Monday, January 09, 2006
Why I lie to Rebecca
Everytime I open my blog I ask myself. Do I blog or do I rant? Today I rant. Rebecca. Like Daphne du Maurier’s infamous villainess of the same name, Rebecca has overtaken my life in subtle but effective ways. Rebecca is my live- in nanny-cum-maid. She is a very religious nanny. Seriously. She is very serious about her soul and prays for my redemption. While I appreciate her interest for the immortal, I wish she would take care of us mortals and not bring on our mortality faster than it is scheduled.
She spends her dawns and dusks and nights in prayer. In between she eats, cleans house and thinks. Rebecca thinks with a vengeance. She is always so thoughtful that she forgets that she is here to take care of Kevin. If something needs doing, I have to do it. Else I have to penetrate into her deep thought processes and bring her to the real world and then tell her what to do. This search and rescue mission is so tiring on me.
And what I hate about it all is that she looks very injured about it all. She makes me feel guilty for telling her anything. Considering that I am only asking her to do her job, which I pay her for, I don’t get the whole guilt trip thing at all. She has to pray in the mornings so despite the fact that I have the luxury of a “maid” at my beck and call, I have to do a lot of my own stuff. She is very egalitarian in her approach. “You have to make your own coffee! I have to pray!” she says. I wonder what my boss will say if I suggested to him that he does the work he pays me to do, while I save my soul. I have this funny feeling that he may not be very appreciative.
Rebecca ensures that I don’t neglect my son and go for my morning walk because I will find - when I return dog-tired and ready for the shower - that he is still unbathed, hungry and in his home clothes. To add insult to injury, breakfast is not ready and his bag is not packed. So I forget the shower and get him ready for school. I snatch her from the shawl under which she is praying and encourage her to bring his things while I run helter-skelter getting stuff ready. She walks around like a Buddhist Monk, an expression of utter resignation and tranquility on her face. The morning rush to get Kevin is school makes no dent on her calm demeanor. She is more concerned about her soul. She is above the mad rush for food and education and schoolbuses.
Rebecca ensures that my flatmate and I don’t neglect our health and watch late night TV. “Off TV!” she commands at 10:00 pm. She begins her night time prayer. We have to go to sleep whether we want to or not. So we (clever us!) have found a way to dodge this. We rent CDs and watch them in our bedrooms. That makes us feel as excited as a couple of Enid Blyton schoolgirls having a midnight feast. I stay out late nights and tell Rebecca that I am working overtime. We have girls nights sleepovers and tell Rebecca that I work night shifts. My New Year’s Eve revelry was put down to Midnight Mass (forgive me Lord for I have lied).
Why do I lie to Rebecca? Why not just tell her the truth and get her to "lump it"? I am more anxious for her approval than she is for mine. I want to be accepted by Rebecca. Her very holiness awes me. I know she will think the worse of me for listening to non-Gospel songs or not making use of the amazing opportunities I have as a born Christian. Opportunities that she herself has been denied since she is a recent convert (disclaimer: I am not guilty of her conversion).
I, on the other hand, believe that God has no issues with me having fun. I always look upon heaven as an awesome fun place. I can imagine giggling and sharing jokes in heaven. The weak smile and the constant worry lines (caused by concern for my soul) is not my cup of tea. But Rebecca has not seen the fun side of God yet. She is afraid that God will smite her down if she misses one week’s church. I tried to tell her that God was not like that, but she was so scandalized that I decided against shaking her faith with (what she believes is) false doctrine.
If she wants to be miserable and believe that that will do good for her soul, so be it. But Rebecca! Rebecca! Kevin is four and he needs to get his breakfast, his uniform and his school-bus. While we’re at it, I wouldn’t mind a little morning walk and a bit of strictly family safe late night television as well. At least, I can be honest on my blog if I have to lie through my teeth in real life. Oops, Is that my soul riding away into the sunset?