Friday, April 09, 2010

Ode to Guadalupe (not the virgin)

Today I feel like a whine, and then some wine. And as luck, as well as my supremely awesome internet-skillz would have it, I have this here blog and as I am indeed the supreme ruler of this here blog and its all encompassing carrying force, I'll do exactly what I please, and w(h)ine some.

Voilá, and pop the sucker already. It must be wino-o-clock in some shelter somewheres in the universe:

*pours a glass*

But first here is picture of a lion-attack. Yup. The one standing is me.

As usual, I'm unhappy with my maid 'situation'.

In all honesty, there hasn't been a point in time I have been completely satisfied with anyone ever working for me. None of you, or really, anyone should ever try. I'm an on-off perfectionist, my-way-or-the-highway, please make sure everything is exactly where I left it, you should have gotten back to me yesterday, the handles must all point southeastwards, the couch pillows should naturally be lined up by size and use, even my own mother things I'm wacko, and can't you read my mind already kind of a person dragon-lady.

However, now I find myself missing my maid in Mexico, Guadalupe, who was practically blind (at least to dust and anything that required bending down to be cleaned), thought the tumble dryer was the bestest of any and all inventions, I'm pretty sure used the vacuum mainly in some sort of special Santa Muerte worship ceremony as an incense holder, but who was also very fun to talk to, and who pulled interesting stunts such as locking herself out on the balcony and then throwing stones (from my potted plants) at the passers by to get someone to call the fire brigade (Nope. Not me with the key, the fire brigade). But miss her I do, because of the succession (wow, we must be up to double figures by now) of maids I have been going through in the past year and a half here in South Africa.

I always have a hard time with people and not barking at them. Especially when they don't bow to my will.

I would so make a perfect dictator or a tyrant (Is there a difference? I don't know. Should I know if I think I could be one? Nah, that wouldn't be proper dominating behavior, I think). Or I could have my own talk show. Yeah. Too bad lazy comes in the way of benevolent world domination and/or being Oprah. Oh well. One can believe one is in control of the world when one drinks enough too, I guess. I'll settle.

In reality, the only one ever fit to be working for me is me, and even having that one employee is causing me sleepless nights and ground-to-unattractive-stumps teeth. Not to mention sudden bursts of rage when I am unable to remove the cap on my hairspray can (totally beat that can into submission. I am the dictator of my own bathroom at least. Unless this rebellious behavior spreads to my collection of 'hair treatments'. Then I'm fucked) or I hit one more low thing with the car.

Poor car. And stupid low things.

But why is my old stretched cotton underwear (I totally should buy some new fancy stuff already, by which I mean fancy stuff that can actually be worn underneath jeans and not that stuff I seem to buy inspired by Samantha Jones from the Sex and the City, because that stuff is not meant to be worn by the likes of me or anyone not intending to pierce their own netherparts while walking) tied in one of those uber-complicated sailor's knots this time around?

Is the number of whole wineglasses decreasing again?
Are the pillows in a disarray?
Is there a crack in that special and oh-so-cherished Iron Maiden coffee mug/ pint?
Was there a pile of unpaid bills underneath the stairs again?
Does the toothbrush smell like the sneakers that now look disconcertingly clean?

Well, not exactly. What's made the pea travel up my nostril this time, is that I'm simply missing someone to show up. On the day they are supposed to show up. To be at my door at that appointed hour, to first listen to me roll my eyes and sigh, then reassign new meanings to 'please', 'thank you' and 'we', before resorting to the barking. To be there to listlessly push the vacuum handle around in random directions and pretend to be dusting without actually touching a single surface.

I just need a presence. A body, in order to be able to keep believing that I can still eat that piece of chicken I dropped on the kitchen floor per the five second rule, and that those ants nesting in my CD drive are not there because there is also an entire cookie made of crumbs in there, but because Zeus is being unjust.

I need to keep my faith. This is how far I have compromised, and still it's not enough. Oh woe.

At least Guadalupe would always show up, even if she did spend the first half an hour telling me about her granddaughter whilst eating all of the bread and tuna she could dig out of my cupboards before crying a little bit because her water had been cut off. I would then give her a little cash for the water and she would ignore the dust with a smile, reorganize my closets, and iron a hole into my sweater. And then I would bark at her, feel bad, and ask her opinion on cleaning the living-room carpet, and bribe her with coffee and pastries.

But we laughed, she at my accent and I at her stories of which I only understood the very simple parts of, together. Every time she came. Rain or shine she was there. She cried when I left the country, and held on to my old iron and coffee maker tighter I thought possible. But most of all, her unfailing presence made it possible for me to wash off that weird black stuff from the soles of my feet and believe that it was the outside that was going down the drain instead of dust from my own couch, and that those splatters on the mirror were irremovable drops of paint not gunks of toothpaste and spit sprouting bacteria. And for that Illusion, I thank her.

And wish she was here.

Oh Guadalupe. If only you were here for me to tell you to stop using the tumble dryer and for you to respond by telling me that I'm rich and therefore am obligated to use it. Oh Guadalupe.

I really miss you. And Mexico. And Casillero del Diablo red.



Tonia said...

Oh for a cleaner. And a gardener. And a dog walker. I do work! Possibly.

Not So Glamorous Housewife said...

Hmm.....I don't know if I can possible feel sorry for you but I will try.

Myne Whitman said...

You are whining? Get to it, lol.

Have a nice, relaxing weekend. I hope.

CrazyCris said...

I know exactly how you feel! and I haven't been able to afford someone to come clean for me in a long time...

We were really lucky with our maids in Mexico (I think we had 3-4 in 8 years), only one of them knew "next to nothing", all were decent, trustworthy women who were proud of doing a good job. Two of them kind of felt part of the family, and now 20 years later we sometimes find ourselves wondering about 'licia and her family and how they're doing in Chiapas...

Lisa-Marie said...

Does everyone have a maid there? I do a very mini bit of cleaning for my boss when the kids I nanny are asleep( I feel bad if I just sit there doing nothing) and she seem always to notice what I've done, which is nice.