Posted by Danny
My house smells like Julie today. She is our housekeeper. She is worth $35,000 per visit.
We’ve had several women help with our housework over the years. The first we hired was a very good cleaner. However, one day we came home and she had gotten into a verbal war with our nanny. Apparently she wanted to vacuum when Stephanie wanted to sleep. Had she shown up to work on time, this wouldn’t have been a problem.
I picture the conversation went like this:
Nanny: “You need to get here on time. The kids take a nap at 1 and that’s my lunch break.”
Housekeeper: “You ain’t my boss! I’ll get here when I can.”
Nanny: “This isn’t gonna work.”
I’m not sure what happened but I think our nanny fired the maid, she had tenure. The search was on for someone new.
The second housekeeper was lovely, but she moved after a few month’s work. She referred us to her sister-in-law, an elderly woman who smoked a pack of cigarettes in her four hours stint at our home each week. I had to get out the power blower to clear her butts off the driveway.
Unfortunately, this woman was prone to forgetfulness. We’d find the trashcan in the shower and the water still running when we returned home a 5. The Softscrub might show up in the refrigerator. She might change your bed – or…she might change someone else’s bed. We all just crossed our fingers hoping that we’d be the chosen one. One time she left the mop in the driveway. On one visit it was apparent she just didn’t go upstairs – and 3/5th of our family lived up there.
She had to go.
Then we found Julie – oh sweet Julie. She cleans DJ’s closet – hanging clothes and organizing shoes. She dusts the blinds – yes, the blinds. Once she said, “Can I do your baseboards?” I think she probably thought we had a moral objection to baseboard cleanliness since ours had clearly never been touched before.
One day she said, “Danny, I want you to help me pull your bed out. It’s disgusting under there.” If I ever do it, we might find Amelia Earhart.
When I walk in the house every other Tuesday, the smell of Pine Sol burns my nose hairs. A tear comes to my eye. My mother vacuumed every day of my childhood. You could eat off her kitchen floor. Week after week, on her hands and her knees she’d wipe urine off the bathroom walls behind three aimless males. And the same smell, the smell of Julie, would cover up the peculiar odors my brother and I left throughout the house.
If I can’t cover the tuition at my kids’ school, if I can’t buy a new article of clothing, if I have to walk to work because I can’t afford gas, so be it. As long as I have Julie, I am whole.