I must admit that my childhood wasn’t completely filled with absolute normality. Shocker.
One of my most embarrassing childhood memories was when my parents made me and my sisters take organ lessons. I mean, can you even imagine???
Yes, you heard me correctly — organ lessons. Not piano, but organ. Okay, you can stop laughing now.
I mean, let’s admit it, who takes organ lessons unless your planning on working in a funeral parlor or traveling with “Phantom of the Opera.” But, yep, sure enough — we had to be different. I know my childhood friends reading this are just laughing to tears remembering the big ol’ organ in our family room. I could barely touch the pedals when I started taking lessons at the age of six. I don’t know what my parents were thinking. Were they really naïve to what the other kids were going to say once they heard we were taking “organ” lessons?
You can only imagine the flack I took once the boys at school caught on to what instrument I was having musical training with.
I would hear any of the following on any given day: “Hey Karin, I have an organ at home for you to play,” or “Karin, how good are you ‘really’ at playing the organ?” or even “Hey Karin, in case you need an extra organ to play on…” (as if).
Finally, I had had enough. Don’t get me wrong – I rarely get embarrassed – even when I was young – but this was just getting plain annoying.
The universe must have heard my unspoken wishes and came up with a plan of its own to get rid of the organ lessons…
Her name was Mrs. Piano Teacher. (Remember…no names are ever used in the blog witness protection program.) She seemed like a lovely lady until she tried to steal my mom’s housekeeper during one of our standard oddball lessons.
There I was in my family room, pedals being pushed, fingers gliding against the keys while my mother waited patiently in our kitchen to confront Madame Organ Teacher who had somehow found the time to solicit our housekeeper Bessie while tutoring our talents on our Hammond.
You see, my friends, my mother taught me that there are two things in life that are totally off limits to steal from a woman –
1. Her man
2. Her help
— and not necessarily in that order!!
Where I come from, if you attempt to take either of these away, you are jeopardizing life and limb.
This brings me to the most recent incident that has once again brought back my mother’s wise words.
I have been the victim of a recent attempted ‘nanny napping.’ That’s right, folks, you heard me.
Someone has attempted to remove my nanny from behind my back right in front of my face. It started out so innocently with my introducing ‘said nanny’ to another family.
After offering them a few hours of light babysitting a week during slow times at my home, pretty soon they were courting her with birthday dinners out, offers of free flu shots and nothing short of calling her Nana.
The only thing missing was the white van and the, “Want some candy, Nanny?”
It took me a little longer than I want to admit to to notice the covert operation that was happening around me. However, once I realized exactly what was transpiring, I can assure you that the survivor gene in me kicked in real quickly and “Operation Eagle Mom” was put in place. This operation involved employing a few spies, firing a swift verbal missile rather aggressively, and a partial ground invasion.
BuddhaBarbie was now G.I. Joanna, and zen was nowhere to be found here. I became a suburban operative in what had now become my own personal “Nannygate.”
Rest assured, my nanny is now safe and sound, and once again we are in a state of homeostasis. But I’m not going to lie. Sadly, there were casualties of this war.
Friendships end when boundaries are crossed and trust is broken. It’s as simple as that. As my dad would say, “Don’t ever be a chazzer when someone loans you something.” (Yiddish for selfish person).
It is important to respect someone else’s boundaries.
In the end, no good deed goes unpunished. Even the best of intentions sometimes backfire. This I know.
For me… well, it all worked out in the end. While I sadly lost a friendship that I cared about — on the bright side, I learned a valuable lesson about sharing, I still have my nanny, and I can play the organ like no one’s business.
Until Next Time,
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The Buddha Team