Sometimes I wonder why I am who I am now. No, I don’t wish that I were born different. It’s just that through time I have changed. As has my family. We’ve gone down a bit. For a spooner, that’s intolerable. After all, the vilest disgrace we can get is getting our names dirtied. And what worse way for that to happen than by falling down, financially speaking? We don’t have servants anymore, as I mentioned before. If that’s not disgrace, intolerable or not, I don’t know what is.
All this we were taught, by the way. No, our teachers didn’t conduct classes on ‘spoonerism’, but any form of abuse we put on our not-so-affluent ‘friends’ (note the asterisks, please) was wilfully ignored by them. They sanctioned it. By silence. They sanctioned other things as well. We were taught not to shake hands, for instance, unless the guy offering to shake ours was ‘worthy’ enough in our estimation. That’s class, we were taught. We believed it. Still do. That’s why we laugh whenever kids from down under offer to shake everyone’s hands. They think it’s polite. What rot!
See, it’s not just about who we are. It’s what we do. That counts. Big time. You don’t see us going on buses. You don’t see us taking trains. You see us wake up late (because we live right next to those schools every kid in the country dies to get into). You see us take our very own cars (reserved for us by our fathers, bless them). You see us in the backseat. We aren’t driven by our mothers. There are people who come and drive. We are dropped off at whatever school we go to and taken back at whatever time it’s over. Simple as that.
And we love it. We love to abuse our drivers. We love to throw off our anger at them. We love to compare where we are schooled with where their kids go to, knowing how superior we are and being happy therefore. We make no bones about it. Nor do we apologise for it. That’s just the way we were born. And bred. We can’t help it.
There’s more I can write. I’ll leave those for later.
For now, here’s what’s important. When you’re a spooner, you remain a spooner. You may be anywhere in the world. You may do whatever you want. You may even fall down in life. Once a spooner, however, always a spooner. We don’t turn. Not that easily. If we see our drivers’ kids or their equals get into our schools and clubs, we take umbrage at it.
If we see our betters there, we salivate and try to be their equals. Yes, we’re kids. No, we shouldn’t do all these. But that’s what we’ve been instructed.
I’ve fallen too. But I remain a spooner. At heart. I may not have servants to serve me at my beck and call or their kids to tease and in other ways embarrass. I may be in a school which teaches this ridiculous thing called ‘equality’. Heck, I may even not have my own driver to pout at and put to shame every time he tries to befriend me.
These are trivialities, though. Whether we like it or not, we have a reputation to keep. This reputation is what sustains us. It’s what empowers. What motivates. Sure, we may not be able to stand our inferiors having better brains than us and scoring better marks at tests. Sure, we may resent our neighbours for having come from beyond ‘spooner-land’ (the Big City) and settled down with their horrible, horrible kids who can’t put two words together. Sure, for putting up with all this I ought to be given an award or a token of appreciation by my fellow spooners.
In the end though, it’s the little things that matter. Like who I am at heart. A silver spooner.
Let me make this clear, hence. This spooner’s not for turning.
(Confessions of a Silver Spooner by Uditha Devapriya was published in Free on June 28)