Being a pleb.

September 24, 2012

in Outside World, Personal, Reactivity

Bowl, copyright Anne Wareham

I don’t know many people from the ruling class. I guess I am a pleb. I do bump up against a colleague occaisionally though who seems to come from a totally diffferent and quite bewildering world. I think he’s one of them. I don’t, sadly, have quite enough to do with him to ever get the hang of how they behave and how to cope with them, just rather often rather punitive glimpses.

They seem strangely concerned with what they imagine people might think. This is the top of the list motivation and must be an incredible constraint, since it is impossible to know what people will or won’t, or indeed, do, think. People don’t actually tell us. We tell each other those of our thoughts which are acceptable and appropriate at particular times. And given how alien our rulers are, they must be frequently mistaken about what us plebs are thinking.

They also seem to have amazing manners. People talk of  how ‘charming’ ‘delightful’ and ‘so polite’. If you cross them them though, in my amazed experience, you will receive a torrent of abuse which can go on for page after eloquent foul mouthed page. This no doubt gets saved up under the stress of wondering what people will think and of being impeccably polite.

They have an amazing capacity for achieving a one up. That’s the trick I’d like to get behind. Like writing to you saying ‘help’! Then, when you offer your best, responding saying ‘I didn’t actually need help.’ Makes me feel both foolish and vulnerable. I had said too much and shown my own soft underbelly only to be dismissed and mistaken. Obvious lesson – ignore apparent requests for help. But I’ll get wrong footed again next time, just differently. It’s a step by step painful process.

All this does at least give me a glimpse of how our rulers operate. In a different, foreign world, far stranger and less transparent than that of a Muslim, or perhaps a Chinese. How do they generally manage to pass amongst us undetected?

P.S. This was shortly afterwards followed by being thrown out of the National Gardens Scheme by Lady Di’s first boyfriend…see here. You think they may be after me???

J Sherry October 21, 2012 at 4:30 pm

I agree with Charles: the people you speak of face many* of the same problems as the rest of us but they because they remain in their enclosed clique of like-minded people they are unable (unwilling?) to make any connection with the rest of us. I am sure that they view us as strange oddities and that we must be spoken to/treated in a different way to those in their circle, so the easy answer is not to attempt to connect – why bother if you don’t need to?
*Many of the same problems – illness, death, personal relationships, etc – but of course equally they do NOT face many of the problems which beset the rest of us, because many difficulties can simply be solved by money & they have money.

anne October 21, 2012 at 6:31 pm

Strange to think that this is still the case 1,000 years after the Norman invasion! (including the money…)

Charles September 26, 2012 at 8:31 pm

For all the manners and courtesies of the people you are referring to, what I think I have been most struck by is they don’t actually connect with you (me) at all. They are insulated by their class and, possibly, status. I think that is what emerged with many of our politicians over the expenses business.

Paul Steer September 25, 2012 at 1:10 pm

I thought we lived in a class free age. Or is it all an illusion? I know what you mean, I have often been looked upon as some strange creature that has little to offer the world, especially frowned upon if I stray into their territory. Hierarchy still well and truly exists. Perhaps it has to ?

anne September 25, 2012 at 1:12 pm

We may well be naturally hierarchical? As well as naturally hostile to strangers. We have a lot to contend with to be good people!

Paul Steer September 25, 2012 at 1:25 pm

Yes !!! I think it is impossible to be good ! Although we continue to try. Love this blog Anne.

anne September 25, 2012 at 1:42 pm

That’s really kind and encouraging, Paul. Keep thinking I’m going so off-piste that no-one will really know what I’m on about… XXXXXX

Zoë September 24, 2012 at 9:17 pm

They my dear have plums in their gobs and rods up their arses 🙂

Zoë September 24, 2012 at 7:18 pm

I’m a pleb too – a fairly evenly balanced one I might add – I have chip on both shoulders x

anne September 24, 2012 at 7:30 pm

If that’s what we have, what do they have?

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