Tuesday, May 6, 2008


Even though most people claim not to go on a 20-minute cleaning frenzy right before company comes over, I think most people do. Well, I do. But that's changed.

A year ago, I hired a housekeeper. I'm not a slob, but I realized that I wasn't taking care of my new house. I'm pretty good about keeping the kitchen clean, the clean laundry hidden in the dryer, and taking the garbage out every week. But when it comes to the bathroom sink, or vacuuming in general, I'm not dependable. My sister recommended a housecleaner; her name is Debbie.

Debbie comes once a month and does all of the 'deep cleaning' that I used to neglect. She comes at the end of every month. And as ironic as it is, I find myself running around the house before work on the day that Debbie comes to clean. It's partly because Debbie wants the house picked up, "I'm not a maid," she told me when we first talked on the phone, "I'm a housekeeper." Other than requesting only Bounty brand paper towels, she bring her own supplies and does a consistently great job. And I trust her. So I'll pick up before she comes; I think that's fair.

There are a lot of great things about Debbie, including:

1. Well, she cleans the house.
2. She arranges non-decorative items. Examples include: pasta boxes arranged in a diagonal design on the kitchen counter and remote controls perpendicular to each other on the coffee table.
3. At the end of last summer, she left me a recipe for pesto (because I had a basil plant that was near-death on the back porch).
4. She leaves two pieces of candy and an inspirational quote with every housecleaning.
5. Sometimes she makes my bed.

Debbie has a key to my house, knows my alarm code and has now been my housecleaner for a year. Ask me if I've ever met her. I'll reply, "no."

No, I've never met Debbie. Sure, I've talked to her on the phone, but she came on the recommendation of one of my sisters who knew her as a client. I would call this inherent trust of a stranger "uncharacteristic" of my typical vetting process. But here I am, one year later, blogging on the couch in my extremely clean house.

But from the other side. . . what does Debbie think of me? It's not the same as officefolk who can cobble together a personality profile of their clients by Googling + Facebook stalking + analyzing their attempt at smalltalk in the first few minutes of a call. No, Debbie's in my house and she's free to snoop all she wants. What does my house, my mess, my dirty sink, my unfolded laundry say about me?


Rob said...

Please send her to Columbia, MO.

bojengle said...

The real question is whether you would friend debbie or confirm her as a friend, especially if there was the potential of her to stop cleaning.

nat said...

wasn't there a seinfeld about that?? make sure that debbie does more than make your bed, rj!