High class

If there’s anything I hope to teach Nathan, it’s that he’s not better than anyone else. Maybe he’s better than the cast of Prisonbreak, at least that’s what I’m thinking because when I asked Mike if he wanted to cuddle, he pointed to the television and said, “Can’t. Prisonbreak’s on.” He said no to his wife, the mother of his child, the only one in this house with a working va-jay-jay. I could be as moist as a snackcake but if this coincides with a FOX show about incarcerated men, I might as well be Patrick Duffy.

I digress.

My mom harbors an method of categorizing things according to whether or not they are “high class.” If it’s European (including, but not limited to the British monarchy, especially Princess Diana, particularly Diana pre-Dodi Fayed), it’s high class. If it’s the cabbage salad in the styrofoam container from the teriyaki lunch special, it’s cheap. She’s quick to dissect food, furniture, and anchorwomen hairstyles, questioning coiff height or applauding fringe length with an, “Oh, that’s high class.”

I could give her toilet paper from Buckingham Palace and she’d examine it with her thumb and forefinger, inspect its fibers and exclaim, “Two-ply? That’s high class.”

I do love my mother, quirks and all, but this system is not something I want to pass on. I commit numerous low class felonies, one of which is thrift-store shopping. I love it. I love perusing the aisles and checking out what someone has lobbed into the donation bin.

The soundtrack to my freshman year of high school

Sometimes I am slapped with memories of my high school years.

My junior high years

And the years before that.

I relayed the story of the defective leap frog toy to my mom’s group without telling them where I had bought it. One of the women asked, “Couldn’t you just return it?” and I said no, I couldn’t. Because I bought it at Goodwill. The way Goodwill came out of my mouth sounded like how they interview snitches and bring their voices down a couple of octaves because they don’t want their identities to be revealed. I’m sure some of those women could buy two Britax carseats without entering into a Tourettes-like-swearing-phase. I think I made some stupid joke to distract them from the truth: I just outed myself as the cheapest mofo in the room. I could have said, “Yeah, I bought it at Nordstroms,” but then there would be a pause and a voice would emerge, “You, Mona? At Nordie’s? Let’s try that answer one more time.”

I don’t want Nathan to ever feel embarrassed of where he buys his clothes, or where he lives, or of his superhero costume assembled from a clothespin and a “God Bless This Kitchen” towel. If I ever thought that he was basing his life on how far he was from “high class,” I’d grab the keys, load up the car with chips and Thomas Kemper sodas, sing this song to him until he learns that if he’s presented with the teriyaki lunch special, he should just eat it.

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  1. My sister-in-law is very into “high class”…..it is enough to drive me crazy-she loves to remind evryone that she will not clothe her children in things bought at a Wal-Mart. And I am sure that she doesn’t even know where to find a thrift store.

    But what I really wanted to say is that the picture of the books really took me back. I declare that I read every one of those as a pre-teen. Sweet valley High and The Baby-Sitters Club….I must have read every one of the millions of them that have been written!

  2. anne nahm says:

    I live in your bizarro world:

    My mother-in-law is real uppidy about shopping at Goodwill or getting something from a garage sale. If I bought that leapfrog at Target? For shame! It could be purchased easily for a quarter at the thrift store. And? Better for the environment – no wrapping. And? I would have had to struggle to find it, so more valuable.

    I love her dearly, but in her eyes I am a terrible bourgeois for my shopping habbits.

  3. rachel a jew with no children says:

    Luckily “Nathan” is a boy, I think and he probably won’t care as much as a girl would care about “high class”…That is, only if you’re a good mother and teach him right!

  4. Tracie: SVS and BSB were my life! I look back now and think, geez, how I loved those transparent plot lines, hokey characters, and stock teen melodrama.

    Anne: Good point about the environment. Think of all the empty boxes and twist-ties crowding dumps! Your MIL would snub me for my shopping habits.

    Rachel: That’s what I’m hoping will happen.

  5. I loooooooooveeeee Goodwill – and all things thrift. Why buy anything retail when so many Americans put their perfectly good, almost new stuff in the Goodwill/Salvation Army/etc. river. If you just wait there on the banks, the stuff you want just floats right on by!

  6. Mommy off the Record says:

    It’s OK. I’m cheap too. In fact, I am planning to post about this at some point to tell people how REALLY cheap I am. It’s pretty embarrasing what I’ve done in that regard. I think it would make you feel better.

    And, uh, Sweet Valley High? LOVED that series. Remember the one called “All Night Long” or something like that? My dad banned me from reading it, but I snuck it into my bedroom and read it anyway. I was SUCH a rebel.

    And finally, moist as a snackcake? LOL. I’m going to tuck that one away to incorporate into polite conversation sometime. That’s a gem.

  7. flyabuv says:

    I actually just busted out my No Strings Attached cd and it is in my car at this moment. It reminds me so much of the summer between junior and senior year. although we were 17 years old, my best friend and I made a dance to “Digital Getdown”. Also Wedding Day by Rosie Thomas is probably my most favorite song; ever.

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