Tracy McArdle: I just left my husband with a 20-year-old, 5' 10" blonde coed named Celia so I could go to the library and get some work done. He was doing paperwork in his office. She was radiating love and goodness and fun and macaroni and cheese for my two small sons.
Celia is kind, reliable and great with my kids. She is trained in CPR and first aid and works with developmentally challenged children. She teaches camp. Also, she looks like the beach-volleyball player Gabrielle Reece, only, um, blonder, younger and hotter. She towers over me and everyone else in my family (husband included). The first time she came over to meet the kids, ages 2 and 3, they ran to her and embraced her tan shins, huge grins spreading across their little-boy faces. (This from two boys who are silently bashful around their own grandparents.) It starts early, I guess.
"They never do that to me," I said. Celia smiled warmly and laughed, the sound of sterling-silver sleigh bells. Her teeth were huge and white and perfect. I hired her on the spot, thinking I must be an idiot as I posted her number on the refrigerator.
Then I went away for a few days, for work. I had arranged for daycare and a parade of babysitters to help my husband out while I was gone, but Celia was not on that list for some reason. (She had another job, anyway.)
When I came home, I heard about how Celia had offered to cook dinner one night. "Oh -- Celia babysat?" I asked, suppressing an early hot flash.
"I had to do some paperwork one night, and then I had tickets to the game," my husband said absently.
I checked to see if he was lying. He wasn't. I thought a moment. Why hadn't he called the eighth grader, Tammy? Or the retired nurse, Mrs. Roberts? Then I thought, It could be worse. At least he didn't take her to the game.
I'm kidding, of course. I'm not the jealous type. I'm not so shallow and insecure as to purposely hire an unattractive babysitter ... am I? (Are you? Oh, good: Glad to hear it!) Celia's back at school ... in Iowa, which is very far away. And Mrs. Roberts' number is on the fridge.