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Monday, July 29, 2013

Hey! Look! The Floor is Clean!

I am two, maybe three days away from being able to type long enough to write again.  I am immeasurably chuffed -- and, apparently, bilingual.




Mary will be at my house today.

And the dust bunnies are running scared.

We had set it up last week.

“I can give you a discounted rate,” she had said to me.

“Are you kidding? And not be able to hold my head up around the neighborhood? I insist upon paying the household help a living wage.”

We laugh.

“So what do you want done?”

I’d been thinking about it for weeks. “In order of appearance,” I say, “Bathroom, kitchen, front stairway. Anything after that is gravy. Hairy, hairy gravy.”

I can hear her nodding. “You’ve got one dusty house,” she says.

It’s true. At just a little over a hundred and eight years old, the party the previous owners threw for the signing of the armistice still rumbles through the over-head vents.

“What about the cats?”

“They’re supposed to clean themselves,” I say. “Don’t let the little buggers talk you into anything.”

“No,” she says. “I mean will they be okay with me coming in like this?”

“Liza Bean has spoken of nothing else.” I pause. “Don’t lend her any money no matter how many times she asks. And don’t let her mix you any drinks.”

“No loans to Liza Bean Bitey – “

“—of the Minneapolis Biteys—“ I interject.

“—for any reason. Check.”

“And don’t take anything she mixes for you, either.”

Mary sighs. “There go my plans for the afternoon part of the job,” she mumbles.

“I’m sorry. What’s that?”

“Nothing!” she chirps. “No drinking with the cat, no loaning the cat money. Anything else?”

“Yes,” I smile, moving the phone from one ear to the other. “Remember how you made the bed all pretty at the house in Edina?”

Mary and I regularly clean houses together, and I’d been witness recently to a spectacular, showroom-level bed-pillow display on her part that had left me shaking my head with admiration.

The woman is a craftsman.

“Of course.”

“Can you do that for me?”

I hear her smiling again.  . “And would the lady of the house care for a chocolate on her pillow as well?”

“That would be divine,” I murmur. “Thank you so much.”

“My pleasure,” she says. “And with that, madam, I curtsey in your general direction.”

“And I, in yours.”

“Madam," she says, a brisk nod of a word.

“Madam,” I say.

And we hang up.



I can’t wait to go home. It's clean -- and someone else cleaned it.

26 comments:

Camille said...

Hey, wait just a minute there missy. You mean to tell me there are people out there, who will not only clean my home, but may also abstain from judging what a hot mess it was in the first place? Wow. Does Mary travel...farfar?

Daisy said...

I love the woman who cleans my house! She is a treasure!

Leenie said...

As I've said before, everybody should have a Mary--and be a Mary. She is a sterling example of a true friend.

Woot! Woot! on your impending recovery.

Pearl said...

Camille, it's a well-kept secret. :-) And honestly, as a housecleaner myself, we don't mind the messes. There's nothing quite like, say, cleaning a dirty bathroom or kitchen -- they looks so fantastic when we are done with them!

Daisy, I think too many people see a cleaning lady as something other people do. If you can spend the money here and there, I highly recommend it.

Leenie, she is, and people should, yes! I'm going to have her over soon to help with that lousy back flight of stairs. I don't know what it is that collects back there: a mixture of hair, dust, and what may or may not be some sort of spider-created lace, but it's reached embarrassing proportions.

joeh said...

U R A trip!

Yamini MacLean said...

Hari OM
You're going to a clean home where you hope the instruction re cats have been adhered to....

&*> Hope there's a chocky on that pillow as promised. YAYYY to the healing wrists - but don't jump back too early, gal! YAM xxx

Joanne Noragon said...

Oh, wait. Did we ever learn how the tendons sprained? From typing, or did typing just become collateral damage?

Dawn @Lighten Up! said...

Ah - Mary. A modern superhero. I can see her in my mind, her mop a blur, her cape blown back, her red hair flying.

jenny_o said...

The "someone else cleaned it" is the best kind of clean. Just like the "made by someone else" is the best kind of meal, especially if it's followed by "someone else doing the dishes". This sounds like I am really lazy. It's not that, it's just that I am the chief cook, bottlewasher and housekeeper, so if/when someone else does those things, it's a real treat.

sage said...

Can you give out Mary's number? In a private email? Pretty please... what am I talking about, I'm not even home but I will be in a few days and could probably then use her services.

Eva Gallant said...

My dream has always been to someday be able to afford a cleaning lady.

mybabyjohn/Delores said...

that's the best kind of clean in the whole wide world....

Susan Kane said...

You are one lucky lady. I am currently vacuuming like crazy, taking sweat-cool-downs.

Slick said...

I work for a doctor. In the mornings I help the staff get started, I file, and I handle the mail. Then I clean her house and run errands. That's four days a week. I also clean and stock the office on the weekends.

I wish I had a ME.

Daisy said...

Even better than home sweet home is a CLEAN home sweet home that was cleaned by someone else! :-)

Silliyak said...

Your loyal minions await your fair hand m'lady.

Indigo Roth said...

I'm not sure I could pick out particular areas of my place for cleaning. You know, because, well, it's all so clean. Obviously. Erm.

Gigi said...

How does Mary feel about a long, long distance job?

Sioux said...

And for a brief moment of time, you can pretend you have people.

Sadly, I don't even temporarily have people.

Launna said...

Isn't that the most divine thing ever... having someone else clean your house... I am due for that by the end of this month... it will feel great:)


Lin said...

I had a cleaning lady...once....right after I had my second child. It was glorious.

I like to clean my own house though...and it's small enough to do so. I make my husband take us out for dinner so it stays clean for a few hours longer.

mary i said...

Mary in Alabama Needs Your Mary to Please come on Down and Help me, Please...

River said...

I love coming home to a clean house, that's why I make the bed and wash the dishes before I go out...to clean someone else's house.

Take it easy with the typing when you're allowed to do any, you don't want to end up back where you started.

Jo-Anne Meadows said...

If my kitchen floor was clean people would fall over in shock......or asked me who I paid to clean because I am not a clean the floor person......lol

Jenny Woolf said...

Surely one of the characteristics of paradise is that someone else does the cleaning.

Diane Tolley said...

Mmm . . . someone else cleaning . . .
I have three families living here and still I'm the only cleaner. Sigh. If I paid mileage, could you and Mary do a quick swipe through my house? :)