This afternoon I burnt my fucking quinoa.
This statement makes me feel like a colossal cunt on so many levels. Take “I’ll have a decaf, skinny soya latte to go please” and multiply it by around five gazillion times and you have around the level of painful pretentiousness I am experiencing right now.
Firstly, I am cooking quinoa. At home. This is not an accident. I haven’t just stumbled hungover into a Pret A Manger (fairly twatty in itself, I realise) squealing ‘MUNCHIES!’ and grabbed something that looks vaguely healthy but with some level of carbohydrate, only to discover that it’s an unpronounceable grain that one must sprinkle in whatever ludicrous sauce they under-provide in order to make it edible.
Secondly, I fucked the quinoa in our kitchen in the afternoon. This is not post-work recipe experimentation or “OMG MY CHILD IS GOING TO STARVE TO DEATH. FISHFINGERS! NOW!” panic. This is the leisurely, casual cooking of a widely acknowledged superfood at a time when most people are bracing themselves for a shitty commute home. And despite all this lah-di-fucking-dah-ing around, I managed to allow the bloody stuff to cement itself to the bottom of the pan and make the house smell indescribable. While quinoa-geddon was occurring in the kitchen, I was in the bathroom doing a hot cloth cleanse. THAT is what we are dealing with here.
Lastly, (bringing me to my actual non-vegan-staple-related point), I sent the following message to a friend today:
“I’m the least middle-class person EVER.”
I actually stand firmly by that statement because ‘middle class’ has become a misnomer. In fact, it’s become a joke, a term of derision or even delusion. To my mind, if being middle class is something you actually care about or aspire to then you’re Mrs Bucket, forever wondering what the neighbours think and scoffing at so-called commoners for taking the bus or eating Birds Eye Potato Waffles (which are fucking delicious, incidentally. Although when we ran out of Sarsons, I discovered that they’re really nice with a spot of cider vinegar. Kill me).
However, it’s widely believed or understood that today a certain level of lifestyle, rather than birth dictates your class. The ability to put your child through private school for instance. Or a job that affords you a nice car. Hell, in this day and age just getting a mortgage on a property can pop you neatly up the perception ladder. But it’s all bullshit. Smoke and mirrors. Or more realistically, credit cards and desk jobs.
For all the quails eggs bought in Waitrose, I’d be willing to bet that most of them are eaten on an interest free credit couch in front of X Factor. I was fucking distraught one evening when I realised that we’d run out of manchego just before Gogglebox. But my distress abated upon the arrival of a bloody delicious chicken shashlik from the Istanbul Grill. Can you be middle class and crave a dirty great kebab? Could someone drop Debretts a quick email? Or do butlers do that sort of thing? Frankly, as the sort of woman who frequently finds her drawers in her jewellery box and her necklace under her arse the morning after a night out, I literally have the loosest grasp of class etiquette known to mankind.
Of course, we know all this because we watch a lot of telly. Which is traditionally a working class activity, isn’t it? Opiate of the masses and all that? A poor substitute for gin, in my humble opinion. All the idiot box tells us is that we are all pillocks. From the fuckwits in Gucci on Made in Chelsea to the nobs In Reebok Classics on Benefit Street, we all make dumb fucking decisions, act like fucking idiots and garner equal amounts of hatred, albeit for different reasons but ultimately because they have lives that seem somehow simpler than our own.
Every time I wonder just what ‘Middle Class’ means, I think about what my little family have versus the effort it took to get it. And then realise that my parents have great equity on a house they bought with only one income and three children. Then look at our mortgage statement. They would never have cooked quinoa in a million years (let alone burnt the fucking stuff), but with those comfortable facts they’re a damn sight more middle class than we will ever be.