Yeah, you read the correctly. My parents failed to adequately prepare me to navigate one of the most important, and intricately delicate situations in one's life: becoming an employer of domestic help. Laugh all you want, but I'm not sure I'll ever be able to forgive them for not exposing me to this side of life. Have you ever had a moving company move your household goods? Remember that feeling before the workers come - you've got your plan all set out in your mind. You know what you want them to do and how you are going to instruct them on how to do things. Then the workers arrive. Even if everything goes according to your plan, sooner or later they arrive at your . . . unmentionables drawer (I've always wanted to use that hilarious word!). Most people feel a bit awkward - "Someone's touching my underwear!" "Did I wash them well enough?" Better yet, "Did my spouse (probably husband) wash them well enough?!" "I should have just bought new ones! These are 10 . . . years old (guys!)!" THAT feeling, right there! That slightly uncomfortable feeling of doing something different, kind of embarrassing, but definitely necessary - that's how I felt yesterday. Yes, that's right. I am now on a higher social rung than you - the one where domestic help is now "necessary." Deal with it.
Yesterday, I left work early to meet my shipment of household goods. On the way home, I picked up our new domestic help, Emmaculata. She came highly recommended from a friend for whom she worked for one year. That being said, Nigerians are very deferential . . . when they work for you. So, we got home, discussed the contract, showed her around the house and then we waited for the shipment. Actually, while we were waiting we decided to go run and grab her a bed and some other essentials - in a favela outside of town. When we returned, the moving company had arrived. Over the next several hours, four to ten men unloaded 10 crates containing 180 boxes, a treadmill, and an enourmous bean bag. Lots of paper, lots of empty boxes, lots of tape. After they left, I began to unwrap many of the largest items which had been cocooned in heavy duty brown paper and yards of tape. This morning, I woke up early and continued to unwrap and unpack. As I was leaving for work - yep, here comes the uncomfortable situation - I opened the door for our new domestic help and asked her to clean it all up. Slightly awkward for me, but necessary. But when I got home tonight and everything was cleaned up and under our new trash tree, most of that awkward feeling suddenly evaporated - and that weight on my shoulders began to lighten.
Thought for the day - "If you want a happy ending, that depends, of course, on where you stop your story." - Orson Wells