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14th Oct 2017

Six shameful ways there’s a little Hyacinth Bucket in all of us


Ciara Knight


First things first, the theme song from Keeping Up Appearances is a certified banger:

Fact: It is literally impossible to sit still while the KUA theme song is playing. Your foot will involuntarily begin tapping on the floor as your head bobs from side to side while this exquisite display of musical prowess floods your ear passages. The song was composed by Nick Ingman, an English arranger, composer and conductor. We are forever indebted to this man and our thanks simply cannot run deeply enough.

Anyway, Hyacinth Bucket, at her very core, is a massive snob. She’s extremely middle class but strives to one day reach the dizzying heights of the upper class. Hyacinth will trample over any man, woman or child to achieve social superiority and focuses solely on being and feeling better than everyone else.

Truly, she’s a terrible person, but she has her relatable moments so let’s focus on those.

1. We’ve all tried to seem a bit fancier than we actually are

Let s/he who hasn’t attempted to seem posher than they actually are cast the first stone. You’ll find that this particular affliction happens most commonly in unfamiliar situations. For example, you’ve somehow ended up in a very posh and expensive shop. Rather than admit defeat and hurry yourself home, the mood strikes you to convince the nearby security staff that you belong there. They don’t know. It’s your life, you’re not going to apologise to anyone for living it.

You proudly stroll through the shop, rubbing expensive fabrics between your fingertips to ensure they meet your newly found standards. You can feel the security personnel’s eyes burning through you, but persevere out of sheer audaciousness. Justin Bieber is worth $225 million but he still dresses like a scrub. Nobody’s going to bat an eyelid at your muddy Adidas Gazelles if they’re distracted by your blatant belonging in fancy places.

That time you had a work event in the poshest restaurant this side of the Atlantic was tough, the waiting staff could see right through your knowing smiles of affluence. Pointing your pinky each time you took a sip of prosecco was a bit much, but that’s simply the only way you know how to look posh, aside from wearing a monocle.


2. We’re all deeply embarrassed by at least one member of our extended family

Hyacinth does her utmost to avoid any association with her sisters Daisy and Rose, and especially her brother-in-law, the people’s champion, Onslow. Her jaw drops every time their shit tip of a Ford Cortina bellows through the neighbourhood ahead of their arrival. How dare they threaten to jeopardise Hyacinth’s specially carved-out new posh lifestyle with Richard.

Most of us have a weird cousin that used to come to our birthday parties, baffling friends alike because of their insatiable oddness. You’d protest that he wasn’t a blood relation, just a weird science experiment your parents had volunteered to help out with, to see if aliens can go undetected in the modern world.

In your unquenchable desire to be a posh person, you must consider all options. Would it be a drastic measure to cull your non-posh family members to avoid any association with them? Possibly.


3. Posh family members are a goldmine and should be treated as such

Starkly contrasting the rest of her extended family, Hyacinth’s sister Violet gets a lot of airtime when those in need of being impressed are within earshot. We’ll regularly hear of Violet, “the one with the Mercedes, sauna and room for a pony” when she calls ‘The Bouquet Residence’, so that everyone is aware that the Buckets aren’t all scum.

Sometimes you just have to come to terms with the fact that you’re fighting a losing battle. You’re not posh, your shitty car and grubby jeans can certainly attest to that. So what’s a good consolation prize in this situation? Having rich relatives and making damn sure everyone knows about it. Being fancy by association is better than not being fancy at all *taps temple*.


4. You can force your loved ones to play along with anything if you’re persistent enough

Moment of appreciation for the patience displayed by Richard Bucket throughout the entirety of his fictional marriage to Hyacinth. Never once has the man lost his cool, sense of humour nor exceptional moustache. Poor Dicky puts up with a lot of hassle being married to Hyacinth. He leads a simple life, full of gardening and reading the newspaper. Add to that, a highly strung social climber and you’ve got hassle.

Alas, we’ve all found ourselves in Hyacinth’s shoes at one time or another, whether it’s getting an acquaintance to drop you off at the next door neighbour’s slightly bigger house to appear richer, or forcing your other half to play along with your elaborate story about how you’re secretly a millionaire but pretend to be very broke to keep you humble.

That’s the beauty of love, it makes you do the strangest things and also serves as viable grounds for manipulation in most situations 🙂


5. If you surround yourself with posh people, then you must be posh by association

Hyacinth Bucket’s social climbing techniques know no bounds, as she is eternally striving to be associated with people who are universally considered fancy. She’d divorce her family if it was possible, as they cannot possibly compete with the immensely posh lifestyle she has chosen to lead.

We’ve all, much to our embarrassment, selectively chosen different friends to hang out with in particular situations based on their social status. For example, if you somehow find yourself with a spare ticket to the polo, you’re not going to bring your friend that actively collects toenail clippings for a living. Toenail Tony just wouldn’t enjoy or appreciate it. Instead, you hire a distant member of the Royal family to accompany you on this brief delve into world of affluence.

That way, anyone who spots you together will instantly forget about that time you intimately kissed a butternut squash for £10 at a house party, and furthermore consider you as an elite member of society.


6. Being around quiet people gives you ample time to brag about your non-existent fanciness

Every aspiring posh person needs an ‘Elizabeth from next door’ in their life, along with a complimentary Emmet thrown in for eye candy purposes. Hyacinth preys on Elizabeth’s nervous and quiet nature, using it as an opportunity to compare fanciness. Although Elizabeth is a better person than Hyacinth in every single way, she allows her the space to boast about her good fortune because that’s what friends do.

Many of us would require several hands to count how many times we’ve caught ourselves accidentally bragging to a friend, as their eyes begin to glaze over in boredom and disdain. Quickly, we’ll add ‘Oh but how’s everything with you?’, to appear somewhat interested, but it’s all a big facade as we wait for our opportunity to begin speaking again.

The point here is that we are all garbage. Hyacinth, you, me, even Elizabeth sometimes for enabling us all.

Images via BBC