Pick up time at the girl's school feels a little like a prize cattle show. The women collecting their children must spend hours prior adorning their waif-thin bodies with designer gear and painting their spray-tanned faces. They're all immaculate- in stark contrast to the nannies, a motley crew clad largely in tracksuits and ponytails. Gym gear is often featured (largely Stella McCartney for Adidas) so the other wives are aware of just how rigorously they work out to keep their wealthy husbands from philandering. Hair is always perfectly coiffed and shining and I've never seen so many diamonds outside of the window at Michael Hills. I'd guess at least half of them have had a wee bit of slicing and dicing, judging by the amazingly enormous breasts that jut out of their tiny frames and their collective, ever-surprised expressions.
Dear reader, I have a wee bit of junk in my trunk. I exercise regularly but enjoy beer and chocolate and pub food far too much to ever be a size six. My nanny wear consists largely of threadbare leggings (yes, I wear them as pants, and a few of them have holes near my nether-regions), men's shirts (best to hide my assets as my boss apparently wants these padded bones) and old sneakers (don't feel anything nicer is necessary when vacuuming and running around after children). My hair is usually in an unkempt bun and I am often bare faced.
These women do not speak to me. It's as if I don't exist. Thank goodness, because I have absolutely nothing to contribute to a conversation about the chef at a resort in the Maldives (yesterday's hot topic, and apparently a contentious one- the menu doesn't feature that many gluten free options. Sweet Jesus.)
Although this job is difficult and I endure almost daily tirades from my crazy boss and have to do some ridiculous things (dusting a three metre replica of a Spanish ship with a baby toothbrush was fun, it only took two hours) I am grateful for lessons learned. I don't need to be wealthy, and if my eventually lawyerhood means I am, I will use the money in useful ways and not be trapped by the vacuous absurdities of wealth.
My children will go to public schools. They will enjoy holes in their uniforms and get dirty as they like. They can climb trees and run around barefoot and roll in the mud. Everything they wear will be unironed. And I will love them unabashedly, and not complain when they come running out of school to hug me widely because I'm wearing a Prada dress. Yes, this happened on Tuesday. This mother held her six year old at arms length and reprimanded her recklessness- I will be throwing mine on my shoulders, unkempt and, I expect, ever more happy.