Last week, while I was in North Carolina, my house cleaner Fabienne broke up with me in a text. I'd been expecting to hear from her about which day she was coming to clean, but what I heard instead was that she's taken a full-time job and won't be cleaning anymore. Her text also said that her stepmother could take me on.
I read this text and my mouth fell open, just like a comic strip character's. I felt happy for her but also sad for me. And confused about what stepmother and who is this stepmother? I felt this needed to be a phone conversation, so I called her and left her a voice mail saying how happy I was for her and that I wanted to hear about the job, etc.
The next morning she called me back and apologized for having texted me. She went on at such length that I realized she felt my phone call to her had been some kind of admonishment for texting. Anyway, Fabienne has been hired as an administrative assistant at a non-profit, with hopes that the job will convert to something more down the road. She is a single mom of two kids and this is a good move for her. I told her how glad I was and she said, "I'm ecstatic not to be cleaning houses anymore!"
Then I was felt like I needed to say, "Yes, that must have sucked!" or something but it also didn't seem quite right. So I jumped in with, "But I will miss you!" and she was like, yeah, miss you too, whatevs, hasta ya later, gator.
I also thanked her for the offer of her stepmother's services, but told her that this was probably a good time for us to take a break from having a house cleaner and to use that money to beef up our emergency fund. As I heard myself saying these words, I was like, "What the HELL am I saying? This sounds like some adult has seized control of my body! GET OUT." But it is the truth, and spending two grand on our cars in a single day the other week made this crystal clear to me.
So I came home from the mountains and stood in the kitchen with Matt. It was a solemn moment. "Listen," I said. "We're on our own now." I pointed to the downstairs bathroom that he and his coworkers use all day. "Nobody is coming to clean that bathroom anymore." He said, "You mean, Larry Bird is not going to walk through that door?" And then he laughed and laughed. I looked quizzical and he explained that this was a reference to the world of sports and that it was hilarious. Yes, so no Fabienne and no Larry Bird and no Big Bird. This seemed like a good time to tell Matt that I would not be cleaning the new Blue Mammoth Games bathroom being installed in our basement. So I did tell him that.
Funny, one of my very first blog posts was about getting rid of our old cleaning lady, back when I had only four readers and not the dozen(s?) I have today. It's all about fat years and lean years, I guess.
So I am still a little shaken at the prospect of losing Fabienne, but I will rally. It is some comfort to look back over the highs and lows of our relationship.
A low point: when she broke my Red Wing bowl and also when she wasn't dusting in my bedroom.
A significant point that I don't know how to categorize as high or low: when she was standing there at ground zero of my getting diagnosed with breast cancer.
A high point: when she gave me all those wigs.
I mean, I knew this day would come, that either she would break it off or I would. But I wasn't quite ready. What various permutations of this sitch have you experienced?
So, that's another feature of my mental topography this week. And hey, I have an idea that I'm going to blog every day in August. I'm two for two already! This will result in my telling you some really boring stories about stuff like getting new tires and not being well-dressed enough to enter Walmart. See you!