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The Periodic Table of the Middle Class
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    « Look above the awning: it’s time to learn the name of “the shop” | Main | It’s all in the name: Why the middle classes love a workshop but hate a kids club »
    Wednesday
    Jan162013

    The awkwardness of choosing what to watch on television on visits to friends houses 

    For many of the British middle classes, January is a time of weekend visits to friend's houses – usually the result of having tried to organise something over Christmas, and then saying “let’s do something in the New Year” (while secretly hoping that in reality you’ll both forget).

    This is fine so long as you have a good host, or you know the people very well, but I’ve just come back from a visit to people I don’t know all that well, and at times it was awful. Most awful were the evenings when we sat around supposedly “just chilling” and watching TV, mainly because our hosts clearly had programmes they wanted to watch, but felt obliged to ask my boyfriend and I what we wanted.

    If I suggested something that they obviously didn’t like, I felt like I was imposing my choice on them (“fine, no, we’ve never watched Celebrity Big Brother, it’ll be interesting!”). If I let them choose, but then talked too much over footage of African wildebeest, they replied in tense monosyllables. If they chose and I then mistakenly revealed I’d seen the programme before, they went into a flurry of apologies and insisted on changing the channel and beginning the tortuous process yet again.

    I sometimes wonder if the middle classes are still not quite comfortable with the television; whatever, it’s all quite enough to make me long for proper middle class evening entertainments such as Scrabble or Bridge. 

    Reader Comments (1)

    Thought that was what recording tv was for. Unbearable watching with other people. Selfconcious making ...

    January 16, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterAnne Wareham

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