Wednesday, 30 March 2011

Fancy Time Travels



This week’s Listography asks where you’d like to travel if you could go anywhere in time, forward or backward. I think Kate Takes 5 had some mighty clever answers. She went to see dinosaurs and then fast forwarded to make sure her greatgrandchildren actually existed and their ancestors weren’t so completely fucked up they couldn’t even procreate thanks to her. I think that shows a real appreciation for both where we’ve come from and where we are going, don’t you? In fact, her post was so good, I was tempted to just call her up and book a companion fare (in business class, obviously). But lazy guilt got the best of me. So I wrote my own. But I’m keeping it closer to home. After all, she took care of the big picture for me. And for that I say, “Thanks Kate! Now it can be all about me!”

That’s right. We’re going to travel Fancy’s life and relive some of those more outstanding moments in time. It’s a short flight today, folks, cruising altitude just under 4 decades. Fasten those belts and no smoking in the lavatory.

The Early 70’s. Fancy is born. Her mother brings a “newborn” outfit to the hospital. It comes to, oh, about her nipple line. It’s going to be a long road…

1973. Fancy is a toddler. She gets all black baby dolls for Christmas. After a little incident involving an elevator, a family of "colour" and some uncensored squeals of delight and excitement.

1978. Fancy in elementary school. Her parents arrive at the pageant and take their seats, fully expecting their darling daughter to recite the very well rehearsed speech on John F. Kennedy that they had heard a dozen times. Instead she pulls “a Palin” and starts rambling about sexual dalliances and alcohol fueled violence. The other parents began howling while hers tried desperately to claw through the floor. Watch that home library kids!

1982. Fancy is in middle school. “They want to skip her ahead,” she hears her mother saying. “She’s already beyond all their basic math levels.” “But look at her. She’s a social retard. Keep her where she is. It’s not all about grades, you know,” muttered her father.

1986. Fancy’s mother perms her bangs. She has an asymmetric haircut. It could be cool, but it’s not. She is a member of the competitive Science Olympiad team. Not prom queen. Science Olympiad. Think about that.

1992. Glamour Shots. If you don’t know what this is, God Bless You. If you do, maybe you have some too? It’s a deep, secret shame. Hers involved hot pink lipstick and leather. Oh and a full on perm. (See how I’m slipping in a little Gallery too!?! Huh? Do ya?)

2001. Fancy receives every lighthouse themed home decoration every made from family and friends after a slight misunderstanding regarding Nine Eleven and the White House. 

2006. Fancy comes to the UK. Someone should really let people on Transatlantic flights know that “fanny packs” are not what they are called here. Faggots too. Rubbers. Bangers. Stop it.

2010. Fancy is sitting in her living room, pouring a glass of wine and opening a website called “blogspot.com.” She needs an outlet. Where can she confess her deepest darkest moments without the consequence of really public humiliation? Oh yes. Right here. Thank you. 

Monday, 28 March 2011

How Fancies Overcome Jet Lag



The worst part of a holiday is always the return home, isn’t it? No matter how restful a vacation you’ve had, there is no exhaustion as great as that which slaps you in the face the minute you walk back through the front door of your home. The Fancies aren’t any different when it comes to jet lag and needing a holiday after a holiday. But how we deal with it, is one of those little perks that makes Fancy fabulous. So fabulous, in fact, that I'm a little embarrassed. 

H was as good as he could be on the trip home, even offering to watch one child while I changed the other’s nappies. I did feel slightly bad for him, watching him battle his delicate tummy that was roaring after a week of American food, timing his sips of coke with the bathroom lights and seatbelt signs. If that weren’t enough, the knowledge that 24 hours after we returned home, he’d be getting on another 9 hour flight continuing eastward, destroying any sense of night and day, made me feel even less annoyed than I might on another occasion. (This is how much progress I’ve made with Fancy Therapist. Aren’t you impressed?)

Anyway, we made it. Through passport control and customs, luggage in tow. 15 minutes from our house, I made the call.

“15 minutes and closing.”

Ten minutes to arrival, I sent the text.

“Still on course. 10 minutes out.”

300 seconds before touchdown, the final message: “Meet me outside.”

We pulled up and the rest unfolded like a beautiful, well-choreographed ballet. The Minis were paraded down the hall in their pram, both utterly knackered but no doubt just resting up for a night of screaming refusals toward sleep. H grabbed his workbag and headed directly to bed. I brought our bags in, checked the mail and turned on the heater.

Then came the unpacking: I carried the luggage upstairs to the living room and laid it out neatly, to make it easier for the housekeeper to deal with in the morning.

I opened a bottle of wine.

I heated up a shower.

I flipped on the telly.

“See you Monday!” I hollered downstairs to Babysitter #1. “Nanny 2 gets here at 8. She knows what they’ll have for breakfast. Doubt I’ll be up then. Thanks a gazillion!”

Friday, 25 March 2011

Fancy’s Favorite Store



Whenever I come home to the US, I usually bring an empty suitcase. If it’s Vegas, it’s the Manolo shop in the Wynn, from New York City I drain Soho and from anywhere else, well, it’s my favorite store in the whole world. I think you’re going to like this one. I think all of us can afford to do some Fancy Shopping. Any idea where Frau Fancy whips out the Platinum Card and indulges herself in an old-fashioned free-for-all?

Left the Mini Fancies with the ever-more haggard grandparents, borrowed the car and headed out to the shoppes. Now, America is all about the Mall, but that wasn’t where I was headed. Oh yes, there was a Mall across the street and my destination was lying in an ocean of mini-marts, strip malls and automotive shops. But it didn’t take me long to find it. I mean, next to the Golden Arches, I believe Fancy’s Favorite Store has one of the most recognizable logos in the US of A. And the parking lot! Choices abound! I love America.

I was so pleased to see rows of brand new and very modern—and very huge-- shopping carts. Grabbing one, I headed straight up the spacious and sparkling clean aisles towards the Ladies Clothing. There’s really no need to try anything on in a place like this and I started piling my cart high with T-shirts, workout gear and underwear.

Off to the Children’s section, I scored the softest of little shirts and cute, brightly colored skirts. On my way, I even spotted some toddler snacks for the plane ride and threw those in too.

Easter Candy, Aquaphor, giant bottles of ibuprofen. Diet root beer, cake mix and mascara. There’s even a liquor section! I mean seriously. If I wanted to buy a canoe, I could buy myself a friggin canoe there.

When I got to checkout, the woman looked at my cache and remarked, “My, you must have a lot of children.”

“Just stocking up,” I said, as she bagged the sippy cups and raincoats. “We don’t have a Target where I live.”

Yea, that’s right. Target is where the Fancies fill their everyday needs. Even H has given up Hugo Boss underwear in favor or Merona. Are you shocked? Why? Why would I spend $200 on a white T-shirt when I have two toddlers? Well I do anyway. But I don’t wear that shirt during the day. You do know that you can pair a Converse shirt with a Prada bag and look excellent, don’t you? So get out there, my friends, and live today like a Fancy. Bullseye!

Wednesday, 23 March 2011

Détente…Fancy Style



I do believe that I have found the solution to the ever-difficult “Grandma versus the Nanny” tension. You don’t know what that is? Oh surely you can guess. If Grandmas like telling mothers what to do, what do you think happens when you introduce an employee to the scene? At least if it’s your own mother you can either tell her off or ignore her. But if you are the hired help, you must dance a little jig, trying to balance being respectful with keeping your job.

I have a deep understanding of this Grandma-Nanny relationship after H and I tried to go on holiday last year. I will spare you the details. But it wasn’t pretty. As the door closed behind me, my mother announced that things would be going her way, ripped up my typed 6 pages of instructions and made my Nannies’ lives miserable. I’m sure she meant well and thought she was just being a good Grandma. I didn’t grow up with Nannies, you know, and my Mom didn’t quite understand that at the end of our trip, she’d be gone and then Nannies would still be there.

Shortly after we returned, she gained that understanding.

Now my Mom is great and very respectful of our employees although she still finds the situation slightly awkward. As for the Nannies, I’ve just told them all to back off if one of the Grandmothers does something differently or even expressly against my wishes and tell me later. I will also deal with any name-calling or physical altercations. (It hasn’t gotten to that point ever, but now I’m on heightened alert.)

However, I do believe I have solved the issue. I am actually waiting for the US government to send me on a peacekeeping mission to the Middle East. How did Frau Fancy accomplish this? How exactly did I make my mother understand that Nannies are to be cherished and treated with kindness and respect?

Easy. I brought the Minis to her house. Without the Nanny.

My sister just called me. My folks didn’t want to say anything but it seems things are different here with my two whirling dervishes. My parents are feeling stressed. My father referred to them as “exponentially magnified” toddlers. My mother went to bed last night at 8pm. And apparently next time, maybe they could make up another room. For a Nanny.

Problem solved.

Monday, 21 March 2011

Fancy Is A'Travelin'



Greetings from the United States of America! Yes, the Fancies have travelled across the ocean in search of Cool Whip. That’s actually a lie. The new Nanny doesn’t start for a few more weeks. We came in search of my mother.

I don’t have much time today, policing the girls in a new place where every drawer can be opened to reveal years and decades of utter crap that has accumulated in my childhood home. But I do have something to say to the world. It’s time for a Dear So and So.

Dear Richard Branson,

If I am ever lucky enough to buy have another child and it’s a boy, we’re naming him, “Richard.” Even if that means that someone might call him “Dicky.” Thank you for putting a children’s playroom in your Heathrow lounge. And bringing my kids a full English while they played with your lovely, imaginative, and well kept toys. Behind the solid glass doors that protected others from the ruckus we created. I love you. And it gives me extra strength to know that Virgin Atlantic appreciates families and knows that children prefer Upper Class too. It softens the sting of the vicious looks we received while boarding.

Dear Bitter and Nasty Woman on the Aeroplane,

You seem to be travelling along. I am not surprised. Your general appearance implies that most men would find you painful and uptight. However, would it have really pained you to move to the other window seat so that my children and I could sit together? I’m not at all bothered now that my toddlers may have disturbed you when we played “bouncy horse” during the flight. And yes, my sweet, I did hear you hiss at me to “stop it.” Bite me.

Dear MiniFancies,

Thank you for being perfect angels on a very long trip. I’m a little disappointed that you didn’t sleep the whole way, but it’s not your fault. If the other passengers wanted you to sleep, then they could have closed their shades and not made so much noise, clinking their drink glasses and banging their silverware around. I think it should actually have been us making them feel uncomfortable, if you ask me. You two were dream babies. Well, except that little meltdown at landing. But crikey, you were nearly perfect.

Dear Flight Attendant,

Thanks for bringing me food and drink, even if I couldn’t actually get any of it to my mouth. Oh and if my Fancy Children weren’t complete food snobs, they’d probably have appreciated your offer of “baby food.” But they aren’t babies and they find that insulting. Your tabouleh salad, however, was a hit. As was the cheese plate and the scones. Well done. But maybe you could find some sort of spill-proof champagne flute for us poor mums?

Dear H,

Thanks so much for acknowledging that flying with small children is “really hard.” I know you aren’t used to trips like this but, you know, we’re between Nannies. So thanks for coming with us. And thanks for not getting mad when I threw one of the children on you and screamed, “Dude! Nap’s over!”

Dear Strangers in the Airport,

I know you have been taught to mind your own business. But if you see a woman running after two small toddlers, screaming their names, can you grab one? Or at least try to slow her down? I swear I won’t think you are a pedophile or a kidnapper. Promise.

Dear Mom,

I know you are frugal. I didn't really grow up Fancy and you are a bit tight with the pennies. But it’s not okay that I had to chip my child out from under an ice block and bring both girls to my bed where we huddled together, trying to get warm. I can afford to pay your heating bill this week. Turn up the fucking heater. Oh and thanks for having us. Love you.

Wednesday, 16 March 2011

Fancy Therapy. With Children



Is anyone else seriously pissed off that the US and the UK don’t change their clocks the same weekend? Can I tell you the number of times I’ve missed a conference call or a video Fancy Therapy appointment because of daylight savings time? You’d think I’d learn wouldn’t you? But no.

Settling the kids with Nanny #1, I said I’d be taking a “business call” until dinnertime, so if she could get the kids bathed and dressed, that would be handy. Then I settled myself upstairs, tissues, computer and diet Sprite in hand and got ready for a little mental check-up. And then I realized my mistake. A quick phone call (yes, I’ve memorized the number) later, and we were rescheduled for later that evening.

Now the two hours between bath and bedtime are sort of a black hole here at the Fancy Home. No matter how smoothly it all goes, I’m not getting any work done. Don’t try to call me or you’ll be shouting over Elmo. Don’t ask me to check emails or you’ll be getting responses that look like this: *#$&(QH:”OEIHQ”IOERJ from TC. Just leave me, my toddlers, and my glass of wine alone until after 7:30. That’s a firm rule around here.

But at the risk of losing $800 bucks, I had to break the rule for FT. So our session began with me sitting at the kitchen table and the girls watching Sesame Street. From there it went like this:

“How’s everything—oh Hi girls! Hi! Woo woo! –going?

“About the same, occasionally I feel a little anxious—sorry, need to get cookies—but nothing too out of the ordinary.”

“I did talk to H about that—um I think they are screaming “muhmuh” for milk, not you—and he thought you just misunderstood.

“But I’m not sure he has the emotional—if you do that again, you’re going to lose a finger!—intelligence to understand what you’re saying…”

“Nice piano. Well, you could try asking him and see how it goes.”

“And you can see why sometimes I feel overwhelmed—TC! Get your hands OFF the oven!—but I really don’t want anymore help than I have…”

“Wait. Stop. She’s not really at the oven.”

“Yes.”

“But it’s not on.”

“Yes, I’m braising turkey legs.”

“Don’t make me ask this. It’s not open, is it?”

“Well of course not. What kind of mother do you take me for—Hands off!!!”

By this point, I was now lying on the kitchen floor, one child sitting on my leg, the other whapping my head with a wooden spoon, my arms balancing the computer just over their heads.

“Sorry about this.”

“No. No, it’s actually been very insightful. Okay, let me get my calendar…”

Monday, 14 March 2011

Fancy By Accident?



As a Fancy, others expect you to “be in the know” when choosing a restaurant for a Saturday night date with friends. Even when the friends are also Fancy, the task usually falls to us. I’m never sure why. Could it be the 250 cookbooks in our kitchen, our personal relationship with people in the industry or simply the size of H’s waist? However it happens, I don’t mind. I like control.

After a week of hounding H about where he’d like to go and getting a lot of static in response, I offered up a few cuisine options to our companions. “Lebanese” was the response. I was slightly disappointed; I’d suggested Yakitori in a show of support for our very wet and shaken neighbours to the east. But Lebanese it was. I hesitated to go all “Maroush” on these people. After all, anyone knows that Edgeware road is where you go for Middle Eastern. But I wanted to push the boundaries. As far as Paddington. I know. Living on the edge.

There is a restaurant called, “Massis,” over in the Sheldon Square business area just north of Paddingon Station. H and I had been once before and the food was fantastic. The problem was that the restaurant was empty. I mean empty. Like the entire kitchen had nothing to do but stare at us while we ate. That aside, best damm spicy hummous of my life and I was itching to give it another go.
I first mentioned it to H.

“Empty. We won’t look good,” was his response.

“But dear, it’s clearly a place that gets more weekday action than weekend and the time we visited London was actually completely snowed in and you could probably have gotten a table at Claridges that night with 5 minutes notice. Let’s try.”

So I called our friends and gave them the address. I added a little “full disclosure:”

“So hey, listen, we’ve been there and the food is fantastic. But the place was a little quiet. Excellent food, but I can’t promise you much of a scene. Just so you know.”

Gracious as they are (and thrilled to live only 5 minutes from the restaurant), they reassured me it was not a problem and we’d have a lovely, peaceful meal, just the four of us.

I should probably interject here. Did anyone else know that we’re celebrating the Middle Eastern New Year?

The food was, as promised, excellent. From spicy hummous, to grilled aubergine, to the little pickled turnips and hot peppers. I could even go so far as to say that my grilled prawns were some of the best I’ve had. Including ones I’ve cooked myself. Serious char-grilled flavor and perfectly cooked. Everyone was thrilled with the dishes.

As for the scene, well, what could beat a belly dancer getting her groove on in H’s face as he tried to sneak the last of the Kibbeh Kras? Or the parade of kohl-darkened eyes and slicked back guido hair passing our table? I politely declined an offer to join the masses on the dance floor.

I shouted over the din of Fairuz cover songs and snapping fingers.

“Hey, not bad, eh?”

And without even trying, The Fancies hit the biggest social event in London this weekend. I guess it’s my curse. But the restaurant would probably still be fabulous even on a regular day, like the Chinese New Year. Try it. 

Friday, 11 March 2011

Fancy Helps Herself



Do you know the book, “The Secret?” I haven’t read it or seen the movie, simply because I’m not into that kind of granola stuff. Self-help doesn’t do it for me. Paid help does. Anyway, as I understand, the point of the book is that “positive thinking” can change your life. If you think it, it will come.

This kind of talk usually strikes me as slightly ridiculous. If you go on a date and all the conversation is about you and your lonely life, well then, you’re going to stay lonely. Same way with talking about how tight your jeans are at the same time you drown your sorrows in an éclair.

But now I think I might be on the verge of becoming a believer. Yes, I know. Shocking. Mrs. Fancy might be ready to grow a long braid, stop shaving her legs and start eating processed bean curd. Okay that’s a lie. Mr. Fancy would never stand for it. Not the hairy legs and definitely not the bean curd. Unless by “bean curd” I meant “ribeye.” Back to the point. What could have happened to me? And no, it wasn’t the cheap booze. Although, yes, Kate, I do occasionally go back to my roots. Not as far as wine coolers, but down a notch or two from the usual.

Well, if you recall, I’ve been interviewing new Nannies. Nanny #1 has left us for a closer tube stop. Seriously. And I said that I was going to get out there, no matter how much I hate it, and find me “Mary Fucking Poppins.”

Guess what?

She can’t start for a few more weeks but it coming around for little play sessions to get to know the girls until then. I decided to give her a realistic show of what goes on at the Fancy House, so I greeted her this morning with truly frightening hair and furry teeth. (How are you supposed to groom yourself with two toddlers ripping apart the room? I’m at a loss here.) I wanted to make sure she really felt needed.

And now I’m sitting at the computer, working away, letting the three of them get to know each other from across the room. It might actually be true. I might have gotten what I wished for. I’m half expecting Dick Van Dyke to pop out of the fireplace and my bed to go dancing out the door into the beautiful briny sea. Please, please let it be true.

Now I’m going to close my eyes and wish away my bunion. My very UnFancy bunion. My feet are perfect. They are perfect…

Wednesday, 9 March 2011

Packing Mr. Fancy


Speaking of H's complete meltdown while preparing to catch his flight a couple of weeks ago, I thought I would share with you some more specifics of the duties of a Fancy Wife. Today's lesson: Suitcases.

H and I have a strict rule around here when it comes to packing him for business trips. Okay, that is an absolute lie. I have a strict rule. It goes like this: I’m not a butler. I am not employed by a hotel. I am not in bondage, servitude or listed in anyone’s slave log. Let’s start there.

I am, however, a loving wife. Put this all together and it goes like this: if you call me from the office and ask me to pack a bag to meet you at the airport, then, yes, I will help you. I’ll even make sure your underwear doesn’t have holes. I’ll take it out to the street and hand it to a very perplexed taxi driver along with a note telling him where to go. However, if you’re just a lazy shmo who gets out of bed 15 minutes before your car pick-up and then starts screaming at me to move out of your way, well then we’re going to have a problem, aren’t we?

Packing H usually falls somewhere between these scenarios and doesn’t usually create too much drama. Unpacking, however, is another matter. Refer to the first paragraph. You don’t “drop your bags” at the bottom of the stairs and expect your wife to carry them up two flights and then unpack them, sorting your dirty laundry from clean, minibar receipts from taxi fares. Before we had Nanny #2, we had proper luggage standoffs, with his bags remaining packed full of dirty clothes and sitting at the base of the stairs for days, sometimes weeks, until his next trip forced his hand.

Anyway, if I do decide to pack for H, let me tell you how a Fancy Wife packs for a Fancy Husband to go do Fancy Business.

  • Passport(s). Credit Card(s). He’ll have them in the office, but double check.
  • Shirts. It is a good idea to have your dry cleaner always return a set of shirts neatly folded and wrapped in plastic for easy packing. I’ve found that trying to teach a housekeeper the difference between cuffed and uncuffed shirts is nearly impossible. But, if you can, try to get the uncuffed shirts into the “folded” bag on dry cleaning pick up day. However, always include a small plastic container with a pair of very plain cufflinks that will go with anything. Just in case.
  • Ties. Two ties that match one suit and shirts of a neutral color mean that Mr. Fancy doesn’t have to do much thinking in the mornings. Plus, should he spill a little coffee on one, he can simply swap shirts before a dinner meeting.
  • Underwear. His. Resist the temptation to slip in a pair of naughty panties. Black thongs are what girlfriends put into luggage. Fancy Wives hold more power than what’s between their legs. Put in enough underwear to get him through the trip, plus one.
  • To the same point: Mr. Fancy could have a girl in every port, if he so chose, so try putting in something that reminds him why he will want to resist temptation and come home to you. To his family. Consider a photo of your children. Or a copy of your mortgage statement. A reminder that he really only wants to have (pay for) one Fancy Family.
  • Then there are the random bits to keep him alive and ticking until he returns home: Blood pressure medication. Cholesterol medication. Vitamins.

Anything else (toothpaste, razor, shampoo) will be provided either onboard or at the Fancy Hotel. Same for laundry and dry cleaning. Remember, packing Fancy style is about simplicity.

As for you, well it’s sweatpants airplane lounge wear and chick flicks time! When Mr. Fancy is gone, you don't have to be Fancy. You get a break. So let your skin breathe! Have cereal for dinner. Drink cheap booze! Don't worry, he'll be home soon enough. After all, he's got a mighty fine Fancy Wife to return to. 

Monday, 7 March 2011

Fancy Parenting


Nanny #2 said something this weekend that really made me feel a lot better about my parenting skills. I mean, after the cup incident. To answer your questions, there is a Fancy way to pick up some other child’s sippy cup from the sidewalk. I won’t bore you with the details but it involves pushing the cup to the side with one Manolo while juggling your Prada onto the other shoulder before bending down, making sure your Fancy ass isn’t facing oncoming traffic. You should also be muttering something about irresponsible Nannies, just so everyone is very clear that you aren’t actually in need of a new cup but simply respecting your own belongings. And seriously, Mrs. Tuna, I have some handcuffs in the bedside drawer and they look plenty Fancy. Anyway, back to me and my excellent mothering.

“Watching you last weekend, well I guess that is why I’m with your family. I just really learned something about patience and tolerance,” she said, folding my laundry into perfect little squares. (Yes, even the socks.)

It didn’t take me long to know what she meant. I’m a mother of two toddlers.

Here’s what you need to know about people who are 100% Ego driven and have virtually zero developed Id:

  • They are used to having their needs met immediately. They say “jump” and people starting hopping around. Demanding is an understatement.
  • The norm is to have someone cater to their every need. Down to the most basic: a soft place to sleep, yummy food in their bellies, a warm towel after a nice bath, matching socks.
  • They lack any sort of patience.
  • The rules that govern you and me, like politeness, tolerance of others and understanding that sometimes others’ needs come first are completely lacking.


So, when things don’t work the way they expect, there is no coping ability. The only way they know how to express their frustration is through kicking, screaming and tears. It’s completely understandable, don’t you think?

What’s my approach? Oh, it’s usually to walk into the situation with a sense of humour. I might make a funny face or stomp my feet in imitation. It often doesn’t take me but a few seconds to figure out how to right whatever wrong sent them hurtling into a full scale tantrum. And at the end there is some reassurance that the problem has been solved, followed usually by a little giggling and some hugs. I wipe away tears and with a pat on the butt, send my little darlings on their way.

So yes, last weekend Nanny #2 witnessed me handle a crying and frustrated member of my family with grace and understanding.

“Did he get to the airport on time?” Nanny #2 asked.

Friday, 4 March 2011

And The Award Goes To…Frau Fancy!



I am really going for Mother of The Year. I think I’ve nearly got it in the bag. Just look at what I did for my girls this week.

First I went and woke them up. Actually, they were waiting in their cots for their mother, happily playing with their little dolls. This is what happens when you buy have Fancy children. Yes, it's true. A Night Nanny really does make all the difference. If it had been up to me, they'd probably go down at 11 and still be waking up for snacks at 2 am. I'm a softie. 

Anyhoo, then they got a breakfast of toasted potato farls and cream cheese. I don’t really know what a farl is since we don’t have them in the States but they seem harmless enough and the girls sure like them. It’s some kind of potato pastry, right? And fruit and milk. How’s that for healthy?

Then there was a bit of playing, a trip to the library and a nice nap. Okay, I’m lying. The Nanny did all that with them. I don’t actually even know what they had for lunch, but I’m sure it was nutritious. But their Mother was the one who hired the Nanny, isn’t she? So it still counts. But what came next is where I really think I’ve got this in the bag. You’re about to witness the making of a hero.

As usual I worked all morning and then headed out to finally mail Kate her Fancy package. I have finally gotten a handle on this project and could at last venture beyond the end of our street. It was on the way home that it happened. I saw a pink Tommy Tippee cup lying on the sidewalk. It looked just like ours. So I picked it up and brought it home, quite proud of myself for having saved yet another sippee cup from becoming homeless. “Damn those Nannies!” I thought, “always losing my kids stuff on the street. Why can’t they just pay more attention to what they are doing?” Oh, Fancy, I don’t know, maybe because they are minding your children? But Fancy guilt isn’t our topic today, is it? Back to being Fancy and Proud.

At least I was proud of myself until I got home and saw both of our Tommy Tippees in the cupboard. Does anyone remember the pacifier event? You would think that a woman who has 4 employees wouldn’t feel the need to pluck plastic off the street and bring it home just in case it belongs to us. It’s a pink plastic cup for God’s sake. Go buy another one, you cheap freak. Now your kids are probably going to be drinking out of a cup that was peed on by a dog because you can’t wrap your head around this Fancy act. I’m not telling H. Or FT. Shhh.

What’s that? Oh, right. No, I did not throw the cup out. It’s a perfectly good cup. That would be wasteful. Dishwashers are practically industrial sterilizers. It gives me a spare for the next time one of the Nannies isn’t paying attention to what TC is tossing out onto the street.

So, do I win? Do I?

Wednesday, 2 March 2011

Fancy Pet Hates



I, like many of you, read this week’s Listography incorrectly at first. What, I thought. People are actually confessing to disliking animals! That’s crazy! That’s a Listography after my Fancy heart! I can do that. Then I read some of your posts. I stand corrected. You mean like “pet” as in English for “most” or “favorite.” Well, Fancy here is going with her first reaction. You all know that I hate Nannies who can’t load a fucking dishwasher or finding sand and apple sauce pasted to my pram. I’m gonna toss this one on its head. Here’s Fancy's most Hated Pets.

  • Pets with Hair: I was going to say dogs here because there is nothing worse than dressing up to go visit your best friend who you only see once a year if you are lucky and then leaving her house only to find your gorgeous black trousers covered in hair. I go to great lengths to maintain or remove the hair on my own body. I pay ladies to look at my personal bits and keep them well groomed. I don’t want to find anyone else’s hair anywhere near me. Not a little black hair in my duck roll. Not a shred of doggie (of kitty) stuck to my cashmere.


  • Ferrets: Guess what? You’re not cool. Oh, I know you think you are because you went all rocker on us and got a ferret. But that’ is so 90’s. Ferrets are dirty and smelly. You realize that most domesticated ferrets have to have their anal scent glands removed before coming into your lovely home. And California and New York City don’t allow them. One more example of how those are two of the more forward-thinking states in the Union.


  • Petting Zoo Sheep: The Princess is now old enough to want to go into the petting area at the zoo. Tough Cookie is surprisingly resistant to the whole thing (smart cookie is what you are baby girl!) so she stays out with H. But The Princess wants to get right in there and touch the baby goats. Which is okay because they are smaller than me and I could probably take one on and win. But the sheep, that’s another story. They look at me with their little beady eyes, chewing on their hay and it’s clear to me that there is very little going on behind those glazed over baby blues. But they are BIG, these sheep. I think one of them could knock me over and seriously injure me on its sudden race back to the safety of its pen, startled by something horribly threatening like a sparrow. I can’t trust anything that stupid to not blindly kill me without a second thought. But this is what mothers do, isn’t it. We get over our own fears to make our children happy.


  • Llamas: and speaking of the petting zoo, why are the llamas allowed so close to the people? Don’t they know that those big-toothed camel wannabes bite and spit? I’m seriously concerned for the people of Greater London. Those keepers should really put some space between these creatures and the general public. I mean, if I lived in the Andes maybe I’d think differently and have a favorite and well trained little llama friend to carry my belongings up and down the mountain. Or maybe not. I could probably hire a car and driver to do that.


  • And finally. My mouse. No, I didn’t say mice, although I don’t like rodents of any kind and can scream like a little girl when I open the rubbish cupboard out on the street and a million little furry things scatter. But I specify: My Mouse. The neighbours are doing construction and its driven a tiny little friend over into my living room. She’s actually kind of cute but I don’t want any mice getting too comfortable over here at the Fancies. And what if she breeds? Horrors! I keep setting out these “no see” quick kill traps but she ignores them. I even laid a trail of seeds right up to the door of the trap and she ate every fucking one and still avoided getting caught. Actually, I take this all back. I like My Fancy mouse. I like her style. 

Tuesday, 1 March 2011

Fancy Tantrums



I need a contractor. For a new closet. Quick. If any of you can help, please do. I need someone Fancy, fast, and creative. I need a miracle worker.  My entire family’s happiness is at stake. You don’t believe me?

Our Fancy house has lots of fancy features. But the closets aren’t one of them. Clearly whoever designed our home is 1) a man 2) naked and 3) hungry. My closet and my kitchen suck. I’ve been meaning to hire someone to fix the situation but just haven’t gotten around to it.

But I’ve been pushed. With this work project I’m on, I’ve been getting up at the crack of dawn and actually working all day while the Nanny wrangles the children. When H gets up in the morning, he has to make his own coffee. Haven’t had a pedicure in forever and I’ve been missing gym sessions. The children have been eating takeaway. It’s been rough on all of us.

On Sunday, H announced that he was leaving urgently for a business trip and his car would pick him up at noon. True to form, at 11:45 he was still in the shower. I asked Nanny #2 to clear out a suitcase for him and sat myself down at the computer. 3 minutes later I heard screaming.  I kept yelling “what what?” and could barely make out his anguished cries for help. Our house is big. You can’t always hear easily. I pushed away from my work and went to find him.

H was standing in his closet, surrounded by clothes, throwing his ties in the air. “Nothing works here! I hate it! My house is broken!” he wailed. “Khakis, I need KHAKIS!”

You house is broken because your wife has spent the last week working? 2 Nannies and a cleaning lady aren’t enough to keep things in order? I know your closet sucks but is it worth this degree of hysteria? And guess what, buddy. English ain’t your mother tongue. When you are at the other end of the house screaming for “khakis,” I’m as liable to bring you toilet paper as I am a pair of trousers.

So I got my 280 pound toddler calmed down (Honey, when the Nanny kept asking me for “seeeds” I kept pointing to the picnic benches until I realized she meant the basil plants. I can’t always understand you foreigners.) and sent Nanny 2 running for an iron to press his pants. The pair in the closet were too dark! He needed lighter khakis. Together, we got him packed and out the door, only a few minutes after the car arrived.

So you can now see how my career and the integrity of my marriage depend on a new closet. The children happen to like takeout. But H has big problems. Can anyone help me? Mr. Fancy thinks his life sucks when his wife has a job. Just wait until there are workmen in his bathroom at 7 in the morning. Be careful what you wish for, darling.