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<p>Do you ever feel like people treat you differently because of your perceived class?  Or make assumptions on your education level based on your appearance?  Judge you on the clothes you wear, whether or not you wear make-up, or do your hair all spiffy-like?</p>
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<p>This happens to me all the time, at least I think it does.  They think that I can't pose a problem for them, so they deny me basic service or things that are ours by right.  It pisses me off so much!  It just seems like I have to fight for every single teeny tiny little thing.  That we are avoided and denied because of our class.</p>
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<p>Like, when I'm shopping sales people actively run away from me.  Literally.  They just don't want to help me at all.  DD's school speech therapist has treated me in a way that I know she wouldn't have if I looked like I had an education and could fight for our educational rights.  If I were a professional mother, I feel like I'd be treated differently.  Then, a sales associate at a bookstore spoke to me like I was an idiot, and usually just told my children what to do, rather than speaking to me.  I doubt she would have done that if I looked like someone "important." Shopping for shoes in the mall, a group of five sales associates gathered around the cash register actually ran in all directions trying to avoid me as I approached them to get shoes from the back.  Landlords think they can withhold our security deposits and that we don't know the law or our rights.</p>
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<p>Yes, I wear clothes that are older than my children, wear no make-up, and my hair looks like whatever it looks like after drying :)  But I am just so sick of all this, and just wish that people would treat people like people.  I'm actually am quite depressed over this, so thanks for reading my rant!</p>
 

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<p>i don't really notice this and i am similar to you, no spiffy hair, no make up, no fancy clothes (mostly workout clothes b/c i come and go a lot)</p>
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<p>it probably happens, maybe i am just kind of oblivious? (we live in a "rich" city/area too). <img alt="redface.gif" src="http://files.mothering.com/images/smilies/redface.gif"></p>
 

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<p><span><img alt="clap.gif" src="http://files.mothering.com/images/smilies/clap.gif"></span></p>
<p><span>Yeah I'm with you.  I notice this all of the time, and it was huge when I was a kid too, because my mother is one who could give a crap about clothes or makeup.</span></p>
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<p><span>I tend to wear jeans and skirts, no makeup and my hair does whatever it wants.  I live in an area with lots of rich people, and I often feel like I am invisible because people will do things like walk right in front of me and stop</span>, stand in doorways in such a way that I cannot get by, and cut in front of me in line.  This last just happened to me yesterday at the Apple Store...twice!  And in both cases the people just pretended I was not there...no eye contact etc.</p>
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<p>I have never had a good experience at Macy's but the one here in San Jose is truly awful.  The sales people are always super snarky to me, like I am wasting their time.  I think in this case it really is because I do not look as if I have lots of money (hah!  I don't) so they figure they are not going to get much out of me.  I did a return there a few months ago and I actually had to argue with the saleslady to get her to take the item.  She tried to send me to a different department...but couldn't/wouldn't tell me which one (this after she was the third person I had spoken to...all others did the same thing). Kid was crying and she had shrugged and turned her back to me...so rude.  I went off on her; It worked but it sucked that is what it took.</p>
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<p>Now that I think about it this has happened with much greater frequency since I became a mother.  I really think that our society holds some very disparaging assumptions about mothers.  Add this to the value society places on being young, nubile and sexy as a source of power and you have a very ugly equation.  The good news is that even though I am old, tired and toting a very distracting child, I am also crabbier so people better watch out! </p>
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<p>Hmm, I see both sides of this.  On one hand, it's obviously wrong for people to make such judgments based on appearance.  On the other hand, I think it's very natural for people to make judgments before they get to know someone.  So while I understand your frustration, I also think there's something basic about it that most humans (if not mammals - other animals "preen" themselves to attract attention) are guilty of.</p>
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<p>I have always known that I get better service and attention when I am dressed stylishly and have makeup on.  It's very rare for me to leave the house without "looking good" but that's because that's how I feel most comfortable.  I've been into clothes and makeup since I was a kid.  My sister for years insisted that she shouldn't have to dress up or wear makeup to be treated well, and my response was always, "Well, no you shouldn't, but you know that's how it is, so make whatever choice you're comfortable with."  Recently she did a whole professional makeover (she was back in the job market and wanted a self esteem boost) and she now gives a lot more attention to how she dresses and her hair and the like, and yes, she has remarked how differently people treat her. </p>
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<p>I live in a very wealthy area, and the women around here always look fantastic, so even my "looking good" is nothing compared to them.  It's obvious that my clothes aren't nearly as expensive as theirs.  In more upscale stores I also get ignored, but I'm used to it, and if I know that I'm going out for a day of shopping, I'll glam it up a bit.</p>
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<p>BTW, I'm looking at your profile picture, and if that's what you look like on a daily basis, I think you look great, and it wouldn't occur to me to think you are uneducated or otherwise.</p>
 

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<br><br><div class="quote-container"><span>Quote:</span>
<div class="quote-block">Originally Posted by <strong>oceanbaby</strong> <a href="/community/forum/thread/1279097/classism#post_16042216"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/community/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style="border-right:0px solid;border-top:0px solid;border-left:0px solid;border-bottom:0px solid;"></a><br><br><p>BTW, I'm looking at your profile picture, and if that's what you look like on a daily basis, I think you look great, and it wouldn't occur to me to think you are uneducated or otherwise.</p>
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my thoughts exactly. you look fabulous.</p>
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<p>you know with myself i feel it might be personality as opposed to just classism. like pp i am completely oblivious to this too. but i notice it esp. with people i dont get along. dd's teacher is one of the best, yet we just dont get along. our body language just does not gel.</p>
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<p>i hate how people assume lack of college degree = uneducated. the most educated and well read person that i know got a GED and the least educated a BA. i still wonder how he even got the BA. guess good at</p>
 

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<p>DH and I used to be caretakers for a multi-million dollar estate. We got to live on the grounds (it was the best job ever) for free! When we started we were completely blown away by how millionaires are treated. The woman who lived there--our boss--was a widow and from tons of old money. She was also surprisingly really down to earth and cool and we became close friends. One day dh was running errands for her in her Mercedes and was pulled over for speeding. The cop was a jerk to him until dh pulled out the registration. The cop looked at the address and saw who owned the car and totally changed his tune. He said "Oh! You must work for ___? Tell her I said hello! Remember to drive carefully in this neighborhood. Sorry to bother you!"</p>
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<p>When we first moved in there we needed a throw rug for the bedroom and we went to the nearest mall, which is a totally fancy-schmancy place. We went to Anthropologie and found a nice rug on clearance. Somehow when we were checking out it came up in conversation that we just moved into this particular neighborhood. The cashier said "You must need all kinds of new furnishings! If you want, we can set up an appointment for you after hours and you can have the whole store to yourselves to shop. We'll have someone to help you and we'll deliver anything you want for free."</p>
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<p>There is a HUGE difference in how the super-rich are treated. It's kind of disgusting, really. (Although I admit to enjoying that level of service while I was on the fringes of it!) I haven't experienced the other end of the spectrum as an adult (although I'm sure my parents did when I was little), though. Actually, now that we are in our own house, I think when people see it they assume we have more money than we do. We have a beautiful house, but we did most of the work ourselves, so we only spent a small fraction of the amount of money its worth.</p>
 

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<p>I've noticed it on occasion - although I often worry it is due to my weight. But that's probably my own insecurities more than anything else.</p>
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<p>When we lived in Costa Rica however it was VERY obvious. We lived in a really expensive, elite neighbourhood (we couldn't afford it but it was part of the job package) - it got to be that I was embarassed to say where we lived due to people's reactions.</p>
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<p>I got into a fender bender one day (was rearended) & the guy did everything he could to try to get money out of me 'cause he assumed I had money to burn.</p>
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<p>It was often very uncomfortable for us, especially as the assumption we had money was wrong.</p>
 

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<p>I was at the fair and some rep from a technical school said to me, "Have you ever thought about going to college?"   I said, "I have a degree." </p>
<p>Why the automatic assumption that I don't have a degree?  Why not just ask the much more neutral question, "Have you gone to college?"    It must be how I look. </p>
 

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<p>I am so sorry you get mistreated.  Things should not be like that :(  </p>
<p>I do not wear make up often and am usually found in comfortable clothes with my hair in a pony tail.  People consistently think I am a kid in high school or in college.  I have a masters degree and have been out of college for years.  I don't find myself being harassed, ignored, or hassled though.  Just this week I have had two people ask me when school gets out for winter break.   </p>
<p>People do judge on first appearances, it is just how it is.  Not the best way but oftentimes it is the fastest way for people to gather what they feel they need to assess people.  Some people use those things to keep safe.  The last time I got judged that I was totally aware of was my last visit to an airport and some lady who had been sitting in the area went to the restroom and left me with her brand new ipad.  There were lots of people in the area, I don't know why I was picked.  I even noticed the pad in her bag as it was sticking out and she saw me see it and said, oh, you can check that out if you want, it is really cool.  I didn't even know this person.  I wouldn't trust a stranger like that but apparently this person had no issues with that.  Of course I would never ever steal and am a very trustworthy person but she didn't know that!  And I guess I trusted her too as you are not suppose to take bags from others in the airport as it is a bad thing.  In the end no harm done on either side.  </p>
 

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<p>I notice it sometimes.</p>
<p> </p>
<p>One of my absolute favorite things to do is walk into our bank in my thrift store clothes, with my three little boys.  They are a "wealth management" bank, and sold a lot of their clientele to another bank, but kept the wealthy ones.  Well, we're income-poor but had a bunch of money in savings at the time they did this, so they kept us, thinking we were in the "rich" category. </p>
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<p><span>So, we get some confused looks when we walk in there.  <span><img alt="biglaugh.gif" src="http://files.mothering.com/images/smilies/biglaugh.gif" style="width:29px;height:27px;"></span></span></p>
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<p><span>However, once they realize I didn't walk in accidentally, they always treat me with courtesy and professionalism. </span></p>
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<p><span>There are the occasional snotty people around, but not everyone.  We live in an area where the vast majority of people are working class, and there isn't the "educated elite" nor a really huge population of super-rich.  Our town has a neighborhood where all the doctors live, lol, and my parents live there, but even that is very laid back. The houses are a little bigger and farther apart, and the cars parked on the street are newer, but it's not the sharp divide you'd see elsewhere.  Many of the other people who live in this neighborhood are elderly and retired, and were middle-class folks who worked and saved for many years to buy their houses. </span></p>
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<p><span>I think if you are experiencing this *everywhere*, in a nonstop way, there are two possibilities:<br>
1. You live in an area that has a sharp class divide and that's just crappy.</span></p>
<p><span>or</span></p>
<p><span>2. You may be extra sensitive and percieving things as class-based when not all of them are.  All of us have biases, and sometimes they cause us to mispercieve the behavior and attitudes of others.  It's worth giving thought to, even if it's not the case with you. </span></p>
 

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<p>I look very different with make up and dressed in *adult* clothes.  And I get treated very differently.  P!$$es me off to no end.</p>
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<p>I also look much younger than I am - mostly because I don't wear makeup or anything on a regular basis.  So people treat me like I'm young and have no money and therefor must be beneath them.  Lovely.</p>
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<p>ETA: I do think it also has to do with attitude in addition to appearance.  Recently I had to go to a friend's place and for some reason I wasn't on the list to get into the building.  I wasn't expecting anyone home so I simply told the doorman that he needed to give me a key.  He chuckled and said something like, I should just give it to you even though I have no idea who you are?  I'm like, yes actually that's exactly what I was expecting.  He ended up giving me the key.</p>
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<p>Here at home I've seen a couple people breeze through the gate even if I've forgotten to call them in and others who cannot get past the guard to save their life.   One friend, J - oh man. He's arrived here with a key I've given him and still barely managed to get in.  I think he projects an "I don't belong/I'm not worthy" vibe and others pick up on that. </p>
<p><br><span>Quote:</span></p>
<div class="quote-container">
<div class="quote-block">Originally Posted by <strong>lifeguard</strong> <a href="/community/forum/thread/1279097/classism#post_16042889"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/community/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style="border-right:0px solid;border-top:0px solid;border-left:0px solid;border-bottom:0px solid;"></a><br><br><p>....it got to be that I was embarassed to say where we lived due to people's reactions....</p>
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<p>I do the same thing.  More because I don't want anyone to think I'm a total snob because of where I live. </p>
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<p>Of course, if someone else is being a total snob I will tell them.  This just happened to me at the dog park a couple of weeks ago.  This woman was being really rude and snobby - asking everyone where they lived and such.  I get that as an opening but once I say I live in X town, let it go!  Nope, she kept after me for specifics.  Finally I told her.  She shut up after that.  ;-)<br><br>
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<div class="quote-container"><span>Quote:</span>
<div class="quote-block">Originally Posted by <strong>ecoteat</strong> <a href="/community/forum/thread/1279097/classism#post_16042546"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/community/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style="border-right:0px solid;border-top:0px solid;border-left:0px solid;border-bottom:0px solid;"></a><br><br><p>DH and I used to be caretakers for a multi-million dollar estate. We got to live on the grounds (it was the best job ever) for free! When we started we were completely blown away by how millionaires are treated. The woman who lived there--our boss--was a widow and from tons of old money. She was also surprisingly really down to earth and cool and we became close friends. One day dh was running errands for her in her Mercedes and was pulled over for speeding. The cop was a jerk to him until dh pulled out the registration. The cop looked at the address and saw who owned the car and totally changed his tune. He said "Oh! You must work for ___? Tell her I said hello! Remember to drive carefully in this neighborhood. Sorry to bother you!"</p>
<p> </p>
<p>When we first moved in there we needed a throw rug for the bedroom and we went to the nearest mall, which is a totally fancy-schmancy place. We went to Anthropologie and found a nice rug on clearance. Somehow when we were checking out it came up in conversation that we just moved into this particular neighborhood. The cashier said "You must need all kinds of new furnishings! If you want, we can set up an appointment for you after hours and you can have the whole store to yourselves to shop. We'll have someone to help you and we'll deliver anything you want for free."</p>
<p> </p>
<p>There is a HUGE difference in how the super-rich are treated. It's kind of disgusting, really. (Although I admit to enjoying that level of service while I was on the fringes of it!) I haven't experienced the other end of the spectrum as an adult (although I'm sure my parents did when I was little), though. Actually, now that we are in our own house, I think when people see it they assume we have more money than we do. We have a beautiful house, but we did most of the work ourselves, so we only spent a small fraction of the amount of money its worth.</p>
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<p>Uh-huh...you also find that most trades and all those "oh we can do...." people will majory upcharge you based on where you live.  Very annoying.<br><br>
 </p>
 

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<p>We recently moved from a rundown (understatement) home in a rundown neighborhood to a gorgeous home on a gorgeous street.  Let me tell you-- do people treat me differently.  They also will overlook things that raised eyebrows before.  When we lived in the ramshackle house and I said we homeschooled, people looked shocked and concerned.  Now when I say we homeschool, they say, wow, that's so great!  People are also constantly asking us for work and offering us their services since we moved.  At the old house we had people leave canned food donations and clothing on our doorstep. </p>
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<p>Worst of all is that my own mother is treating me better since moving into this house.  I was the same exact person before mom!</p>
 

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<p>I grew up in a very poor area next to a pretty wealthy one. There was no money growing up. I literally patched my shoes with decks of playing cards and tape, and that doesn't go far in a Canadian winter. Anyhow, I would often go to the local park with my dog and I was treated very differently. They knew from my clothes, the fact I didn't live in their area, my mannerisms. Likewise with high school, which I went to out of my area. Silly thing is, those kids weren't that much better off than I was, but nevertheless. So I'm a little sensitive to classism. I have found recently though that a lot of truly wealthy people I've met were really down to Earth where it was the folks who were trying to get wealthy or in a certain class are the ones who make the quick judgments. </p>
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<p>I remember being at a birthday party for one of DS1 classmates. My "uniform" is a dressed up SAHM style. Nice jeans, a blouse, nice shoes. Anyone, a few parents got together and were talking about where they lived, what they did for a living and basically sizing each other up. I didn't live in their area (though mine is equally nice, just not well known and trendy) and being a SAHM, I was written off. The funny thing is, we do have money, probably way more than them. When they met DH who is a muckety muck in his industry, which several of them were in, the attitude changed immediately. It was so bizarre. Anyhow, we went back to having our conversation and good times with the parents they wouldn't give the time of day to (not surprisingly they were newer Canadian parents).</p>
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<p>I think part of it might be how you carry yourself too. When I'm feeling crummy, I don't walk confidently, I don't go into stores with the attitude that I belong there. When I'm feeling good, I'm looking people directly in the eye, I'm forward, I'm assertive and that tends to make people snap up and pay attention. Think of your accomplishments and things you are proud of to help you. Anyhow, just something that helps me sometimes. FWIW. But it does truly suck when you're at the receiving end of snobbery, I'm sorry you have to go through it. :(</p>
 

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<p>I have trouble because I look young.  Like, really young.  Like, people ask me where I go to high school young.  And then they find out that I have kids, and are either rude or totally patronizing.  Because everyone knows that a teen mom can't be a good mom, right? (insert eyeroll smiley, which I couldn't find on the list of smilies but maybe I just missed it.)  Even if I were anywhere near a teen mom... I missed that boat by a decade!  Sometimes people just assume that I'm the nanny.</p>
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<p>I try to have a good sense of humor about it, and take it as a life lesson about not judging other people by their appearances.  But sometimes it does get to me, I'll admit.</p>
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<p>I am in something of a long running situation with a local librarian, who thinks that I'm an inept but well meaning teen mother and is always trying to give me information and resources and is very very sweet and kind and by the time I realized what was going on, I felt like it was too late to nip it in the bud.  And she obviously seems to feel that she's mentoring me or something, so I would feel guilty telling her that she's pretty off base.  So I'm just really polite and nod as she explains to me what a library catalog is for the tenth time.  And I haven't even told her about my Master's Degree in Library and Information Science!</p>
 

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<p>Been at the receiving end for both reasons.  Dismissed because of my jeans-and-sweater uniform, and sarcastically told "it must be nice" when someone found out DH's position (and therefore income) from where we lived when I was giving directions for a mom's group meeting.</p>
 

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<p>I get it. A LOT. Especially when I was putting myself through school waiting tables. I look a lot younger than I am and young is often assumed to mean stupid. Also, I was "just a waitress" so I must have no ambition and be too lazy or stupid to get a real job. I got talked to like I was an idiot on a daily basis. I had a college degree, but couldn't get a job with the economy the way it was so I did whatever it took to support my family. I hardly think that's indicative of laziness or stupidity. I still get it now that I'm working retail, but not as much, especially since I'm an assistant manager and in a position of authority.</p>
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<p>My biggest problem has always been people assuming that I must be stupid or wrong just because I'm young (or when I was military, female and lower-ranking). Young doesn't mean stupid or uneducated. I am SO sick of the smug smile and the "You'll see." I love proving them wrong, but I hate that I have to work twice as hard to prove myself.</p>
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<p>DH gets it more than I do. He's got long hair and often wears a biker jacket. We've had people trailing us in stores, servers ignore us because they think we'll be bad tippers (after waiting tables, if you treat me right I've been known to tip 50%!), and my mom is absolutely terrified of DH, even though he's been nothing but polite to her and treats me really well, simply because of the way he looks. It's really sad to see the way people talk to me/us change when I'm talking to them alone vs when DH happens to walk up. They get nervous and try to get rid of us quickly. It's really sad.</p>
 

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<br><br><div class="quote-container"><span>Quote:</span>
<div class="quote-block">Originally Posted by <strong>minkajane</strong> <a href="/community/forum/thread/1279097/classism#post_16043683"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/community/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style="border-bottom:0px solid;border-left:0px solid;border-top:0px solid;border-right:0px solid;"></a><br><br><p> </p>
<p>DH gets it more than I do. He's got long hair and often wears a biker jacket. We've had people trailing us in stores, servers ignore us because they think we'll be bad tippers (after waiting tables, if you treat me right I've been known to tip 50%!), and my mom is absolutely terrified of DH, even though he's been nothing but polite to her and treats me really well, simply because of the way he looks. It's really sad to see the way people talk to me/us change when I'm talking to them alone vs when DH happens to walk up. They get nervous and try to get rid of us quickly. It's really sad.</p>
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When dh and I were first dating he had really long hair, and when we went into nicer restaurants, we used to snicker to ourselves as we were led to the back area, because we knew it was the "long hair section."  One time we were renting an apartment, and he was running late.  The woman was very nice to me, all was going well and I was filling out paperwork, and then he arrived and she took one look at him and immediately changed her tune.  Once he cut his hair we never experienced those things again.</p>
 

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<p>Sure, I've had it happen.  Primarily when dealing with anyone representing an income based social program.  They automatically assume that if I qualify based on income, I must be unintelligent.  I get a kick out of proving them wrong.</p>
<p> </p>
<p>When dd3 was born the on call ped had to release her.  I was 25 and she was my third baby.  He kept talking about shaken baby syndrome, and said "You know, it's not usually the mother, it's usually the boyfriend."  I responded with "Well, my HUSBAND has never had an issue with our other two children, so I don't expect it with this one."  To which he replied, in a very shocked voice, "Oh!  They all have the same father?"  <span><img alt="angry.gif" src="http://files.mothering.com/images/smilies/angry.gif">  Geeze.  (that guy was a weirdo all around, though).</span></p>
<p> </p>
<p><span>OTOH, it's not all directed at low income people.  The stereotype of wealthy people is that they're all out of touch, cruel, greedy, stuck up, etc. </span></p>
 

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<br><br><div class="quote-container"><span>Quote:</span>
<div class="quote-block">Originally Posted by <strong>CherryBomb</strong> <a href="/community/forum/thread/1279097/classism#post_16044058"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/community/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style="border:0px solid;"></a><br><br><br><p> </p>
<p><span>OTOH, it's not all directed at low income people.  The stereotype of wealthy people is that they're all out of touch, cruel, greedy, stuck up, etc. </span></p>
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<br><br><p>Exactly.  People didn't think I was a snob until they found out my husband's rank months after spending time with me.  For some reason I went out of my way not to tell anyone.  <span><img alt="eyesroll.gif" src="http://files.mothering.com/images/smilies/eyesroll.gif"></span></p>
 
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