Tuesday, December 9, 2008

It's 1:15 AM and I just finished washing a sh*tload of dishes so I started thinking . . .

Remember those days when you spent hours of your plentiful time just to save a buck? I'm reminded of photocopying pages off of borrowed textbooks to avoid paying even the used price, or driving to three different grocery stores in one day to get the best prices at each. Or how about eating at home first before going out to birthday dinners so you could just share an entree when you got there? Some of us also remember taking shots of vodka, tequila, whatever, in the parking lot outside the club to avoid paying for drinks once inside.

Well, somewhere along the road time became money. Anytime I bought something or did a chore, I thought about what that time meant in terms of hourly salary and how it just wasn't worth it anymore. Should I pay a shipping fee, or spend an hour and a half driving to get that book? Should I spend two hours washing my car, or eight bucks for someone else to do a better job? And, now with baby and all, should I bite the bullet and get a housecleaner, or torture myself with a dirty house 28 days out of the month?

I know several people that have already gone that direction. Maybe getting someone to do the deep clean once a month or so. Most recently, I even know of someone that had a dinner party of 12 and had someone come and wash the dishes while we were eating! (Yeah, that was a bit awkward. The guests didn't know if the Chinese lady in the kitchen was their mom or what, we were never introduced.) It certainly makes sense - having the time to spend with my husband and child is well worth it, instead of driving HP crazy making him take full responsibility of Tylo while I run around like a mad woman, trying to dust, organize and disinfect every surface of my home every two weeks.

But of course, there lies the deeper reason behind me not wanting someone else to clean my home, touch my stuff. I mean, even HP doesn't get to touch some of our things without me checking that his hands are washed first (I'm sure he does anyway when I'm not looking). Yes, yes, you already know. And of course, I'm working hard to reverse the mind workings of the germaphobe in me, and I've come a long way, but I'm not sure I'll ever shake it to the point where I can trust someone else to do my cleaning.

Let me tell you, I know someone that cleans houses for a living. They don't come with an arsenal of washrags, one per surface. That same towel goes from toilet to kitchen counter. And it sure doesn't get washed out or even disinfected first. I mean, I don't even use the same duster for the tv as I do for Tylo's stuff. Can you imagine? I'm reminded of HP's Taco Bell employee story. He had the lovely job of cleaning up the blow-out mess left in the men's restrooms on certain occasions (and I'm sure you've all walked in a public restroom and seen that before), and he had no idea how to go about it. Well, he took his trusty mop and swished it around the toilet, the rim, inside the bowl. In and out of the mopping bucket it went. Same mop that later goes to mop the restaurant floor. So don't you even dare think about letting your kids eat off the floor. ANYWHERE.

I guess I could go the route of providing all the supplies, require the use of paper towels versus cloths, listing my expectations clearly, then watching the cleaning person like a hawk as they went about the cleaning. But yeah, they would last about 5 minutes before declaring me crazy and annoying as hell. Or I could ask HP to help more, but then we'd have that same conversation again of "why don't we just hire a cleaning lady?". Not that I like the results of his "cleaning" anyway.

And I suppose there are some isolated cleaning chores that can be done without worry of too much contamination. Like taking apart the stove and cleaning all the grooves (I can just surface disinfect afterward) or maybe scrubbing down the shower. Cleaning the leaves and dirt from our neglected balcony. But those items would last, oh 30 minutes, and I doubt anyone would come out for that.

So, it's back to square one. And I should quit complaining about all I have to do because I just brought it upon myself anyway. I am jealous of those of you out there that have other people cleaning for you.

I gotta go fold the laundry because I promised myself I'd be in bed by 2.


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