The Cleaning Lady, Costco and Catholic Guilt

I’ve sunk to a new low. I tried to pull off the cleaning lady’s work as my own. When Hubby got home, he gushed how nice the house looked and I took full, unabashed credit.


But he caught me.


Poking his head in the hall bathroom he immediately called my bluff. “Oh, wait. Today was Cleaning Lady Day wasn’t it?”


I still clung to my sinking ship, determined to go down with it. With mock indignation I countered, “I resent that! What makes you think I didn’t clean that bathroom to sparkling perfection?”


His reply was mocking laughter the rest of the way down the hall.


?        ?        ?


I used to be one of the few, the proud, in my mommy’s playgroup who did not have a cleaning lady. However, I wasn’t proud of the fact that my house looked like it.


Then one day, scrub brush in hand vigorously cleansing the toilet, grumbling about little and big boys needing to improve their aim, I snapped.


As my sweet mother-in-law (MIL) and Hubby were heading out the door to shop at my favorite you’ll-never-guess-what-I-got impulse buy store (without me!), MIL asked me a normally unloaded question.


“Is there anything we can get you at Costco?”


Without lifting my head out of the toilet I growled, “Yeah. A cleaning lady.”


Later, when Hubby returned from the store he very seriously pulled me aside. “I tried to tell Mom you were kidding, but she is insisting on paying for a cleaning lady to come once a month to do the kitchen and bathrooms.”


I felt like a bad puppy who just got smacked with a rolled newspaper for biting too hard in play. Like a puppy, I didn’t know whether to wag my tail or hang my head with this mixed message.


Unable to hold back his smirk, Hubby threw me a bone, adding, “I told her you’d be totally against it, because of the sheer joy you experience cleaning bathrooms.”


After punching Hubby in the arm for perversely stoking my Catholic guilt, I did a happy dance all around the house and spit out some good tongue wagging raspberries at the bathrooms I would never deep down scrub again.


Did I not tell you Costco is the greatest? Who knew they sold cleaning ladies there too?!

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