Clementine’s Bubbler Blues.
WOW! This little girl is amazing.
Now I bet I won’t get a job because of the economy.
—Found in my diary, circa 2003, age 17. Worry much?
It has been nearly a year since the Boston Marathon bombing. So to reflect on the events of April 15, 2013, Boston Marathon survivors returned to the finish line with uplifting messages painted on their skin. Photographer Robert X. Fogarty of Dear…
A way to heal, nearly one year later.
Whoever it was that called Leandra Medine “ugly as fuck,” I think, doesn’t have their head screwed on right, first of all. Second of all, those last two paragraphs are something that every young person and every old person should be able to say to themselves, looking in the mirror, maintaining constant eye contact and not blinking. Unless you have blue eyes and are Scandinavian, in which case you might have to revise slightly.
When an ex-boyfriend of mine once heard this song and responded, vehemently, “let her sleep,” I knew it wasn’t it.
When I moved back to Seattle after my first extended absence—an academic year in southern France and two in coastal New Hampshire—I found a job as a nanny in the wealthy Madison Park neighborhood, twenty minutes from the apartment I shared with my then-best friend for just six months. I was hired for my degree and my background in French—her children attended the elite French immersion school, and obviously her nanny would need to be an educated woman, though she was only willing to pay $14 per hour.
On my first day, what was supposed to be a five hour “trial” shift turned into ten hours of awkward waiting around, as the mother shuttled each of her two oldest children alternately to various enrichment activities, while I stayed behind with the other to “work on reading” or to play educational games. At around seven, the mother acknowledged that I “must be starving” and had her mother—an Armenian woman who shuffled around slowly in traditional dress and spoke very little English—make me a plate of some ground meat with peas and carrots. The housekeeper was there, and we ate together at the kitchen island, and the mother made sure to tell me about the expensive toys she had purchased for the housekeeper’s son for his birthday that summer.
I took them to the science center on the second day, and watched the family’s two children push strangers—adults and children—out of their way so they could see the exhibits more closely. On the way there, when we passed a park downtown where homeless people often gather on nicer days, Alex asked why there were dead people on the lawn. His sister, Sophia, age 11, chastised him, saying they weren’t dead, “they’re just poor.” On the way back, both children demanded to know why my 2005 Hyundai Elantra didn’t have TVs in the back.
Their house had an elevator in it, which had been broken by one of Alex’s friends the year prior, and a “Costco Room,” which was separate from the walk-in pantry that was already over-stocked in their kitchen upstairs. The mother insisted that while she knew her children had a different experience than most, she didn’t want them to grow up entitled, so it was important that I had them help me make them lunch and clean up after themselves. Most often, neither Sophia nor Alex acknowledged me when I asked them to do anything—from picking up toys to looking both ways before crossing the street on their scooters.
At the park, I was approached by a woman working towards unionizing the various nannies for the rich of Seattle, and the family’s son, Alex, age 7, told me he had once seen a movie where people have sex. When the union organization called me five days later, I had already quit my job and accepted a position as receptionist at an insurance underwriting firm across Lake Washington.
On my fourth day, when I quit, I sat down with the mother in her orchid parlor, which was a hot & humid room the kids weren’t allowed to go in. On the table was The Help, and I lied, telling her I had received an offer to teach full-time and would have to accept. She wrote me a check for $450 and called me a few days later, on my birthday, to say that the kids had grown really attached to me and she was hoping I would be available to help out with Sophia’s birthday that weekend.
The beer bottle was tossed into the sea in 1913 and recovered by a fisherman last month. It is thought to be the oldest ever “message in a bottle.”
I don’t know guys. I feel like it doesn’t count as a successful message in a bottle if you can’t even READ the message in the bottle.