She does do windows

maid
That’s Maria on the ladder. She’s kinda short.

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.

21 thoughts on “She does do windows

  1. Maria, eh? What an unusual name. My wife is French Canadian/Swiss and almost every female has the name Marie followed by another name so we can tell them apart. Same with the men. Jean this and Jean that.

    Good thing you got a maid. If I lived in Mexico I would get hired help for sure. There is that stealing issue, but unfortunately that happens in Canada as well, or at least it happened to my Dad.

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    1. Brent: Maria is not unusual down here at all. We even have the Virgin Maria. I doubt we’ll be hiring her much in the future now that my wife’s arm has mostly healed. Maybe once a month. We still don’t like having folks underfoot.

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          1. That’s ok. I should have put a 😉 or a *sarc after my comment. My dry online humour gets me into trouble from time to time. You’re an honest bloke and that’s a good thing.

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    2. My name is Mary, but the people hear in Mexico keep calling me Maria, I keep telling them no. My name is not Maria. It is Mary. They say same thing, but to me it’s not. But I also feel like there are more important things to worry about than somebody calling me Maria. Now, my husband is Mexican, but he would not dare call me Maria, because that is the name of his ex-wife, and we all know that would not go over too well.

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      1. M&C: Aw, just let them call you Maria! I use the Spanish version of my English name here always, and have done it almost since the day I moved south. It’s easier for me and for them too. Don’t be a fussbudget.

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  2. Between Antonio the Pool Guy and/or Dora the Incredible Cleaner, I have people underfoot” (as you so colorfully put it) four days out of the week. But without either one of them, the place would descend into chaos. I do a lot of cleaning. But 4000 square feet of house (a lot of it open to the vagaries of decay) is a bit much for me to handle on my own. And when would I ever find time for my cooking and exercise regimens? I am more than happy to have them here. They come and go when they like because they have keys.

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    1. Señor Cotton: I’ve had Abel the Deadpan Yardman for a few years because I have pretty much surrendered to the yard. I wish I had as little yard as you do. Our house is someone smaller than yours, 3,500 square feet, and I have a spouse who serves as a housekeeper most of the time when her arm is not broken. I don’t consider her underfoot, quite the contrary. And Abel never comes inside with his own feet. I have no cooking regimens unless you count the nightly salads, the morning bagels and the occasional plate of pasta. I do have exercise regimens, which I usually complete because they are not fanatical. They do keep me trim and pretty.

      I would never give a local a key to my house. No way, José.

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        1. M&C: Because he is deadpan, of course. It’s rare to see him smile. A vibrant personality is not his strong suit. He is a good yardman, however. He lives just on the other side of the sex motel.

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  3. We have had the same lady helping with housework for about 30 years and before that she worked for my parents. I was shocked to learn, from her own lips, she was 66. I could do all this stuff but I have a “guiltyism” about not having her come weekly because it’s my impression she depends on her income from us to help keep her wolves away from her door. Having such a long history with us we pretty well know the inside scoop on her. But it’s one of the biggest stresses of my life, to have her come once a week because I have to clean the house for her. I don’t want her looking upon us as slobs. We can make a great deal of clutter in a week’s time so I pick up and put away those things that have been piled up here and there because we didn’t want to deal with them in the moment.

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        1. I had the same cleaning lady for about 30 years, until she died. At her funeral we all found out, to our astonishment, she was 84! And like you, I had to pick up before she came, otherwise she would put things “away,” and it would take me months to find them. One day, I couldn’t find some bananas, then found them in the dishwasher two days later.

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          1. Phil: Bananas in the dishwasher. That’s a hoot. Well, she was very old. But rearranging stuff is another reason I’m not keen on maids. I have enough problem with my wife hiding items without having a maid do it too.

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  4. I live here in Mexico. And I would never let anybody in my house to clean it unsupervised. Even when I have work done on my car here, my husband goes and stays with it the entire time they are working on it. It just seems like if they don’t steal something then its a sin. When my husband sells here he has to keep an eye out so they don’t rob him blind. If you are selling shoes put only one out at a time. I try not to pass judgment on people, but I do not understanding the stealing and lying.

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    1. M&C: We learned not to leave the locals alone in our house the hard way. Most Gringos who live here do, however, I would wager. I think Mexicans are far less likely to do it. In this regard, they are smarter than we are. As for work done on the car, I think you need to find a more trustworthy mechanic. Hanging around while car repair is done sounds like a real pain in the kazoo. I have a great mechanic here, totally trustworthy. As for your trying to not pass judgment on people, why not? I do it all the time. As for the stealing and lying, there is too much of the former, and the latter is totally out of control. Rampant lying is Mexico’s national pastime. Sad.

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