Saturday, April 3, 2010

Not To Be Fooled

Well, I did it. I quit. I resigned. I surrendered. I gave notice and gave up. I threw in the towel. Bowed out and checked out. I terminated my contract, my mental anguish, and accessibility to a year’s supply of Pasta Carbonara. And it only took me 3 weeks of lost luggage, one broken Macbook, a post-office misplaced care package from my mom, a returned care-package from my dad, one broken $200 pair of Versace prescription glasses, a handful of phone calls home, a bout with what I am convinced was frostbite, a flight of “pneumonia,” and the desire for a glass of wine.

The best part: This isn’t a belated April Fool’s joke. It’s true.

After yet another encounter (and the worst to date), with an 8 year-old’s tantrum (videos to come) for reasons still unknown except that she hates the world (and me), I confirmed that life is too short, my time is too precious, and well, my metabolism isn’t getting any faster. Plus, this is ___(fill in censored word of your choice)__ nuts! So, after dinner (if you’re guessing what the meal is, you’re probably guessing correctly), I approached the Madame and Monsieur of the household, attempting my best at appearing cool, calm, and collected, all while apprehension, agitation and anxiety flooded my veins. Did I mention that I hate confrontation? Well, I do.

I used the best of my communication conflict skills. I stayed focus, I used my “I” statements (or my “Je” statements), I spoke truthfully and assertively, explained that I’ve tried, struggled, and pleaded with their little princess, all without prevail. Oh, and I did this all in French, thank-you-very-much! And then, without reciprocation, I listened to their criticisms with concern, I responded with as much compassion as my inegrity would allow, and tried my hardest to see their point of view. I even offered to continue the contract until they found a replacement.

And how did it go? Well, Internet, I could say it was swell; that they reasoned with my pleas, consoled my distress, and empathized with my discontent. But if I did, therein would lie your April Fool’s joke. Instead, it turned into a one-sided version of the blame game of my “incessant faults” and the reasons I caused this. That I need to have more respect for a girl who screams, yells, hits, and hates me. But, how?! Then, when pinching myself and blinking would no longer hold back tears, I hurried for a conclusion and politely excused myself from the implacable linguistic wilderness.

So, there it is. I guess it’s sufficed to say that I feel defeated, angry, resentful, and well, I feel hurt. Yeah, that’s about right. I know, I know, "sticks and stones may break your bones, but words will never hurt you"… except that they do. They do for me, at least. However, I can see the light at the end of this tunnel, and a wise woman mentioned to me, "this Au Pair job may have been my ticket here, but it doesn’t have to be my destination." I’m ready to set out for the destination.


  • My family (and friends) have the uncanny ability to make me feel better.
  • It's been a really great weekend: Last night was girls night, tonight is dinner out in Lyon, and tomorrow is Easter brunch 
  • Next week is my last week with this host-family.
  • It was just my Aunt's birthday: HAPPY BIRTHDAY AUNT SUSAN!!!


  1. Well done Lauren :) I can't imagine how difficult it must've been to go through with that when you suspected that they would react like that, but now you're free!! I hope your last week goes quickly.

  2. Ugh, I empathize with your hatred of confrontation. They sound dreadful. I'm glad you spoke up though and that there is an end in sight! I wish I'd been around for some Yahoo chats! Oh, by the way, I did get your message on my home phone. Woohoo! It was so great to hear your voice, though I realized I had no idea how to call you back. Ha. Anyway, I'm back from New Orleans and would love to catch up this week. I'm so sorry they were so hard on you. You don't need that. On to bigger and better things...