Tuesday, February 10, 2009

The Nanny Died

OK, there's no good way to tell people.  Aargh.
 
If I say "my nanny died," they picture some young healthy Filipina dropping dead - possibly while minding my children.  Even people who know me, who know I don't have a nanny.  Of course, they're shocked and assume we are in the throes of a childcare crisis.
 
On the other hand, I have had some success with "my 96-year-old Nanny died," because then they know it's probably not someone entrusted with my kids on a daily basis.  So then, they're just puzzled.
 
I feel like saying "my grandmother died," which sort of covers the magnitude of the relationship, but then, from past experience, I know people will want the biological specifics.  "How exactly was she your grandmother?"  Like you shouldn't really mourn unless you came from an ovum or sperm that originated somewhere deep in her genetic makeup.
 
My mother sometimes used to just call her a "friend" to avoid the whole n-word in passing conversation where the context of their friendship wasn't important (ie one was hired to look after the other a long time ago).  But you're not really supposed to be sad much at all when you lose a friend.
 
Oh, you know what's a good one to have to tell people?
 
"My ex-husband died."
 
People don't know whether to be thrilled for you - if he was the bane of your existence, say - or commiserate.
I found there was a lot of backtracking necessary with that one as well:  people often got the chronology wrong, and in fact they still do for some reason when I tell them.  You have to say it carefully and then sometimes explain again or else they'll think he died while I was married to him (in which case, why would I call him an EX-husband?).
 
Even Ted asked when he died, "doesn't that make you some kind of a widow?"
Um, no.
 
Anyway, I'm telling you now... my nanny died.
Here's how I explained it to one irl acquaintance/facebook friend who asked what side she was my grandmother on: 
"Hmm...
Our extended family is a little more flexible than that. She was hired almost 70 years ago when my mother's big brother needed extra care and then stuck around for three generations of mishegas. She was our "spare" grandmother... a little younger to begin with, and then stuck around for a very long time."
 
She sure did stick around.
 
I am continuing to console myself with the wholesomey smell of natural-food stores along with the plasticky smell of Dollarama.
 
Which I will now dub "Toon-a-rama" since so many of their reliable $1-only prices have gone up to $2.  That's double!  That's what happened with payphones a couple of years ago.  From 25 cents to 50 cents overnight.  In that case, maybe it was understandable (though is 30 cents, or 35 cents, really that hard to fish out of your pocket?)... but from $1 to $2 is a huuuuuge leap.
 
Anyway, now instead of relaxing and grabbing stuff off the shelves at will, I have to be on high alert and only choose the $1 items.  It's a whole different experience.
Maybe I'm just bitter because my jaw really aches where my teeth have been extricated.
 
Or bitter because Ted had to work late - he was already working late, ie from 12 to 8 p.m.  The deal with the 8 p.m. shift is that he's not supposed to be sent out (usually for a pickup ie, at a hospital) after 7:30, because by the time he goes out and comes back it would be well after 8.
 
So, of course, on the one night that I have to go out unexpectedly - I went with my mother to tell Eli about Nanny, and left Elisheva Chaya in charge - he of course called at 7:30 to say he was just going out, wouldn't be back until 9, would be home at 10.
He just walked through the door - it's 20 after 10.  :-(
 
This bothered the heck out of me because I was hoping he'd either finish a little earlier or at least finish on time so he could help with what was sure to be a hectic bedtime.
 
Which it was, but I guess it wasn't the end of the world...

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