I fought it people, I really fought it. I rallied against the idea of having someone come in my home and wash my floors and sheets and organize my refrigerator. I yelled, I don't care if I am pregnant with twins, I am the one that will provide tranquility in this home not a stranger (sounds very tranquil doesn't it). I yelled, “you grew up with maids not me, it is not in my culture, I don't want to deal with it, I can't communicate with them, I feel weird and obligated to help and I don't want to clean the bathroom at 9:00am, I would rather do that on a random Wednesday afternoon, once a month, when I damn well feel like it”. I listened to his pleas, I watched him get up every Saturday and scrub the apartment because, well let's face it people, I am just not that type. But I wouldn't give in, I would have nothing to do with it, nope nope nope, my home, my work, I am the woman of this house and if I don't get around to doing it we will live in filth (or he will just end up doing everything instead).
Then last month the landlord stopped by for her monthly inspection of the place about 5 minutes after I had my morning puking ritual, to find me still clad in a bathrobe, with sleep in my eyes and my hair alternating between sticking straight up and plastered to the side of my face. She (the landlord) came in, made herself at home, filled out my rent receipt and began the half hour talk we have every month:
Her: the place is niiiice no?
Me: yes, it's great (this is what I said), except we sleep in the living room, we don't have a bed yet, it is too humid and we are wallowing in filth because I am too sick and too lazy to get off my ass and do anything about it (this is what my face said)
Her: so yeeesssss, the place is nice, you are happy, everything is good, very goooood
Me: yes, the place is nice, I am happy everything is perfect
Her: you see, the apartment is nice, some apartments are nice when you move in and you are happy there and this is one of them
Me: Oui Hajja, the apartment is very nice (reality) and it has fixed everything in my life and most of that is because you are a respectable, hardworking woman that lived here yourself for ten years and took care of your home and prayed everyday and that is why the place is good (what she really wanted to hear)
Her: well you know...
Her: The wife of the concierge downstairs can clean for you
Her: yes, she is very niiiiiiccceee, she can help you
Me: okay okay, point taken, you think I am an American slob that can't pull myself out of bed anytime before noon and that I let us live here in filth and choke on dust, and well maybe you are right but I have a really good reason for not wanting a maid...I am just trying to remember what that is (internal dialogue, of course)
And thus it came to be, it took me another month to give in, but by golly gee, what kind of a fool am I? That woman, the one in there in the kitchen right now transferring water from bucket to bucket and skipping around this place, high on the self satisfaction of helping us poor schlubs, is a friggin' magic woman, and I love her. She even allows me to be a better partner to youssef; I think I am starting to understand how this whole thing works. She cleans everything and I pick up after myself and have way more energy and inspiration to do things like cook and act like I am super efficient and able to run a household, she is my beard so to speak. She makes it appear that I am actually capable of having a home that looks as clean as mine does now. I am telling you people, it is the best thing that has ever happened to me. Even if she did just drag my ass up to the roof, in my bathrobe, to school me on how to properly hang clothes on a rooftop!
Pictures to follow…
~How I feel about Paris today~
There ain't no way I could afford this in Paris, this woman had changed my entire perspective about things!I am even thinking of naming one of my unborn children after her, or maybe I will just give her one of them!