I honestly don't even remember how I met Mrs. Montgomery.
But when I was a sophomore in college, word got around that I was babysitting. Almost every night I found myself bombarded with calls from desperate parents. Mrs. Montgomery was one of them. She needed someone to watch her 9-year-old twins that Saturday night.
When I first arrived at the Montgomery house, I could tell this babysitting gig was going to be a headache.
The colonial two-story house was absolute perfection. Fancy modern artwork decorated the walls. Glass tabletops with no smudges. Spotless white carpet.
I don't trust a house that clean, especially when twins are involved.
Mrs. Montgomery herself looked like Barbie Doll. She had long blonde hair and flaunted a fantastic body.
Every food product in the house was organic and mostly vegan. The girls were to have quinoa and raw veggies for dinner, she said. If they had a sweet tooth, there were prunes in the cupboard. The girls were not allowed to eat anything processed or containing sugar.
"Do you they have food allergies?" I asked, concerned.
Mrs. Montgomery looked surprised.
"Not at all," she said. "We're just a healthy family. Nobody in this household eats sugary or processed food. Plus, the girls need to be in top shape for pageant season."
When she left, the little girls came out of their hiding spots. They were decked out in vibrant blue eyeshadow, bright pink blush, red lips, and gloppy mascara.
They studied me intently, which made me nervous.
"Are you a lesbian?" one of the twins asked.
"What makes you think that?" I asked.
"Because you aren't wearing makeup," the twin said. "Mommy says that women who don't wear makeup all the time are lesbians."
Before I could respond, the other twin intercepted.
"Why are you fat?" she asked.
Um, I was five feet tall and 93 pounds. I didn't even dignify her question with an answer.
"What do you girls want to do?" I asked. "Play a game?"
They girls stared at me, blankly.
"Do you have any board games in the house?" I asked.
"What's a board game?" one of the twins asked.
"Video games?" I asked, baffled.
They shook their heads.
"We're not allowed to play games because Mommy says they rot brains," one of the twins explained.
"What do you do for fun?" I asked.
"I dunno, just put on makeup and weigh ourselves on the bathroom scale," the same twin responded. "Or yoga, but Cathy is on vacation."
So we literally sat on the pristine sofa and talked about their upcoming beauty pageants until dinner time.
Of course, I fucked things up from there.
You see, I burnt their dinner. I'm not sure how, it was just boxed quinoa and vegetables. But there was a big misunderstanding involving a fire and my not knowing how to use a stove.
The girls were delighted by the chaos. They had never known so much excitement!
So we went to the store and I got ingredients for the only dinner I knew how to make at the time: a chocofluffernutter.
Basically, you spread peanut butter, marshmallow fluff, and chocolate syrup on toast and eat it.
The girls were dubious at first, but after the first bite, they couldn't believe their luck.
"Oh my god, this is awesome!" they kept repeating, over and over again, in astonishment. It was the first time they had ever had marshmallow fluff in their lives. It was the first time they had ever had chocolate syrup and Jiffy peanut butter.
"Is this what heaven tastes like?" one of the twins asked me, dazed.
I was so fascinated by their reactions to the junk food, I just sat there and observed them. It was like watching aliens.
After dinner, I helped them take off their makeup and taught them how to play MASH. One of the twins was a little too excited at the prospect of living in a shack with some boy named James.
When Mrs. Montgomery arrived, she was pleasantly surprised to see the girls in such good spirits.
But unfortunately, I did not know that giving chocolate to a little girl for the first time was the equivalency of giving a junkie their first taste of crack.
A couple weeks later, Mrs. Montgomery angrily called me to let me know one of the twins had been caught drinking Hershey's syrup under her bed covers at 4 a.m. the night before.
I was never asked to babysit the twins again.