Friday, October 17, 2008

I work for a wack-job

So that you don't have to.

I have a slightly twisted parenting method. My life is a series of lessons that my daughters are to learn from and the lesson is usually Don't Do What I've Done.

I've worked for a series of crazy women starting when I was 16 and a mother's helper for a woman named DeeDee. She said jump, I said how high. She said clean the bathroom twice a day, top to bottom, I did. She said make the beds, do the dishes for the family of five and a dinner party for 12, I did, I did, I did. Make coffee for my husband, let me sleep in, take the kids to the beach, okay okay okay and cheerfully too what's with the attitude. The kicker was that I was doing her job oddly enough though, never to her satisfaction. At the time I thought it was about me. I was disoriented, edgy, waves of adrenalin washing throughout my day and a sick feeling in my stomach.

Today I have a meeting with DeeDee version 2008. I'm still jumping, higher though and in a different way, the dishes have become events, the beds, public relations, and the family of five the company I work for. And the whole time DeeDee stands off to the side, judging my performance and surprise, it doesn't quite measure up.

DeeDee died by the way, of breast cancer when she was 45. And her husband, this handsome, engaging man, dropped dead of a heart attack shortly after. But don't worry DeeDee, you live on, reincarnated in my life with each new job.

Sometimes I listen to her voice in my head and realize I've heard it for so long I often mistake it for my own. Maybe that's why I've never quite been able to kill her off.

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