My Night in a 4 Million Dollar Mansion | Nanny Diaries
Has it been a while or has it been a while?? Sorry ’bout that. s t o r y t i m e.
If you have read my last post, you probably think I’m over in Huntington Beach soaking up the sun’s rays and nannying five kiddos. Yeah… you’d be wrong. A few weeks ago things just weren’t looking up for me. It’s not that I didn’t adore the kids, or the five minute walk to the beach, or all my friend’s there, but sometimes issues arise that are out of our control. I didn’t know what I was going to do but I went online and found a job to nanny in Newport Beach. I interviewed that day, got the gig, left my first nanny job, moved out, and moved on. Within 24 hours I found myself in an entirely new house and culture.
I can not overstate the difference in culture. My new family had just moved from China. Like 2 weeks fresh. Not even a transfer. They did not speak a lick of English but they had personal assistants who could roughly translate for me. They lived in a wonderful mansion on a hill in Newport Beach. I shared a room with their child, an 18 month old baby boy we’ll call Dilbert. (that’s his English name, I can not spell his Chinese name.)
The job seemed simple enough: 24 hour care for little Dilbert. Sure, it was difficult figuring out where all his baby supplies were and what they wanted me to make him for lunch, but it worked. After I put him to bed, the family invited me to join them for dinner. You know that feeling when you get lost in your house because you aren’t certain what kitchen they are eating in? Yeah I didn’t either. I finally found a kitchen attached to the garage where the parents and their entourage sat sipping wine and eating the freshest seafood I’ve ever seen. It was so fresh that no one had found the time to take off the heads, or even just remove the eyeballs. Although they laughed at how I ate my first oyster and my refusal to drink wine, they were quite impressed by my chopstick skills. I didn’t eat all that Panda Express for nuthin’! For most of the dinner conversation I listened to them speak Mandarin but when I turned down wine, the conversation turned to me. “You don’t drink wine?” the father inquired through his personal assistant. “How many boyfriends have you had?” (I’m still not certain those two are correlated, but he was not pleased with my answer.) “That is too little! I had 4 girls at once when I was your age.” (I also didn’t realize it was a competition.) As soon as I finished eating my giant prawn (brains & eyeballs & all) I excused myself from that awkward dinner party. That first night I slept more like a baby than Dilbert did.
The following morning I played with Dilbert as a Czech cleaning crew tidied up a place that looked spotless to me. That was the first time I had spoken “real” English with someone in what felt like days. The chandelier cleaning guy also came over and we had a lovely discussion about Sia’s Chandelier. Everything seemed to be going handy dandy, but everything is never as it seems. As I put Dilbert down for his nap, the mother walked into the bedroom. Reciting Google Translate she said “No work. Pack bags. Buh bye.”
my heart stopped. What was going on? I had just left my other job 24 hours ago and here I was jobless, carless, and homeless in California. my first reaction? laughter.
That may not seem like the best way to handle the situation, but when I get super stressed out laughter really is my best medicine. (Seriously, one time a kid broke up with me and I joked that at least I’d have an excuse to eat ice cream. What is wrong with me?!) I started packing up my bags again, called my mother, and casually texted my friend who had just returned home from his mission. I ubered down to the Newport Temple and sat with the Sister Missionaries for a couple of hours while I attempted to figure out my life. Who am I kidding, I’m still trying to figure out my life, but at least I have a great story to tell my future grandkids one day.
Until next time,