Posts Tagged ‘snob’

Confession time… I’m a snob. Yep, a full-fledged snob. I freely admit it, although it can be embarrassing at times, but owning our faults is a good thing, right? Except I’m not altogether sure that I’m wrong on this.

What kind of snob, you ask? The worst kind, as it turns out.

I’m a history snob.

I wasn’t always this way. I didn’t know any better when I was a kid. It really didn’t start kicking in until I was around sixteen and I started learning about real period clothing (By the way, period clothing means clothing specific to a certain time period and has nothing to do with that time of the month, in case you were wondering.). I began modeling for my friend, Jackie, who owns her own period clothing company, and learned what was accurate and what was not. It turns out that a lot of so-called “historic clothing” is not historic at all. I had had no clue. I realized that my 5th grade costume for the field trip to Greenfield Village had been a total sham and I cringed in shame. The seeds of my snobbery had been sewn.

When I started working at Greenfield Village, it steadily got worse. A group of farm friends went to see the new movie, The Scarlet Letter, starring Demi Moore. For the length of the movie, our boss pointed out every inaccuracy, down to the hinges on boxes. I was fascinated, and a little irritated. Why did they (meaning Hollywood) do everything wrong? Why couldn’t they do it right? Ugh. I was turning into an early version of the snob I am today.

It only intensified. I read, I studied, I went to museum conferences and learned so many cool things about clothing, social customs, animal husbandry, farming and farm tools, and of course, my forte: historic hair styles.

I regret nothing.

My snobbery is the reason why I can’t get into shows like The Tudors. I hate twisted history, especially when the real history is so much more exciting. I mean, seriously, if people really read the story of the real Tudor family it would blow them away. It has all of the things people want on Netflix anyway: sex, knights, sex, beautiful princesses, sex, murder, sex, betrayal, sex. You get the idea.

My big problem with inaccurate history is that people believe it. It’s not their fault, they don’t know any better, and the “history” is presented in such an attractive way that they think it’s really cool and spread it around. This is how rumors get started and we get stories like George Washington chopping down the cherry tree or we make a rat like Columbus into a hero or wear god-awful Civil War-style clothing.

Shows like The Crown and Downton Abbey give me hope, though. There is such attention paid to detail and social norms of the time and I find it refreshing. Of course, they’re not perfect, but they give a much truer portrayal of life in those times than many other shows and movies.

So there it is. I came clean with one of my (many) issues. There are no support groups that can help me and I don’t think I’d go anyway. Now, it’s your turn.

What are you a snob about? Time to ‘fess up.

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Confession time: when comes to grammar and spelling, I’m a horrible snob. Not so much when someone is speaking, although I do cringe when I hear people say, “I seen”  instead of “I saw” or “That’s mines” instead of “That’s mine”. No, it’s more when I’m reading something that isn’t correct, especially with apostrophes. I have a horrible apostrophe complex. For the life of me, I can’t understand why people insist on putting apostrophes in plural nouns where they don’t belong. I tell my students of a sign for a shop that used to drive me absolutely insane: “Laila’s Fruit’s and Vegetables”. It was there for years in a little strip mall on the way to Target, so I passed it often. I longed to go in and tell the owner to get rid of the apostrophe in “Fruit’s”, but I thought, quite correctly, that they would have 1. Thought me to be a crazy person off the street and called the police or 2. Thought me to be a crazy person off the street but would have been horribly embarrassed. Either way, I’m glad that I listened to the angel on my one shoulder instead of the devil on the other.

How many of us are snobs about things we know a lot about? I got to thinking about this from a Facebook meme the other day. It said something along the lines of life being a battle over whether to correct grammar or to have friends. That resonated with me, but it also made me think. What things do I do that frustrate people or absolutely drive them nuts and how could I fix them? Could I ever fix them all?

Marty Man could tell you several things I can’t do that utterly befuddle me but are easy for him. Taxes, for one. I have trouble filling out a W-2! I can’t help it, the language is soooooo dry and boring. I’d sooner read the phone book. (Yes, they still make phone books, albeit much smaller ones these days.) Besides, there are sort-ofs on some of the questions. Do I want to take out more than necessary, just in case? Maybe. How much are you going to tax me, Uncle Sam? Then, add line 2 to the sum, or difference, of lines 5-8, but only if you got married on a Tuesday in December when the sun was shining. Subtract 3 if it was a cloudy day. See, I’m hopeless.

Keeping up the checkbook is another thing that I (don’t) do that makes Marty Man wants to scale the walls. He has tried to train me, repeatedly, to write my debit card purchases in the checkbook. I have no problem recording checks in the ledger after I write them, but making a debit purchase just kind of floats out of my head. After all these years, he’s given up and just relies on the bank website to update it himself. Trust me, it’s all for the best.

Cars snobs can lord it over me, hands-down. Cars are confusing. If I have a car issue and mention it in certain company, I am sure to get all sorts of advice, 99% of which means nothing to me. I smile and nod, like it all make sense when I’m really longing to beg the person to come over and fix it for me. I’m not a complete imbecile; I can change a tire if I have to, if the lug nuts aren’t too tight. I know to fill a leaking radiator with water in an overheating emergency. If anything else goes wrong, however, AAA gets a call. I’m in awe of people who can instantly diagnose car trouble and I know that they’re secretly laughing at my ineptness, just like I did to the owners of Laila’s Fruit’s and Vegetables for all of those years. Somewhere, my grandfather is shaking his head in shame. He was a great car guy, but I didn’t get any of those genes.

I’m quite positive that my dance teacher is not a snob, but there are times when I want to tell her that it’s okay with me if she is. My head might get the new combination completely, but getting that information from my brain down to my feet (and let’s not even start on my arms) sometimes proves a bit, er, challenging. I would love to have her kind of patience with people who can’t do what I’m trying to teach them. It just seems so easy for her and others in the class, but I keep trying and I love it, so it’s all good.

I’m curious as to what kind of snobs my readers are. C’mon, fess up! You already know that grammar is one of mine. What are you a snob about that you know you shouldn’t be? We all are in one way or another, whether it’s religion, manners, work, or taxes. Confession is good for the soul.

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