I am a queen. I do not clean since I’ve never really been taught how and nor have I been inclined to learn. As a result I have a woman who comes in to do my dirty work, apart from the dishes, everyday. I am so nice to her that it’s probably insulting to her on some level, but she does like me because whenever she and I happen to be at home at the same time, I pretty much halve her work. ‘Oh no, there’s no need to do any dusting today’, or ‘Let me just do the laundry this time’. This is not ONLY because there is something fundamentally embarrassing and awkward about someone else grappling with the mess you’ve made. It’s because I am too polite to ignore her while she scoots around the floor with her mop, and since we’re in this unlikely intimate relationship, I feel obliged to chat with her and give her presents. If she was a robot it would be so much better; she’s just too much humanity for me to deal with, especially in the morning. Luckily I go out to work and my husband works from home so he usually deals with her (he ignores her and gets on with his business), but on the few occasions we collide I do not know how to deal with her, of the economic disparity between us, of how much better fed I am than her, my sense of being violated when she speaks to me, and my sense of violating her by pretending she isn’t really there. It is all too much. It’s not yet bad enough for me to wield broom and mop, so I guess I’ll just keep hiding in the bathroom and giving her packets of noodles and biscuits.
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