But and it is a big BUT I do make an immediate assumption on the mother that calls out the name of her child in public. I can't help it. I'm sure I'm not the only one and its not very right on to admit that I name judge. Yes I will judge you purely on what you have chosen to call your child. How warped is that?!
Take the other day for instance. I am at the check out in Sainsbury's, my two are sitting waiting at the end of the check out and buddy (that's not his real name before you say "you can bloody well talk!") is in the pushchair. The woman behind me calls out "Penelope, "Penelope please come here my darling". Penelope is not a day over three years old. My first thought asides from thinking I was in Waitrose was "oh for goodness sake not another poncy middle class name!"
There all the rage aren't they? You know the type of name I'm talking about - names like Monty, Arabella, Prudence etc. I've just thought of that one - it will probably top the charts some time soon. When I was pregnant with our third I said what about "Constance?" I like Connie Booth who plays Peggy in Fawlty Towers and was married to John Cleese. My husband just looked at me. I then imagined shouting out "Constance" in the supermarket and I quickly put it in the poncy list together with Austin.
In the same week that Penelope was shopping in Sainsbury's my friend and I were in the park when a man came up - oh no that's Charley and I were in the park! The mother was calling out (they don't shout like a fishwife like me) "Victoria", "Alexander". We both chuckled that there's no way their names would ever get shorten to Vicky or Alex anytime soon. So what's it all about?
Are the poncey names any worse than the aspiring to be a celeb names i.e Destiny, Chanel and the like? No not really. They're all trying to make a statement. The statement is about aspiring to be something. What that something is I suspect is to do with material aspirations. Most middles as they're called now started out life in working class territory (except my husband who's family aspired to live in a council house - he jokes!). I would be deemed as middle class I'm sure. We live in a nice spacious house, I am a stay at home mum and my husband is self-employed. But I'm not. I hail from a working class background and I'm not looking to be poncey and pretentious which I find a lot of middles are.
The irony is that the Uppers have far less poncy names and are a lot less pretentious in general. They usually have the same 4 or 5 names that frequently appear down the family tree - John, Edward, Harry, George and William.
My sisters are into horse riding and they say that you can always tell the new money, the show boaters who want to let you know they've spent thousands on a horsebox but the seriously wealthy turn up in old battered boxes. The point being is that even if you've made it you can tell someones class a mile off. The seriously wealthy probably have more in common with the working classes than they do with the middles. Wouldn't it be lovely if there were no class divide but that's never going to happen is it.
Or maybe I've got it all wrong and by giving your child a poncy name as I would call it - the parents would call it a classic name - it means the child will live up to the aspirations of their parents and will do even better than them. After all how did the uppers become uppers in the first place?
Now I must go and put Tarquin to bed......