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The Chaos Mini-Series

Welcome to my chaotic life of FIVE small children and a traveling husband! This blog is actually a "work in progress" and serves as a loose outline for a humorous non-fiction book I strive to publish by the end of this calendar year. Each entry builds upon the one just prior to it so it is best to begin with Part I. This story begins just four short years ago when a tsunami of unfortunate, tragic and hectic events brutally pounded us one right after another. As my family and I endured and eventually overcame each wave of misfortune, we kept our heads (barely) above water and held high, eyes wide open and hearts on "stand by" as we witnessed new opportunities and blessings emerge from the CHAOS...

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

My Drama Queens are ready to abandon me-Bracing again for change

Those nights following the break-in were eternal and not only were my husband and I unable to sleep, but the three live-in domestic employees also found themselves awake with fear at all hours of the night. These terrified adults were plagued with panic attacks that had them re-enacting those harrowing minutes of the armed break-in robbery over and over again when they were supposed to be asleep.

As a result of all the dysfunctional sleep patterns, the mood in the house changed and I smelled a total walkout. I just know "my people" and I know that when things get tough, they (the nannies) split. Each one could easily compete with Hollywood’s top box office actors for an Oscar. These performing artists will stare you squarely in the eye while swearing on their mother’s life that they will return from their day off, and the instant they step outside the door, they vanish into thin air never to be heard from again. It is a fascinating mystery.

Nevertheless, I indulged in these histrionic women´s senseless banter replete with circular arguments based upon hypothetical scenarios. The good thing is that by paying my dues listening to their theatrical monologues, I had convinced each one of my drama queens to stay until the next quincena, or pay period. I also alluded to a “bonus” for doing so, which in plain terms was no less than a flat out bribe designed to entice them into not abandoning me just yet.

I played along and allowed them to perform for me. (Knowing what I know now that I didn’t know then about American culture, in all my years in Panama, I could have produced a contest show entitled, “So You Want to Be a Soap Star.”) Upon telling them that I believed their sincerity, I´d spend most of my days secretly interviewing back-up nannies in my “office” down the street located in the bakery section of a local cafeteria.

As if this were not enough to deal with 26 days till delivery, we also began talking about moving again and finding alternate homes for our two dogs we had been raising for seven years. After eight years of fighting the conventional system which dictates that most of the level-headed people in society live in high rises, we were finally ready to give up our sprawling home spread out across almost an acre of land, and move into a “building.” Security was the new priority. We really had no other options at that time.

Once again, we were “on the move” and hustling to make “last minute” major life decisions…

To be continued…

Saturday, April 3, 2010

The System Fails Us...Part XXII

Yes, we were indeed still living in a backwards, corrupt, disorganized country run by under qualified self interested illiterates with a legal system as archaic and irrelevant as a horse and carriage on modern day I-95!

My girl was a smart and savvy cookie and despite her broken Spanish which consisted of a vocabulary of no more than fifty words, her impressive depth of knowledge of the laws protecting her rights as a minor would rival that of any lawyer. The lawmakers in all their infinite wisdom (and under-the-table bribe-taking) had decided in your typical communist, (overprotect the poor, mistreated, overburdened worker) fashion that not even a full confession could put a guilty under-aged felon in prison.

Despite her complete admission to the crime and subsequent submission of the accomplices´ names, phone numbers, addresses and details about the actual crime planning, the nanny swaggered out of the police station with a coke and a smile- a free bird.

She was just a few months shy of eighteen and was well aware that her government believed in "rehabilitation" for people like her. Shrewdly, she took advantage of the timing so that her age, domestic employment and imprisoned boyfriend all coincided perfectly to hence, create the "perfect crime."

I tried earnestly and in vain to challenge the system and even turned over all the evidence I had found in my own home including phone records of the calls this academic made from my personal home land line. At the very least, I wanted somebody held responsible for this fright that would wreak havoc in several people’s lives for months to come. The actual armed robbers were well into their twenties and they were the ones that broke in and put the fear of God into everybody, not to mention the PTSD that would ensue disturbing many nights of peaceful sleep.

Yet, once again, this brilliant system failed to protect me, "the aristocrat" (as if I were nobility worth millions,) but victim no less. The righteous judges that heard the case had resolved to dismiss all of the information she had confided during her voluntary confession because of her “tender” age.

You got it! The leads that she provided were thrown out and the entire matter died, right along with my sense of justice. I was enraged and wanted blood and vowed to hunt her down and take the law into my own hands. After all, it had failed us miserably. To add insult to injury, the so-called statute stipulated that even if she had been fired based upon the proof of theft or child abuse, for example, I still had to pay her severance and liquidation.

This was too much for me to swallow and when her mother called me to "collect" her daughter’s remaining paycheck, I just about sent her to h-ll. I told her that when her delinquent kid returns my jewelry, (that she had previously confessed to the investigators was being strutted around town in by her sister,) I would pay her last salary owed. Once again, the "apple falls right next to the tree" and her mother, totally disinterested and unapologetic unabashedly reiterated her working daughter’s "rights" to her remaining fifty dollars. Knowing that this simple gesture could get my residency revoked, get me arrested or hunted down by her other scholarly acquaintances, I chose to slam down the phone and take my chances.

To be continued...