The Manhattan in "The Manny" is far different from the New York most people know.
In the Upper East Side world of author Holly Peterson, private jets, multi-ethnic nannies, and too-tan trophy wives rule.
In the middle of this world of extravagence is Jamie Whitfield, a working mom who doesn't quite fit in with her peers. But when she hires an attractive male nannny, aka a Manny, to care for her son who doesn't spend enough time with his workaholic father, her relatively down-to-earth life turns into something scandalous.
If you want to see rich people act really rich, go to St. Henry's School for Boys at three p.m. on any weekday. Nothing makes rich people crazier than being around other rich people who might be richer than they are. Private school drop-off and pickup really gets them going. It's an opportunity to stake their claim, show their wares, and let the other parents know where they rank in the top .001 percent of the top .0001 percent.
A cavalcade of black SUVs, minivans, and chauffeured cars snaked its way up the block beside me as I ran to my son's after-school game. I'd skipped another meeting at work, but nothing was going to keep me that day. Gingko trees and limestone mansions lined the street where a crowd gathered in front of the school. I steeled myself and waded into a sea of parents: the dads in banker suits barking into their phones, the moms with their glamorous sunglasses and toned upper arms–many with dressed-up little darlings by their sides.These children play an important role in their parents' never-ending game of one-upmanship as they are trotted out in smocked dresses, shuttled from French tutor to cello class, and discussed like prize livestock at a 4-H fair.
Idling in front of the school, with his tinted rear window half open, a cosmetics giant read about himself in the gossip columns. By his side, his four-year-old little girl watched a Barbie Fairytopia on the small screen that dropped down from the ceiling of the vehicle while he finished the article.The nanny, in a starched white uniform, waited patiently in the front seat for him to inform her it was time to go inside and pick up his son.
A few yards down the block, a three-and-a-half-inch green lizard heel was reaching for the sidewalk from the back of a fat silver Mercedes S600. The chauffeur flashed its yellow headlights at me. Next I saw a brown tweed skirt jacked up on a shapely thigh, ultimately revealing a thirty-something woman shaking out her honeycolored hair while her driver sprinted like a madman to get her arm.
"Jamie! Jamie!" called Ingrid Harris, waving her manicured hand. Dozens of chunky gold bangles jangled as they slid down her arm.
I tried to shield my eyes from the glare."Ingrid. Please. I love you, but no. I've got to get to Dylan's game."
"I've been trying to reach you!"
I ducked into the crowd, knowing she would come after me.
"Jamie! Please! Wait!" Ingrid caught up to me, leaving her driver behind to contend with her two boys wailing in their car seats. She let out a huge breath as if the fifteen-foot walk from the Mercedes had taxed her."Hooo!" Remember, this is a crowd that touches down on actual pavement as seldom as possible."Thank God you were home last night."
"No problem. Anytime."
"Henry is so in debt to you," said Ingrid.