Recommended wine for today’s entry: Trimbach pinot gris from France. My friend Julie, who’s also from France, brought this to us recently and we uncorked it for last night’s get-together. Consensus was a double-thumbs up!
We had some good friends over last night, all pet lovers, and we got to talking about the challenges of keeping one’s house clean in a multi-pet household. Since Becky and I once had the same cleaning lady, we combined memories to paint this picture …
Lucy (not her real name) was a little, I don’t know, … rough around the edges. When she found out my husband was Jewish, she thought a minute, swishing the sink with one of her trademark purple rags, then looked at me and said, “So do them girls of yours have Jew blood?” I have to admit that I was taken a bit aback.
Her husband was a plumber and he was on disability, so when there was a freak occurrence and our exposed pipes in the basement suddenly sprung pinpoint holes in about fifteen places, luckily Lucy just happened to be at the house and she called her husband. He charged me an exorbitant amount of money for putting putty into the little holes.
Then Becky had a major plumbing problem. Again, Lucy’s husband to the rescue. Or not to the rescue. He showed up at their house and messed up the plumbing to the extent that they had to have another plumber come fix it. And then Lucy’s husband had the audacity to call and threaten when they hadn’t paid him.
A few months later, we had serious plumbing problems. Seemed that no waste water would leave the house. This time we hired another plumber and when he dug under the front bushes to see what the clog was, guess what he pulled out? You guessed it — about four purple rags.
What did I do? What do you think I did? I kept paying her and leaving her alone in my house.
One summer afternoon, my husband pulled up the driveway just in time to see Lucy’s pregnant daughter, clad only in her bra and undies, climbing out of our pool. (He hasn’t really gotten over that.) Oh, and I happened to go into the garage one day as they were leaving and the daughter had her arms laden with at least six Cokes from our outside refrigerator.
So what did I do? Kept paying her, gave her her own key.
After their plumbing disaster-turned-threat-for-payment, Lucy fired Becky. I was getting madder and madder and paying her more and more.
I came home one day to this note (yes, I kept it. This was 2005 and I am STILL VERY ANGRY.)
The cat puke was everywhere today. It was dried up as if left all week for me to clean up. I know occasionally accidents happen during the day. But this was too many spots and it was dried up!! Truthfully you are the only one (this is underlined three times) I ever cleaned up after pets this way, but today was ridiculous. In the future if you can’t get to it, let me know you appreciate my extra effort by giving me a little extra! Sorry about this but my stomach can’t take it. I’ll be cleaning up my puke you know what I mean? Thanks.
So the line was drawn. I was so, so, so mad, but we were leaving on spring break and I didn’t want her to burn my house down, so I left this scathing retort with her check for the next week:
Don’t clean up the cat puke. Just leave it.
Wow. I’m good, aren’t I? When we got back to town, I had all the locks changed and then made the call.
I had an adrenaline buzz going. “Lucy,” I said, “I’m just calling to tell you I don’t need you to clean anymore. ” And she said, “Yeah, I figured that was coming.” And she hung up on me! I wanted to hang up first. Bitch.
So a couple months later, I get a key and this note in the mail:
Here’s your key back. Sorry it took so long to get it back to you. I’ve been busy. (Yeah, busy having copies made and handing them out to her derelict son’s derelict friends, probably.) If I were to bid your house today I would charge between $100 and $120. So if you thought $75 was too much (there was NEVER any discussion of her rates) you’re sadly mistaken. So take advantage of someone else. Have a nice life and excuse me for caring about that!
What a freakshow.