Riffing On The ‘Raff

Every now and then reality smacks me upside the head and shouts, “Hey, get a clue!”  This has been one of those weeks.

It started the other day when I was in my gym uniform of yoga pants and T-shirt with a fleece jacket over top.  I looked down and realized I was colour-coordinated from my shoes to my sunglasses:  Black sneakers with green and turquoise on them, black yoga pants, turquoise T-shirt, black jacket, and sunglasses with the same green as my sneakers.

It was a wholly unnatural state, and I felt like a poser because I’m normally neither yoga-panted nor colour-coordinated. (Granted, pairing black with black isn’t much of a fashion achievement, but it’s still far more presentable than I usually look.)

Other than a momentary twitch of surprise, I didn’t think much of it at the time.  But it came back to me later while I was talking with a real estate agent who had apparently mistaken me for a member of the DINK upper-crust.  (That’s an acronym for ‘Dual-Income, No Kids’; not the lowercase ‘dink’ as in ‘prick’.  But I suppose some might dispute the distinction.)

Anyhow, she was promoting a property that had stringent architectural controls and restrictive covenants.  She dropped the name of a big celebrity who lived down the road, and rhapsodized about how wonderful the restrictions were because they maintained the property values.  She didn’t actually go so far as to say “It keeps the riff-raff out”, but the subtext was clear.

While she nattered, I was thinking, “But what’s wrong with having a flagpole?  And if it’s a 20-acre property surrounded by trees, nobody will ever see the house anyway – so why should it matter what colour it is?  And what’s wrong with leaving a dirt bike parked beside the house?”

That’s when reality jumped up and bitch-slapped me.

Well, shit.  I’m the riff-raff that they want to keep out.

I’ve always thought that someday I’d grow up and develop taste and sophistication, but y’know what?  I’m over fifty.  If it was going to happen, it would have already.

The stark realization is staring me in the face:  I’m never going to wake up in the morning with a burning desire to wear expensive designer clothes.  I’m never going to want to live in a fancy gated community where the cream of society looks down on people who are gauche enough to park their recreational vehicles… wait for it… outside the garage where the neighbours might see them!  *gasp*

I’ll always be the woman who, when Hubby asks if we need to fuel up before driving out of town, replies, “Nope, I’ve got gas.  Oh, and my car’s fuelled up, too.”

So maybe it’s time to leave my matching gym ensemble in the drawer and embrace my inner riff-raff in my baggy faded work jeans with the contact cement on the knee and grease smear on the ass.  And maybe I should get some ratty T-shirts with obnoxious slogans like “Love me, love my dirt bike” or something equally shocking.

After all, if I’m gonna take my place among the riff-raff, I’d better do it right.  It’d suck if I wasn’t good enough for them.

* * *

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66 thoughts on “Riffing On The ‘Raff

  1. Lived in a 32 house condo community in Regina for almost two years. All most of us wanted was someone to mow the grass and clean off the snow but oh boy was it complicated. We had to set our own bylaws and you NEVER met a great bunch of control freaks. I sold and left before they ever agreed on the bylaws. NEVER again. Those community rules of which you speak – 62 pages? And every person living in that community will tell you they hate government and hate bureaucracy. Bets?

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Have I mentioned that I’m through for the summer? Finals graded, grades posted, grade sheets signed and turned in? I didn’t mention that?

    Oh. Silly me. I’m not *that* guy anymore. Doesn’t fit the whole randomness thing I have going now. Durr. My bad.

    Oh, and 519,000 words and 1115 pages. Just sayin’… 🙂


    • Bahahaha!!! Too funny! Maybe I should scatter some McDonald’s wrappers in my front yard, too. That would at least provide some plausible deniability when people refer to the white trash and I pretend I don’t know what they’re talking about. 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  3. OMG! YOU are ME!!!! HAHAHAHAHA My entire life I’ve been “riff-raff” and proud of it. My Mother used to BEG me to “dress like your sister” or say “why don’t you have friends like your sisters friends”. Well….. I didn’t want to spend $75 dollars on a pair of Guess jeans, and I didn’t like to be friends with the snobs in school who are cruel to others.
    I’ve NEVER been one to wear name brands – I went out of my way to avoid purchasing anything with a designer label on it…and still do. I was ALWAYS friends with the “loser” crowd. The “not as affluent” or the “burn outs” or the “nerds” whatever you called them, if they were the underdogs, they were where I wanted to be!
    The only regret I have to date is this: My hubby and I picked an every day dish instead of a china pattern when we got engaged. It took FOREVER to find something he would like. We settled on a khol matte black plate that we both loved but thought the other wouldn’t like because it’s so “plain”. The WORST thing about it: they’re made by Calvin Klein!!!!! (My mother was in heaven!) http://images.replacements.com/images/images2/china/C/P0000208681S0028T2.jpg

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Ha! With 20 acres they probably wouldn’t notice me peeing off my deck in the morning either. Except in winter when it’s too cold for them to look. Would they be upset if I do my own gardening instead of hiring “those people” to do it? I better make sure I don’t dress in a coordinated outfit so they don’t make an embarrassing (to them) mistake.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Oh, you just gave me a totally evil thought! Even with 62 pages of restrictions (yes, sixty-two!), they didn’t specifically ban nudity on (or of) one’s own deck. And if a guy was to take his deck in hand and undertake to water the shrubbery every morning, there’d be nothing they could do about it… Mwahahahaha!!!!

      Liked by 2 people

      • Sixty-two pages? And that would be those big, legal-size pages with narrow-font micro-freaking-scopic print, of course. Which translates to probably three hundred pages of standard-sized pages with, say, single-spaced 12-point Times New Roman font.

        Call it 125,000 words. Give or take.

        So with an eighth of a million words, they missed public nudity? And draining one’s, er, deck right out there in front of Mrs. Grundy?

        Oh, wait. Were those pages printed front and back?

        Half a million words? BWAAAAHAAAAHAAAHAAA!!!

        Liked by 1 person

  5. Bravo. The people that are discribed give a pain in my gas producer. I have to laugh and thank God that their could go me. Anal retentive and constipated all my unnatural life.LOL

    Liked by 1 person

    • So very true, I was very tall as a teen, I remember being forced to do a fashion show I would have been 10 and I was 5’10 and sent down the runway in a horrid black and pink polka dot outfit with two girls about 4′ beside me. Talk about sticking out.

      I’m still tall and still feel just as out of place the difference is I accept who I am and I’m happy in myself, I accepted I’m never going to be skinny or perfect I’m just me and I love it

      Liked by 3 people

    • Aw, thanks, Sue! That really makes me feel good, although I’ve always been glad I didn’t have the responsibility of shaping a child’s outlook on life. I love being an auntie, though – that’s a responsibility I can handle! 🙂

      Liked by 2 people

  6. You must realize how truly fortunate you are. Reality never catches up with some folks. Ever wonder whats in those really dark clouds that never spout rain. Yep its those folks. That stark situation you mentioned never darkens their door. Repo folks do, bill collectors, and so on, and so on and ………………….

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Well, one should never discuss one’s class with those of other classes, Diane. One ( =me 😉 ) never does. One ( =me, again) should just ooze said class and have done with it. One ( =you this time, although it doesn’t quite fit!) are classless. Not as in without class, one (me) hastens to add, but as in a class all of your own (in other words, priceless!) And that gives you the right to wear anything exactly as you want to. Saggy bathers and backwards cape included. (Will one ever forget about those? one wonders… one hopes not!) 😀

    Liked by 2 people

    • LOL! I know I’ll never forget, and I suspect nobody else will, either. It gives me a giggle just thinking about it. And you definitely ooze class, Tom – it’s so kind of you to put a positive spin on my classlessness! 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  8. I feel the same way you do Diane, especially about the “distinction” between the so-called classes. And fashion? Been there, was never comfortable with it, so I left it alone. I appreciate a well put together outfit but it isn’t top priority with me. Clothes clean? check Clothes not full of holes? check. Clothes fit? sort of, lol. Shoes in good to fair condition? check. I tried being who I wasn’t for a time when younger and, frankly, I didn’t like me much. Went to a formal affair for a fund raiser once. Some local yahoo running for a political office. I was horribly bored, uncomfortable, was sick of seeing so many phonies in one spot! I wound up sitting in the kitchen with my heels off, chatting with the staff and finally enjoying myself. I found out that the real me wasn’t all that bad and the un-real me would never last in a world like the one in the “great room”.
    There’s riff-raff and then there’s some real riff-raff. What makes life interesting is, that along the way, you find out the difference. It’s a unique, one of a kind experience that’s different for each person. Kinda’ fun, kinda’ nice too sometimes. I’ve met some real friends among the riff-raff. I’ve also met some not so friendly ones among the real riff-raff.
    Life is truly a hoot.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Life truly is a hoot! You’re right about the various kinds of riff-raff – some are ‘riffier’ than others. 😉 And (to be fair) despite my cracks about the uppercrust, I’ve met some truly nice people among them, too. It takes all kinds.

      I have to admit I had a shiver of pure horror while reading your account of the fundraiser. I’ve been to so many of those agonizing affairs, I won’t be sorry if I never have to attend another. Brrrr.

      Liked by 1 person

      • Yes, you are right about the uppercrust. I have met, and worked for couple that were fair and nice. The fundraiser almost gave me PTSD. With my habit of speaking my mind (or lack of one) I’m surprised I didn’t blow the whole evening. I did meet one fine bartender tho’! LOL

        Liked by 2 people

        • Hiya, Moondance!

          Okay, I’ll admit it. I own my own tuxedo. A couple of the fancy shirts, nice studs and cuff links, the shiny patent shoes, the works. And I mean the whole pimp schmear.

          Upper crust? Not in the least. I own because it’s cheaper to buy one than to rent one three times. A nice one isn’t all that expensive.

          There must be real money in the formal-wear rental business…

          But why do I own one? For the sheer fun of it! Back in a previous life, my wife was involved in a bunch of stuff professionally that got her and a guest (that would be me) invited to big, formal parties and balls and such. And we like ‘playing dress-up’ as we call it. The people she knew and worked with at the time were fun, down-to-earth people who enjoyed a good party…and who did not take themselves too seriously.

          Those were the people we hung with at those functions, not the ‘wealthy benefactor’ types who also also showed up.

          I always had a HUGE time at those functions. Why wouldn’t I? If a thousand people were there, I only knew four of them besides my wife. And my instructions for the evening amounted to this: Don’t embarrass me…too badly.” So, of course I didn’t. Usually.

          Just happened to think how long it’s been since I’ve worn the tux. Wonder why that is? 🙂


  9. I’m 100% with you! Much more comfortable in sweats and baggy tshirts. We are DINKs but don’t like OK or act like it, most of my clothes are from Walmart/KMart/etc. When we bought our house 2 years ago we originally wanted to build but was told that there were no lots available in the county that were not owned by developers, and I flat-out refused to live in a development with covenants – it’s nobody’s business what color I want to paint my house! So we looked for existing houses but refused to look at any house in a development. Fortunately we did find our dream house, with no covenants or associations!

    Liked by 2 people

  10. I hear you on this one. Years ago, when I was a resident, I walked into a Saks Fifth Avenue just to see what it was like. I was wearing my typical jeans and sweater, probably from The Gap or Old Navy, and my typical ugly man shoes. I was completely out of place, and oh dear, the looks I got from the sales people? You’d think I rolled in right off the farm. So, so snooty. And right then and there I decided that even if I could afford to shop there one day, I wouldn’t. No offense to Saks, and perhaps they do some great things, but it’s not the store for me.

    Liked by 1 person

  11. Congratulations, Diane! You’ve hit the big time!

    Looking back, I’m pretty sure I’ve never been mistaken for anyone who would be a candidate to purchase property in a gated community.

    An institution with walls and guards, yes. A community? Not even close.

    So, hiya, Riff!

    (signed) Raff 🙂

    Liked by 3 people

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