Pat (Cletch) Williams, Creative Commons
“Some of your posts are kind of Boo-zhee,” she said as we were heading out to run some errands.
Boo-zhee? You mean bourgeois?
Well, by definition I AM bourgeois: middle class, conservative, conventional.
When we got home I looked the word up to make sure it means what I think it means. It does.
Then, scrolling down the google entries, I spotted the Urban Dictionary definition:
Bourgeois: Adj. When pronounced “BOO-zhee” (soft-j sound like in French) refers to a quality of (sometimes mildly) snobby-without-realizing-it, upper-middle-class sensibilities. Usually associated with upper-middle-income white people, but not necessarily. Can involve driving the right car, getting the right (healthy or gourmet) foods, having a professional/white-collar job, always having “nice” things, $4 lattes at Starbucks or elsewhere because you think you’re above Starbucks, having a well-diversified stock portfolio and other retirement savings, having a special set of dishes and everything else just for Christmas, status-symbol kids or pets, carbon offsets, thinking $15 wine is cheap, listening to NPR, and gentrifying neighborhoods. Even though not all of these things may be bad and some of them could be done by anybody (like healthy food or looking down on Starbucks), it’s a certain combination and a certain attitude that goes along with it that you know when you see. As with many type-of-people-describing things, there can be some overlap with other things, yuppy stuff and hipster stuff especially (although hipsters tend to be associated with 20-somethings, and yuppies tend to be younger-middle-age; bourgeois has more of an association with younger-middle-age-thru-older-middle-age); can be distinguished from super-rich stuff; some people might do bourgeois things occasionally or do things in a bourgeois way, but some people are just bourgeois and usually don’t realize it.
Well, dear Reader, I can assure you that I am definitely NOT upper-middle-class.
Yes, I do eat healthy food and yes, I OCCASSIONALLY buy a $3.89 latte at Starbucks – but usually elsewhere – because, yes, I AM above Starbucks. And okay, the hub does have some investments and a well-diversified stock portfolio and yes, we DO make an annual pilgrimage to the wineries to stock up. BUT most of it is under $15/bottle. And I DO NOT have special Christmas dishes. Both of my dogs are rescues – not designer, I don’t drive the right car and I don’t even know what carbon offsets are. There is no gentrification in my neighborhood and I don’t listen to NPR.
Really, the only Boo-zhee thing about me is my olive oil and vinegar.
BUT, if I sometimes sound mildly snobby-without-realizing-it, as my daughter averred, then I apologize.
And to my daughter I say shutty. ‘Cuz I gotta’ be me.
I mean, it’s not like I’m Gwyneth Paltrow or anything.