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…