‘It’s like online dating for happily married women in their 40s’
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Coronavirus Ireland Here's a look at some of the good news regarding Covid at the moment. Top Stories. I set up a profile on some au pair matching websites, with my own smug warning ringing in my ears. Irish people are not cut out for au pairs. Too inclined to say the opposite of what we mean, I declared in these very pages with the luxury of one whose childcare arrangements were, at the time, relatively straightforward.
We are a people more comfortable in servitude than being served. We clean before the cleaner arrives. Here I am, one year on, redecorating before the au pair arrives. Looking for your first au pair is like dating again for happily married women in their 40s. If you managed all three in the one night, and a kebab on the way home, you knew it was serious. There was only standing in draughty hallways with freezing fingers fumbling to get coins into payphone slots.
The benefit of this was that lying to yourself was so much easier. Of course he lost your number.
Of course he tried to call when you were out. Of course your flatmate forgot to tell you. If you wanted to be certain of ever actually seeing one another again, you had to move in together and then, after a whirlwind romance of, say, 10 to 15 years, you got married. It was all so much more straightforward. Then I enlisted the services of two of the wisest people I know to help me go through the applications.
Before I could investigate this prescient but slightly worrying insight, the year-old was writing another one off. What about her, I asked. Nope, they both said immediately. Why would we want a romantic au pair? The stuff about children having pure souls was a giveaway, the children decided. We sent them an introductory message, and then we were into stage two — hope, disappointment, denial, rejection, hope again.
After a bit of messaging back and forth, two of them ghosted me. That left two: a calm and gentle vegan photographer from South America , and a sweet Italian who winningly confessed to never having minded children before and not knowing how to use a washing machine. But she has such nice eyes, I replied. I may not actually be cut out for au pair hosting either, though I still have high hopes for the vegan photographer. Fearless foreign correspondent and Middle East expert recently became an Irish citizen. Alliance Party founder was first non-unionist lord mayor of Belfast since partition.
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