Friday, October 27, 2006

Having a maid is...

...nice. Really, really nice. Because I am a slob. And I really do not have time to clean up after myself and a toddler. When esposo was at home (i.e., not at the new cafe), he would be so kind as to do most of the cleaning while I was working. (Yes, I know, and I am quite grateful! He did most of the cooking as well.) Now that he is back in the restaurant biz, he has no time or energy to clean, and I just have no incentive to do it. So we broke down and got us a maid.

She is awesome! For about $20 a week (two days for five hours each day, or around $2 an hour, which is the going rate), I have a clean house, at least for a while. She puts the dishes away and puts the dirty ones in the dishwasher. She sweeps and mops the floor. She picks up hijo's toys and miscellaneous crap. She makes the beds. She does the windows. She vaccuums the bedroom carpet. She scours the showers and thoroughly cleans the bathrooms. She even gets the crap off of the top of the stove and the cat food particles the fluffies leave behind on the washer and dryer. I am sure she does other things as well, like general straightening and ordering and putting things in nice, neat piles. And she's a very nice person. She is even helping hijo with his Spanish (which is improving markedly).

I know I will never be able to afford a maid when we leave Costa Rica for the developed world, so I guess I should enjoy this while it lasts. Though I have a thing about classist people, and -- Jsuchristo -- I hope I am not becoming one... I mean, I do not take my maid shopping and have her put things in the cart as I point to them on the shelves (yep, seen that one on a few occasions in Escazu), nor do I take my maid to Gymbo and have her play with hijo while I sit around gossiping with my friends (seen that one on waaaay too many occasions). That to me is abuse and laziness. That to me says, "I am above putting my own groceries in the cart or playing with my kid so I have my lowly maid do it for me." That to me is disgusting.

Instead, I am attempting to see it as, I have a need (i.e., a way to clean my dirty house) and she has a way to fulfill that need (i.e., having a job cleaning that helps support her family), so it seems like it is okay. Or am I simply fooling myself into thinking so? Hey, I read Nickel and Dimed; I realize that most of the women who do these jobs don't do them because they are fun or lifelong dreams -- they do them because they have little education and/or little choice. So I'm still feeling some ambivilance about the whole thing, though I don't know what I'd do without her (well, I do know, but the thought is not a pretty one)...

1 comment:

  1. I wish I had a maid--kinda. I see your conflict. I have a housecleaner who comes once or twice a month, depending on our need. For $15 an hour, she does the heavier cleaning, and my daughters and I do everything else. It really makes my life better, and the housecleaner is grateful to have the work. It's odd, though--she is a smart, talented woman in her 30s, she has a bachelor's degree, she always talks about being poor, and I just wonder what keeps her from getting a better paying job. I mean, we're not in a 3rd world country.