Coming October 2022: "The Last Folk Hero: The Life and Myth of Bo Jackson"

The nanny diaries


I have no reason to blog about this, save for the fact that it’s 1 am and I’m not quite tired yet.

A couple of months after my daughter was born nearly seven years ago, the wife and I decided to hire a nanny. At the time she was working for the Gloria Wise Boys & Girls Club, and I was at Newsday. We interviewed a bunch of people before finally settling upon Pam, an older woman from Illinois who seemed to have a lot of experience. We liked her—for about two weeks. Then we started realizing she was racist. And homophobic. And oddly incompetent. And all-around crazy.

So we dumped her. Hired nanny No. 2—an Irish woman with good credentials. We liked Mary. She was friendly and outgoing; excellent with kids and a relatively hard worker. But, as was the case with Pam, Mary possessed a fatal flaw: She smelled. Like, really, really, really, really badly. Sometimes like a toilet. Sometimes like rotted fruit. Mainly, though, she smelled like rank B.O. The smell would linger, too. Meaning she’d leave a room, but the stench stuck around. As a present one year we bought her some new clothing, hoping maybe she’d get some sort of hint. We debated what to say … how to say it. Think the wife finally did (I probably wussed out), but it never helped. B.O. is B.O.

We actually interviewed one more candidate years ago. She also seemed like a winner. But she never showed up for her run-thru day. We called and called, but no answer. She finally contacted us a week later, said she had an emergency and had to go home to her country (which was, I believe Jamaica). She also told me that she watched the New York Marathon on TV, and thought it was very exciting. Which was odd—considering she told us she was in Jamaica on the day of the race, the the Marathon was, without question, not televised there.

She never worked for us.