Wednesday, 22 February 2012

Fancy Phone Lines

Hello from London! I've been back from what I know call, "The Most Civilized Place On Earth," for a week but I'm only now catching my breath. Whew. That was a whirlwind. The Fancies slept in 4-hour blocks, ate, drank, and slept some more. The beauty of our plan was that by never fully changing time zones, we hit the ground running back home.

Which was good. Because the Minis apparently went around telling every single play group, music class, swim teacher and art instructor that Mommy had run off to Tokyo. Without them.

Thanks girls. You make me look so good.

Anyhoo, it was a fantastic trip. Except for the one email I received letting us know that some very old and dear friends are splitting up. Sort of like a "Dear John" for the 3rd parties. Ugh.

Which meant H and I spent that evening discussing the frailty of marriage. In between mouthfuls of raw fish and gulps of sake. And right before dashing back to our Fancy hotel room to prove we still got it.

Have you ever seen Japanese porn? It's weird. Even to Fancy folk. Wearing $800 boots. 

Anyhoo. I digress. The point is, we both felt a deep gratitude that our Fancy marriage, while not perfect, is pretty okay. At least we both agree that divorce would be highly annoying. So we've every intention to stick it out. The two of us. And Fancy Therapist.

Because even Fancy Couples have to work at marriage. It's a living, breathing creature that has to be nurtured and looked after.

Which is a point I reminded British Telecom of this week. The ringing phone interrupted my work.

"Hello, Frau Fancy? This is BT calling. Unsolicited, yes, but we just want to see if you are happy with your current phone carrier. We know you used to have a BT account and want to discuss The Fancies returning to our warm embrace."

"Whoa, hold on there, stop right there," I interrupted. "Over my cold dead body will we go back to BT. Sorry to be blunt, but you people nearly ended my marriage. I mean seriously, our relationship devolved into mutual blame, screaming and general unhappiness. Until we got our own representative in the Chairman's office to sort you people and your disaster of a service out for us. So no, there is no way you will suck me back in. Save your breath." I said it as nicely as I could, but still. I needed to be firm.

And do you know what? The man on the other end also respects the sanctity of marriage. He actually began to laugh.

"Well, Frau, then I'm just going to stop. On behalf of BT, I'd like to apologize for any difficulties you may have had. And personally, I'm going to tell you that I want no part in destroying your home. After all, you sound like a very happy person now."

"Well, yes, I am. My relationships with both my husband and my current phone provider are solid and I've no intention of jeopardizing either."

And then, to my disbelief, the nice man on the other end wished me a good day and disconnected the line.

Amazing. I wish everyone agreed that a strong marriage is nothing to fiddle around with. He's probably not going to last long at that company. Different philosophies and all.

Monday, 13 February 2012

Fancy Mysteries

Konichi wa!

Guess where the Fancies are having a long weekend?

I have to say, this has been an amazing trip. I wish we could stay longer than a few days but the Minis are back in London with their Nannies and grandparents. I always hesitate to leave the continent unless their is family somewhere nearby. Of course I still have 24-7 childcare in place, because Lord knows my Minis could kill an old person, but at least they are getting completely spoiled while their Fancy mother shovels raw fish and udon into her mouth.

God Bless Nanny #1. She actually asked me as I was packing my bags whether there were any special care instructions for the grandparents. She's a good one, that Nanny.

Anyhoo, we almost didn't make the trip, which would have been a terrible shame. And it would have been all H's fault. Or someone's fault. Not mine. Actually, that's the problem. We don't know who almost made us miss our flight. What? Oh, let me explain.

"Car's here in 5 minutes, dude," I screamed up the staircase. "Need my lounge time. Chop chop!"

"Good, I need 6 minutes. Just need to find my bag of cables so I can work on the plane."

Yes, you know what happens when a man tries to "find something," don't you?

What ensued next was not pretty. I'll spare you the gritty details. Suffice it to say that within minutes, Fancy PA (who'd arrived early to help us pack) and myself were tearing the Fancy Home apart.

"When did you last have them?" I asked, as calmly as I could.

"On my trip last week. They were in my suitcase."

"And who unpacked your suitcase?" I continued, trying to retrace the steps of the critical wiring. "Was it you?" I asked Fancy P, who shook her head vehemently.

"Uh, I guess it was Nanny #2," was H's answer.

Fancy PA called her immediately. She did not, I repeat, did not unpack a suitcase last week.

Which means that we have no idea who unpacked Mr. Fancy after his last trip. All we know is that someone did.

And this means that either we have so many people working in the Fancy Home that I've actually lost count, or one of us has lost our minds.

Ah well, either way, we made the flight. They sell that shit at the airport you know.

Friday, 3 February 2012

Fancy Demands

Greeting from the Fancy Sofa, where I’m sitting in my work uniform (First Class Fancy Airline Sweatshirt and old jeans), occasionally staring out my window (which still doesn’t have blinds of any kind—oh hello neighbours!), and trying to get some work done. The Minis are at playgroup. Or music. Or swimming. Anyway, they’re somewhere cool. And I’m trying to be productive.

Even as my cleaning lady fluffs the pillows around me.

She’s a new one and I admire the way she’s fit right in, getting things done despite my presence. It’s always tricky, hiring someone to scrub your floors. She’s got to be trustworthy, industrious and know the difference between Cif Bathroom Cleaner and Cif Kitchen Cleaner. (One comes in a yellow bottle and one is white. Fancy here did not actually know this until recently when one of the Nannies asked why I use bathroom cleaner on my kitchen counters. Anyhoo.)

Yes, Fancy has a long list of requirements if you want to come scrub my toilets. However, this time we really lucked out. Because on this search for a new Hoover Master, I had one basic criteria: ALIVE.

Yes. That was pretty much my whole list.

I was desperate, you see. Remember back to the whole “No Nanny, 4 senior citizens Holiday Adventure?” Well, I only mentioned there was no housekeeper. I didn’t tell you the whole story. As in for the first week, we had the whole bunch of them at the Fancy Home. Where I was expected to cook and clean and entertain the masses.

Without a Nanny, which was bad enough. But wait, it was actually worse than you could imagine.

My cleaning lady was in the hospital in critical care.

Which was terrible, I mean terrible, on so very many levels. For her. For her family. For her children at Christmas time.

And for me. 

Oh woe was me. I became intimately acquainted with the Cif bottles. Only I wasn’t sure where the mop was, which is why I went through the house everyday on my hands and knees pushing Flash Wipes around my hardwoods. (Is that okay? Did I do that right?)

Anyhoo, I then had to do what any Fancy lady would do in this circumstance. I had to fire my cleaning lady. Oh, don’t look at me like that. First I had Fancy PA send enough food to fill their fridge for the holidays. Then I fired her.

I mean, seriously, what was I supposed to do? Give her a bucket big enough for an oxygen tank and window cleaner?

So that brings us to our new Fancy Cleaner. I really like her. So far she’s doing a great job. The kitchen is sparkling, she irons like a mad woman. Oh, and her kidneys seem to function just fine.

I’m not asking too much, am I?