But I'd much rather cry in a mansion.
Arrived in SF when I was 23 and thought I’d look for a temp job looking after kids…found myself at Town & Country Agency and after about 45 mins, the owner offered me a job as a placement counselor... not nannying... helping people find nannies.
I was flattered and thought okay… so what? Met the other placement counselor... she was Helen from Yorkshire…couldn’t be that bad.
Definitely got hired because of how I sounded, I was nobody’s fool, so when Danielle Steele called, the call was put through to me, not Helen... She had an army of children and three assistants in the background... I couldn’t tell who she was shouting at... she sounded very thin... was probably very hungry.
I was starting to get restless being stuck behind a desk...One day a very plummy English lady called… she had six boys, with two New Zealand nannies round the clock and was looking for a personal assistant… I sold myself and immediately went round.
Her grand house was a whole city block in Pac Heights... we sat in one of her many living rooms and she opened the A to Z and asked me where I grew up in London… I pointed and she hired me on the spot...bloody snob!
I just sat with her and listened… all day… I was her lady in waiting... I was her nanny... it was mind numbing... She'd married a venture capital guy.…for the longest time I thought she meant adventure capital and when I met him and he wasn’t wearing a pith helmet, I realized I may have mis-heard her...No wonder she was lonely, he was a prick.
She had a ginormous sapphire on her hand and twisted it every time she talked about England... All she wanted was companionship... She basically hired me to copy her Filofax into File Maker Pro, manage the ridiculous flower bill, pick up her dry cleaning, buy her lattes (with $100 bills) and drop off donation checks….When she had an event to go to, I turned into her stylist… She had some very expensive clothes but did remarkably well making them look drab.
I felt sorry for her.. clearly she was unhappy... but she also had no impetus to do anything about it…she was trapped in an ivory tower with all this money, all this help, and no joy.
At the time I was just grateful for being over-paid to do very little, but my almost 50-year old self would tell her something quite different today... I would tell her to pick herself up, get some therapy and try and make the most of her life... either choose to be happy or choose something else that makes her happy.
What's the expression? Happy people don’t have the best of everything, they make the best of everything.