by Melinda Gallo

Cleaning house

At the beginning of the year, we hired a girl to come and clean the house once a week. It's a bit of a luxury, but with my work schedule, I just don't have time. Sali, who is a young Philipino mother living in Italy for the past 10 years, works for my friend's sister as well. She's a hard worker and quiet.

After a few weeks of perfect attendance, she just didn't show up one day. I called her up on her cell phone a bit worried and she told me that she had some problem, so she'd come another day. We set it up for later in the week and she came.

A few weeks went by and another day she just didn't arrive. I called her and she gave me the same excuse. She offered to come another day and she did. I told her that she'll need to call me next time she can't make it. "Sė, sė, va bene." (Yes, OK.) she told me.

Two weeks ago, she didn't come either, but we changed her schedule so that she comes at 1PM instead of 10AM. Two days went by before I called her. She assured me that she'd come the next day, but she didn't . This time I didn't call her back at all.

Initially I was really upset with her because I relied on her to come over to help me out and then when our landlord came over yesterday and I was cleaning the house, I realized how much I did enjoy straightening up, washing the kitchen, and scrubbing the bathroom sink. It's the smell of a clean house that I truly like and I end up not taking the 3 hours it took her, so it's not so bad. I'm also lucky that Dave helps out too: he does what I don't like to do.

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