Tag Archives: Girl

Chapter Twenty – One: Born To Nanny

26 Oct
BTW when you are done reading this chapter. If you think thinking is fun; if you think philosophy should be for everyone try reading  TheMapThinker.com

Much of the hectic times are over. Dad gets weekends off now. Mom’s health is improving. We should be back on track, a blog a week, as promised.

Until L C worked for the Langlins she had no idea the rich are, in many ways, different from other people. That those who were rich belonged to a culture with its own history, traditions, and requirements, not all of which had to do with money. Etiquette, especially table manners, and good English played a far larger role than she would have imagined.

Nor did she realize that when she became a nanny she was joining a culture with a long history of being entwined with the rich. The Langlins traveled to Europe and other continents on a regular basis. There were times when she, and her young charge, would eat in the company of friends and associates of the Langlins. It was important that neither she, nor Guinevere, embarrass them with their behavior or table manners.

Until she took this job L C thought her table manners were acceptable anywhere. She knew which fork to use, and when to use it, she did not belch at the table, nor did she rest her elbows upon it. Now she was learning with a shock that the “Proper Etiquette” she had learned was in fact “American Behavior” and was not acceptable all over the world.

There are places in the world, even the United States, where you DO belch at the table if you are complimenting the cook on a job well done, and places where you not only rest your elbows on the table but you place them at a forty-five degree angle. Places where you eat everything with the three fingers of the right hand and places where you use a knife and fork to eat your good morning toast and marmalade. And in every one of these places the manners of the rich were slightly different from the manners of the poor.

While first impressions are of lasting importance and often determine how people think of you, how you act and how you speak at the table determine how you will be treated.

As nanny it was L C’s job, not only to know these things, but to pass them on to the future world traveler, Guinevere.

Now she understood why the former nanny hated her so much. The days were long gone when a rich person would pick a poor jobless girl up off the street and give them the job of caring for their child. Now days nannies went to school, got degrees, trained, and joined professional organizations.

They might not all be perfect people, and their reasons for becoming a nanny might not have much to do with children, but they had worked for and earned the right to be a nanny.

L C had not.

One day, on the spur of the moment, L C asked Mrs. Langlin about it. Mrs. Langlin smiled, and nodded thoughtfully. “It is true. Most nannies nowadays go to school and learn their profession just as a dental technician does. However they learn things everyone can learn. Few are born to it.”

“How can you be born to the job of nanny?” L C’s half giggle, half chuckle, exhibited the uncertainty she felt. She had never thought of herself as being “born” to anything. She had simply had the good luck to be born into a normal middle class household and grew up in a normal middle class way. Unlike some of her cousins who grew up with far less. Or at least this is what she had always thought.

“Thanks to your mother’s determination, and your great grand parents willingness to pay for it, you are accomplished in ballet, acrobatics, tumbling, and piano.”

L C almost blurted, but then stopped herself. It had not been her great grand parents who had paid for anything. It had been her step father. And he had harped on how much he had done for her every day of her life. Until she could not think of him without hearing his voice telling her how much he had done for her and how grateful she should be. He seldom mentioned how worthless her real father was, but it was always behind his voice. She stopped herself. Mrs. Langlin was so nice L C could not bring herself to correct her, nor could she rant about her personal problems with her step father to her boss. It was, after all, unladylike. Instead she replied:

“Accomplished, yes, but hardly a world-class olympic champion in any of them.”

“A lady would not be. Pushing for an olympic champion is something people who are striving to become something would do. A world-class lady strives to have grace and poise. Just as you learned everything you would need to know to be a beauty queen. You know how to walk down the runway, you know how to sit on a chair properly. You are quite pretty. You could win, you know.” Mrs. Langlin’s voice had been gentle. Now it had a hint of amusement. “Has anyone every suggested, or have you ever thought of entering a beauty contest?”

“Well… Well… No.”

“How far can you walk, in a pair of high heels, with a book on your head?”

“All day if I want.”

“You see. Other people strive to prove they are as good as your birth right. All you have to do is live up to it.” Mrs. Langlin’s smile was as bright as a rainbow.

“I see,” said L C but she really didn’t. She was trying to understand and it showed.

“L C” Mrs. Langlin’s tone was kindly, “You can teach Eliza Doolittle to walk down the stairs gracefully, but if she falls she falls. It is sad to see. Once you’ve taken ballet no one has to teach you to walk down the stairs, and if you fall, you will do it so gracefully everyone will applaud.”

The reference to Eliza Doolittle went unnoticed by L C. Nor did she consider that her cousin, who also had not gone to college, and was not planning on going, would not have recognized the name. But every young lady in the Langlin’s social circle would.

“She has an instructor to teach her ballet.”

“True. But she has no one to teach her to love it. She adores you, and you should have heard her go on about the two of you dancing Chitty Chitty Bang Bang.”

“I was unaware you knew I studied ballet and piano.”

“My husband and I have to know everything there is to know about everyone we associate with. You acquire a million dollars and half the state sees you as a money tree. They have one thought on their mind. That is to cheat you out of it. You acquire a billion dollars and half the world sees you as a money tree for them to pick at.”

“I see,” L C said, and this time she understood.

© 2013 All Rights Reserved

Chapter One: The Child

31 Mar

Brenda

The little girl dashed from between two parked cars, heedless of the monster SUV bearing down on her. She was five years old, long blonde hair in neat curls, frilly silk dress, her legs pumping as fast as she could move them. The driver did not see her.

At first L C didn’t see her either. It was early in the morning. The time of day L C liked best, the sun breaking across a translucent blue sky. Three marshmallow clouds drifting gently to nowhere in particular. She took a deep breath of the crisp, cool air. She just finished shopping for her mother at her favorite store. Stanhouser’s Market, owned by Raymond Stanhouser, a pleasant man who inherited the store, free and clear, from his father. Divorced once, two children. Several times Raymond asked her out. He was older than she, but not much. He wanted a wife for himself and a mother for his children. As her mother pointed out, “You could do a lot worse.”

She was leaving the market, pushing a cart overladen with groceries in front of her, when she saw the little girl.

A woman ran two car lengths behind the child screaming for her to “Come back here and do it now.” The only effect her yelling had was to attract the attention of all the adults, including the attention of the driver of the car bearing down on the little girl. He was now looking at the screaming woman rather than were he was going.

L C let go of her shopping basket, allowing it roll down the sloped parking lot, and sprinted toward the speeding little girl. She dived like a defensive guard would tackle a quarterback. She grabbed the girl’s dress with one hand. It tore a little, but it slowed the child down. With her other hand L C grabbed a patent leather shoe. It slipped off. Pulling on the dress harder it tore even more but it brought the girl closer to her. Close enough so when she dropped the shoe she could swing her other arm around the child’s waist. She pulled the child into her clutching arms, spinning away from the advancing front tire.  The two of them spun as one in a half circle, their faces leaving the path of the tire just as it bore down upon them. L C’s leg sliding under the car, in the path of its rear wheel. The SUV’s front tire ran over the shoe, flattening it, leaving tire marks, stopping inches from the noses of L C and the girl frozen together on the asphalt. L C found herself staring at the valve stem.  The back tire was almost on top of L C’s foot just touching the heel of her own shoe. Her first thought was, “All those years of mom dragging me off to ballet and tumbling finally paid off.”

The driver stared out his window at them in horror, eyes round and popping, mouth squared and wide.

The shopping cart crashed into the trunk of an old green chevy that was backing out of its parking space, denting the trunk, tipping over, and scattering groceries across the parking lot.

L C stood up, shaking, clutching her small charge, whose eyes stared fixedly at the SUV as she clung to L C’s neck. The woman, who had been screaming incessantly, arrived. She was still screaming. Her black hair was styled as rigidly as her expression. Her dress was a straight, no nonsense cut. She exuded the confidence of a school principal about to excoriate a delinquent child.

“Give her to me.” The woman demanded. She reached for the little girl. “I am her nanny.”

Instinctively L C turned away. The girl’s hold on L C’s neck increased so tightly it choked her. The tiny hands were wrapped in L C’s hair, which was not blonde, and had never been bleached, but was the color of honey mustard which reached to her shoulder blades.

The driver of the green chevy launched out of his car, staring first at the mess, then at the dent in his trunk, and began yelling in their general direction, waving his arms vigorously.

“I said give her to me.” There was no friendliness in the woman’s voice, no thank you, and no concern for the child. There was simply the demand that she be turned over. Now.

The nanny was at a disadvantage. Though a little tall for an average woman, about five foot six inches, the height of a beauty queen, L C Was five foot ten, a few years younger and had been athletic in school.

When the man with the dented car realized no one was paying attention to him or his complaint, he began beating the trunk with his fist as though he were chairman of the parking lot determined to bring order to all chaos.

L C tried to see the girl’s face but could not. “Let her calm down. I think she’s scared.” She tried to make her voice soothing to both the woman and the child although she was angry. The girl looked at the woman who was grabbing at her and started to cry. The driver of the car rolled down his window and demanded, “What the hell is wrong with you two?”

A confident male voice asked, “Are you the child’s mother?”

Both women turned to look at him. His hair was black, cut in an almost, but not quite, military style. His expression was neither friendly nor unfriendly. His clothing was neither cheap, nor expensive. “Suitable,” L C’s mother would have said.

“Who I am is none of your business. My boss is an extremely important person in this town and if this woman doesn’t release this child to me immediately I am calling the police and having her arrested.” The woman’s intimidating stare was meant to put the newcomer in his place.

The man gave a formal, neutral smile, “Then you need look no further, Ma’m. I am here.”

(C) 2013 All rights reserved

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because anything is possible with Charisma

War By Other Means

Politics & Philosophy

this is... The Neighborhood

the Story within the Story

stillness of heart

MUSINGS : CRITICISM : HISTORY : PASSION

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A tall women amazon model WordPress.com sit

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Mister G Kids

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Ray Ferrer - Emotion on Canvas

** OFFICIAL Site of Artist Ray Ferrer **

The Judy-Jodie and Kelli Memorial Blog

A great WordPress.com site

A Financial Life Coach

Your Financial Life Coach

Storyshucker

A blog full of humorous and poignant observations.

Dysfunctional Literacy

Just because you CAN read Moby Dick doesn't mean you should.

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Thoughts

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