Monday, June 8, 2009


So I finally gave in.

No, I didn't remove my goalie and give sperm the right-of-way.

I hired a maid service.

And now you're thinking I'm indolent. That I'm a louse. And I'm filthy. And that to get to our kitchen sink you'll have to wade through three feet of fast food wrappers discarded over the last two years.

I knew it.

Well, it's understandable, for I thought of myself that way too when first putting fingers to keys to google "maid services sparks nv." It was an act of humility. An admission that I am a failure as a homemaker and an innate slob. But I realized that the reason I was hunting and pecking through the World Wide Web for someone to vacuum my floors and shine my mirrors is that I've cleverly made myself too busy to commit to regular cleaning; yet, if I'm willing to hand over Romo dinero to get the job done, cleanliness must be some kind of a priority.

And I have a history of this: Paying people to clean.

I'll explain: Saturdays in the Peterson home were cleaning day. Oh, of course! you say, It was the same way in the house I grew up in. Hah. My mom had six typed lists of chores that she'd rotate from week to week. We'd stumble upstairs on Saturday morning to find each of our printed lists taped to the counter with any special additions hand-scrawled by our taskmaster mother. (To Cat's list she often added things like, "Do laundry for the first time in a month." and "Bathe for the first time in a week." and "Change your underwear, please.")

I say "lists" and want to make very sure that you're not thinking these were lists of light bits and pieces. No no. One list might look like this:
• Bleach shower (scoop hair from the drain)
• Clean toilet bowl, wipe down outside
• Refill toilet paper basket
• Clean mirror
• Wipe counter and sinks (be sure to scrub off toothpaste)
• Shine faucets
• Wipe down cabinets
• Clean out under sink
• Take towels and bathmat to the laundry room
• Replace old towels with clean ones
• Dust pictures on the wall
• Dust knick knacks
• Sweep floor
• Hand-mop floor
• Dust and Pledge bathroom door

• Empty all trash in the house
• Vacuum your bedroom
• Change and wash your bedsheets
• Water outside plants
• Wash and use Murphy's Oil soap on front door
• Sweep front porch and walk
That's one list. Handed off to a ten-year-old. The other five lists were equally as heavy. Especially the KITCHEN one which mandated that you sweep and mop the five square-miles of tile. And if the taskmaster saw that you'd shirked on any chore, you did it again.

And I hard-core hated these chores.

So, when I was sixteen or so I realized that kids will do almost anything for money, and I paid my little sisters to do my chores. At first surreptitiously and then outright. (After a while mom got fed up with it and I found myself again one of the masses.)

So you see, I didn't just hire a maid service 'cause I don't know how to clean. Or because we don't generally keep our place lookin' nice; I was raised in a clean house, and I like my own homes to be clean and quiet. Rather, I've hired other folks to dust and polish mi casa because I have given myself to other activities instead, selfish and otherwise.

When I got of the phone with the coordinator who delineated all the services her team would carry out in exchange for my hard-earned lucre, I skipped around the house (no, really: I skipped), tiny pup at my heels, stopping at the spots they were going to clean that I most loathed.

The blinds! They'll dust 'em!

The fridge! They'll scrub it!

The floor! They'll vacuum it!

The tile! They'll mop it!

The tables! They'll polish 'em!

(Yeah, I realize we're on the cusp of "The everything! They'll clean it!")

I twirled from room to room reveling in the glee of a decision well made.

Until I arrived at the master bathroom shower.


By my standards, that is. We're clean people, as I married one of those men who have no problem at all scrubbing the house and do so of their own impetus, so "gross" by my standards probably isn't as nasty as you're thinking. But nevertheless: yuck.

I stood in front of the shower, shamed at the effects of neglected hard water residue. But before I could consider a quick pre-clean prior to the team's arrival, I turned and skipped out of the bathroom.

I'm not cleaning my shower.

That's what I pay them for.

Embarrassment be damned.


Sue said...

Hey - go for it!! You're one busy - not lazy - chix, and besides, like you said, I did my job and you know HOW.

Unknown said...

I'm totally with you on this one. Once we have the money, we're going to hire a cleaner. I'm excited (although I sometimes feel embarrassed..shouldn't we be cleaning up after ourselves?)

But, I think of it as an altruistic duty. It'll stimulate the economy and give someone else a job who may not have the skills to do something else... a "spread the wealth" kind of thing. Not to mention free up our schedule for more important things. Like picnics in the park.

And your Mom was (is?) a stud. I have never read a cleaning list like that. Except when my Mom hired me and the hubby to clean her house weekly. But we were getting PAID. yikes.

Mal Robin said...

Lucky you.... Amanda got paid... Our pay was our freedom. If we complained at all she (I love her dearly, and she is still a stud) would yell out more chores. We learned to shut our mouths.

But we all learned how to clean. Megan don't you dare make one comment about my cleaning abilities. You should see my apartment right now! Of course I had cleaned it because the owners are coming, minor details.

All in all, the torture payed off. Although I wish I could hire someone to clean my place.

Sue said...

Watch what you say, girls, or I'll add to your lists.

whitneyingram said...

You're welcome. It took about a year for me to convince you to finally have someone clean your house and look how joyful it is.

I started paying someone to clean when I was pregnant and the thought of cleaning made me think of death and dying. After baby's arrival, I stopped paying someone because Ethan claimed he "liked" how I cleaned the house. That liar's pants were on fire.

BTW, your master shower is disgusting.

aezra noell said...

Im glad that you find time to blog rather than clean. I guess that makes me selfish rooting for your blogging abilities instead of opposite.I can't help it, your remarks are so refreshing!

Megan said...

Hen's not kidding. Sissies, remember what happened when we would make the mistake of saying that we were bored within Mom's earshot? "Well then you get to go clean all the grout with a toothbrush." or "go and clean out all the kitchen cupboards and wash down the cabinet doors."

And Whit, remember when Mom came over to your house in CA and discovered that your master bath was a health code violation?

Megan said...

Ash, if only I could clean while I'm out in the world doing my day. That's the convenience of blogging. I have a down moment while I'm out doing my job and I can dash down a blog post and post (and schedule it) when I get home. I can't so much clean out my sink while I'm waiting to see a doctor. Ya know?

Sue said...

I did not!

Megan said...

Oh yes you did, Henny. Whit remembers.

(Hey mom, how much do you love your iPhone? I'm guessing that you receive comments to your email which means you can access them and respond on your phone. I love it. It makes me feel so connected when really I'm socially disconnected and inept.)

Jodi said...

Oh the lists bring back memories from my childhood/teenage years. In the summer we had lists every day that included things like "weed the garden" and "paint the shed". I can't wait to have my own crew of workers.

cat+tadd=sam said...

I resent you!

Anonymous said...

I love your mother. What a brilliant programme. I am doing this.

I need to hire someone but can't bring myself to show someone the mess that's accrued while I've been exhausted. Pride, you foe.