I had a maid when I was single and living in a two-bedroom apartment. She came once every two weeks. I was completely spoiled. Then I got married and moved in with my husband and my stepsons who were 9 and 12 at the time. Much to my husband’s dismay (he’d never had a maid before) I brought Atilana as part of the deal. Every two weeks she would come to dig us out of the unsightly mess we had created. Laundry was the main selling point for a man with two boys who changed clothes as many times a day as Anne Hathaway hosting the Oscars. The super-great amazing thing about MY maid, is that she actually washes clothes, irons and / or folds them and puts them away. Ask around.  There aren’t many who will do more than maybe shift your already washed clothes from the washer to the drier.

With joyful hearts, the husband and boys anticipated the maid’s bi-monthly arrival. What they did not understand was the preparation that goes into having a maid. The night before Atilana was scheduled to clean, I would clear off counter tops, start a load of laundry, lay out fresh sheets for the bed, take out a load of trash, force the boys to put all their clothes that were on the floor into the laundry basket, and straighten their desks. To the mystified men in my life this was completely insane when in just 12 short hours, a maid would be arriving who needed something to do. I, on the other hand, wanted to make certain we didn’t frighten the maid away with our disaster area. 9 and 12-year-old boys have serious hygiene deficiencies and an aversion to drawers and closets.

Eight years later I still race around the house muttering “We can’t let her know we LIVE like this!” Sure, to the men it looks as though I am doing the maid’s job, but they don’t realize that under all that major cleaning stuff is the minor cleaning stuff that is even LESS fun. Dusting ceiling fans, blinds and floorboards, cleaning the inside of the fridge, polishing silver, TOILETS. I won’t even go into the inability of a 9 or 12-year-old to take proper aim. To this day, if I threw Cheerios or Fruit Loops in the toilet as targets, I cannot fathom any degree of success. But with luck, my angel of mercy will continue to clean up after all of us.

I know my clean up sessions are not as thorough as they used to be. After all this time she has probably caught on to our imperfections. When someone scrubs your toilets by hand and folds your undies, there probably aren’t a lot of secrets you’re keeping from them. Let’s all agree to stop the pre-cleaning madness. Embrace the disgrace! We need to just give up, admit we are pigs (or live with them) and hand over a little extra cash to assuage our guilt.

Now, hand me the Comet.

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