Maid To Order

The other day, we did something that has sort of been a lifelong dream of mine. Tara and I hired a maid.

Or, to be precise, a housekeeper-who-comes-in-once-a-month-to-clean. But it’s still pretty cool. For years, I’ve wanted a maid. I always envisioned her as a cross between Alice on The Brady Bunch and Mrs. Garrett (who was the Drummonds’ maid on Diff’rent Strokes before discussing The Facts of Life with Tootie, Blair, and the rest).

"Got anything else that needs polishing?"
“Got anything else that needs polishing?”

Eh, who am I kidding? I always hoped she’d look like a sexy French maid. But with Alice’s cleaning skills. And no Sam the Butcher in the picture.

(By the way, I’ve always wondered what a real French maid is like. First of all, in France, they probably just call her a “maid,” the same way they probably call French kissing “kissing.” Right? But then again, we still call American cheese “American cheese” so maybe they do keep the French in there as a qualifier. No matter what they’re called, I hope they all look like that. Otherwise, the only redeeming factor to Paris is the baguette).

But I digress.

Unfortunately, ours does not look like a French maid, but she does come highly recommended by my friend, Caryn. She was scheduled to come over for a visit on Wednesday, and before she arrived, Tara insisted we clean up a little.

“You want us to clean up before somebody who cleans up for a living comes over to see how badly our place needs cleaning up?” I wondered.

“Exactly,” Tara confirmed. “You don’t want her to think we’re a bunch of slobs, do you?”

That right there is Woman Logic. I just wanted her to get an accurate representation of our level of cleanliness before she started quoting prices. To be fair, our house is pretty clean. At least by most standards. Tara’s mom remarked, “I just can’t imagine your place getting dirty enough to hire a maid.” Let me put it this way: before she moved in, Ye Olde Bachelor Padde was quite a bit…err…less clean, to be diplomatic. Like, for instance, I had never once Murphy Oil’d the kitchen cabinets or Magic Erased the banister. But Tara is a cleaning Nazi likes a tidy home, and so that all changed once she arrived. Our home is, for the most part, free of clutter and dirt. Certainly enough to appease me. But, I’m  not complaining. Anything that gets me out of scrubbing toilets is a good thing. Besides, we both work really hard, and when the weekend rolls around, who wants to waste valuable free time dusting and mopping? Life’s too short for that.

She ended up quoting a very reasonable price. I’ll put it this way: it’s less than the cost of a typical bar tab. I am more than willing to give up a few gin and tonics in exchange for sparkling bathtubs and gleaming sinks once a month. We’re not completely off the cleaning hook, either. We’ll still have to do spot cleaning now and then. We are talking about Tara here. Our friends, by the way, are a bit leery. Tara will still make you clean before the cleaning service arrives…just a heads up, one person warned, a sentiment echoed by others. Tara promised to be good and let Imelda, our new maid, do the cleaning.

And then she promptly gathered all the rugs in the house, threw them in the washer, and emptied the trash cans prior to Imelda’s arrival today.

But, to her credit, she didn’t remove the knobs from the stove and start cleaning behind there, so this is progress, folks. And now that we’ve got our very own maid, my next goal is a butler. Stereotypes be damned, I’m kinda hoping his name is Jeeves…


Published by Mark Petruska

I'm a professional writer and editor living my best life in south central Wisconsin.

12 thoughts on “Maid To Order

  1. Mark, I freakin’ LOVED your “By the way, I’ve always wondered what…” paragraph.


    Hey, I thinks it’s great that you’re thinking about hiring a maid. You’re right, the two of you work very hard all week, so why not give yourself the weekend off to simply enjoy your free time together? My mother had hired a maid a few years back because she lived with my brother and it was just getting too much for them to handle, with my brother working all the time and my mother getting older.

    But I have to say, my mother did the same thing….she would clean up the house BEFORE the maid got there – HA!

    Have a great weekend, buddy!


    1. No lottery winnings needed to pay for Imelda’s services. She’s extremely reasonable…and I’m sure you could find somebody in Canada equally as cheap, too! Might be worth looking into.


      1. Well that’s a big fat NO to the french maid costume. But I could be persuaded to dress like Alice from the Brady Bunch. That sounds much more fun.

        And, Mark, I was a housekeeper in the college dorm I stayed in. I’ve seen it ALL. And really care to never again. Boys are gross.


      2. Actually, I’d love to see you in an Alice costume, Jess. In some weird way I think that would be just as much fun. Have at it, and you’ve got yourself a doughnut in exchange!


  2. Your friends are right: she’ll probably always want to clean before the cleaning lady arrives. And I know a guy who cleans after the cleaning lady comes, because although she cleans there are things he doesn’t feel are done quite to his satisfaction. Like it’s the “pre-cleaning” service, rather than a cleaning service. 🙂

    Anyway, congrats on having the housekeeping service value-add… more time spent enjoying each other’s company and less scrubbing sounds like a good trade to me!


    1. It’s bad enough to pre-clean before the maid arrives. But your friend is treating the maid as the pre-cleaner…that’s just hilarious! Hey, it’s his money. I’m not one to judge. 🙂


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