad. I must admit though - nether of my parents ever played bingo.
I was first attracted to my current partner cos of looks (well I was a teen) rather than any class background. He was in my group at first and h had a crush on him but felt then I wasn't in his league looks wise - but later when I grew my hair and went down to a size 8 - felt I was in his league !!
As the months went by back then my attraction to him cos of his looks grew - but the more I got to know him I discovered 2 more things about him - the first is that he was very mature emotionally - a decent and straightforward person - the other - he really is extremely working class - I could tell that by his speech pattern he was - and still is - so 'blimey guv'nor!' - he basically makes the cast of One The Buses' sound RP!! I knew he was very working class just from the way he talked even before I knew what his parents did or where he lived - when I saw where he was actually brought - up - it was a grim street in a very grim estate.
I was a bit different in my earlier schools from a lot of my MC friends though - I was an only child of 2 career parents so I was left on my own a lot to watch TV. What was obvious when compared with my MC friends is that I watched much more TV than them - they had siblings and mums at home. Also - we went on working class holidays actually- it wasn't your stereotypical middle class holiday - it was more - fortnight in Palma Nova Majorca - package holidays - where much bingo was played - and other hotel guests were - working class! So as a family we went on wc holidays - also my parents even when j was aged about 4 let mr watch Top Oc the Pops ! This admittedly seems unusual in upper middle class families.
In my middle class school I felt very different from my peers and if anything felt more similar to tell very few people there from working class backgrounds. I often wandered off on my own in primary school - I always have beers a bit of a maverick. So my dad and partner have 3 things in common
W/class
Football.
Love of darts

OP posts:
SteepleJill · 21/02/2023 10:41

NotableSilences · 21/02/2023 09:22

I'm not sure I'm buying this entirely as stated, OP. Private schools are not all academically selective, far from it. For parents who cared even in the most technical about their child's education or social future, regardless of whether or not they were decent people or good parents, here would have been lots of other options between a 'prestigious' private school and a comprehensive/a sixth form on a sink estate. And surely there were other options for affluent established MC people (especially as you describe your mother as a snob) whose child needed a chance to start over at sixth form, other than a 'WC school'?

Also, to be frank, you don't write like the child of an Oxbridge-educated surgeon and charity director. You say you speak RP, but you also say that your teenage self refused a further attempt at private education with the words '"I don't want to go to NO school'. Or were you already rebelling against them by performing WC-ness? Is that what guided your choice of partner and your hobbies? I know a fair few surgeons, and I can't think of one who would list their hobbies as 'bingo, football, watching soaps' -- it seems pretty unlikely you were around those as pastimes in your childhood., surely?

It seems to me that you have decided MC-ness is a matter of bad parenting, rejection and failure, and WC-ness as warm, nurturing etc.

So yes sorry posted too soon - although my Dad went to Oxbtidge grew up in a very w/c environment where football and darts were staples. We went on packag

OP posts:
SteepleJill · 21/02/2023 10:44

Sorry posted too soon- we went on package hold to w/c hotels as a child not 'camping' for example with other m/c families, I was an only child left ion my own a lot - not a bad thing imo - I was left to watch telly a lot - found a lot of kids in my old m/c school a bit precious tbh

OP posts:
SteepleJill · 21/02/2023 12:25

NotableSilences · 21/02/2023 09:22

I'm not sure I'm buying this entirely as stated, OP. Private schools are not all academically selective, far from it. For parents who cared even in the most technical about their child's education or social future, regardless of whether or not they were decent people or good parents, here would have been lots of other options between a 'prestigious' private school and a comprehensive/a sixth form on a sink estate. And surely there were other options for affluent established MC people (especially as you describe your mother as a snob) whose child needed a chance to start over at sixth form, other than a 'WC school'?

Also, to be frank, you don't write like the child of an Oxbridge-educated surgeon and charity director. You say you speak RP, but you also say that your teenage self refused a further attempt at private education with the words '"I don't want to go to NO school'. Or were you already rebelling against them by performing WC-ness? Is that what guided your choice of partner and your hobbies? I know a fair few surgeons, and I can't think of one who would list their hobbies as 'bingo, football, watching soaps' -- it seems pretty unlikely you were around those as pastimes in your childhood., surely?

It seems to me that you have decided MC-ness is a matter of bad parenting, rejection and failure, and WC-ness as warm, nurturing etc.

So yes , while I certainly was taken to operas/ballet/dance type dance shows as a child and the staple was Radio 4 and 'The Third Programme' - my parents and me holidayed in Palma Nova type hotels with plenty of bingo where our fellow holiday makers were a bit 'Peter Kay's Phoenix Nights'. I know - but of a paradox, right ?! My mum however didn't socialise with anyone in these hotels - she just looked down her nose at people, didn't socialise and became a proverbial wallflower!
My mum even sometimes fed me - shudder - 'frozen' *pizza' - an upper middle class no no, right?!

OP posts:
TheGander · 21/02/2023 17:54

I’m surprised ( but not surprised) at the defensiveness your post has provoked. Britain is still a class divided society in many ways. Most of my friends ( broadly middle class) have married people from similar backgrounds. I married a man from a working class background. It can be enriching but there are undeniable cultural differences. There are things that are important/ enjoyable to me which he just isn’t interested in, and vice versa.

NotableSilences · 21/02/2023 20:30

TheGander · 21/02/2023 17:54

I’m surprised ( but not surprised) at the defensiveness your post has provoked. Britain is still a class divided society in many ways. Most of my friends ( broadly middle class) have married people from similar backgrounds. I married a man from a working class background. It can be enriching but there are undeniable cultural differences. There are things that are important/ enjoyable to me which he just isn’t interested in, and vice versa.

But you're surely not relating his interests to his social class of origin, are you? I'm originally from right down towards the bottom of the working class, and deprived WC at that, and while I certainly didn't grow up on, say, opera and art galleries, there's nothing inherently middle-class about them, and both have been consumingly important to me once I discovered them for myself when I was a bit older.

TheGander · 21/02/2023 20:55

For me books are the difference, hardly any in his parents’ home, hoarder level book collections in my parents’ home. Having worked as an AHP in the community for 7 and visited homes across the class spectrum I’d say class is related to book ownership and reading. DH just isn’t that interested, much to my chagrin. He’d like me to be into mountain biking and I’m not. Admittedly I can’t see a big class link there.

blankittyblank · 22/02/2023 09:43

Your upbringing doesn't sound upper middle class. Upper middle class is aristocracy! You were probably lower middle class (like I would say our upbringing was) Not that it matters obviously, in the grand scheme of things 😄

SteepleJill · 22/02/2023 09:45

blankittyblank · 22/02/2023 09:43

Your upbringing doesn't sound upper middle class. Upper middle class is aristocracy! You were probably lower middle class (like I would say our upbringing was) Not that it matters obviously, in the grand scheme of things 😄

I thought aristocracy was upper class - is the word middle would be redundant! But then different people/different interpretations

OP posts:
SteepleJill · 22/02/2023 09:45

So* the word middle would be redundant- aargh - typos !

OP posts:
SteepleJill · 22/02/2023 09:47

TheGander · 21/02/2023 20:55

For me books are the difference, hardly any in his parents’ home, hoarder level book collections in my parents’ home. Having worked as an AHP in the community for 7 and visited homes across the class spectrum I’d say class is related to book ownership and reading. DH just isn’t that interested, much to my chagrin. He’d like me to be into mountain biking and I’m not. Admittedly I can’t see a big class link there.

Yes my dad very much thought this as well although in w/c homes the nature of the books might be different

OP posts:
SteepleJill · 22/02/2023 09:56

TheGander · 21/02/2023 17:54

I’m surprised ( but not surprised) at the defensiveness your post has provoked. Britain is still a class divided society in many ways. Most of my friends ( broadly middle class) have married people from similar backgrounds. I married a man from a working class background. It can be enriching but there are undeniable cultural differences. There are things that are important/ enjoyable to me which he just isn’t interested in, and vice versa.

Yes I mean I was born to highly educated 'top professional' parents and like books, art galleries, opera and classical music... but then I love bingo, holidaying in 3 star package holidays in Spain where the clientele gave off a working men's club/Phoenix Nights vibe! Aged 11 my parents railroaded me in to a 'friendship' with a posh girl 'my father's a 'lawyaaaah' - she was an obnoxious precious bitch tbh and my childhood was much happier before she came into it! I'm still angry and my parents for doing that Grrr!!!! I also think that university/ a good education is a great thing objectively but certainly not at the expense of mental health - some people (including myself) would be better leaving school at 15 and working in t'factory IF it meant better mental health for them

OP posts:
riotlady · 22/02/2023 09:58

TheGander · 21/02/2023 20:55

For me books are the difference, hardly any in his parents’ home, hoarder level book collections in my parents’ home. Having worked as an AHP in the community for 7 and visited homes across the class spectrum I’d say class is related to book ownership and reading. DH just isn’t that interested, much to my chagrin. He’d like me to be into mountain biking and I’m not. Admittedly I can’t see a big class link there.

Our families are very much the opposite- my parents are middle class (although grew up working class) and don’t read anything other than the occasional Maeve Binchy/Dick Francis, always made fun of my “arty farty” interests (like theatre). My husband’s dad lives in a HA flat and has covered every wall in shelves of books, he’s exceptionally well read.

blankittyblank · 22/02/2023 10:02

I used to think we were upper middle, but then met people who were upper middle and they were next level! Like going to garden parties at the palace, that type of thing. Realised it was just my points of reference we're completely out.
I mean, the class thing is all bollocks really isn't it! It's steeped in everything we do in our country, unfortunately still, but I wish it would go away.

audemoray · 22/02/2023 10:08

I don't see the problem or AMA here, OP 🤔

SteepleJill · 22/02/2023 10:08

@riotlady** lol - my Oxbridge educated dad said I was too 'beer and skittles' in my interests - which proves we can't win with our parents Grin - we're too this/too that - not enough this - too much that - etc!! My partner's bro - they grew up on a deprived council estate to very 'textbook' working class parents admits he used to be embarrassed of his dad as a young man - (he as an adult lived more towards a stereotypically middle class lifestyle) - I was embarrassed at my middle class mum's 'Hyacinth' type behaviour- ''twas ever thus!

OP posts:
SteepleJill · 22/02/2023 10:11

blankittyblank · 22/02/2023 10:02

I used to think we were upper middle, but then met people who were upper middle and they were next level! Like going to garden parties at the palace, that type of thing. Realised it was just my points of reference we're completely out.
I mean, the class thing is all bollocks really isn't it! It's steeped in everything we do in our country, unfortunately still, but I wish it would go away.

My parents were invited to a garden party at the palace apparently ! Albeit a few decades ago now

OP posts:
blankittyblank · 22/02/2023 10:16

Fair enough then! Ignore me 😁

zazasabore · 22/02/2023 10:31

I think just about anyone from all walks of life who have made a positive impact on the community can get an invite to a BP Garden Party - many thousands invited each year.

925justtostayalive · 24/02/2023 19:37

Me too (sort of). My parents are both educated to Masters level, high level professionals. DH son of single teenage mum from council estate. To be honest, I get on with DH's side better because they're way more honest, open and uninhibited. My side of the family is up right and gets embarrassed over stupid things, and are very quick to disapprove of things. DHs family just want us to be happy, that's it.

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