Welcome to BlingLand….
M has been invited to R’s house for a playdate. R is from a country we shall call Blingland, where the bigger the bling, the better. R is very wealthy. I hear through the ‘nanny grapevine’ that R travels in a private jet and has a room dedicated to her clothes. She arrives at nursery driven by her chauffeur, who wears a chauffeur’s hat, and her two nannies, one older, gentle Filipina and one English for etiquette and elocution lessons. When R’s mum calls me to ask if M can come over for a playdate, I ask her whether she wants me or the nanny to bring her, not knowing what the norms and customs of BlingLand are. She replies ‘Whatever is easiest for you’ and thinking that I should really do the polite thing, I decide to bring M myself. Trying to spruce up for R’s mum, who always looks glamourous with perfect hair, a big white smile, and pink lipstick ready for the finals of the Miss BlingLand beauty pageant, I choose to wear a DVF dress, my nicest jewellery and handbag, thinking I should mimic R’s mum to make her feel comfortable, and hail a cab to Belgravia.
When I arrive to the megamansion in Belgravia, the nice Filipina nanny answers the doorbell and takes M to R’s playroom and tells me to wait next door in the ‘waiting’ room while she calls ‘Madame’. I appear to be in the staff quarters because there are Filipinas running around looking slightly alarmed by the sight of me, shuffling their feet in every direction. Through the hall, I see the chef preparing a delicious smelling stew of some sort. I keep waiting. At some point, a Filipina who looks like the head Filipina, barges in, looks me up and down and asks me in a rather gruff and unfriendly voice ‘Are you here for the interview?’ Indignant, outraged and slightly humiliated I respond ‘No, I am M’s mum!’ Of course, I want to scream at her ‘Can’t you see I am wearing a f**** Diane Von Furstenberg dress, carrying a Louis Vuitton handbag and wearing thousands of pounds worth of Boodles?!’ She turns around without a word of apology and stomps away as I am left seething in the waiting room of the staff quarters of the megamansion. A few minutes later, I calm down and realise that the Filipinas probably never see anyone but people from BlingLand enter the megamansion and innocently mistook me for the help. Eventually, the Filipina nanny returns saying ‘I’m sorry, Madame is not here, she went to the supermarket.’ That’s when I decide that M is ready for her first ‘drop off’ playdate and leave in a hurry. For those of you who don’t know, the word for ‘supermarket’ in Blingish is ‘Harrods.’