Thursday, 28 July 2011

Fancy Family Visits

Greetings from the depths of Fancy’s Summer Holiday. Notice I called it, “Fancy’s Summer Holiday.” NOT “A Fancy Summer Holiday.” There is a difference. Fancy it ain’t.

Oh I know, it’s always good to get away. But after a wonderful weekend with Nanny #1 on full duty, me enjoying a beer in the sunshine and fine dining in the evening, the woman had the gall to get on a train and leave me.

I know. Turns out Nannies are entitled to vacation time. Yes, I agree. It’s highly unfortunate.

However, since she was kind enough to coordinate her holiday with mine and allow me to pay for her way to and from the Continent in exchange for help on the plane and one small weekend in a hotel (for which she receives well-deserved extra holiday pay), I will forgive her.

Now I’ve got the Minis at their grandparents. Oh, H? Ha. “Urgent meetings” in other places. But it’s not really so bad. My in-laws are lovely people. And my days are literally chock full of excitement and adventure. I mean, between choking down plates of boiled beef and potatoes at lunch, meeting my mother-in-law’s hairdresser (“So you, YOU are the party responsible for this, THIS stiff, unmoving creature!” my insides seethed. ) and clawing my way through mountains of dried flowers and sea glass to the one lone toilet in their apartment, I can’t really see how an African safari or a trip to the moon could be more appealing.

So there you have it. Family ain’t Fancy. But it’s still family and its precious memories in the making. The Minis don’t get enough time with any of their grandparents as it is. And who knows how many more years we have of The Princess and Tough Cookie drawing on their grandfather with ink pens while he takes one of his 7 daily naps. Or how much longer their grandmother will have the strength to watch them crumble croissants all over her several thousand Turkish rugs. (Ok seriously, I feel like I should be on the Hookah all day. There is even one serving as a TV cover. No joke. That picture could literally be their living room. Don't ask me. I haven't a clue.)

The message? Blood sausage at breakfast be damned, I’m going to make this trip count if it almost kills me.

Which frankly, it might. 

Monday, 25 July 2011

Fancy Goes Native

“No. I am putting my foot down. Absolutely not. I won’t allow it.”

That was Nanny #1 3 days ago. See, when you are forced to fly Cheap Ass Air and the price includes losing your kid’s shoes during the harried rush through security (because arriving at the airport 2 hours early still means you will barely make your flight given their high level of efficiency and generally caring attitude) it means Fancy here found herself driving out of the airport and on the search for a store that would sell freakishly small shoes for The Princess’s itty little tootsies.

I landed at the German-speaking equivalent of Walmart. Kaufland. Actually what’s worse than Walmart? Walmart really isn’t that bad. I kind of like Walmart. It’s no Target, but still. Anyhoo, I digress. Imagine a tragic Walmart. That’s where we landed.

“But they are the smallest pair I can find!” I pleaded with Nanny #1. “C’mon, they aren’t that bad,” I pined, holding out a very scruffy pair of what can only be described as mental institution slippers for toddlers.

“No! No. Don’t make me get physical. I’m not joking,” she replied, absolutely straight faced.

I was actually a little scared.

“Okay, then,” I said, wandering to the other end of the aisle. “Here, these are the smallest real shoes I can find. And they are pink! These will work, right?” I asked hopefully.

“Hmmm. They are very chav-ey (is that a word?) but not horrible,” she conceded.

“I know!” I cried. “They are so bad they are good again! Totally pikey! I love it.”

“I wouldn’t go that far,” she snorted. “But when we get back home maybe we can sneak into one of the Estate playgrounds and no one will notice.”

“Ooh awesome idea! There is one near our house and it is so nice! I love taking the girls there. I’m buying TC a pair too!” I screamed with joy, pulling a purple set off the racks.

Nanny #1 just rolled her eyes at me as I threw them into the cart, along with 3 pairs of socks, a bag of M&Ms, a container of melon, 3 packs of glitter stickers, bikini wax (ran out of time before we left) and some contact lens solution. (Really not a bad shoppe choice now that I think about it.)

And that’s how our vacation is going so far. The Minis are “living local.” I think it looks cool. I especially like how the word “Sports” is written across the side of them in big white letters. So bad, they are good again. Kind of wish they came in my size…

Tuesday, 19 July 2011

Fancy Travels: Planning Ahead

“Why aren’t you helping me? Where is my travel cologne? Why does everybody hate me? No one cares about me!”

That was Mr. Fancy, Sunday night, trying to pack his suitcase while his driver sat outside, reading the paper. He’s the kind who really likes to plan ahead.

“Darling, I want to help you. I just didn’t hear you. I’m coming right now,” I soothed, leaving the Minis to their dinner.

Alas, I wasn’t any great help. How am I supposed to know where Nanny #2 thinks a good hiding place for his travel shaving kit and computer cables is? I’m truly fascinated to find out next time I see her. 

Back to the kitchen I trotted, after consoling H with the knowledge that anything he needs can be purchased and I will personally bring anything forgotten along with me. To hand over when we meet on the Continent. Because he’s not using that ticket after all.


Much to my delight, I discovered TC giving her sister a deep conditioning hair treatment. With Nutella. Only made worse by the fact that The Princess had fallen asleep during all the excitement, in her high chair, face smashed into goat cheese on toast. 

I was still scrubbing when H came flying into the kitchen.

“I only have to pack until Thursday, right? I mean, you’ll bring all my other stuff. I only need clothes for 3 days?” he asked with misguided optimism.

“Um, darling, we’re flying Cheap Ass Air. At your suggestion. You convinced me it would be the ‘better alternative.’ 20kg luggage limit. It's out of my hands," I shrugged, howling with laughter (internally). "Now, if we were flying Fancy Gold Card Airline, like I wanted, then I would be more than happy to schlep all your shit several hundred miles with me. In addition to the Minis, their crap, all our clothes and the 5 bags of M&Ms I plan on using as airplane diversionary tactic. As it is, however, I suggest you do a little thinking about whether you’d like to spend your days by the pool in a suit.”

He stared at me.

“Can you at least hand me those cufflinks?” he whinged. “Is that too much to ask?”

I felt bad.

We compromised.

I’m bringing his swimsuit.

Happy Vacation, here we come!!!

By the way, did you catch me back over at In The Powder Room this week?

Wednesday, 13 July 2011

The Fancy Death of Formality

H is a big believer in the “death of formality.” What exactly does that mean? I believe he referring to what he perceives is an overall decline in strict dress codes, 8 course dinners and the freedom with which we call each other by our first name. I suppose in a way he is right; after all I don’t leave a calling card when I stop by the neighbour’s house nor do I insist on my domestic help wearing uniforms. Yes that is true, all my employees wear exactly what they want to work. I know, I’m so gracious.

Anyway, if you so much as mention “dressing up” or “black tie” to H, he almost goes into fits.

“That’s stupid!” he cries.

“Bullshit I’m wearing a coat with tails!” he clamors.

Even at our own wedding he very nearly succeeded in avoiding a tuxedo. There were some threats, some phone calls and several hotel employees throwing him into the back of a black car destined for some South American tuxedo shoppe involved in that one.

If we go to a restaurant that requires a jacket, H takes great delight in watching the Maitre’d go scrounging around in the closet for a “loaner” that will fit him. (He has eaten dinner more times than I care to count squeezed into a blazer that looks more like a sausage casing than a coat, but hey, that’s his privilege.)

So you get what I’m saying. Tell H to wear something other than exactly what he feels like wearing at that exact moment and you are bound to witness a tantrum.

But last night he took it to a new low. Seriously. I don’t know how much further down he could actually go.

We had a friend over for dinner, a lovely pal who is near and dear to our hearts (and was closely involved in that South American black car incident) and who was gracious enough to carry H’s new suit over from the US. (It fit!!!!!) After all the necessary hugging and exclaims of delight (“How was your flight?! Missed you!”), he handed H a hanging bag.

H proceeded to remove his trousers right there in the living room. He tried on his suit and after relief and happiness all around, handed it back to me.

But he left his trousers on the floor.

And the proceeded to spend the rest of the evening sitting around in his undies, moving from sofa to dining table, glass of wine in hand, Hugo Boss snug cotton boxers flashing out from under his shirt with every breath.

"Ah, he doesn't care! Do you?" he asked our guest when I made mention of the situation.

And that, folks, is truly The Death of Formality.

By the way, speaking of politeness, catch me over at In The Powder Room today. Just a little ode to the customer service centre at British Telecom.

Monday, 11 July 2011

Fancy Condemns

I have decided that I’m too quick to judge. Yes, it’s true. Fancy here is judgmental. Now sometimes it’s probably justified. Like if you are a teenager and your jeans are pulled down under your butt so I have to see your underwear and you have tattoos across your face and an electronic ankle bracelet and it is 2 am when we meet on the street, well, my best guess is that you are not crusading for Christ. But other times I do believe that I’m too quick to make a leap. I don’t always give people the benefit of the doubt they deserve.

Take this weekend. H and I like to take the Minis swimming at our Fancy Gym during “family hours” on the weekends. Nanny #2 had the girls out to the park while I worked out with Fancy Trainer and then I met her back at the house to get the Minis lunch and changed into their suits. Then we were to head back to the gym to meet H as he finished his Fancy Trainer session. (Yes! I know!!!!!)

As the girls were eating I headed upstairs to find my swimsuit. Last I’d seen it, my Fancy yet modest one piece (my favourite for toddler pool time) was hanging in my upstairs bathroom. Yet, when I went to get it, it had vanished!

“For fuck’s sake,” I muttered. “That woman can’t control herself, can she? What the hell has she done with my suit? A million bucks says it’s in the laundry. It’s a fucking swimsuit. It doesn’t need washing. Even worse, I bet she threw it in the machine. All that beading. Whoosh. Gone. That suit cost £200. Fuck me. That’s it. She’s off laundry. I swear to God…”

“Nanny #2!” I hollered down the stairs, trying my best to stay calm and friendly. “Do you happen to know where my bathing suit is? The black one that was hanging over the tub?”

“Yes! I put it in the drawer with your other suits. You know, the top left one,” she called, oblivious to my furious rant of 15 seconds earlier.

Ah yes. And what do you know. There it was.


Friday, 8 July 2011

Fancy Foreign Languages

Looking at my most recent Frock It entry, those dresses reminded me of a little conversation I had with H this week. Yes, I'm actually having to speak directly to him. Fancy Therapist is still on holiday. Counting the days. 

Anyway, the Minis are being raised to be bilingual. As in two languages from the get go. I know what you are thinking. “Of course they are! Why stop at just being Little Fancies. Why not allow them to make fun of others in a foreign language their peers can’t understand?”

Seriously. We think it’s a gift and from the start, H and I have been very committed to the process. He speaks one language with them, I speak another. Oh and then I hired two Nannies who speak his language since for our plan to work, he’d actually have to ever be home. Anyhoo.

It’s going pretty well. Although Fancy here had to relearn all her animal sounds in a foreign tongue. Turns out dogs and cows and ducks don’t woof and moo and quack in every language. No they don’t. And sometimes that creates problems:

“Tough Cookie keeps saying something I can’t understand. What the hell is, ‘meheh?’” I asked H.

“Sheep.” he mumbled, shoving some lamb (irony!) into his mouth. “Sheep say ‘meheh.’ Duh.”


“What about ‘baa?’ Can they say ‘baa?’”  I asked.

“What?! That’s stupid. Sheep don’t say, ‘baa,’ they say ‘meheh.’ Not baa. Don’t be dumb. Why would we teach our children something so ridiculous?”

Oh of course. We are, after all, trying to give them advantages.


Wednesday, 6 July 2011

Fancy Donations

Fancy’s done pretending she’s humble. Thanks for that. Whew.

“Okay, so all that Fancy Clothing on its way to the charity shop, why isn’t it on its way over to me?” asked my pal. She’s one of the 4 Fancy Secret Holders to my identity and the one who got me blogging in the first place. Lucky duck.

“Well, first thing, greedy lady, is that you are 5 inches shorter than me. Which means my skinny clothes would be swimming on you. Plus, wouldn’t that be slightly obnoxious, offering you my rejects?”

This is the part of the Fancy Clean Out that I find awkward. There are literally bags of shoes and clothing heading out the door and onto the backs of some less fortunate. I like that another person will get to benefit from my wardrobe turn around but on the other hand, that is a huge pile of money I’m literally throwing out the door. Wouldn’t it be better to give them to people I know?

But that idea brings its own problems. What do I say? “Oh, here I thought you might like this dress. It might look really good on you. It’s only me that looks like a Tijuana hooker in it.”

Or maybe: “I brought you some beautiful designer trousers. I bet they’ll fit perfectly. Because they are way too big for me.”

And there’s always: “Big bag of expensive clothes here for you. Slightly out of fashion right now but I’m sure they’ll come back in. I just don’t really have the room to hang onto them, what with all my uber-stylish stuff I just bought. Oh yeah, that’s still hip, but ruffles make me look a little whorish. But you can totally pull it off.”

Fancy here just feels funny about it.

But then Nanny #1 saw the pile. “Hey,” she asked, “what can I give you for that sequined vest?”

“Take it!” I exclaimed. “Take anything! You can have it all. I just felt weird offering you my castoffs. But it’s yours. Don’t give me a thing. Just give it a good home.”

“Gosh, thanks!” she replied looking around the room. “But I’ll just take the vest. I really don’t need anything else.”

“Oh, okay,” I said, realizing that Nanny #1’s good fashion sense is the reason I let her dress the Minis in the morning. (Seriously, we had one Nanny who would put them in the most bizarre combos. H walked in one day and said, “Why is the Princess dressed liked your sister?” Snort.)

“But wait, this here, this shirt is one of my favorites. It’s Boss and I love it to death. The only reason I’m giving it away is because of Nanny #2’s uncontrollable need to wash fine clothing. It shrunk. But you’re so tiny, maybe you’d like to try it?”

“Ah, yes, that I’ll take. Thanks!”


Oh by the way, since the theme here is clothing, why don’t we finish off with a Frock It? Here you go. What not to wear to a wedding. What the fuck were the groomsmen wearing? Can you find a tux that would fit a sheep?

Monday, 4 July 2011

Fancy Explains

You know that the last couple weeks at the Fancy Home have been dominated by the search for clothes for H. When Fancy PA and I were just at the point of tearing out our eyeballs in grief (me) and frustration (her), we hit my closet. And after a proper gutting, I hit the Net-a-Porter website with the ferocity of, well, H attacking a properly cooked sirloin or the Minis left alone with a bowl of M&Ms. It was carnal.

And then I re-read that post and thought, “Oh God, Fancy. You sound like a brainless doof. There are people who struggle to pay their mortgage and here you are going on and on about all your designer clothes and your shopping sprees. And in the face of your husband who can barely squeeze himself into anything off the rack. You, my darling Fancy Pants, sound like an arrogant ass.”

Fortunately some of you still left lovely comments. Although you might still have been thinking, “God, she’s an arrogant ass.” So if you could allow me, I’d like to explain.

See, Fancy here is a Former Fat Person.

Yes, it’s true.

No, I was never confined to my bed with emergency services visiting to see which wall they’d remove from my home in the event of a house fire, but I was a bit chubby. Actually, looking back on it, living in NYC, it’s kind of shocking that I found a boyfriend while my waif-like friends continued to moan about their eternally single selves. Then again, the fact that I could go out to dinner and actually enjoy my meal might have been really refreshing for H. But then some comments were made by some people, which sent me wailing into Fancy Therapist’s office. And here’s what he had to say:

“Well, you are overweight. That’s not a lie. She was just stating fact. Yes, she’s a bitch. But you are not thin. Don’t kid yourself.”

And Fancy stopped eating. Once I actually wept openly over my chicken breast and salad while H had dessert in a restaurant. Losing weight sucks. You actually have to eat less. For weeks on end. Seriously. I’m not making this up.

By the way, working out was never the issue for me. I did 2 triathalons and a marathon wearing size L kit. But yes, it does help and I am a gym bunny to this day.

Of course then came the IVF and the shots and the failures and the heart ache and my weight went flying up, down and sideways. But once the Minis came, I found my groove again. And living on a diet of vegetables and booze, I have finally--and only recently-- once again found a happy place where the occasional steak still lives but also where I’m the as thin as I was in high school.

I will stop here and say, yes, I understand those of you who saw me at CyberMummy are thinking, “wait she’s not thin.” No I’m normal. American size 8-10. 5’9” Just inside the Fancy Wife Description. Just.

So back to my shopping spree. Fancy here can remember buying clothes simply because they were large enough. I didn’t always have choices. That is why H’s struggle is so incredibly painful for me to watch. I know what that feels like. Of course the flip side is that it is also painful to watch him battle his love of food. Because it’s not easy saying, “No,” but I seem to somehow manage to do it.

And the result is that I can actually pull on a pair of designer trousers and they fit. Nearly every item I pulled on I started to take off, saying, “Oh, too small,” only to have Fancy PA correct me. “You are that size. Any bigger is too big.” It felt awesome. And now I actually have some clothes that fit me. The closet gutting was very necessary.

Not sure if that explains it all, but I thought I should say something. Lest you were thinking, “Fancy’s kind of a jerk.” Unless you were already thinking that.

In which case, I got nothing. Hmm. 

Friday, 1 July 2011

A Fancy Cleanout

Trying to find new clothes for H has become a fulltime job for me and my Fancy PA. We needed a break. So we hit my closet. And she was brutal.

“This looks cheap. That is old. What are you doing? You are 3 sizes smaller than those trousers, take them off immediately!”

It was wonderfully therapeutic, albeit at times a bit insulting. (Really? I love that dress. I never realized it was my exact skin tone and made me look like a cheetah. Hmmm.) But either way I was having fun.

“What is this? What the heck is going on here? Who did this?!?!”

Fancy PA had found 2 dresses, 2 nightgowns, and a couple of very beautiful designer shirts all folded up and tucked into my T-shirts.

“Oh! I wondered where those had gone!” I cried, clapping my hands at our discovery.

“Does she have any idea what she is doing? I mean, I already had to toss out that beautiful wool shirt she’d washed. But a nightgown with Tshirts? Designer dresses folded into little squares? And who does your ironing? She’s off clothes. Take her off. She can leave the laundry upstairs and I’ll sort it when I get here. This is ridiculous.”

I guess it wasn’t just me that found Nanny #2’s laundry skills slightly lacking.

The good news is that by the time we were finished, there were some serious holes in my Fancy Closet.

H came home and immediately noticed the 75% reduction in my available wardrobe.

“What happened here?”

“Fancy PA and I did a major closet gutting. She was brutal. Really brutal. Anything old or too big has gone to a charity shop. The designer stuff is going on eBay. She’s really awesome.”

“Huh. Well, don’t think this means you get to fill it all back up. This isn’t a license to shop.”

Um yes, darling. That is exactly what it means. Don’t be a moron.

Do you know about Net-a-Porter? They use the same super hot delivery men as their men’s counterpart, Mr. Porter. I look forward to seeing them. Frequently. Life is good.