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Tonight’s dinner: spaghetti vongole.

My 18-year-old class warrior self would hate me for:

  • being so middle class.
  • not calling it by its English name of spaghetti with clams.
  • having a jar of clams as a store cupboard standby.
  • the sprinkling of parsley that went in at the end.
  • being able to knock up the dish without resorting to a recipe.
  • the splash of Italian wine that was bought just to cook with.
  • having a special pasta pot, just for the spaghetti.
  • cooking the dish as a bog standard midweek ‘can’t be bothered to cook anything special’ dinner.

I’m in a strange position at the moment. I hope it’s ‘at the moment’ anyway, rather than a permanent sense of not feeling entirely comfortable in my middle-class-ness yet being utterly aware that there is no way I could consider myself to be working class.

Is this the way for people who have worked their way up the social ladder? I wonder if Amélie will feel similarly out-of-sorts with her social station, being a privately educated girl with parents who went to state school, only one of whom went to university while the other left at 16 and actually has the more successful career. She already asked me today if she could try an oyster, something that neither I nor Polly have ever eaten.

In a perverse way, I want Amélie to be somewhat embarrassed of me when she gets older because in my warped view it means she’s moved on up. I have no sense of wanting her to remember her roots because, well, a middle class upbringing doesn’t feel like it deserves the epithet of ‘roots’. Not in the same way that, say, a working class background does. Or maybe that’s the middle class apologist in me speaking.


Post title lyric taken from Pulp – Common People