Tuesday, February 9, 2010

The Manny

Tuesday, February 9, 2010
I worked as a manny during my time at university.

For those who aren't familiar with the term, "manny" describes a male nanny -- that is, a man who takes care of children in the way a woman traditionally did in the past. It's becoming a more and more popular vocation as time goes on, particularly among the wealthy.

With many husbands and fathers putting in 10- or 12-hour days at the office, their children (often sons) need a "male figure" to spend time with them. This is usually something a mother deems necessary rather than the father. It's not like the uber-powerful bankers and lawyers and CEOs are going to admit that they're falling short on anything at all, especially parenting.

So, how did I get the job? There was an ad printed in the student newspaper saying that a couple was looking for a male college student to help out with their young son and daughter each day between the hours of, let's say, 3 and 6 p.m. I called the number, spoke with the mother, and arranged an in-person interview later that week.

This meeting was really my first introduction into the world of the wealthy. I was only 20-years-old at the time, and still several years away from my first night as a sex worker. Meeting the mother, well, it wasn't that different from meeting a client for the first time. She offered me a drink -- water -- and we got down to some smalltalk before the big stuff came up.

"We'll do a criminal background check, just so you know," she told me. "Other than that, we'd like some references as well. Professors, former employers, stuff like that."

"No problem," I told. I flashed a grin, something that I still do to this day. "So, what can you tell me about the kids?"

She went on for quite some time, before we finished the interview and she said she would be in touch within the following week. To my surprise, she actually got back to me just a few days later. She talked with my professors and that was enough for her. Smart, responsible and funny Julian would make a great manny.

I did enjoy my time with her and her children. Especially the kids -- they were great. One boy and one girl, one three-years-old and the other five-years-old. Little hell raisers, but so damn cute. I especially loved the time the five-year-old thought it would be funny to sneak up behind me, plant her little hands on my backside and try and push me into the pool.

Is it pathetic that due to a slippery edge, I damn near fell in?

To answer the question of everyone's mind: No, I didn't sleep with the wife. Honestly, I didn't. It's not that I didn't want to. However, this job of mine was cut short by one person: the husband.

He saw me in his home and didn't like it. About two months in, he called and told me I wouldn't be needed anymore. No explanation, though I would get the rest of my pay. The wife called back a day later and was deeply apologetic. It seems the husband was irked over something that happened earlier that week. Something that I still remember to this day.

The little girl, face smeared with chocolate from the cookies we'd baked earlier, had looked up at me and said: "Are you going to move in with us?"

"No," I said. "Do you think I should?"

She nodded. "Mommy says she misses you when you're gone, because Daddy doesn't listen to her. She says whoever marries you is gonna be a lucky, lucky lady."

I didn't know what to say. Again, I was only 20-years-old at the time. Men take longer than women to mature, and even I was a little rough around the edges at that point. Now what I didn't know at the time was that, apparently, the daughter repeated these comments to her father's face.

The poor girl, saying she hoped that a 20-year-old university student could move in and essentially take his place. When I found out, I wasn't surprised that I got fired. The money was good, but that wasn't what I missed the most. Those kids grew on me, damn it. I'd gotten into such a routine with them -- come home, snack at the kitchen table, bit of TV before homework -- that my life felt empty without them for awhile.

I mean... it's not like I ever thought of them as my own. At least not at first. Err, scratch that. I knew they weren't my own, but that didn't mean I didn't appreciate the fact that they were in my life.

And now thanks to this blog entry, I'm feeling all nostalgic. Crap...

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