PROBABLY MOST people in Mexico, especially the foreigners, who can easily afford domestic help have domestic help.
While we have a maid who does monthly cleaning at our Downtown Casita, we have not had a maid here at the Hacienda in about 10 years. Neither of us like people underfoot, even if those people are lessening our workload.
My child bride has done most of the housecleaning for years, and I have done most of the yardwork for those same years. It seems fair enough, though I think I get the better part of the deal especially now that I have almost abandoned yardwork, turning it over to Abel the Deadpan Yardman.
But housecleaning here came mostly to a standstill when my wife broke her left arm almost two months ago. I picked up some slack, mostly ironing, but actual cleaning, well, it got a little grimy hereabouts.
Finally, we surrendered and called the maid, the same one who cleans the Downtown Casita. Her name is Maria.
There is a second reason we have avoided maids. They steal. Of course, they don’t all steal. Maria has never stolen anything from the Downtown Casita, and I cannot imagine she would steal anything here. But our last maid stole, and I know that it’s a common risk with domestic help.
We would leave home while the previous maid was here, giving her free access, access she took advantage of, which we noticed during the months after we let her go for other reasons. The robbery only became obvious later.
Clothes, music CDs, etc. Lord knows what else.
So we have a new rule. We never leave a maid here unsupervised. We will stick to this rule even though we have complete confidence in Maria.
There is one problem I have noticed. Both Maria and my child bride are gossip hounds, and if they’re in the same room together, Maria’s work tends to slow or stop while the mouths run. Why do women chatter so?
Maria came last week and this week, and things have gotten tidy again. We will likely hire her once a month in the future. Or not, depending.
We still dislike people under foot.