Wednesday, April 29, 2009


'tis the handmade, homemade, diy generation. i cook, i clean, i launder, i take care of the children, i sew, i make, i paint, i create, i garden, i iron, i fix, i wash, i compost, i inebriate.
some time ago, i decided that i needed someone to come to my home and help me clean. not much. not thorough. not expensive. just the bathrooms and flooring. and so my quest for the unreasonable began.

my first attempt at 'hiring' a helper was "kate". her name and phone number arrived like destiny in my hand from friend A. friend A and i were on a play date with our children. she convinced me that this was the ONE.

i eagerly called and hired all in one breath.

me: kate, how much and when?

kate: $50 for a cleaning (not an hour, whew!) and i can come every other tuesday.

so, tuesday it is. husband's at work. daughter's at 'mother's day out'. the price of fifty was due to the amount of bathrooms in my home (three) and the total cleaning time would be at least three hours.

our first tuesday together was everything i had hoped it would be, and more. kate cleaned and cleaned and cleaned. my house was immaculate after three hours of scrubbing, scouring, washing, rinsing, polishing, and dusting. not that it was really very dirty since i have a bad habit of cleaning before 'help' comes to the rescue. (husband and mother would probably disagree). i was very blissful and googoo-eyed just as every newly infatuated relationship begins. i glowed and gushed, "see you in two weeks" as i handed over the very worth it money.

two weeks later, she cancels. reschedule. a week later, i cancel. reschedule. finally, a second cleaning to begin at 9 am. since this woman knows a friend of mine (for a few years now and they did meet at church), i decided to use her cleaning time to run a couple of errands that desperately needed to get accomplished. at 9:15 am, i left the money in an envelope and told her where it was just in case i didn't return before she was finished. i really didn't think i would be out until 12 noon. and i wasn't. i finished up my errands at 10:15 am and arrived at home ... to an empty home. no, she did not steal anything. she just wasn't there. she was gone. she didn't even leave a note. i knew she was not returning - it's not like she ran out of windex.

my house did not smell clean, it did not look clean, it was not clean. it was vacuumed. and for fifty green bucks, i sure as hell could push a vacuum. i was not mad, as in mean-revengeful-mad. i was just bitter. i paid a woman money to vacuum a small home. that was the fastest fifty bucks she earned, i'm sure. fifty bucks for thirty minutes (who thinks she stayed an hour?) -- that is one hell of an hourly rate. i am totally in the wrong business.

so my house stayed dirty for a very long time. perhaps my husband will suggest some help for me. when manatees fly. perhaps my husband will help out. when pigs dance. meanwhile, friend A got wind of my maidless home and called to remind me that "kate" only SURFACE CLEANS. what the hell is that? i do that daily! needless to say, friend A no longer employs "kate" as well. honestly, i didn't have anything to do with that. i just took a personal stand against hiring someone to surface clean.

my maidquest has continued over the years.

wanted: monthly cleaning

i'm easy -- i clean before you arrive

thorough cleaning preferred

i provide products -- drinks -- snacks

even friendly conversation, if you speak English

(se habla espanol tambien y nihongo o hanashimasu mo)

stay tuned for part II of my search for the perfect cleaning partner. does she exist?

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