Thursday, November 19, 2009

Good Help

We've been having this conversation for five years. Finally, FINALLY, my husband suggested we get a quote for maid service. I believe my next step should be submitting my resume to the White House for the position of Ambassador to Everyone.

So, major coup. And then the first cleaning person stopped by to provide her estimate, and I'll tell you what: if you want an accurate gauge of the messiness of your home, walk a maid through it.

She didn't have to say a word. My sensitive to the circumstances eye saw every flaw. Toys stored haphazardly, shoes paired everywhere except in a closet. Limp dishtowels hovering near the sink, a chair in the basement stripped of fabric and bursting with exposed stuffing. My house is a mess.

She was interested in looking into sinks, peering into bathtubs. Ironically, these were the clean areas. And these are the areas she would clean. She told me what she'd accomplish on a biweekly or monthly basis. It did not include the pile of change, stamps and buttons on my husband's bureau or the gaggle of paper shopping bags littering the pantry floor. There was no mention of the towering piles of paperwork on our desk or the consignment shop look we've accomplished in our office, where we've temporarily hidden things we care about from our two toddlers. Those items are our responsibility.

I called my husband after she left. "I don't know."

"Was she high? Well, let's get a few more."

"It's not that. It's just... we need to clean the house."

"I know."

"No, we need to clean the house before we have a cleaning service come work for us."

He silently contemplated this, that before I would entertain any more prospective cleaners, we'd need to perform a deep clean ourselves. Doesn't that sort of forego the point? To have to clean to give up on cleaning?

The visit left me deflated and embarrassed and solidly feeling like I had been shipped back to square one. Dusty, cluttered, needs a good sweeping square one.

So that's where I am now: in the midst of a massive spring-cleaning-in-the-fall in the hopes that, by January, I will actually be confident enough to walk a cleaning service through my house again. I know I will have to sit on my hands to resist the temptation to call the same woman back again so she can see that what she saw then was not how we intended to live for the rest of our lives.

It really would be nice to have someone else clean the floors.

As soon as I finish putting away all my shoes and clean out the garage, that is.

1 comment:

Two Shorten the Road said...

This is exactly why we still don't have a maid service, even though it's probably one of my top 5 lifelong dreams. :(