Wednesday, July 12, 2006


I'm not a very good housekeeper. I'm too lazy, plus I just don't care.

My mother is fastidious; she vacuums and does at least one load of laundry every day. She dusts her furniture once a week.

Mom also has a housekeeper, a woman who comes to clean every two or three weeks. Arlis dusts and vacuums and mops for four hours - a "real cleaning" as my mother calls it, as opposed to the "touch-ups" she does herself. My mother hired someone because she was too tired after working full-time at the meatpacking plant to do the kind of cleaning her house needed. She hired Arlis because like her, Arlis does not believe in mops. (If you're not down on your hands and knees with a rag, you're not really mopping the floor.) In Arlis and Mom's world, there are people who own mops on a stick, and then there are people who want clean floors.

When Bump, Aunt Bob, Scrubly and I lived together, we inherited Maria. Maria cleaned for the couple who owned the house (they were in the midst of a divorce) and was interested in staying on. The four of us thought this was great, and would scramble around the night before Maria came, picking up our crap and putting things away. It wasn't that we were motivated to make Maria's job easier, but if things were lying around, Maria would put them away, and we would never be able to find them later.

Maria still comes to my house every three weeks, and provides the only cleaning the house gets.* I don't even know if our vacuum works. In theory, I clean the kitchen between her visits, but lately I've been pretty lame on that front. Maria is fabulous, and without her, I can honestly say that Lumpyhead would crawl around in complete and total filth. Our oven dial no longer has numbers on it; Maria cleaned them off. While Maria's cleaning works just fine for us, I am sure that my mother would find Maria's cleaning standards a bit lacking; Maria's few-hour visit is less strident than mother's typical "touch-up."

Last night, my foot brushed over something hard in Lumpyhead's room. I put Lumpyhead in his crib, picked up whatever it was, and walked out. While I was walking out of the room, the piece of trash in my hand moved.

Yes, it moved.

I dropped it in the hallway, turned on the light, looked down and saw a huge bug. I don't know what kind of bug it was - a beetle of some kind, maybe - but it was gross.

I'm usually the bug killer in the house, and am not easily skeeved out by insects. But this? Totally icked me out. I washed my hands three times after flushing the thing. Yuck.

Yuck yuck yuck.

It makes me think I should start cleaning.

*Dear IRS,
Maria is an independent contractor, not a household employee. She is self-directed and controls when and how she will clean, as well as what duties she will perform. She provides her own supplies. The amount I pay her falls below the threshold for filing Form 1099-MISC and I am not required to fill out Schedule H. Please do not audit me.
Thank you,
Lumpyhead's Mom


Sarah, Goon Squad Sarah said...

Your Mom vacuums every day?

Mom at Work said...

I'm seeing a new motto: "Lumpyhead...come for the buttholes, stay for the stank and bugs."

Me, I have considered giving Lumpyhead a lint roller outfit so when he drops by and gets dog hair all over himself, we can just peel off a layer.

la dra said...

I think my mom and I have differing standards for clean too. The last time my mom visited, the cleaning lady also decided to come. My mom told me later that she thought the cleaning lady took too many breaks! Whoa! I think I need to remind my mom that I do not have a household employee. ;)

Em said...

This from a woman who blythely told me the roaches in the dining hall were, "big enough to ride." Oh, and could you clone Maria and send her on over? Thanks.

Auntly H said...

Does Maria have a sister in MN?

ElectricYoak would really like me to hire her. Not that he would say that out loud.

Jill said...

I suppose your mom would not approve of my beloved Swiffer.

tammy said...

Can Maria come over to my house?

I have an aunt that not only vacuums everyday, but does laundry & runs the dishwasher almost everyday.

CPA Mom said...

Your IRS note cracks me up!

p.s. I have a "Maria" too, who comes every other week. I have no time to clean either - housekeepers, even part time, ROCK!