It’s like an ingrained behaviour in me. I have to clear my own plate from the table.
Once I picked up a short stint of work – just a couple of weeks. It was fun. One of the nice advantages of where I was based is that there was a cafeteria. Morning and afternoon tea came round on a trolley to my desk. Wonderful friendly people brought tasty morsels to my door and I became particularly fond of fresh watermelon juice.
The cafeteria had linen tablecloths, linen napkins, wonderful food and people waiting to clear and tidy. More like a restaurant than a cafeteria. I just couldn’t do it though. I’ve been raised in an environment where at lunch, at work you fend for yourself. You clean up your own mess!
I have felt the same about having my house cleaned by someone else. Despite being plagued with the back from hell, my surgeon’s word’s not mine, and a house cleaner being a must I cringe at the thought of someone else having to clean up my mess! I do the pre cleaner coming ‘tidy up’; making sure there is enough of everything. But I hate being there when they are there. I feel embarrassed and self conscious. Sometimes I just don’t like to admit that I have to accept help.
One of the few times that I have never felt this way was when Rosa came into our life. A compact Melbournian from Macedonia she cleaned and sorted and taught me lots about managing a busy household with 2 working parents and keeping it clean. More a part of the family she sorted us out and shared our life. I really missed her when we moved to London.
In the UK our cleaner became a dear friend we went to her wedding and shared some wonderful times with her.
Then there were the twins. A whirlwind set of identical twins that charged twice as much but were out of there twice as quickly. They started at either end of the house and met in the middle having cleaned, dusted and sorted, and I could never tell them apart.
Now I have a man that comes. Twenty two steps make it all that harder for the back to get up and clean. He comes well recommended. Just can’t speak English and I don’t speak his language. He does it all. Probably one of the most organised people in the cleaning game I’ve seen. He has a system. He rotates the big jobs, windows, cupboards, oven and fridge. He just knows when and how often and what needs to be done. We manage without words to share.
So I cleared my own plate... the ladies just shook their heads and smiled, and I continued to enjoy the watermelon juice.