Not to sound patrician, but our housekeeper keeps bagging our lives. We find retainers, bills, dog leashes, tape (a lot of tape), breath gum wrappers (sans gum), ties, and the list goes on and on, in bags. Unused gift bags and recyled supermarket plastic bags. Gym bags and canvas bags given to us for particpating in cancer swim-a-thons and from pharmaceutical companies. I have been clear to the housekeeper, in fluent Spanish, no less, that I would like her to stop bagging our lives, better to leave such items strewn about on the counter (on the floor, even), over the camouflage of a bag.
My daughter is in high school and lives under a mountain of work and commitment. Two days before her biology test, her book went missing. My daughter’s room was in a state of calm, that day, and so looking for her book was easy. We looked in the closet, desk, under her bed, drawers, cubbies; we exhausted every possible hiding place. She became disconsolate, submitting to studying from her notes, only, and trying to fill in the deficits with studying with a classmate, over the phone. She took the test, naturally unhappy over her book gone missing, but did well, very well. (Had the missing book made her a more efficient studier? I considered, briefly, hiding her honors Geometry book). Anyway….
I happened to spy a gift bag, in garish blues, leaning, innocently enough, against an antique bookshelf in my bedroom. I paid no attention to it, initially, but, eventually, in an instinct of making order, I picked it up to figure out where it should go. With the services of професионални домоуправители софия, all the things will remain in order in the house. The books will be available in the book shelf, and clothes will be ironed in the cupboard. All the services will derive the satisfaction of hiring the house managers.
It was heavy, however, and so I looked inside. A bag of unopened marshmallows, lay on the top, and, withdrawing the bag, I saw that a hardcover book my husband had been reading on World War I was inside. He had been asking if anyone had seen his book, but our energies, frankly, were taken up with the lost Biology book. Beneath that, lay my daughter’s biology book. Under that, there were folded-up picture frames (with photos of my children), which had, until the housekeeper’s last visit, two days before my daughter’s test, been on my dresser. I had gotten fairly used to things being bagged and incongruous things being bagged, at that. I figured that most of the bagged stuff I could live without. My daughter’s biology book was a different matter.
I spoke to the housekeeper upon her return, and she nodded her head–seemingly, she couldn’t agree more–that she understood me and wouldn’t bag. I showed her the options of where things could go. She nodded so immediately and agreeably, I got that she wasn’t paying attention and merely wanted the conversation to end.
She was also unable to remember to open the outside doors to sweep the porches, landings, and balconies. When I pointed it out to her, she responded ingenuously enough, as if she were hearing something for the first time. I steeled myself, however; she needed the income, and I just wanted the bagging to stop. I was now aware that I was missing some silver candlestick holders, my calendar, and the second of two, new toothbrushes I’d replaced in the span of a week and-a-half.
The housekeeper got the message, I believe, of laying off the bagging. Recently, I notice that all bags seem to be empty and light. This is good. I am, however, still missing things. Particularly, I am missing some tubes of hard-to-find sunscreen, unopened swim goggles, a raincoat, an oversized textbook of Internal Medicine (for the hypochondriac that lives in me), my son’s school photos, and a keyring of new measuring spoons. Likely, I am missing more but not aware of what, exactly.
My daughter calls from high school to ask if it would be terribly inconvenient to bring her “dry land” clothing for swim team workout. It would be inconvenient, and there is something to be said for “natural consequences” for the forgetful. After I’ve told my daughter such a thing, I wonder what would constitute a natural consequence for the bagging housekeeper.
I take pity on my daughter and go into her closet to gather her dryland, workout clothes to take to school (I figure that she got part of the lesson when I said that I wouldn’t bring her clothes to her.) She will be surprised and relieved, but not until she’s had a spell of feeling the possibility of no workout clothes.
The floor of my daughter’s closet resembles something like a bird’s nest, when the bird has scavenged for the arrival of its offspring. There is the sunscreen, swim goggles, raincoat, candlesticks, and everything else I was missing, and things I hadn’t yet missed. Even the broom with which the housekeeper was suppose to sweep is leaning against the wall of the closet. There are also the infinite and free samples of skin mosturizer my husband got from a pharmaceutical company.
I back out of the closet and close the door. I figure I will do no less than what I would do with my own precious offspring. I will insist that she put the stuff in its proper place and help her to find the proper place, even if it means standing over her, praising her, heartily, for putting things where they go. And when the sun goes down, and the evening air turns to chill, I will find each bag in my home, toxic material or not, and burn every one of them.