“I love your dress”, said my boyfriend’s friend to me once.
“Oh thanks! I bought it in Milan last time I went there”, I enthusiastically answered because I loved that dress too. This was enough to cause visible reticence on her and on her mother and, if it wasn’t too rude, they would have probably had a giggle and rolled her eyes to one another, as saying “what a snob”. But, as I’m a sensitive observer, the “ah…” she answered was well understood.
The amazing thing is that I can affirm with plenty of conviction that if I had bought that dress from a Chinese merchant on Ebay, I would have answered with the same enthusiasm. But then I would have had a more positive and sympathetic reaction, because buying bargains online is far more acceptable.
I had the privilege of having a good education and being born with an overly curious and always eager for learning brain. These facts connected with my travel and living abroad experiences have probably made me overly cult and tasteful for a normal person to cope with.
Social interactions like the one previously mentioned make me most of the time keep my mouth shut about my deep knowledge and preferences on themes like art, literature, mythology, gastronomy and others to avoid an ignorant discomfort in the room.
This intellectual censorship annoys me. This is because mediocrity makes some people turn up their noses at everything they don’t know, especially things that are considered something of a culture and financial superior level. And then, you become a snob. They reject you just because you prefer, or even mentioned something with the invisible label of “posh thing”.
It doesn’t matter if they pay £20,000 in a brand-new car, whilst you hate driving and prefer to travel around in a bus and travel 2-3 times a year spending £3,000 in total (money that you, who doesn’t have and doesn’t want a brand-new car could save through your work).
It doesn’t matter that you know a foreign word that express a lot better what you want to say. No way you can say it! But they can write a really poor English, confusing “their” with “they’re” and “there”, and it’s absolutely fine.
You cannot say you don’t like soap-operas or romantic comedies, otherwise you’re boring. If you mention a book that is not “50 Shades of Grey” or say that you’d love to see the exhibition of your favourite painter, you are a snob. I don’t even dare to mention what I listen to whilst doing my hula-hoop exercise (is it allowed?) to avoid intellectual abuse.
Paying £200 on a language course is insane. But paying more than that on a spa day to get out of there not looking much better and as empty headed as ever, no problem. If I eat an octopus salad paired with an amazing glass of Barolo, I’m a snob. But if I spend the same £15 (which pays for the mentioned) in beers in a pub, then it’s ok.
My point is that the people who practice more this intellectual censorship have plenty of access to the same things I do, but they choose another lifestyle, that can be even more expensive than mine, but that doesn’t have the snobbish label attached to it.
The Thesaurus dictionary defines “snob” as:
- a person who imitates, cultivates, or slavishly admires social superiors and is condescending or overbearing to others.
- a person who believes himself or herself an expert or connoisseur in agiven field and is condescending toward or disdainful of those who hold other opinions or have different tastes regarding this field: a musical snob.
Very well. So, in short, being a snob is attributing qualities to yourself that make you think you’re superior to the others. But the big question here is that at any moment I put my interests for language learning, travel, design, gastronomy and general culture as more relevant than the others’ interests. And I don’t think my interests make me better than anybody either.
The others are the ones who put themselves down (below me) for not having the same interests and by labelling them as “snobbish things” (or posh). They think is better to live in an ordinary people universe, even when they earn exactly the same or a lot more than me.
I’m not a snob, you’re just narrow-minded. Sorry, not sorry.
What about you? Has the lifestyle you chose ever put you in disagreement with other people? Let us know in the comments!