Thursday, August 19, 2010

The motley crew of new jersey

Ah America,New Jersey and all the way to the pubs of New York City! It was the best year 1986 and the craic was ninety well of what we all collectively remember of it! Opal (thats an alias for Olive Anne White) was still crying because she was home sick (hungover more like it) and still hanging out the bathroom window smoking and the tears running down her face and sure alls I could do was laugh anytime I saw her, mind you if you called her and were acting the bollox on the phone she had no problem just clicking you off and dopey me would call back and click huhhhhh so we all decided to be nice to Opal if we wanted her to be our friend awwwwww. So when the Newmans or slavemen were done with poor Opal she went from the fire into the frying pan with MADMICKEY. I dont recall ever being to madmickeys house although I'm sure I was but must have been afraid of her so have blocked it out, maybe I should go to theraphy and see if that memory is on my backburner somewhere over the rainbow. Oh hang on I do remember because I remember going to the fridge that was always my destiney while visiting other girls jobs (food) and jaysus everthing had a coat of many colors on it fooking mouldy so that explains the one visit nothing to eat!! On one occasion Madmickey went like a bolt of lightening into Opals room and told her the clothes she ironed the day before were not done right and Opal told her to get the fook out ( she had a bad hangover that morning) and that the dress was horrible and even had she ironed it right she wouldnt wear it! A month for Opal was enough and so she gave that job to her friend ha ha ha with friends like you Opal...... Off to the Bronx for Opal and that was the end of her days in New Jersey, she had moved on to bigger and better ahhh yes she was now working in the Big Smoke of New York City.

Meanwhile Mary (have to use an alias for this one) was still in Wayne and her sister Wanda( she was a real Wanda) would come and visit her from Bayside Queens and stay over in the house where Mary was employed. WELL one weekend while she was there we all stayed in Marys room and in the middle of the nite Wanda decided to go mooching in the house. She told me the next day that she crawled on her hands and knees( ok I know she hardly crawled on her head) into were Mary's bosses were sleeping, shite I said Wanda what the fook were you doing in their bedroom and she told me to have a gawk and to see what she could rob and she did rob jewerly from them but the odd thing is they never missed it hmmmm strange bunch in that house! Now Wanda was a blast and didnt give a fook and I mean DID NOT give a crap about anything. She worked for a single mother who had one school going daughter in Bayside Queens, and Wanda's job was to take her to and from school while the mother was away on business! One weekend i decided to take an adventure to what seemed like far away queens to visit Wanda and have a bit O craic and thats what we did. The mother and daughter were away for that weekend and Wanda had to take care off some fooking bird ina cage not sure what it was it could have been an eagle for all I knew back then. The evening I arrived Wanda start showing me the mothers clothes closet and start showing me the outfits she (Wanda )takes out and wears everyday when picking the child up from school, well it went from red leather suits to fur coats to the womans boots Wanda didnt give a fook. I asked her what the kid says when she sees her in her mothers clothes and Wanda said I told her, her mother said its OK huhhhhh. So we started to have a few drinks and as we were loosing all sence of anything Wanda decides to let the bird out of the cage, what ensued was a 2 hour chase around the house to get the dam bird and after no success we said fook it because we were now fairly to pretty drunk and we decided fook the bird we'll catch it in the morning. Alls I remember is the fooking room spinning and then waking up with a massive hangover and the bird still nowhere to be found. Wanda eventually caught the thing and fooked it back in the cage what a weekend. Mary called me often like all day and if her boss was there she would try talk Gaeilic to me letting me know she couldn't say much well between her little irish and my no irish it was a disaster, on one conversation I thought she said come visit so I did and she said what the fook are you doing here and I said you told me to come and she said I did fooking not I said my boss is listening ahh yea great communication skills alright but Im much better now!Mary eventually left that job and went from bad to worse to downright she went home worse, can't say I blame her the familys she worked for were horrible everyone of them shit what luck! While Mary was in New Jersey (her first job) the familys relations came for a visit and told Mary to watch the giant poodle they had and to make sure the dog was kept clean ha so when they went out Mary fooked the dog out with the family dog well the dogs began fighting and they both fell through the pool cover and into the pool when Mary got them out the prizes dog was covered in shite so she hosed the fook out of the two of them good girl Mary. Another woman had her outside playing soccer above all things for Mary to be palying at 5am with the little boy and it still dark outside, and Mary would call me crying but the way she would tell the story i would be pissing myself laughing 5am that auldwan must have been off her fooking head......... poor Mary was mortified incase anyone saw her! So back to the Emerald Isle for her..................................

Back in New Jersey Betty( also an alias dont want to get arrested for using her real name) was still bossing us all around and telling us not to tell people we were working! What???what the fook do you think we are doing in New Jersey, come on for fooksake Betty I would say, well they'll report you....... and you'll be deported, so the fook what its not like they were going to deport us to Istanbull for jaysus sake so needless to say I didnt listen to much if any of her shite. Infact she thought she was one of THEM ah ha ha yea right reality check you clean their house you cook their food you take care of their kids PERIOD and she did it well because while we were out galavanting around boring auld Wayne she was cleaning the light fixtures that you needed a scaffold to get to No brownie points for that Betty, and how do we know this you may ask coz we use to look in her window, you got it like peeping toms although that was Opal's idea I would never think of doing something like that and coz I wanted Opal to be my friend I went along with it. Usually on Tuesday we were back to work coz we had Sunday and Monday off who the fook has those days off except us bunch of yahoooos oh maybe Betty coz she was special and different and took her job seriously I think she was hoping to become head housekeeper there ah well she didnt. Sometimes we would take the bus back to Wayne New Jersey all of us dying except Betty (of course)or so she would say Im not hungover I didn't drink that much, and then I'd say im fooking dying and mouthy would chime in with well Jacks you shouldn't drink that many pints,ahhh bollox off Betty and leave me the fook alone, I just needed to get off that no air bus and get some grub into me and 4days of sleep and i'd be grand. And so we all went back to our cells and passed out and yes im speaking for us all till our exciting work week began once more. The next evening I decided to take the bike and go visit well I'm riding down this hill and can see something or what i thought was a ghost following me so I peddled like the clappers and that thing was still on my tail so I peddled like Opal picking up all those leaves and fook I nearly ran into a tree with the bike coz I was trying to keep an eye on the ghost and an eye on the road, thank god i just fell off on to the ground,and when I looked back it was a sheet on somebodies clothes line jaysus I felt soooo fooking stupid and dont think I told that story to too many people or did I?????

And so Tuesday morning arrived sooner than I/we wanted but what could we do call in sick from the bedroom? The mothers would have their granola and orange juice and head of to the gym so into the playroom with the childer for a snooze. So I would put some kid show on for them and flop myself on the floor and I knew when the mother was home coz when she would leave she would leave the garage door up so I would put it down this way I would hear it going up when she got home and that would wake me up. Opal on the other hand had a better idea I guess being from Balbriggan she had more shite up her sleave. She would close the playroom door and put her feet against it so that when the mother got home she would hit Opals feet with the door and that would jar her into life, of course everytime she was hit she would say ohhh sorry just getting something from behind the door and the big sleepy head on her, were they stupid or were we just brilliant dont answer that. One Monday we were to head back from NYC for work on Tuesday but we all decided to have a few drinks in Toms, well needless to say we were still there at 2am Tuesday and had missed the last bus so now we are fooked how the hell are we to get back to New Jersey, so someone not ME came up with a bright idea we should get a taxi meanwhile we didnt have the money for such a luxury so we proceded to go up and down the bar taking any monies that was there and finally had enough for the taxi. To my recollection we stopped for food at a pizza joint on route 46 stuffed our faces in the taxi and off home with us! Recently I mentioned to Opal fruits that I pass that pizza place every Thursday nite on the way to PA and its still there and operating all these years later must have been great pizza, and I recalled the times the bus use to pull in there just so WE could get something to eat, ya ejit ya she said the fooking bus does not stop there and especially for you to get some grub and so she reminded me it was a cab and sure we are paying him so yea you will bleeding stop, that will tell ya how much I remember........

And so off into Toms pub on 26th & lex ave with all the intentions of doing something other than drink for the weekend yea right thats excactely what we did but we luved it and the craic was ninety! There was a band who played every Saturday night their names escape me or maybe I never knew it who the hell knows, but I would get up and sing or wail Nancy Spain every Saturday night and shit nobody ever said ah here jacks sing something else ,I could have been singing bon jovi for all they knew so Nancy Spain became my party piece awwwwwwww Im not sure if Toms served food but after 15pints Id be starving so next door to the deli for a wait for it bacon,egg, tunafish and onion on a toasted bagel yummy and a can of bud ina brown paper bag coz i was going to sit on the stoop outside with my homeless friends and have my sambo. I thought that was the greatest and coolest thing to do in New York City hang out with the homeless on the stoop there was deffo a screw or 7 loose with me back then or was it that I was just soooo young and innocent???? To be Cond.........

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

So now we are into the new year!!1986 has arrived and with all our new years resolutions probably gone out the window already. Laura (have to start giving these nannys names not their real ones ha ha) and I decided its time for some new clothes so off to the shops we went, we landed in Bradleys it was huge never seen a shop that size and it had everything from soup to nuts in it just like Walmart has today! we were in our glory and I remember picking out a beautiful navy (my favorite color for anybody whos interested) sweater, a pair of white sneakers and a tape player with head phones and i thought i was great, the tape player by today standards would be a getto blaster hanging of your head but here i was with all my new stuff and having a ball. Now when i washed the so called lovely sweater it became two sweaters and when i put it in the dryer it nearly went on fire ah yes good old acrylic a fucking fire hazard, and when it came out of the dryer it wouldn"t fit a doll ah jesus you live you buy and you learn!!! Bradleys was infact a cheap store and dopey me thought i was buying the best!

By this time the kids I was surpose to be taking care off were use to me and so use to me that on my days off if I and the rest of the gang hadn"t gone galavanting into the city they would knock on my bedroom door at 7am and say we want to play huhhhh get away you little bollock i would say into my pillow and then I would hear the mother say "leave jackie alone its her day off" ha and ahhhhhhhhh lovely i will sleep for another couple of hours, the best sound was when I heard the garage door go up and the car start then I knew they were going out for the day byeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee and yes some peace and a smoke out the window I wasn't surpose to be smoking out of, its starting to sound like I don't follow rules hee hee.

Meanwhile Opal was still getting use to her new digs, one of the kids she had to take care of was about 7 and was already a little professor and his mother dressed him in fancy pants and oxford shirts like he was going to teach at some college jeeze louise no playing in the dirt with this kid. Opal and Julie were friends or at least knew each other from home so we would all head down to were Julie worked and hang out in her house. In the kitchen over the light switch it said outen da lite (don't know what language that is) but the way we say it is turn the fucking light off.

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

The fuuny thing about the gang of us in New Jersey was that most of us lived with Jewish families so when it came to certain holidays they had their own menu's... Now I'm not one hundred percent sure as to what holiday went with what food but I can tell you there was some strange edibles in the house. I'm not sure if it was Roshashona or who's your mama Thanksgiving or forgetting, passover or onceover alls I know is I had to eat Matza hmmmmmmmmm what should I have Matza crackers, Matza balls, Matza soup,Matza this or Matza that well when theres not much else and when all else fails you have Matza whatever!! For any of you who have never had Matza let me tell you its like going to communion and the priest saying you've been a good girl so you can have all the bread and once it hits the moisture in your mouth it clumps like cement to the pallet of your mouth. My experience with the famous Matza was indeed embarrassing I had to get a fork and dig that shite from my pallet,and afraid I would be asked a question I had to do it quickly or I would have sounded like a babbling idiot! I remember one of the gran-ma's asking me if I liked it and I said ohhh yes its lovely and tasty meanwhile it tasted like fucking cardboard,she said its nice with jelly(now that I know what jelly is), tunafish, peanut butter ETC ah come on I'm not eating anymore cardboard thank you very much!!!!

When all the nannies got to know each other pretty well we would go to each others houses where we worked, of course it was so the kids could have a playdate(there's a new one)NOT it was so we could have a bit of craic(laugh) catching up on who's doing what and who works what god forsaken hours and who has to do what in the house. I must say I didn't have to contend with the cleaning or laundry or cooking thank god, although one week the cleaning lady could not make it and I was asked to vacum(hoover) the house and being the good girl I was I said sure no problem well I found the vacum it was just this lond ass tub with nothing else attached and I said to myself, self what the fuck do you do with this so around and around and around the house I go looking for something or somewhere to plug this fucking thing in and after an hour and a few smokes on the no smoking deck I found it a hole in the wall where you stick the stupid thing, talk about feeling like an asshole.Once I got the hang of it, it was great although I was not going to do this everyweek so ms cleaning lady better solve whatever issues she was having and get back to work......

I remember going to one nanny's house, she was taking care of two beautifull kids a boy and a girl not to mention two dogs one being a giant poodle that looked like a horse and the other I don't remember. She was told that when the poodle took a poop or made (took a crap in other words) she was to wipe the dogs butt with toilet paper now we all have limits and I know for me wiping the kids butts was bad enough don't mind a dogs, I think she use to hose the dogs ass with water very funny.This was one of the few families that were not Jewish so had what I call regular food.Anyway this house always had loads and I mean loads of food so off I would go to raid the fridge then the freezer for ice cream the nanny would say ahh jesus don't eat it all but this was all new and i had to sample everything. Finally I was barred from fridges when on playdates ha ha barred I tell you all who in the name of jesus gets barred from a fridge that explains why I became pleasantly plump nice and round, one nanny use to say hello fat girl shit don't hold back and tell me how you really feel.......

November of 1985 brought a new holiday Thanksgiving never heard of that one but hey if I am off from work I'll give thanks. Well that was shattered with the news we were ALL going to Long Island for Thanksgiving to Grandma's house shit I thought to myself were is that, is it a different country, state or planet. So on with the Sunday best on Thursday into the station wagon and off to grandma's house sounds like little red riding hood) The youngest kid would continually say to me go back to IREALAND and in my mind I would say I will you little shite do you think I want to be here listening to your whinning and yelling hell NO, but on this day he was nice and clingy with me which was fine because there was alot of people there all family as far as I remember and enough food to feed an army so a good day was had by all. So before I knew were I was it was xmas and I spent it with one of the nanny's and the huge Italian family they had. First it was xmas eve and the dinner was not all kinds of but everykind of fish you could name and being brave I tried slimey, crispy and chewey fish I was beeter off not asking what it was cause I would have gotton sick.On this day I had a huge and I mean huge scab on my lip talk about sticking out I felt like it was the size of a golfball and everyone was looking at me, all these strangers, but they were no more looking at me than the man in the moon in fact they were very nice and welcoming to me anyway.The poor nanny had to do all the clean up and polish the stupid copper pops and gadgets hanging over the stove as I mentioned before.It wasn't funny but I just couldn't help breaking my shite laughing its 11.30pm xmas eve nite and she is still cleaning but hey thats what some of us had to do and besides we didn't know we could tell them to go fuck themsleves!I stayed with her that night and of course we laughed most of the night as we always did.The next day was xmas day and again I was with the nanny's family again and although the mother was a fuck to her nanny she was nice to me and did give me alot of gifts so I wouldn't feel left out ( ahh now that would make a grown man cry). I am gratefull to her and her family for making me feel part of the bunch and seeing that it was my first xmas away from home it went well although I did feel homesick especially for my ma........ To be continued ENJOY

Sunday, July 5, 2009

So When I arrived in New Jersey and began working for a family I asked myself what in the name of jaysus am I going to eat here in this strange land and strange fridge (what could be in it? and will I like it? or will I starve?) So to my surprise there was plenty of edibles in the fridge and so I began stuffing my face. I must say when one of the kids asked me for a peanut butter and jelly sandwich I thought what the fuck is that jelly on bread Huhhh, the jelly I knew and was use to was in a bowl and was eaten as a desert and now these kids want it on bread so OK, I went to the fridge and found a jar of peanut butter (chunky style) but for the life of me I could not find a bowl of jelly. After a while of looking like an ejit (idiot) I asked the kid to find it and by jesus he found it no bother but it was ina jar, ah for fuck sake it was jam!!!! The four year old looked at me like I just landed from space. And I said to myself just eat the fucking sandwich.

Dinner time was another shock the woman was making chicken for dinner and I figured lovely I'll have some of that till she asked me to get out the cornflakes and put some on the chicken ahh here whats with these people they are having breakfast and dinner together, but seeing I was new in the house I didn't wan to be picky so I ate some of it and to be honest I don't believe it was that bad.

Saturday, June 20, 2009

The Nanny days continued

So without any other choice back to New Jersey to recover from a hangover and resume my nanny duties. My days off were Sunday and Monday so Tuesday was a go slow day and so I would allow the kids to watch TV while I stretched out on the floor nursing my sick stomach from the alcohol I had consumed!I remember the mother coming back fron her excerise class and asking me if I was homesick (hungover more to the point)but I said yes and she said she new because of my lack of interest in the kids huhhhhhhhhhh wait a minute I'm a kid myself and you have me locked up here day in and day out minding your children when alls I want to do is have some fun so I decided thats what I would do.

A new face from Ireland arrived in the area I believe she was 18 at the time and boy what an attitude she had. Myself and the other nannies were introduced to her and I found her to be funny from the get go and she is still very funny to this day. She had told her new employers she didn't smoke and there she was hanging out the bathroom window crying with a cigarette hanging from her lips (too funny) mind you I had told my employers I smoked but was told under no circumstances was I to smoke in the house or around the children and I have to admit I broke all those rules and smoked out my bedroom window and wherever I felt like smoking ( now who had the attidude).

Meanwhile my friend who had come here October of 1985 and who was the one to convince me to come over here was working for a family who had her working sometimes till 11pm and later. She had written to me that she was having a ball, driving up and down highways( she was not driving anywhere) going to the mall hanging out in New York City on weekends and that I should come to the US rather than to France were I was to go with my soccer team, and with all the fun she was having I figured I'll give it a try. I remember the first night I was in the USA and staying with her, well she began telling me her daily routine and how miserable she was, and the woman she worked for was only interested in herself ( her hair her nails and how she looked) I must say when I did meet her she had sooooooooooo much make up on it was hard to figure out what she looked like )and did not care about her kids!!! She had me laughing so hard I had pains in my stomach although it wasn't really funny( jesus christ I thought to myself what have I done coming here). Xmas eve of 1985 my good friend was cleaning stupid copper pots that hung ona wall over the stove, I had come over to her after I had finished what I thought was a long day( not compared to hers) and she was crying while scrubbing the kitchen so to lighten things up I told her to tell her to fucking clean her own shit!!! Needless to say my buddy did flee that house while the mother and father was on vacation never to return( good for her). It was the granny who told her not to put up with her daughter inlaws behavior and if she wanted to leave she would take care of the kids till they return and thats what my friend did she got the hell oyt of there.

One particular Nanny reminds me of "Vivian" from the just like family book she was the bees knees or so she thought, I thought she was an idiot for assuming so much responsibility and had told her "hey listen when they are done with you you're out of there" well needless to say she was not going to listen to a green horn just of the plane a couple of months afterall she had been doing her job alot longer than me, and I believe she truly enjoyed what she was doing. She was so involved with every aspect of the two girls lives and acted like they were hers.I could not understand her, she prefered to stay in New Jersey on the weekends and have her hair and nails ( fingers & toes) done, she would even take the kids on her days off and work till very late (maybe she was looking for some brownie points), me I waited all week for some time off and was gone from the house like a bullet as was alot of us who worked in the area. We laughed and joked at this nanny and somtimes went to where she worked and looked through the sliding door glass at her sitting there like she owned the house and kids and the husband. On one ocassion I had taking the dog with me and while we were watching her the dog got loose and we had to chase after him for what seemed like forever (serves our rite for snooping)There was a rumor going around that she had an affair with the man she worked for jeeze that explains why she never wanted to leave that house not even to come to Howard Johnsons for an ice cream sundae.
To be continued

Friday, June 19, 2009

The new book out "just like family" reminds me and I'm sure alot of others out there of jobs we have or jobs we've had over the years. I know for me I've worked for the best family and the craziest family over the 25 years I'm in the nanny business, no two families the same but all with the same objective to love and cherish the children we take care of 5 days a week. When I came to the USA back in 1985 it certainly was not my goal to take care of somebody elses children and yet thats what I found myself doing, meanwhile I had no knowledge of changing, feeding or caring for infants or toddlers quite honestly I hadn't a clue and therefore figured I would wing it for a while till I found something I enjoyed not realizing I was not ina position to do much of anything else as I was not here legally at the time. Is this the reason many of us worked and sometimes lived in other peoples homes? I think so!!!

When I read the book by Taishe Blaine it began to bring back my own memories good, bad, funny, mischievous and sometimes emotional. I began to think back to the jobs I had as a nanny at the age of 20, the first taking care of 2 little boys in New Jersey one out of diapers and one in diapers and while they were good kids I was too imature to care about them as their mother did. I did as I was told (not really but gave the impression I did) and looked forward to the end of what was long long days. I was homesick and would think to myself what the hell am I doing taking care of somebody elses children??? and futhermore why can't these mothers take care of their own kids after all they didn't work,but there I was on a wing and a prayer living with strangers and the family having a stranger living with them and the saying "just like family" being said frequently huhhh I didn't feel part of nor did I want to after all I was not going to do this kind of job for long, so I tried to make the best of it. I went so far as to be willing to walk the dog ( ME that was unheard of) just so I could have a cigarette what I didn't know was I was to pick up the dog crap with a plastic bag (yuck yuck yuck) and I became the laughing stock among our nanny group!!!!!!

There was alot of nannies around the area were I was working at the time and so we would meet up and go galavanting around the area or when the weekend came off to New York City to party and drown our sorrows after all if you were doing what we were doing you'd be drowning your sorrows too!! I was free when I was in NYC and free to do as I pleased which I did and when the time came to return to the family for another long week I didn't want to go back but of course I had to were else was I going to go in this huge country.