…that arises in the kind of mind which hangs lace curtains in their windows so that no-one can see in from the outside. From the inside, the lace curtains can be twitched aside..of course.
It’s typically found among the bourgeoisie – the class I was brought up in and from which I have spent the last decade trying to purge myself.
There’s a certain running-around anxiety involved in the central thought form: “What Will They Think?” .
I freely admit to having suffered from this clutching dread myself for many, many years.
I do understand the roots of it – the need for social cohesion, the fitting-in to the tribe so as not to be expelled as a dangerous freak.
But really, should it obtain today? Should our hearts and minds be so set upon putting up a good front, whatever the cost?
Especially when you know Who you are. And lace curtains are nowhere involved.
I have just witnessed a pretty hilarious form of this syndrome/morality here at my place of work.
On Tuesday evening we were told that Important Visitors were coming, so that we had to ensure our desks were spic and span (that’s mine at the top of the post- but it always looks like this) .
A fever of activity – polishing, hoovering, taking down of notices – ensued around the office for the next couple of hours. Soon we were gleaming – and that’s fairly unusual for the casually happy office environment I work in.
And we were also extremely uptight, like a schoolgirl with rigidly plaited hair, waiting against the wall at the Saturday night dance.
The neatest cherry on the top of this phoniness was an order not to “congregate on the smokers’ balcony.”
I went home and couldn’t stop laughing for most of the night. I even woke up chuckling.
People – you are so funny.