So I’m walking through my family room last Friday. To clarify, I also walk through it every other day of the week. After all, it IS on the way to my favorite place — the kitchen. This is evident by my protruding belly. But on this day, out of the corner of my eye, I caught something furry hunkered alongside the Ab Roller I haven’t used in weeks. Again, evident by my protruding belly.
My first thought upon seeing this wad of fur: What did the animals bring in now? My second thought: How to catch and release it outside, assuming it’s still alive? And that’s when I saw it. No, it was not a mouse or a rat. Nor was it a bird or a bat. Could it be a squirrel or perhaps a cat? Oh me, oh my, what IS that?!Okay, so I’m no Dr. Seuss. I’ll end your suspense now. Drum roll please…
The fur in the corner was exactly that — a wad of fur. Turns out I’m not, after all, an astoundingly thorough housekeeper. Apparently I don’t vacuum often enough and with 6 animals inside, I can’t be a slacker. So even though I’d have preferred to be in the garden picking tomatoes to make gazpacho, I decided to clean the house instead. Just shoot me.
Now don’t get me wrong; I don’t have a gargantuan house. But it’s two stories. And did I tell you I have 6 animals? And did I also mention none of them are hairless, like those cats that people with allergies adopt? No, all mine are of the fur variety.
When I finally finished cleaning, 4 hours had passed. That’s just ridiculous, I said to myself. Those are 4 hours I will never get back to do totally worthless things I enjoy doing. That was the moment I decided to hire a housekeeper to clean every other week. She’s my first. I admit I do feel a little guilty hiring someone to do something I’m perfectly capable of doing. But did that stop me? Read on…
Turns out I’m one of those stereotypical, privileged-Marin-County-tennis-playing-ladies who has someone else remove cat paw prints from her coffee table then mop up the small wading pool left on her kitchen floor from 3 unusually thirsty dogs that have no manners when it comes to mindfully lapping water.
So I hired Celia, a sweet, thorough and definitely anal house cleaner. Just my style. She spent 4 1/2 hours on Tuesday doing all the stuff I hate, allowing me to go play tennis (how cliche). When I came home, I barely recognized the place.
Celia had actually polished my hardwood floors. She dusted the decorative molding on the bedroom doors — the ones that are there precisely to collect dust. The shower looked brand new. Even the caked-on grunge on the tile under the dog door had mysteriously disappeared. Go figure; I thought that was permanently engraved.
When I got home, I let the dogs in from the backyard. They were waiting, literally drooling at the door. The minute I opened it they acted like racehorses bolting from their starting gates. My greyhound instantly slid across the newly polished floor like she was ice skating without skates. Callie headed for the kitchen and drank a full bowl of water, most of which ended up on my freshly mopped floor. And Skip, taking up the rear, dragged in from the patio his ever-present blanket along with seemingly every leaf and dirt clod in his path.
Yes, my clean house was pristine for approximately 90 seconds from the time Celia left to when I opened that patio door to let the monsters back inside. And Celia isn’t due back for another 2 weeks.
I think I may have grossly underestimated how often I might need her.