So, very recently, we've moved to a pretty middle class area - the kind where people can and do get their organic veg delivered by the local farm....the kind where our humble car is dwarfed by 4x4s as we stop on the cobbled streets to give way to other cars; the kind where I have actually overheard a mother calling out for 'Tarquin' - seriously. It's very 'rah', as Mr O and I call it...and we like it...and we appear to fit in with our gilets and wellies. Its our sort of place...what can I say, we like cobbles...BUT in terms of material things, we we are yet to buy a big forever home with a drive-way for multiple cars, large garden with an oak and apple tree. I'm talking white picket fence stuff here and continual home modifications...already I'm aspiring to buy myself an AGA cooker (I did mean to say my AGA!).
Little Miss O is also fully immersed in the culture here... her accent has even changed. If you know how charming the Mancunian accent can be on a child, you'll know how emotional it is for me!
Even though we fit in fine here, our lives (you know, mine and the Jones') are just not comparable. It's a pointless exercise to try to 'keep up' because not only were the starting blocks so far apart but the goal post is different and is shifting!
The grass is greenest where you water it and we concentrate on playing our own game and if anything, starting our family unexpectedly has taught us just how to do that - because we had to.
No use reading up the fine details of making linguine from scratch when you have a cupboard full of potatoes, right?! We made a conscious effort to pal up with families who also had a cupboard full of potatoes...families more like our own...you know who you are guys! For this, we had to go outside of our 'original' friendship group... I have to say that the blogging community was great for this...
I think for Mr O and I, becoming parents earlier than planned has worked out well...we didn't have a direct comparator... no 'competition' we just did and continue to do us. I've seen lots of 30 somethings blush as they justify why they haven't chosen to buy a £800 bugaboo?! I mean really?!! It's sooooo not about fitting in, we're not 16 anymore and more to the point its YOU'RE buggy - who cares?! We're all different - its just that some people like to pretend that they are the same as their friends. Oh the irony!
For us, nowadays, its a case of 'do these people fit in with us?; do they get where we're coming from?; can they share our visions for the future? Can we learn from them and can they enrich our lives - and vice versa?
Keeping up with the Jones' didn't work then and it doesn't work now - our surname isn't Jones after all!