by Alice Appleberry

 

Dear Jennifer,

 

I have been nannying for your family for four years. I have seen your tiny toddlers turn into marching liberal robots. Organic kale. No screen time. Tiny Fingers Cooking Classes.

When I come over, I wear clothes that haven't been smoked in. I bring homemade quinoa salad for lunch. I want to impress you with my healthy food choices.

You are sympathetic toward my poverty level, and you were genuinely proud of me when I pulled up in a new Toyota Prius. "A real grownup car!" you said when you saw it. I guess you were never really that into the 1983 Volvo Wagon I drove for so many years before this. You said it wasn't safe enough for your kids to ride around in.

Jennifer, I learned something new about you today. I feel like I know you a little bit better. Today, your four-year-old told me that you and your husband both voted for Donald Trump. That's quite something. I'm not even sure what to say. To be honest, this information took me by surprise. I mean, your family has always seemed so god damned liberal. You were in The Peace Corps!

Even still, when I picked your little cupcake up this afternoon from his forward-thinking preschool, he was celebrating the victory of our new President-elect. There I was, leaning against the wall while I waited for his class to get out. I could feel the onslaught of tears rising up in me. You see, I haven’t stopped crying since the moment Trump’s name was announced as the winner of what turned out to be quite an unprecedented election. I feel like my throat has been ripped out. I feel like our country is walking into some exaggerated conflict in a cartoon. I feel poised on the brink of a cultural war. So, when your tiny child confessed to me that you and your husband spent the evening celebrating Trump’s win, I felt vanquished.

Something tells me that if I get to learn something so intimate about you, accidentally, then you should probably learn something new about me too.  I think that it's time for me to tell you how I was able to afford that new car. You didn't really think that I could afford something so grownup on the part-time child care wage that you pay me, did you?

Ok. Hear me out. Last Friday, after I took your little one on a walk to the park—after we went to gymnastics class and I took photos of him learning that new twist jump he's been working on—I put on a pair of thigh high leather boots, and I led a sixty-seven-year-old man in a collar, to a kink party.

First I popped an Adderall (that's pharmaceutical speed), then I lit a cigarette, and I slipped a leash onto my submissive pet.

Newsflash: I'm a Dominatrix.

Listen, I understand that you've had a pretty square life. Maybe you haven't heard of BDSM before. I think that it's important for me to tell you, though, because I've noticed that your husband looks a little tense around the edges. I mean, he did just vote for Donald Fucking Trump! I get the feeling that he could use my services. In fact, even you, Jennifer, seem pretty tightly wound sometimes too. You know those times when you look at your husband and think, “Goddamn, he's so incompetent. Why does he have to be such a pathetic little bitch?”

I hear you, Jennifer. 

I hear you. 

It could be MY job to ask those hard questions for you. Some things are better left to true blue professionals. Look, I could borrow your husband for just one afternoon. (You would have to take care of your own kids on that day of course.) Then I could make him take his clothes off, I could put him on his hands and knees and ask him, "WHY ARE YOU SUCH A PATHETIC LITTLE BITCH??" I think Donald Trump would be proud to hear me speaking to someone that way. Or maybe your husband would take comfort in being spoken to the way his new president addresses everyone all the time.

Ultimately, Jennifer, considering what we now know about each other, I think that our relationship could benefit from a change of course. I do feel so much better now that you know the real me, and that I know a little more about you. I can't tell you how liberating it is to offer my entire, full range of working potential to your family. Please, don't be nervous. I understand that new things feel hard. Just remember, if you're too terrified or uncomfortable with this information, say the word, and I would be more than happy to put you down on your hands and knees, naked, or in handcuffs too.

 

Grief by Shelby Yaffe

Hope by Suzi Q. Smith