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Sunday, 21 August 2011

Mr Pretentious

Nobody says something like that unless they've either thought it themselves, or heard it from somebody else. I'm certain that's how some people see me, and I'd like to thank them for their accurate and concise dissection of my entire personality. After all, they're with me 24/7 aren't they? Presumably their opinions are built upon spending time with me in all areas of my life? I'm not aware I'm being stalked, but then I'm not the worlds most self aware person. Tell you what, I'll give them the benefit of the doubt. I'm sure they're correct in everything they say; in fact I expect they are right about, well, practically everything. I mean, when you make those kind of judgements surely you'd need to be sure before you made them, wouldn't you? I mean, if you just kind of vomited it out that wouldn't exactly say too much about the kind of person you were? Well actually it might, but I'm not going to press on that nerve.
So anyway, here I am, Mr Pretentious, going about my business, trying to figure things out in my own clumsy and inappropriate way. Perhaps I should temper my behavior a bit? How about I use smaller words? Try a more grounded accent? Perhaps I could doff my cap whenever we pass just so you can be sure I know my place?
A word or two about myself. I was born in a working class family and to a father that worked bloody hard to give us a good lifestyle. What he lacked in social skills he more than made up for in sheer graft. And I've got a mum who's spent her life cleaning the houses of the better off, whilst managing to raise three kids and make sure we were all dressed and fed and got to school on time. As for me, Mr Pretentious, I wasn't really built for the education system. I've never learned well in a classroom which pretty much ensured failure when it came to exams. Unsurprisingly, I left school without any qualifications and went to work as a painter and decorator, and for seven years, my seven years in the wilderness, grafted and sweated and did a job I loathed. Is that pretentious enough for you?
Only, shame on me, I decided that I might be capable of just a little bit more. So I started to learn. No, correction, I started to listen, and in so doing began to learn, and year on year I got a little brighter, a little wiser, a little less credulous and naive. I'd got a better job, just in a warehouse to begin with, but was moved into an office environment in due course. Every career break I earned I've had to justify, and every upward step needed effort and conviction.
How am I doing in the pretension stakes? Am I there yet?
Actually I'll stop there. I've made my point. Be under no illusion that I'm very aware of my own faults. I live with them. They bug me. But here's the thing, whilst I don't mind being a labelled a tosser (the evidence is compelling) I'm really not convinced I deserve the term pretentious? I'm just a working class lad who had the audacity to want better for himself. I failed before I succeeded, and nothing has been handed to me on a plate. So I've a message to those that want to label me with clever terms such as pretentious. I'll use small words, and I'll be as working class as I can. My message is very simple, and really quite clear.
It's fuck you, and the horse you rode in on.

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