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Every Sunday I make a pot of hot something-or-other and do my ironing before the day gets too hot. I listen to podcasts, particularly the ones that need more careful attention. This morning I heard one on the class distinctions of The Victorian Era. Patience above! I did not know how integral and complicated the class was in the United Kingdom. Everyone and everything was determined by class. [1] Having grown up in The States, we are all taught to believe ours is a classless system solely driven by merit and not be birth. Yeah right. We are trained to say ‘middle class’ if anyone should ask, but no one really believes this tosh. It seems we can’t get beyond human nature of putting people into levels and who is above or apart from us, always doing an ‘us’ vs. ‘them’ and who is NQOCD. [2] Here in The States the divisions are not as obvious; one inquires or is more likely told by others where they fit in the food chain. I often read about the powerful elite, the top 1% but never see them. They seem to be hiding away in guarded private clubs and in off-coast resorts so they won’t be noticed or have see the 98%. They communicate with the lower types through social media, at a safe distance lest they are lynched.

Once in awhile I get a new patient with a ‘do you know who I am? I’m very important’ introduction, based on something they will tell me. Sometimes this is based on family (if they are from the South) or name (if they are from the East) or by school (if they are ‘Ivy League’) but mostly it is about money or occupation. Psychotherapy involves stripping away The Persona to get to the Self, which is as welcome as a dead rat in these types, as they ARE their Persona and without they are merely mortal and often not very powerful or interesting. But I digress.

Having been trained in science I like to put things into proper taxonomy, and this includes myself. What ‘class’ do I belong to? It is a tangle. I grew up in an elite suburb full-up with white folks descended from Western Europeans. I don’t live there any more but I remain a white dude with an English name. Once upon a time being a doctor was prestigious but not so nowadays. Thems in the occupation have been demoted to mere minions of HMOs. Among doctors, psychiatrists are considered ‘low class’ down there with GPs and internists. [3]

Being light in the loafers drags any white/doctor privilege I may have had down and out to ‘over there’ class status with the other dregs of humanity ho ho ho. On the other hand the hierarchy of homosexuals often rivals The Hapsburgs. There are two main houses: there are the elite elder queens and there are the pretty boy party 20s types – neither group wants me so even among misfits I’m a misfit. [4]

As I don’t fit in with any group this makes me “in a class by myself” ho ho ho again.

I will end on the egalitarian joke when you check into a Palm Springs resort all class metrics are stripped away (pun intended) and you get down to what really separates men into class.

[1] I hope some Spo-fans across the pond will educate me if there are any remnants of this charming institution still going on in the 21st century. Apart from the Royals, the British class system surely isn’t active any more, is it?

[2] Not quite our class darling.

[3] Once in a while I get a patient like an ENT doctor. Oh the pain. Doctors in higher echelons like cardiologist and surgeons – if they see shrinks at all – only go to ‘the best’ shrinks at prestigious University settings, never to NQOCD types like Urs Truly. It’s a relief really.

[4] Apologies to the inhabits of The isle of misfit toys.

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