6 best indicators to determine when you are middle class
A good friend of mine once declared me to be “very middle class!”
This was in response to my dogged refusal to describe myself as such.
Were I so desperate as to locate myself in any one class, it would have to be the upper, upper class.
You see, anything “middle” is average and I am anything but average!
What my friend does not know is that I spend a considerable amount of time observing those around me (especially women) who are labeled or have labelled themselves as “middle class.”
And what do I notice?
Well, it seems to me that the struggle to be middle class is as profound as it is absurd. And they
On the one hand, you struggle to distinguish yourself from the lower class and on the other, you strive to convince the upper class that you have much in common with them.
From where I sit, in “no-class land” it seems like a delicate dance to indeterminate music. I watch you stand gracefully on one leg, apparently poised for greatness, only to come crushing down to a place call “middle class!”
So, are you on a journey to or through the middle class?
Here are my 6 best indicators to help you cut through the clutter, and know in record time, when you have arrived at your destination.
1. You are living beyond your means
Yeah…I know you knew this but I had to start with one you can easily tick off, just in case you don’t get any of the others.
Now I’m talking not just above your means, but way above them.
For example, If your annual income range is between $75,000 – $100,000, then your lifestyle range must be between $100,000 – $150,000.
You see, this allows you to engage in those fabulous conversation about the extortionist rates that banks charge on credit cards. Especially when you have 3 or more.
You are even tempted to apply for either the job of Juggler or Tightrope Walker in the circus that’s coming to town.
And why not?
You’ve had loads of practice either juggling the payment of your monthly commitments or walking the tightrope of non-payment. After all, you are middle class.
2. Your “children” evolve into “kids” right before your very eyes
Especially if they’re two or more…
This might need a little bit of explanation if you’re not Barbadian.
In Barbados, we refer to our offspring as children…that is, until you become middle class.
It works something like this:
Your husband gets a promotion and now he drives a company car. You can also buy that 3-2-1 house in the heights (3 bedrooms, 2 bathrooms for 1 family).
The “children” pile into the backseat of vehicle for a trip to the supermarket. And on the way back from grocery shopping, you become middle class and they become “kids.”
3. You are safely surrounded by your middle class “frenemies”
Usually you have friends or enemies and ne’er the two shall meet.
That is until you become middle class.
Not only do they meet, they rub shoulders and eventually morph into something I call a “frenemy.”
How does this work? Check the following conversation:
My middle class friend: (big sigh) I’m having breakfast at Dorothy’s on Sunday…
No-class Me: Waaaait! I thought you didn’t like her?!
My middle class friend: I’m not sure that I do…but she’s part of our neighbourhood breakfast group and it’s her turn to host this Sunday…
Well, I bailed out of that conversation fast as hell before I say the wrong thing!
There is no frigging, middle class way, that I was going to begin my Sunday having breakfast with anybody that I don’t like! That would undermine my happiness.
4. Your dining table must always be in a state of “readiness”
Yoooouu! This is the one criterion that fascinates me the most.
Take a good look at the graphic to the right. Can you imagine having you dining table constantly “dressed” like this?
To date, I have seen 7 such settings ranging from interesting to attractive but they all raise the same questions in my mind:
Does the colour schemes change periodically?
Are they dusted and put back weekly?
What happens when people actually come to dinner?
These people fuh real?
This dressing of tables must be a serious litmus test of middle class.
Why would I think this?
Because on Saturday, I went by my pudding and souse woman (sorry! since she has inclinations towards middle class that would have to be “Souse Chef de Pudding”) and there was her 4-piece dining table, well…seven-eighth dressed.
It really was very funny to me because I know if some of my middle class friends could see this they would deem her “lower class” and hence VERY out of order!
5. You travel to North America for mundane shopping
First you have to claim that you just can’t shop “here!” meaning on the island.
And so you fly to a North American city, shop till you drop and pack a barrel and send it home.
Don’t look now, but when you unpack these barrels, if you knew where to shop “here”, you can get 90% of the items at better prices in your own country. But God forbid that any member of our middle class should be seen, without disguise, in these places.
And the sad thing is that many of the trips are on credit and you have no breathing space between paying for successive trips.
6. You have to drive an SUV (as in Sports Utility Vehicle)
Never mind that you can’t put gas in it and buy food too.
Not to mention that reversing and parking them is a big challenge for many women.
And let’s not forget that the world over, countries and people are opting for smaller “greener” vehicles.
Someone actually had the nerve to ask me if I was going to get a 4WD (4 wheel drive vehicle) soon. To whom it may concern, my taste in vehicles has always tended towards the small, sleek, fast and expensive.
At the moment, these transcend the middle class and elude my pocket.
Your next “middle class” step
There you have them…6 best indicators to let you know when you’re middle class.
Don’t worry, they’re just a starting point for your journey and if you get stuck along the way, you have 2 choices.
Get a return ticket to the place you were before you decided to be middle class.
Or…get a first class one, and join me in the upper, upper class!