Today, as I walked home from the grocery store, I noticed the oddity of something that was once so normal to me that I had never given it thought; like eating rice and beans every day of my life until I went to college.
On the walk home, I passed the British school, where I lived a be-uniformed and structured life until the end of 9th grade. As I approached it, I realized that it was almost 3:10, the end of the school day and that I might be seeing the young grey, white and black clad children filing out in relative order. It was not that time yet and I thought I might be safe from being punched in the face by the usual conflicting memories.
Instead of the memories of children, I was gobsmacked by the vision of bodyguards, drivers and nannies lined up outside the gates, waiting patiently. The mothers were inside the gates, with their perfectly manicured outfits and impeccable hair. The nannies were all dressed in white, the bodyguards in suits, and the drivers were waiting in idling cars, reading newspapers. The strict uniforms of the ‘help’ waiting to pick up the children was completely visually arresting. There’s something so shameless about it – these parents feel absolutely no need to hide their status.
I suppose I never noticed the cars when I went to school there because I used to walk home. Maybe it was also because my friends and I used to delay going home by a few minutes and the cars and nannies were efficient to the point of being gone 20 minutes after the school bell rang.
What I did notice, and remember, was the white uniforms of the nannies. I had just never realized what a specific experience that was until today.
How different are the white uniforms of the nannies to the grey skirt, white shirt, black shoes and red blazer that I used to wear?