I was recently dumped. It’s the first time in years I’ve gone through a breakup, but it turns out I’m handling it exactly the same way I would have back in the day.
Namely, I’ve been driving around, blasting melodramatic music (now its Adele instead of Tiffany or Joe Jackson or the Smiths or whoever made me weepy at the time, but same difference), rehashing the details in an effort to figure out what wrong, and web stalking the other woman. Yep, there was another woman. And, according to Facebook, she is cute and blonde. Bitch.
There’s just one difference between my heartbreaks of long ago and this current one: I’m not mourning a guy at the moment. I’m mourning my nanny.
This isn’t so much about my relationship with N., of course. We got along pretty well (I thought so anyway). What I can’t believe is that she could just walk out on Ayla, my 22-month-old. The two of them had a special connection, and even now I believe it was the real thing.
Ayla’s picture was the screensaver on N.’s phone. Neighbors would text me from the playground to tell me they’d just seen her singing to or playing a silly game with Ayla, and that Ayla seemed to be having a blast. Some days Ayla cried when N. left for the day.
Listen, I know that ultimately it was just her job, and I didn’t expect her to stick around forever. But I was still very upset when she just didn’t show up for work one day.
I was even more upset when I finally reached her. She apologized profusely—she’d been in a biking accident and the friend she’d asked to tell me the news must have dropped the ball. Her leg was broken and she’d be out for between four and six weeks. I felt awful for her.
Shortly after that my upsetness peaked. Someone called to inform me that N. was not in fact healing at her aunt’s place in Tampa. Nor was she back home in Peru—where she’d said she was considering returning to once she got better. Turns out N. was maybe a mile away, working for another family in our sizable yet tight-knit suburban Jewish community.
It was then that I was flung back into spurned girlfriend mode. How could I have trusted someone who could tell that kind of lie? Was this somehow my fault? What would I say if I ran into her in the neighborhood? These are the questions I ask myself as I turn down assignments and cut Ayla’s naps short so we can make it to her brothers’ schools on time for pick up.
Luckily, this kind of rejection has been way easier to recover from than the romantic kind. Yes, I’m hurt and disappointed, but getting stuck on it just isn’t an option. My life can’t run if I don’t move on. So slowly, via setups and the Internet, I’m starting to meet other people. Hopefully I’ll have better luck this time.