Wednesday, 3 November 2010


Today I want to talk about snobbery. I’m not sure if this is a hot button for anyone, but here goes…oh, and pardon my language because I just read through this post and realised I was getting angrier as time went by…

Let me give you some background on me so you can see who I am and where I’m coming from. To be totally honest, I’ve been shit poor most of my life (no need to break out the violins, it is what it is). As I’ve said before on my Sarah Masters blog, I’m not one of those authors who make money from what I do. My royalties are sometimes so small I have to laugh. We exist on my husband’s wages and live week to week. I could go out to work, but my husband wants me to live my dream, and I love him to death for it. I can afford to pay all my bills and eat, but we don’t go on holiday/vacation, go out for meals, have take-aways, stuff like that. I know how to stretch the pounds and always hunt out a good bargain. However, I don’t “look” poor. There are plenty of places here in the UK to buy cheaper goods when you’re on a tight budget—and man, I’ve been on damn tight budgets—so there’s no excuse to look dirty or destitute.

Do I sound snobby? I hope not, because I’ve been worrying lately that deep down I’m a snob, and I’m about to rail over them and would hate to think of myself as “one of them”.

I don’t know if it’s the same for other places in the world, but here in Britain our supermarkets have their own brands but also a brand where they use minimal packaging with no fancy labels to enable people on low budgets to afford things. For instance, a 500g bar of white chocolate will cost you 25p as opposed to a brand name that will set you back £1.69. Yes, big difference. Now, when these brands first came out, people were reticent to buy them because the packaging is, quite frankly, damn ugly, and if you had the “value” brand in your trolley, God, you were someone to avoid. You were poor, you were wretched, and you FELT wretched if you were caught with these brands in your trolley by someone you knew. Now, with the economy decline, and that fact that people have accepted that yes, the packaging is shit but the inside isn’t half bad, you don’t get stared at quite so violently if you’re buying those brands. You do still get people staring at your trolley/cart in horror sometimes, but my motto now is: Eff you, dear. I’m buying it because I HAVE to in order to feed my children. I’ll do what I have to every damn time I come in here if it means filling my kids’ bellies. If you have the top brands in your trolley, God bless you and I honestly hope you enjoy them, but I don’t have that luxury, so stick your snobby nose up your arse and mind your business.

I don’t buy all my shopping in these brands, just stuff like toilet rolls, bread, shit that’s ridiculously expensive otherwise, and to be frank, even if I had a lot of money I’d still buy those things. I don’t really buy named brands either, just the shop brands most of the time, although I will admit to buying a good laundry detergent.

Now, I don’t begrudge anyone who has money. I don’t expect them not to tell me what they’ve bought because I can’t afford the same. I’m genuinely pleased when I hear what people have bought because it’s not their fault they have more money than me. BUT I don’t like it when people think designer brands are all there is in the world and if you don’t have them you’re not worthy. I don’t like being made to feel I’m beneath someone else just because they’re dressed head to toe in Prada and stink of the most expensive perfume on the planet. I don’t like being made to feel that because I don’t get a manicure every week, have my hair cut every six weeks, and I don’t live in a super-sized house with fancy cars inside a double garage that I’m a piece of shit.

Don’t get me wrong, I’m not a scabby old tart. If you came into my house you’d think I was comfortable, but the expensive items in my house were bought with the monetary gifts from my mother-in-law and everything else is paid for via credit—and I know some people who would frown at me for that too. Eww, you bought your sofa on credit and pay X amount for it every month… Yep, I bloody do, and it’s beautiful and I love sitting on it, thanks.

Also, I live in a village where I’d say 90% are affluent. My kids go to a school where some of the parents would have killed you by the looks you can get. They’re rich. They feel entitled to look at others that way. There are also some marvellous folks there, thank goodness, but many mothers have said that those select few who stare or turn their noses up make everyone feel so degraded. We don’t look any different, really, they wear casual clothes and whatnot too, but they seem to be able to sense whether you have money or not and whether you’re “worth” speaking to.

So now we come to the bit where I think I’m a snob. Bear in mind that the value brands I mentioned above cover every single item you might need. I think you can buy a bar of soap for about 10p, shower gel for 20p or whatever, deodorant for 35p, shampoo 50p, and laundry detergent for about £1. So why do some people, even though they’re on the breadline, look filthy and smell and say it’s because they can’t afford stuff? I always feel snobby because there is no damn excuse with the cheapness of that stuff where you can’t wash your body, hair and clothes. As for clothing, there are stores here where you can buy four pairs of socks for £1. Many, many items so cheap, and they aren’t nasty either. Trendy clothing etc. You can kit yourself out with several chop-and-change items for around £20.

I feel bad, but when I see people who lament they are poor and they’re talking to me about it as though I wouldn’t have a clue how it feels, it makes my damn blood boil. Okay, I must appear like I have money, but I sodding well DON’T, I just know what to spend my money on and how to make it stretch tighter than a taut bloody elastic band. Let’s face it, I’ve had enough practice!

Does anyone else feel this way? As in, don’t tell me you can’t afford to wash, all right? Don’t tell me you can’t scour the shops and find bargains, when I could take you out there right now and get a massive bang for your bloody buck.

As with yesterday’s post on manners and courtesy, is anyone else ARGHHHing with me today? Why do we need to wear Nike or whatever to be accepted? Why do we need to pay £100 for a pair of jeans when I can find a pair, brand-new, for £8 that look EXACTLY THE SAME except they don’t have a fecking fancy label on them. Are you going to come up to me when I’m wearing them, lift up my top, that prolly cost me £3 LOL, and say, “Eww, you’re wearing…a cheap pair!” said with venom and more than a hint of effed-if-I’m-speaking-to-YOU-again.

Don’t you like me for me? Don’t you think that my personality is worth more than the clothes I’m wearing, the house I live in, the car my husband drives?

This isn’t just limited to real life either. There is online snobbery that shocks the shite out of me. If you don’t write for so-and-so, you’re trash. If you write for so-and-so, you’re trash. If you have a free website, you’re trash. And pardon me here for a minute, but for me, I have the toss-up of paying out for a .com or buying one of my kids some shoes. Uh, which am I going to choose here. Hmm, let’s think… If your book has more than a few typos, you’re crap. If you messed up with a few dangling modifiers, you’re a pissy author. I could go on and on…

Now that I’ve got myself totally riled up, I’m stomping off to make a cuppa.

Have a nice day, folks!


Xeranthemum said...

I agree.
Fortunately, I live in an area where that's not too prevelant. It's there though; my next door neighbor is like that - they own a HUGE horse farm -been in the family for a few generations - and look down on us for never having our driveway paved. Yeah, the grandfather pretty much said it to my face. Never talked to him again - nor bought hay from them either.

There was a woman in our town who had... 6 kids - no husband -ever...and one year she invited my youngest to one of her kid's birthday parties. I didn't let him go. Why? The kids were never ever clean. Clothes never fit right and sort of...dirty, when they had colds and snot was running down their face, it was us other mothers who gave them tissues and helped clean them up. We went to a library program for reading to young kids - she bought them all chocolate covered donuts but didn't have any napkins - which the donut place gives for FREE - and left them with smeared chocolate all over their faces - and blithely sat and listened to the story. Again the other mothers there could not stand it and found tissues and such to wipe the kids' faces and hands.
So, I did NOT allow my child to go to that home for the party.
If a mother can ignore such basic care for her kids, what would her home be like, or the food she served?
I did not want to find out.
Every once and awhile I think about feeling guilty, but tissues at the dollar store come in 3packs. The library had 2 bathrooms with paper towels and water.
And she didn't use them. So I squash that feeling down fast.

OTOH - I LOVE generic foods! Just wish I could take advantage of them.
Not only is the packaging, like you say, butt ugly, but they unfortunately process a LOT of products at the same place - hence cross contamination with peanuts in most products from which my youngest has a deadly reaction to. So, I am forced to buy named brand and it annoys me. Thank goodness we have bulk stores around that allows a modicum price relief.

Xeranthemum said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Tess MacKall said...

We have the same store-brand products here on our shelves, have had them for as long as I can remember. And I remember a time when people did look down on you if you bought the store brand too. But there's always been a bit of rebel in me and I've never really cared what others thought. Until I had children.

And when you have children, you'll do whatever it takes to feed and clothe them. No one mentioned that along with children comes a lot of hidden costs, did they? lol I definitely learned to stretch a dollar when they appeared on the scene.

And then came school. With that came the snobbery. There ARE those parents who ONLY buy designer clothes/shoes. And my girls could not handle NOT having those same designer clothes. It was hard on them if they didn't. Wear a Wal-Mart blouse to school and see if you don't get picked on. Seriously. To which I always said to the girls, "how the hell do they know it's from Wal-Mart?".

So, I struggled, got their designer clothes, enrolled them in ballet, gymnastics, cheerleading, etc. Did all the things they had to do in order to be accepted.

Live and freaking learn is what I say.

I bought into the crap. Thought it would be wrong of me to do otherwise. Thought I'd be hurting my girls. And yes, I knew better deep down inside. Told them you don't have to wear these clothes to be loved. But I could also see and feel what they were going through if I didn't do it too.

But like I said, live and learn. Cause low and behold, along comes their brother through the same schools five years later. LOL And trust me, that kid does not give a rat's ass what anyone thinks. He has this easy-going way about him. Instinctively knows right from wrong. Has strong opinions. Even stronger values.

Doesn't give a damn if his shoes cost twenty or a hundred bucks. (I usually go for mid-range, lol) Likes getting an Aeropostle shirt, but honestly? It's too much trouble to go to the mall for it in his opinion. So I take him in the local dept stores where they have nice brand name things and what does the kid do? Points out the half off sale racks to me.

In the grocery store what does he do? Compares prices and measurements and finds the better buy. The only thing this kid insists on having the very best of? His gaming console and games. Now there, he can get right pricey. lol

And this has been a long rant from me. But in response to you being a snob---that's not snobbery, EM--that's you knowing that you can make it and still be clean and have your kids clean and dressed nicely and still not be rich. Makes you wonder what these people do with their money, doesn't it? I know parents who spend their money on good times for themselves and forget the needs of their children. A lot of time it's more important for the parent to buy an expensive pair of shoes or outfit than it is to put a decent pair of shoes on the kid's feet.

Snob or not--you're right in what you've posted. Guess I'll be a snob right with ya, hon.

Sarah Masters said...

Hiya Xera!

Yep, you buy those brands because you have to, but I bet you don't look down your nose at people who buy the other stuff. That's the big difference.

I understand why you didn't allow your child to that party. My thought on that story was that I'd be worried if my child got hurt, would they even be aware of it if they are, for want of a better set of words, an effed-up family?

Snot...sorry, that winds me the hell up seeing kids with either crusty snot or having it dripping. Doesn't even have to be tissues if you can't afford them. Just having a facecloth in your bag would be better than leaving it like that. Poor little mites.

Oh, Xera, I am SO not talking to you now because your driveway isn't paved... LOL, I'm bloody joking, but flippin' hell, I can't believe they did that over something so stupid and unimportant. My Lord, people boggle my mind.


Sarah Masters said...

Yep, Tess, the being clean thing is a really hot button for me. No excuse for being dirty.

My kids have had the same thing, my Nat being the main one who got ribbed for not having designer stuff. She had good gear, don't get me wrong, but it was never all the top-brand stuff. Some but not all. We tried hard, like you, to provide a balance of both.

Like my boys. I DO buy them Nike trainers. They have a couple of brand-name items they can mix with cheaper jeans to take the eye off the jeans being cheap, but if they have the Nikes on their feet, they're accepted. I hate doing it, hate that society makes it that way, but like you, I do it for them. BUT, if they are totally honest, like your boy, they don't REALLY give a shit. They just wear it because it's "easier" than being picked on. And like your boy, my youngest, he wears whatever he fancies. Doesn't give a monkeys.

When you think about it, it's bloody disgusting and sad these kids are made to feel this way. If you don't wear this, you don't fit. If you don't have X amount of lunch money, you don't fit.

A hateful, hateful world.


C. Zampa said...

I buy store brands. And I would buy them, even if I was rich.

In this day and age, being rich (in my opinion) doesn't excuse being wasteful of money. I do see the TV reality shows, though, of Beverly Hills life and other wealthy lifestyles, and I cringe at how much 'vulgar' spending is done, how much money is thrown away.

To see more money spent in the blink of an eye than I even make in a year is sickening.

But in answer to your question. I agree that even low funds is not a reason to not keep clean. Even in shelters, the one thing they DO provide often is soap, shampoo and toothpaste.

Through the years, I would look at friends who had so much more than me (monetarily) and envy them. To me, they seemed to want for nothing, have everything I thought a heart could desire.

On the other side of that coin: these same women were often treated for depression as well. So I somehow could see them as 'wealthy' by the world's financial standard, but not so happy emotionally.

Money truly does not buy happiness.

Lisa Alexander Griffin said...

Sarah, I've dealt with snobbery all my life. Sad, but there are a few in the family who do this too. Like I'm not from the right side of the tracks or something. My family is clean, we buy store brands to save money and I can stretch a dollar, even though in this economy it's harder. No designer clothes though.

And there are many online who are the same way too.

Sarah Masters said...

Hiya CZ!

I agree with you on the excessive spending thing on TV. You know what I always think when I watch stuff like that? OMG, they could have fed a poor family for five years right there if they donated that money somewhere and realised they didn't NEED a 10th car.

Know what I mean? GRRR.


Sarah Masters said...

Hiya Lisa! Yeah, we've talked on this subject before, haven't we LOL. My goodness, to be made to feel like shit because you don't buy what others term "the best" is appalling.

We're all people, you know? We all shit, piss, have emotions, cry, whatever, whether we wear designer clothes or something from the charity shops--and you can get some right good bargains from those places!

I suppose it comes down to upbringing as well. If you've been brought up to think you're superior, you'll act that way, which is a shame, because I have rich friends and I have poor friends, and all of them bring something to the table that doesn't need money. Love. Sounds soppy, but there you go. That doesn't cost a bloody thing, and we all have that in abundance, so we're all rich in that way.

Hey, I'm rich! LOL


Lisa Alexander Griffin said...

So am I, lol. Ain't it grand? :)

Sarah Masters said...

It is!


KelRhiasMum said...

I have been dirt poor, I have been relatively well off, and back again, I have always kept a clean house and clean family. I will buy the best that I can afford and that's that, I actually don't give a shiny shite what anyone thinks of what's in my shopping trolley, anymore than I care what they have in theirs. My kids have never had designer, unless it was in a sale! They are both of the "don'tgiveatosswhatyouthink" opinion, and so far they have got by on their wits and personalities and to my knowledge neither have been ridiculed for not wearing "designer"
People who look down on others are as shallow as a puddle in my opinion, but there really is no excuse for being dirty or unkempt.

Faith said...

Well, you and I both know we often live the same and swear we're mirror versions of the other, lmao, so you know I totally relate to this post and well as most others that you've written.

When I was growing up, we were very poor. When my dad worked, we lived comfortably, but going through the 70s and then having the recession hit, well, we lived off of the land--literally. I ate so much squirrel and rabbit that my dad shot so we'd have more than PB and J or just noodles with bacon grease and tomato juice over that to this day I can't handle eating any of it without wretching (although I do still enjoy a gooey PB and J sand from time to time).

Looking back on those times, tho, I realize some things. First, although we barely made it, they were good times. Secondly, having to scrape together meals, wear yard sale clothes, and not having any of the luxuries many did whose fathers were doctors and lawyers (the neighboring town was OLD money), I was taught how to survive and it made me a better person.

Fast forward to now, and it's the same thing all over again. Even if one has a decent job, the cost of living is unreal. Rent is high, electricity bills are through the roof, etc for many people in the Appalachians. The only folks in my neck of the woods who have money are coalminers, doctors, lawyers and nurses, and those in computers. My kids went from being made fun of by the coalminers' kids to the new school where it's mostly kids of doctors and attorneys. I'm having a helluva time with my youngest girl as a result. "Well, all the kids at school have cell phones with unlimited everything." My reply, "A cell phone with all the bells and whistles? Um, no. You'll earn it when we're able to afford it."

We buy a lot of goods at Dollar General. And there are two discount grocery stores and a super Walmart nearby where we buy all our groceries.

I've always said that movie stars, politicians, leaders and so on are no dif that we are. They all put their pants on the same way. So what if we don't drink fancy beer or high-priced champagne? My house has real love in it. And if everything hits rock bottom and the world falls apart, this family will be the one who knows how to hunt, live off the land, can and freeze food, make blankets and clothing. I can clean fish and gut a deer if I need to.

And I've always said that that being poor is no excuse for being filthy. I think a lot of people do that to make others feel sorry for them and give them things. Why? Because I've actually found that out from a few of them over the years. Heck, one simple trick is buy a jumbo bottle of Ivory dish soap. It can be used for dishes, laundry, shampoo, and body soap!

Okay, off my soapbox now, lol.

Jaime Samms said...

I can relate to this. We home school, and so are a one income family. In a community where every one else lives in huge houses they never enjoy because they're all out working to pay for it, we live in a three room bungalow my grandfather owned. We grow our own veg in suburbia and don't always get around to cutting the lawn. Hell, we don't even own a car. We take city transit everywhere. And you can imagine the looks from the other dance moms when I say no, we aren't looking to buy a car, thanks very much. The money we'd spend on it is paying for the dance lessons. We all make choices in our lives. We've chosen to raise our kids ourselves rather than let the system do it, and that's our choice. Other people make different choices, and that's okay. I just would like to not have the looks, you know?

As for the on line snobbry...DOn't even get me started...

Faith said...

Jaime, I didn't even mention the online snobbery either because blogger can't process a book in the comments, ROFLMAO! I'd never quit ranting!

Kate Richards said...

I live in Los Angeles, and if I lived on the West Side that snobbery would be rampant. Luckily I live on the other side of town, where I am surrounded by families who grew up in the neighborhood, just like me. And most of them don't have much money, but are so close to each other and to us all. I have gone through ups and down, and grew up pretty poor, but I buy lots of store brands because I can't see any reason to pay a whole lot more for a product for the label. I buy store brand veggies with the exception of LeSeur Peas... I do get a veggie delivery from a farm that is engaging in CSA and it's actually organic, awesomely fresh food for a very reasonable price...which was not the case with the first one I tried! Value is important, and anyone who wants to pay 200 for tennis shoes is welcome...but I can't do it. As my rich aunt once said, I don't mind paying for things but I don't like to feel cheated.

Valerie Mann said...

I love this post, it's so refreshing after the drama yesterday! LOL

I was just thinking about this very thing recently, that the closest times we've had in our family have been when we were forced to pull up our bootstraps, tighten our belt and deal with poverty. We have five kids and I made the decision after #3 to stay home with them. I still look back and wonder how on earth we lived but we never did without. And yes, the kids were always clean and fed. And my house was clean. Now, I work and make good money, DH makes a great living...and I can't say if we're any better off, LOL

steph beck said...

I went to school with a boy whose mother restricted every member of the family to two baths/showers a day to keep the water and gas bill down. It was hard on him in his teen years, but they had pride. She wasn't going to live off the state or live beyond their means, that meant rationing every part of their lives.

You can't beat cleanliness into a person who refused so see it as important (lots of cultures find little value in that sort of thing, same with families) but what you can do is be a kind, supportive person to all.

You can't change people, that's the thing, all you can do is try to make your own mindset better so you don't spend your life snearing at people who don't dress well or buy off brands. Or on the other note, feeling like you're being looked down by the ones who have more.

Sarah Masters said...

Yep, same as me, Wend, but then we're sisters and do much the same with regards to our kids and money anyway. Best you can afford is the way.

You know what I'm like with the dirty kids/people. Snot. HEAVE!


Sarah Masters said...

Yep, Faith. I knew as I wrote the post you'd relate!


Sarah Masters said...

Yep, Jaime, what we choose to do for the benefit of our kids as opposed to spending on useless crap just because it makes you look posh is our business. I'd rather mine were well fed and clean than going around sporting something they don't really need just to keep "those" people smiling.


Sarah Masters said...

That's so right, Kate. I don't mind paying for anything either, but give me a £200 price tag when I can get the same or similar for £10? On your bloody bike!

You buying those peas is like me with my laundry detergent. I insist on that as my one indulgence.


Sarah Masters said...

It's true, Valerie. When you have sod all, you're closer somehow. It brings everyone together.


Sarah Masters said...

That's good advice, Steph. Kind of like that saying...can't remember it, but it's something about me allowing other people to make me feel this way. That I'm letting them make me feel less than them.

Hmm. A good point!


Maeve said...

Unfortunately, "snobbery" can contaminate every facet of your life -if you allow it to do so. I've been looked down on for various reasons in my 49 yrs. ranging from hand-me downs when I was growing up to now being published with JUST an epublisher. I've finally learned in my ripe old age that if I allow other people's opinions to ruin my day - that gives them power over my me. I've become a very selfish person. I'll live my life and have the audacity to be happy in spite of these folks who are too miserable to realize how their outlook on others is really a cancer eating them alive.

Sarah Masters said...

Brilliant outlook, Maeve! WOOT!


Debbie Gould said...

I live in a rural area, but only 20 minutes or so from a VERY affluential town. It was very difficult for some of our newer doctors to adjust to our clientele as opposed to the wealthy, well dressed, well groomed patients they were used to.
We have the same "basic" brand name stuff here as well, and that is what I usually buy. But like other, I usually skimped on myself so the kids could have the "in style" clothing. Children can be so mean to each other.
Even though they are mostly grown now I still rarely buy myself new cloths. Bills and other things always seem to come first.

Natalie Dae said...

I'm in the wrong bloody name here, Deb, but sod it.

I'm the same as you. I currently wear clothes my neice gave me. If I buy for myself I feel so guilty, because I think on what I could have bought for the kids instead.


Anonymous said...

Ok, I have never read your books, but today I am going directly to your site, clicking your BUY link and getting one. Maybe two. Crap, how many books have you written, I may have to drain the Amazon card and buy all.

You spoke from my heart with your words, and I am all the way in Cali, US high-5-ing you! (and anyone who knows me knows I'd use quite the same tone. LOL)

I have a THING for designer purses. I hate shoes, am barefoot 98% of the time, so shoe shopping isn't my thing. But show me a pretty bag and I'm agog. I fall in love with the design and style. HOWEVER, catch me paying $350 for one? NOT in this lifetime, honey. I adore 2nd hand shops and have gotten genuine Kate Spade, Claiborne, Gucci, Mundi and more for about $6-10 rather than $350-500. I love them and use them till they fall apart and my friends KNOW I pay pennies for them and don't give a rats bootay because they love me. lol And husband is happy to indulge because, well, I don't have a $20,000 credit card bill to look fancy. IF I had the $500,000 a year paycheck then heck....I'd buy it new. Someday, I will! But I'll still buy the story brand kidney beans because, well, they come from exactly the same field and machine as the one next to it (ask anyone who has ever worked in a factory).

Off to the online bookshop! :-) THANK YOU for the smile today.

Faith said...

I saw your comment, Heather, about the shoes and had to pop in again to comment to you. I'm like you. Even in the winter I'm barefoot. I love pretty shoes, but my feet don't, lol. I'm even known to go out on the icy sidewalk or snowy porch to grab something in my bare feet!

When I do buy shoes, I go to Gabriel Brothers. I once bought a pair of designer heels for $6. Same for my purses and bags too.

Sarah Masters said...

Hey Heather!

Well, eff me sideways. That's very nice of you to want to buy one of my books. I have a red face and feel all giddy now, seriously. I kinda want to cry LOL!

Bless you.

Bags. Don't get me started. I love bags. Mine are all cheap and cheerful, but I still love them as though they cost £100!


Fabian Black said...

I've lived on the breadline most of my life, never had any real money to speak of, but I don't care. I LOVE hunting down a bargain. My bargain of the year was bought from Sainbury's this very day - a bottle of champagne reduced from £18 a bottle to £3.99 Okay so it ain't Krug, but it's a fab bargain and I will enjoy it all the more for that reason, lol.

I too am a writer of small royalties and while I'd love to make more I'm just happy to be doing something I really enjoy. What spoils things for me is the snobbery I've encountered online because I'm a "self-published" writer. I've been slighted and ignored and even barred from posting on an excerpt blog because I am self-published and of course, according to some, that means my stuff must be crap! Well I disagree.

I chose to self-publish not because I'm a crap writer but because I like being in control of my own work, so there! ;-)


Sarah Masters said...

Big thumbs up to you, Fabian. Sod the bloody folks who shun you. If you're happy, then go for it.

I saw that champers advertised on TV. Guzzle away, my dear!

Guess what made me giddy with stupid excitement yesterday? Don't laugh now...3 bottles of Radox shower gel in Tescos for the price of one. Oh, and their own brand Tampax for a quid. I bought two boxes. Oh yes, I splurged on those damn things!


I was that excited I told my hubby when he got home.

Shit, I lead such a sad pigging life!


Cassie Exline said...

Never had much money growing up but we never went hungry. To this day, I've never wore or owned a brand name anything. I'm a true blue WalMart girl. Things have never impressed me. Although I'm still searching for the perfect handbag. Not too big and not too small and very cheap.

Scarlett Knight said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Scarlett Knight said...

If it looks good on you and feels even better, who cares if you got it from a thrift store? I've never understood the looks of shock and revulsion I get from people when they ask me where I got my shirt and I proudly say, "Goodwill! For a dollar!" I think they're the ones with their heads in the sand, personally. :)

Regina Carlysle said...

Sorry I'm just getting around to this post, Nat. This is a subject near and dear to my heart. I grew up poor and my mom was fond of doesn't matter how poor you are as long as you are clean and neat. Soap is cheap, she would say. Our second hand stuff wasn't ratty but well cared for. These days my husband and I are considered affluent. I wasn't raised this way and much of the ways of the wealthy was new to me. I don't hesitate buying the 'store' or 'bargain' brand things and don't give a hoot in a holler what anyone thinks.

My first time rubbing shoulders with the more affluent young moms in my community was a real eye opener for me. Talk centered around how much they paid for this or that (yes...they actually SAID stuff like this) and I was appalled. My closest friends will tell you I find nothing more despicable than a bragger. Didn't take me long to realize these ladies and I would NEVER see eye to eye. I found my best friends in other places and no, most of my best friends aren't wealthy..they are just great people.

Now I DO admit a weakness for nice purses but I'd rather be shot dead than brag about how much I might spend on one. And yes, I DO still like to find a good deal on what I buy. But honestly? I just enjoy hanging out with my on-line friends wearing my jammies, barefoot and without a smidgeon of makeup. I can usually spot a snob at twenty paces. Want nothing to do with them. And Em honey? You are about as far from a snob as anyone I know.

Sarah Masters said...

You're my kind of gal, Cassie!


Sarah Masters said...

Ooooh, Scarlett! Same here! I'm all chuffed with my bargain, and they look at me as if to say, "Uh, you're wearing something someone ELSE wore?"

Um, yep. It's clean. It was cheap. And I love it!


Sarah Masters said...

Reg, I just love ya. That is all.


Dominique Eastwick said...

FAntastic Blog.... I will admit that I have in the past used the name brand box of cereal and kept refilling it with value brand items. But that was because me kids had been sold ont he television commericals that only the tiger was best...Now they couldn't calre less and I also grew up poor... Food stamps and government Cheese. And I want more then anything for my children to understand all of this doesn't matter a whip. Save money and be proud of what you make and have.

Hart Johnson said...

Very nice rant, there... I'm what one would call an 'anti-snob'--I tend to look down on people who think it's important to BUY all that expensive crap. I give a pass to people who spend more for organic or local-gourmet, as I would do that too if I could afford to--the stuff is better. But MANY things, it is the SAME STUFF. Why on earth would someone pay more? The answer: because they are materialistic IDIOTS. *cough*

The US though, doesn't have the nearly free hygeine and such--oh sure, you can buy shampoo at the dollar store, but it is crap (I've tried it)--we buy Suave-- which is about half the cost of Pantene (my personal preference--not specialized by any means, but what I think is 'best' for my hair)

I feel though, like the wages in the US have not kept pace and unemployment is high, so people sometimes DO have to choose between... say life saving medication and other stuff. An attempt to be neat and clean is good, but I figure anyone who ISNT really is probably a hard luck case. My real anger goes to the parents buying cheap box food for their kids but then cigarettes and liquor for themselves... fresh veggies FIRST, self indulgence AFTER.

Anthology Authors said...

Well, being in LA, it's all about brand, except with me. I was tickled pink the other day when I was able to buy three pairs of nice slacks and a few other things for less than $90. Nice, heavy duty slacks that I can wash, not dry clean, but wash. Since having a kid, I can't fit into any of my older nice pants.

Now, $90 sounds like a lot, but I tell you what, because of the way I take care of my clothes, I will more than likely have them for the 10 years or more. I will wear them until they fall off of my body. LOL (I have a sweatshirt I bought in college, over--cough, cough--20 years ago. It still looks new, and I wear it constantly in the winter.) But I can't see spending that much money on a pair of pants. Matter of fact, I bought some pedal pushers a few years ago. They were pricey for me. ($80) My neighbors, who love brand names, loved them, thought they were great, etc. Two years later, they have holes on both butt cheeks. At the same time, I bought a pair of pedal pushers from Old Navy for less than $20. I still have them. I have worn twice as much as that other pair long since gone.

BTW, those brand foods from the grocery store were featured on the local TV station recently. They taste as good or better and are pretty much the same as the name brands. Brand name does not always equate quality.

Sarah Masters said...

Dominique, love, I've done the same thing because of the kids. What I do now is put my cereal in large transparent plastic containers. Saves having to faff with the fake box HAHA! Oh, and they were a bargain @ 99p each whoooo hoo!

I'm sure you'll do well bringing your kids up to appreciate what they have. They'll be good kids who grow into good adults, I have no doubt.


Sarah Masters said...

I agree, Hart. Food and bills come first in this house. Any extra money and we all have some sweeties or chocs or whatever. I make a lot of my own cakes too. God, I sound like a regular sodding Betty Crocker. Is that the right name for her? Minus the sodding, of course.


Sarah Masters said...

I agree about the food, Marci. And I have a similar thing going on with my denim jacket. I worked out that since I bought it, it's cost me £1 a year to wear it, and it's still going strong!