Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Making it easy for the clean up woman

The title of this post refers to a 1971 Betty Wright song from one of my favorite 80s movies,
Maid to Order, starring Ally Sheedy, Beverly D'Angelo and Tom Skerritt. It's a Cinderella tale, with Sheedy playing a hard-partying spoiled brat who gets her comeuppance when her father (Skerritt) wishes, after she's arrested for drunk driving, that he had never had a daughter. Magically, this comes to pass, thanks to a Fairy Godmother (D'Angelo). Sheedy is forced to actually get a job and the only one she can get: maid.

Why is this movie on my mind today? Well, on Monday, I hired a cleaning lady to clean my apartment for the first time ever. I decided after two years in a small space with a shed-happy cat, it was time for a professional to come in. If I ever want gentleman-callers to stay the night, I need to feel confident that they won't leave the next morning covered in cat hair.

I turned to Yelp for advice and found Neide Teixeira, who agreed to come to my studio and give it a thorough scrub-down and dusting. Sunday night, in preparation, I engaged in a somewhat funny ritual: the pre-cleaning cleaning. People who've paid for cleaning services before, you know what I'm talking about -- the cleaning you have to do BEFORE the strangers show up to clean your house. This involves hiding porn (which wasn't issue for me, unless Neide was planning to clean the hard drive of my laptop), drug paraphenalia, and anything else that might be questionable (The Cutting Edge 2: Going for the Gold on DVD) or illegal (pet ferret).

Neide and two other women showed up on Monday and got right to work, while I took Maude to the vet for a check-up. When we came home, my jaw dropped open -- I had no idea such cleaniness was possible. Surfaces were gleaming, my bed was made and THE INSIDE OF MY ANCIENT CRUSTY TOASTER OVEN WAS CLEAN, bereft of the burned residue that had been accumulating basically since I inherited it from my father back in 2003.

Very pleasing.

Epiphany: I just downloaded "Clean Up Woman" and it's totally not about actual professional cleaning women, but rather the woman who steals your man when you've been ignoring him. So "making it easy" for the clean up woman has nothing to do with doing a preliminary sweep or stashing contraband. You learn something new every day.

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