Linda and Hamish (not real names) have written a desperate anonymous letter to the Guardian Newspaper appealing for the middle class to call a truce over the summer months on one-upmanship, so they can have a financial, physical, and emotional rest.
Linda, ‘I don’t even like going somewhere foreign on holiday, it’s full of foreigners and foreign food, but now I have to go foreign 3 times a year to keep up with my other middle-class friends. Facebook has made it all so much worse, there is no escape from what the others are doing and they always look so happy and perfect with their private villa or après ski drinks.
We have a huge mortgage just so we can live in a desirable area, a top of the range car on hire purchase, and have to tag ourselves in some fancy restaurant at least once a week and I have to try to keep up with the most fashionable thing in the gym which changes every month. Please please please can all other aspiring upper-middle class just relax for a few months, chill out, watch TV and have the odd walk or jog if they want to exercise, without any Facebook updates doing something expensive or energetic? I’m exhausted and we are almost broke’.
Hamish, ‘I have an 800 quid mountain bike crammed into the shed with my sit on a lawnmower. I used that bike only once, even having a helmet camera, all because the guy in the next cubicle at work wanted us all to go biking on his 40th. I couldn’t go on a cheap bike, could I?
I actually hate most of my so-called friends and social life, it is just showing off doing expensive sports badly and uptight dinner parties with superficial chit-chat – which all centers around people trying to big themselves up, boasting about their job, holidays, what ridiculous but facebook friendly thing they are doing for charity, or some unnecessary gadgets that inform the world of how far people jog. Who on earth is interested in how far around some city park someone has jogged?
I really miss unwinding and having fun with normal friends, having a pint or two down the pub with some relaxed banter. Cheap or even free activities are fine with me, a game of cards or a kick around. Keeping up appearances and only mixing with the ‘right sort’ of people is boring and tiring, they are basically all wankers up their own arses, which forces me to become a wanker up my own arse.
Linda and I are prepared to step off the never-ending conveyor belt of ‘we are doing better than you’, if everyone else will do the same? It makes sense to call a truce, otherwise where will this all end, who is really winning from all of this?’.
A spokesman for the British Treasury, Sir Malcolm Harvey-Baxter explains that, ‘ A truce on one-upmanship is absolutely out of the question. Publicly stating that cheap or even free activities are a good way to spend your time is downright dangerous talk. Advertisers have spent 100s of millions of pounds tricking the aspiring middle classes that trying to outdo each other through conspicuous consumption of the most fashionable goods and services is the only true route to happiness. One-upmanship is the back bone of our economy and Facebook and Twitter are helping things along nicely, by herding the consumer sheep towards the next fad….I mean free thinking humans, towards their next unique lifestyle choice.
Sounds like Linda and Hamish urgently need to max out on their credit card and book a holiday somewhere where they can pose with glasses of champagne with a turquoise sea in the background. That will really piss their friends off and make them both deeply happy’.