Monday, August 14, 2006

So proud…so sad…

Well. I finally did it. I finally “remembered” to call the maid service and cancel. I have been “forgetting” (a word which in this context should be pronounced, ‘refusing’) to call and cancel for literally over a month now.

It was hard not to sob into the phone.

I’m going to miss those beautiful, cheerful ladies with their buckets and vacuum cleaner and big binder with all the notes about how filthy our Den is.

*sniff* I’m going to miss them SO MUCH…

I’m proud of me for doing it, though. It needed doing. They have been fantastic and I’ve appreciated their hard work – but at the same time, I’ve been (mostly) back on my feet for a long time now. I don’t need to have a maid service cleaning my home for me. Especially since it has bred a kind of…laziness.

Juice on the floor? Eh, the maids’ll get it in a few days.

Crackers on the sofa? See ‘eh’ above.

Everything from ring around the bathtub to sand on the hall tiles, if there were fewer than, say, seven days between the mess being made and the maids arriving, I’d just leave it.

Because, you know. They’ll get it. I’ll just sit here eating bon-bons and reading The Economist.

But at the same time. $100 a week (plus tip). That’s a lot of change. That’s $5,200 (plus tip) a year.

I can think of a lot of things I’d rather do with $5,200.

Which is, of course, one of the basic foundations of budgeting. Cash is a limited resource for most of us. We have to make choices, have to ask the questions and decide on an answer.

Did I want to pay $100 a week to have an extra four hours of freedom, instead of spending that time cleaning my own Den?

Or, would I rather put that $100 a week toward other plans and goals? Vacations, home remodeling, college savings, early retirement? Or, hey, how about this one: I could buy the children new clothes and shoes with it! Take them to the State Fair! Buy them popcorn! Oh-oh-oh, maybe I could go all crazy and get some fresh scallops for dinner! $14 a pound, and YES! I’ll take TWO, count them, TWO POUNDS…!

Push come to shove, the $100 in assorted other applications was indeed more important to me than having someone else vacuum the sand off the tile and spritz the water spots off the shower.

I still feel a little sad. A little pouty. A little ‘how come other women can afford this, AND I CAN’T?’. Maybe a touch of ‘Surely I’m Entitled To…’ pissiness.

But I can’t escape the fact that I know what I want. Maid service for the Den is very nice to have. Owning the Den outright would be nicer. Outright Den Ownership is a key indicator of Impending Retirement.

An extra $400 a month toward that end will go a long, long way.

And yeah. It’s worth four hours a week of vacuuming, dusting, scrubbing, cussing, and standing at the top of the stairs yelling, “WHERE DID MY RUBBER GLOVES GO?!”

It’s the first step in our budget tightening, the only Instant And Large Fix I’ve got.

For the rest…it’s just a deluge of little stuff. A lot in the groceries department. Some in the clothes shopping department. All of it takes time, and it’ll be interesting to see how I can manage it while, you know, working.

Speaking of which…I’ve got thirty minutes left on the lunch hour. Better get to making the grocery list.

And under ‘miscellaneous’, I’d better put ‘tub cleaner’…


Fe-lady said...

Ha! Funny post! I have never had someone to come clean 'cause I think I would clean before they got there...wouldn't want them to think I was a messy housekeeper or anything...!

21st Century Mom said...

Holy Crap! $100/week plus at least 20 in tips. Ouch, ouch, ouch. Put those kids to work and spend the money at a spa!!

Very Herodotus said...


Not the cleaning service!!! Say it ain't so!

*sniff* *deep breath*

$100 per week is a bit much. But man do I love coming home from work, hauling the kids and all their bags out of the van, opening up the front door, and seeing fresh vacuum tracks on the carpet. Love it love it love it.

Mother of Chaos said...

Oh man, tell me! It was SO NICE to just...sort of...have a clean shower. Almost as good as magic. I wish I could just not be fussy about having clean floors and stuff, it would make things so much easier.

Eldest is looking forward to earning some extra money, taking over the vacuuming and so forth. She is SO my kid! She turns right around and puts the money into the Bank of Mom so it can earn interest.


I'm so proud...