Nov 012020

I woke up at 5:30 this morning for some unknown reason and the very first thing that popped into my head was “Versace wallet” which I haven’t thought about in along time since I don’t use it anymore because it just became too worn out serving me for a good 15 years (I bought it in Italy when I was in high school!).

(LOL @ “I” bought it. My aunt Sharon did.)

From there I thought about how UTTERLY OBSESSED I was with Gianni Versace when I was a teen in the 90s. Like most of my friends were into Devon Sawa (probably) and I was like “yeah but how about that Gianni Versace tho.”

I will never forget in a million years where I was when I learned of his murder: standing in the laundry room of my parents house, on the (landline!!) phone with Lisa, who had called me from the house she nannied at just to break the bad news to me. I remember sliding my back down the wall and landing in a fetal position on the floor, crying.

From there I thought about those kids Lisa nannied. What were their names? It was a boy and girl. Eventually, I remember their last name was Hayes. Couldn’t picture the mom but I remembered the dad. They never minded me hanging out over there while Lisa was nannying and we even used their house to film scenes for an English video. I vividly remember one of those scenes being a montage of Ken and Barbie with R Kelly’s Bump n’ Grind playing and I cannot for the life of me imagine what that could have possibly had to do with ANY English project we ever worked on together lol.

There was also a time over the summer of 1996 when we took the kids to Denny’s and I can vividly recall BLASTING “come on ride the train (and ride it)” and screaming along to it so I wonder what sort of lasting impression I had on those poor children.

From there I thought about Lisa going to college and the Hayes going the au pair route. One was Petra from Croatia and another was Jasmine from Australia but I can’t remember the order in which they arrived. They both had very short hair so it makes me wonder if Mr. Hayes had a “type.”* Anyway, I liked Petra better but Jasmine was nice too and what I remember the most about her is that she personally knew the singer from SAVAGE GARDEN, probably from school or something, I can’t remember now, but I used to tell people this for years like it was the biggest deal in the world that I knew someone who knew the chica cherry cola singer guy.

*Lisa had short hair too but I don’t think that happened until after she stopped nannying. Also I’m going to text Lisa today and see if she still talks to that family and/or any of the au pairs.

This is also how I learned at the age of 18 what an au pair was and I thought that was a really cool job and considered it briefly until literally everyone in my life pointed out that the main purpose would be taking care of children, not just living in someone’s house in another country. And yeah, ew.

Anyway!! Of course after I woke up this morning I had to dig out the ol’ Versace wallet (Chooch immediately tried to steal it) and it’s like a fucking time capsule. My goddamn learners permit is still in it, for God’s sake! I’m such a fucking pack rat when it comes to sentimental shit. Hopefully, empty pizza boxes and newspapers and general dirty refuse don’t become sentimental to me one day because it’s a slippery slope between innocent pack-ratting and hoarding, I’ll tell you that.

P.S. here is a picture I found of Jasmine during her au pair stint! This was from Lisa’s pre-birthday party dinner in 1998 at The Office Lounge (literally the only time we ever ate there and I honestly have no idea what prompted this). Me, Janna, Jasmine, and Lisa.

I remember there was this big-ass foam leprechaun hat for a St.Patrick’s Day Bailey’s promotion that was going on and I begged the waitress to let me have it and she was like, “OK” and then it moved around my house in various locations, always in the way, until Henry was finally like, “So can we throw this out?” one day and I was like, “Ugh fine” but to be fair, it was SUPER DECREPIT AND GROSS by then. So see? I’m able to be somewhat flexible in my pack-rat ways. Don’t you love when a blog post comes full circle??

 ETA: Lisa just replied to me and yes, she keeps in touch with the daughter and both of the au pairs but I was wrong: Petra is from Slovenia not Croatia. Now you can go about your day, knowing the answers to these pressing queries.

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