"You need help, here I am."*

Maitresse is considering hiring a nanny/au pair/household help person. A bit late, some tell me, as A is already in 6th grade. But the babysitting thing is not working for me.

The last time I had household help was when I was married. But today I am still single, and my schedule is becoming (thankfully) more "full."

So, in my time of need, I did what I find works best: I call up the best Girlfriend ("GF") for the job to impart her wisdom. In this case, I called up my French girlfriend ("FGF") in another state.

Me: "Could you tell me how to hire an au pair so that I don't have to pay the agency fees?"
FGF: "Erm....do you really want to go through what I went through?"
Me: "Erm...what did you 'go through'?"

My FGF had two children after her divorce and had no one to assist the raising of her children. Not even their father. Man in denial, my radar says. Anyway, she placed an ad in a newspaper in France. Once the replies came in, she flew to France to interview the candidates. Over the course of five years, she hired four au pairs. Two competent out of four. Success rate: 50%

I told her I'd probably use an agency.

Then we talked about the Man Factor. Luckily for my FGF, she remarried a dashing and dark hunk 13 years her junior. Some say she hit the jackpot, but there have been caveats. "My au pair days are over," she said. "I don't want to invite trouble into my house." Indeed, we talked about FGF's friend in Connecticut whose au pair stopped at nothing to seduce the Connecticut woman's husband. Young and pretty and lively au pair! Resistance factor: Zero.

Would the hypothetical au pair compete with me over my boyfriend? Or would she expect me to be her best friend instead of her employer? All "what if" monsters, I know. But because of my age and situation, my fears are not entirely unfounded.

Then there is the Robin Williams nanny story. Makes me want to hire one of those hot young Serbian Olympic rowers at my BNS.

I decided that if I hire household help, I will hire a needy but reliable older woman whose family in Haiti needs the money as desperately as she does. I will be imparting something decent to the world instead of me worrying, or my bucks going to some young thing who would rather be on Broadway seeing "RENT" than watching my A.

*full credits given to Renee Zellwegger in Cold Mountain. Also, more credit given to David Letterman, for replaying Renee Zellwegger's line so many times on his show that my readers might "get" what I mean.

No comments: