Lately I’ve seen a lot of classist, shaming statements on the internet. I’m not usually one to call people out online—at least while I’m wearing my author hat (which, I’m told, is all the time now). IRL is different because conversations don’t tend to degenerate quite so quickly there, and though I haven’t been compared to Hitler IRL, I have been called a devil.
In addition to not calling anyone out personally, I’m not going to talk about the statements that prompted this post. I really just want to talk a little about my own holiday experiences, whether direct or observed.
- Some people can’t afford to buy all the ingredients to make a “traditional holiday dinner.”
- Some people have one or more of these attitudes toward cooking: I can’t; I won’t; I don’t give a fuck about it. All of these are okay.
- Some people don’t have families to gather with—either blood or made—and they’re fine with it.
- Some people don’t have families to gather with—either blood or made—and they’re not fine with it.
- Neither #3 nor #4 is “better” or a more valid way to feel than the other.
- Some people are grateful for the chance to work a holiday because they need the money to survive.
- Some people have to choose between food and holiday gifts, or between food and heat, or between heat and internet. Some of those choices are easier than others.
- Almost all of these people were born into a socio-economic class which precluded their participation in The American Dream (or, as it’s known to us, The American Myth).
- It doesn’t matter how smart they are or how hard they work, most of these people will be lucky to rise from the class into which they were born. Very few people are that lucky.
If you’re still with me, thanks for reading.
I won’t tell you what I hope you’ll take away from this post. That’s not my job. These are facts. I hope you’ll take a moment and think about them, even if you don’t see yourself in any of them. Especially if you don’t see yourself in any of them.
As always, I welcome kind, thoughtful comments. Any comments that are not kind will be deleted without acknowledgement or remorse. I love comments, please don’t make me delete yours.
Thanks, Charley, for your thought-provoking post!
I love this post.
As a society, we have gotten way too comfortable judging people and their lives by our ideas of how things should be. Different ideas are not the problem – the judgement is. And if the judgement itself is not enough, we feel completely justified in expressing that judgement in condescending and ugly ways – in person and online. It makes me both angry and sad.
Really nice post, Charley. I don’t know what prompted this (and probably don’t want to know), but I have one fact to add: Some people don’t celebrate holidays or the same ones you do. Whenever I get the “happy holidays” or “merry christmas” or whatever during this time of year, I think how I might feel as a person who doesn’t celebrate. It kind of makes me feel like all those heteronormative messages society is always throwing out. Sure, you can just deal with it, but it’s an othering that could be avoided. Just as with the facts you mentioned, it helps to be as open as possible about how different each person and their life can be.