I read. A lot. I gobble up books like they were dainty French cookies, which they might as well be, except instead of giving me a dull sugar film across the enamel of my teeth, they randomly insert their sweet phrases into my brain in a melange that causes me to wonder if I read it in my new book this morning or the one I just finished two days ago. Since I’m an aspiring writer myself, I always make it a point to read the acknowledgement section of the book. I slog through the kiss-up reference to the agent, the obligatory nod to the spouse, the brief mention of the kind employees at the local Starbucks who allowed the author to work for hours with free latte refills … and then, inevitably, there it is: the fawning nanny mention.
“And to Josette, our dedicated nanny, we truly appreciate all you do, and I could not have written this book without you.”
All this time, I thought I needed a unabridged dictionary, a faster computer, and a “mute” button on my phone, and what I really needed was a nanny?
What, exactly, are these books I’m reading? They are time-management books and humor books and memoirs, all saying how “you can have it all” while Josette is in the next room entertaining the kids and microwaving some pizza.
Sure, I think bitterly, I would have PLENTY of time to write if I didn’t have to, oh, I don’t know, raise my own children!
I take a deep breath, force myself to calm down, and consider my future acknowledgement page:
“Thank you to my agent for taking a chance on a new writer …
Thank you to my husband for not divorcing me …
Thank you to Nespresso, for delivering those espresso capsules right to my door …
Thank you to the public school system, for taking my children for free several hours per day (with the exception of weekends and holidays) …
And a special thank you to the entire country of Napa, for producing such fine wines.”
(I’m just kidding on the last one! I know Napa is not a country.)