Recommended wine for today’s entry: Bonterra chardonnay. I have recommended this lightly oaked, fruit-forward wine made from organically grown grapes before. It’s a favorite among all my girls’ night out friends. AND, for you sippers in the Louisville area, it’s on a GREAT sale right now at Prospect Party Center … stock up for the holidays! I am!
As my loyal readers know, I tend not to keep cleaning ladies very long. And there’s always drama with the break up. I have never simply received a letter of resignation on the kitchen counter — oh no, we’ve had the I’ve-suddenly-disappeared-from-the-face-of-the-Earth technique and writing-nasty-notes-about-cat-puke-and-sending-ugly-letters-three-months-after-the-breakup routine.
The latter, the one who favored ill-tempered correspondence, left me feeling like it was MY fault. She never said “it’s not you, it’s me.” She never said, “I just think we need some time apart.” N-o-o-o, she said ugly things to me like, “my stomach can’t take it anymore” and “it’s just too disgusting.”
Hmmph. And this is the woman who used to flush her purple cleaning rags down my toilets so that I’d pay her husband to fix the plumbing. Clearly, I’d done my part.
So I could’ve given up on cleaning people.
But I’m no quitter. I got right back on that horse. I hired my new cleaning ladies. They’ve been with me for a year this week and I’ll have you know, they have NEVER, EVER left me a nasty note, stopped up my plumbing or dodged my phone calls.
I love them. That’s why I clean the house before their visits.
My husband doesn’t understand this. It is one of our most popular arguments. He doesn’t seem to get it that if these two people walked into our house the way it looks BEFORE I clean up for them, they would hop back in the van and be on the highway before we even knew what hit us.
So every Monday night, I frantically start cleaning. Usually I am not able to cook dinner on Mondays because that would just cause more of a mess that I’d have to take care of before Tuesday morning.
This week, because my husband’s words were echoing in my head, I decided to try not to clean up for them. They’re paid by the job, not by the hour, I thought, so they may just have to stay a little longer. Sure. That’ll work.
So Monday night — well, I still didn’t make dinner because I’m usually tired from going out all weekend, so I had my husband stop and pick up a pizza on his way home.
I planned a night of leisure. No cleaning. All I did was put away the laundry that had been piled on the dryer, just so that they could wipe all the gobs of lint off the dryer on Tuesday.
But then the cat jumped up there, and it’s the cat who hates to be dirty and pulls all her hair out of her legs when she bathes, so I went ahead and wiped off the lint layer.
Then when I went to try to wash the lint off my hands in the powder room — you know how hard it is to get wet lint off your hands — well, the sink looked like someone’s blue jeans had been blown to smithereens in it. So I cleaned the sink with some toilet paper. It took lots of toilet paper because my husband bought single-ply toilet paper by mistake at Costco.
Well, after I threw all that into the wastebasket, it was overflowing, so I went ahead and emptied it into the big trash can. When I came back in, I cut through the dining room, where the cat who carries socks and underwear around in her mouth while crying plaintively keeps her stash. (We think she thinks they’re babies, and we don’t have the heart to tell her that they are dirty undergarments.) So I cleaned out her litter of “kittens” and put them back into my daughter’s laundry basket.
While I was in my daughter’s room, I took a few swipes with the single-ply at the dried wads of toothpaste in her sink. I mean, if they have to spend ten extra minutes prying someone’s spewed-out-spearmint chunks off the porcelain, they’ll never get to the real dirty jobs. Oh, and I put her retainers away in the drawer. No one should have to touch someone else’s retainers. Ever.
And I put her makeup into her makeup basket, just so it didn’t get put away in the wrong place and cause a panicked, frantic search that involved cussing and drawer-slamming at 6 a.m. on Wednesday.
Once all was safe in the daughter’s bathroom, I headed downstairs.
I could hear my husband coming in and I didn’t want to get yelled at for cleaning up for the maid.
But then I stepped in the cat puke. It wasn’t all that gross — one of the ones that looks just like 9 Lives that has been put through the Play Doh Fun Factory. So I scooped that up (not with my bare hand — that’s my mother who does that with gross stuff) and put it in the guest room toilet.
On my way out of there, I collected an armload of dirty clothes from the floor; clothes which absolutely did not belong to a guest, because we haven’t had house guests in like two years. I don’t know why.
Finally, I went to reheat the pizza that I’d allowed to get cold during my little odyssey and damn if that little booger didn’t suddenly explode cheese and tomato globs in a thousand different directions just because I forgot to stop it while I wiped off the coffeemaker so that it wouldn’t be icky for my husband’s morning Joe.
Anyway, after I cleaned the microwave, I had the Windex out anyway, so I took a couple of swipes at the handles on the refrigerator that someone must have opened after making an Elmer’s Glue imprint of their palm.
That was it, though. No more cleaning up for the cleaning ladies. I promised my husband. So I sat down and watched One Tree Hill with the family while the brownies I was baking for the cleaning ladies cooked.
I’m sorry. This time, I promised myself, it’s til death do us part. I mean, they even like my dogs!