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What are we to make of the phenomenon of "reverse snobbery"? Reverse snobs feel they are better than others because they are "down to earth" and don't "put on airs."

For ex, I have a relative (who shall go unnamed), who is an all-star reverse snob. When the family comes over for dinner on Thanksgiving, his wife gets out the best china, silverware and cloth napkins. Invariably he will sidle up to the table and make a big show of putting down such "pretense". "Where are the paper napkins?" he asks boorishly. "They're good enough for me." When he discovers real butter for the rolls he mocks anger. "Where's the Country Crock?" "I don't eat that high-fallutin' stuff."

His long-suffering wife who simply wants to make Thanksgiving beautiful is inured to his reverse snobbery, the sub-text of which is "I'm better than others because I'm more down-to-earth." He seemed shocked one Thanksgiving when, after such a diatribe, I called him an elitist snob. He never thinks of himself this way, but he is. It's just in reverse.

Do any of you have any experience with this phenomenon? Are you ever a reverse snob?

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