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Miscellany

I’ve been behind in writing this week because work has been especially busy.  I was excited for Azar Nafisi’s speech with the Pittsburgh Speakers Series on Wednesday, but I ended up staying at work late and also coming down with a chest cold.  I could have dashed out and made it to the speech on time, but I wasn’t feeling well and needed the rest.  I’m sad I missed it, because I was looking forward to her speech more than any others.  If I had gone, though, I would have been much worse for the wear on Thursday and Friday.

I spent today in Ohio for work.  In the late afternoon/early evening Mr. Beez had some computer crisis at work.  Since Mr. Beez is in charge of all the computers, when there is a crisis, he has to get it fixed even if it means staying all night.  I was still in Ohio at Baby Beez’ daycare pickup time, so Mr. Beez had to go get her and bring her back to his office, and then I picked her up from his office once I got back to town.  Baby Beez and I spent the evening eating an unhealthy dinner and watching TV.  Now it’s going on 10 and Mr. Beez is still at work and doesn’t know when he’ll get home.  I got tired just reading that.

Every time a new month starts, I get bewildered.  You mean it’s [insert month]???? ALREADY?!?!  But this time it’s March. Springtime. Already.  Maybe this whole idea of Pittsburgh bypassing winter entirely and going right back to spring again will really happen.  I hope so.  I could use some more sunshine.

February was a busy month.  I’m really looking forward to March because we have very little planned on the weekends.  I desperately need some weekend time to recuperate, and to catch up on some work-related writing projects (articles and presentations).  We’ve spent so much time the last several weekends hopping from one social event to the next that I’m too tired to fit anything else in.  Several unscheduled weekends are a welcome change.

And just as I finished saying that I’m excited for an unscheduled weekend, I remembered that I need to take our parrots to the bird groomer tomorrow (yes, there are bird groomers) and I’ve been hoping to take Baby Beez to Phipps Conservatory.

The Orchid & Tropical Bonsai show is only running through Sunday, so it looks like this weekend’s calendar is already filling up.

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My dirty little secret.

I have a cleaning lady.

(I bet you were expecting something more interesting.)

I don’t know why I feel this is so shameful, or why I’m so secretive about it. But it’s the truth. I don’t clean my own darn house.

For a long time I thought having a housecleaner would be a good idea, but I couldn’t bring myself to get one. I didn’t want to be the kind of person who has a cleaning lady.  Those kinds of people are rich and snotty and helpless.  I’m none of those things.  There’s no sense in throwing away money on something I could do on my own, even though I barely had time for it.

I admit it, though– I hate cleaning.  The only things I hate more than cleaning are talking on the phone and arguing with Philly lawyers.  When I found a few spare minutes in the day, I could choose between playing with my kid, or watching some TV, or cleaning…and I never ever choose the cleaning.

The result was that our house kept getting grungier.  Instead of me cleaning, I just got increasingly stressed.  Mr. Beez doesn’t mind cleaning so much, but he’s just as busy as I am, sometimes busier.  The time to give the house a good scrubdown never existed.

Last summer was a perfect storm.  Mr. Beez traveled a LOT last summer.  He was on a 2 week road trip, then had two conferences.  Baby Beez was only about 8 months old at the time.  I was busy at work, shuttling her back and forth from daycare (which amounted to an hour and ten minutes commute, each way), and having to do ALL the house chores by myself.  I was cracking under the stress (writing that down, it looks like far less than it felt, and I ask myself why couldn’t I just suck it up and deal? I don’t know. But that was a very stressful time, and the stress was real).  I finally had an appointment with my doctor, and tearfully spilled out all my stress.  Amongst other (actually medical) advice, she told me YOU. NEED. TO. GET. A. HOUSECLEANER.

I know that my generation is known for abandoning the “Superwoman” persona, for the “Good Enough” persona, butI felt that having a messy house represented my inability to function as an adult on the most basic level.  I’d come home and fret over the mess.  Instead of prioritizing cleaning (because I hated it), I grew increasingly agitated.  In theory, I could have let it go and learned to live with it, but I am not good at letting things go.  But my doctor prescribed a cleaning lady, and I usually listen to my doctor.

So now we have a cleaning lady.  I’m pretty sure I haven’t turned into an obnoxious spoiled snob.  She only comes by once a month.  The clutter is our responsibility to pick up, and she does the floors and the dusting and all the other grime that I never get around to.  When I come home to a cleaned house, it’s like a weight lifted off my shoulders.  The cost of hiring a cleaning lady is well worth the stress it has relieved.  Also, it’s kind of fun to watch Baby Beez slide across the clean floors and land splat on her bum.