I realize that my line of work allows for a lot of diversion from the normal boundaries between employees and employers and even between families and houseguests, simply because I spend so much time with the families in their homes. Even with this notion in mind, I find it to be absolutely flabbergasting that I continue to encounter indecency in the workplace on such a regular basis. Allow me to explain.
I got to work yesterday at 6:45AM and Kim was in her underwear – in the front yard. The “why” is still completely unclear to me as a person who typically puts on underwear and then pants in quick succession. Either way, Kim was pants-less.
I mustered the superhuman task of keeping a straight face and assuming there would be some sort of explanation (a terrible injury she had incurred that made pant wearing impossible, for example), I continued with my morning routine: I placed my bags inside for the day, and brought the dogs out to go to the bathroom. As soon as I got back outside, I realized Kim-The-Pantsless was waiting for me at the threshold. She followed me outside with the dogs as they began to explore a small subset of their five-acre property. These are typically my favorite ten minutes of my twelve hour day, these quiet moments with the dogs as we make our way through the orchards, taking in the silent morning before the teenagers wake and reek havoc on my life, Kim calls from work every twelve minutes to micromanage something, and before the heat of the day sets in and rattlesnakes come out to play. It’s quiet, it’s cool, it’s just us.
Not this day, it wasn’t. It was us – and Kim. And Kim’s Undies. Kim likes things a certain way (in addition to liking things breezy, apparently), and by “things,” I mean everything. On this particular morning, I was holding the dog’s leash in such a manner that allowed him to be “disrespectful” to me, and Kim went to great lengths to make sure that I understood the proper technique and the significance of demanding Zeus’s respect. Let me repeat that because I fear I was a bit too subtle there and you’re not fully appreciating the implications…Kim, in her underwear, criticized my leash-holding abilities. She scolded me, THE NANNY, about how the dog’s leash should be held as she stood in the yard in her underwear. Maybe it’s me, but this seems like a silly bone to pick – particularly because I am a perfectly average leash holder, thank you very much.
Ten minutes later, I was feeding the dogs breakfast, feeding the fish and the turtles, and beginning to prepare breakfast for the girls and Kim came stomping back out from her office. She informed me that I’d be making cold zucchini soup for the entire extended family that evening for dinner. She wanted me to work on these things because my cooking skills are “at the top of her concern list.” She had printed out a recipe, for which I was secretly extraordinary grateful because I had no idea that cold zucchini soup even existed. She also pulled out a rack of lamb from the freezer to defrost and I chuckled childishly in my head at the image of me trying to figure out what the hell to do with a rack of lamb. I’ll be totally frank: rack of lamb is not in my cooking repertoire, nor do I think that it needs to be. I am a simple person with simple taste and I get by just fine in my own simple, beautiful life.
And because I know you’re curious: I rocked the zucchini soup and thanked whatever and all that is good and holy in the universe that my shift ended before dinnertime and I didn’t have to touch the lamb.
I drove straight home and added several items to my own version of a “concerns list”. It was good for my soul and also my sense of humor, which is basically the same thing.