Monday, August 24, 2009

Ruthi The Snob?

Can you imagine my shock and consternation when I realised that she was talking about me?? She was talking about me!! I was the snob! I'm the snob in the story... I nearly choked on my mango seed. My eyes must have been as huge as june plums... I was so shocked.

"You mean you think I'm a little rich snob??" I asked.

She nodded. "Yes. You talk like you don't understand what hard life feel like."

I was taken aback. She was saying this about me - me! Me- who grew up for the first five or so years of my life in a board house in a slum. Me? The little country girl with the unemployed parents?? Me? A snob?? Heaven forbid!

I stood there thinking about all of this. Then I looked at her. I had to ask again. "So you think I'm a snob?"

She nodded vigourously. Yes.

I sighed and nodded in resignation. "Then I guess I am a snob." And I left.

And I'm sure you're wondering why I just accepted it like that. Well, to tell you the truth. For someone who's come from dirt-poor days to a relatively clean and smooth life... I guess maybe I AM a snob. I MUST be a snob, because since I've come back home, I've gotten nothing but the cold shoulder, the don't-think-you're-better-than-me scoffs, and my personal favourite, the laughter for no reason just to let me know that they notice me but they find me laughable... not nice. Not nice at all.

Just recently I was sitting in a bus and the lady behind me burst out in laughter, then gave out loudly: "Not because dem go college!! Dem nuh better than me!!" And the whole bus looked at me. And, surprisingly enough, I felt ashamed. Like I'd done something wrong. Ashamed of what though? Ashamed of the disconnect and borderline rejection I've felt since I've been here. Not from my family. I mean, things are different there too,but I still get the feeling that at least they love me. In their own irritating and annoying ways. But the rest?? Did I do something wrong?? Maybe I was away for too long. Or... maybe I'm behaving like a snob. Or else why would people suddenly decide to treat me this way?

It's not fair. I want to be petty and behave like an immature little girl. Sometimes I honestly want to cry. But I always remember that there's another day and another sun and that, most importantly, I haven't done anything wrong!! All I did was go to university and live in Kingston for 4 years. And if that makes me a snob... then so be it.


Will said...

i feel your plight ruthi... and i truly empathise... remember a few posts back when you wrote about giving back and helping the community you came from?

not so easy when you realise that they envy you... and that's exactly where this is coming from...


Wuthering said...

wow, sweetie sorry people are mad about your gifts. and yes, as Will said its going to be very difficult to try and advocate for people that will see your intentions as suspect.

I wish you all the best :)

Jdid said...

been there.

The fact is you do change ever so slightly when you go away even if you dont notice it.

However I think people who knew you before you went away look at you more critical looking for those changes and seeing a she think she better than we in every movement that they dont relate to. or a look at her with her big town ways or foreign ways in my case. They see more than what is there and they think well f I was in her situation and I had left for so long I'd come back and I'd be a snob or I'd look down on the others who were always here. And so they impose their beliefs and standards on you and find you guilty of being different and see condescension in every step when really there is none just someone happy to be back where he/she should feel comfortable.

Will is correct it is envy.

And take this from me, once you leave you can never go back. Things change without you and its difficult to fit back into the slot like you fit prior to leaving.

It sucks!

Ruthibelle said...

Oh gosh, Jdid... you know EXACTLY what I'm talking about!

Thanks Will,Luce!

Abeni said...

Nothing else to add. Jdid summed it up beautifully so all you can do is continue being true to you.

Jamaipanese said...

just be you, no matter how you are people will find something to be upset about or hate you for.

Its Just Me - Daring to Dream said...

I am soooo sooo sorry you are being made to feel like that. I can tell you that you are not the only one who goes through something like this. When people from a small or tight-knit community go away and return, that is the favored response. Because to acknowledge your accomplishments of trying to better yourself, then they would also have to acknowledge that you have done something that they didnt do and well...that would hurt their feelings of not measuring up. So they project it onto people like you to make themselves feel better. It is NOT fair. But unfortunately, life never is. However, you hold your head up HIGH. You remind yourself of how far you gave taken yourself based on your own desires and passion. Make a plan for the next steps of your life and dont look back. Whether you stay there or move away (most move away and stay away because of this very type of treatment), make a plan and stick to it. Dont let opinion of others sway you. Most times, its just plain old jealousy. And go ahead and have that cry. Get it out, then move forward. Life is too short to worry about what other people think :)

(hugs to you)

Ruthibelle said...

thanks so much Abeni, Jamaipanese... especially IJM... advice well taken.

Scratchie said...

I'll just say ditto. You also should remember that although we are creatures of habit we are also survivors and so we adapt. You had to adapt to city living and that in itself changed you ever so slightly. I think those from where you came look even harder for the change in you than they really need to.

Anonymous said...

Painstakingly, I relate. Extra sucky to be called that by someone as intimately connected to me as a boyfriend...but a resounding "I agree." To thine own self be true.

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