My Kingdom for…..a cleaning lady
The Brady Girls were skinny, pretty and popular (well not so much Jan) and the Brady Men were cute, athletic and popular – except Peter when he went through puberty and had the voice changing episode – but I digress.
Mrs. Brady was the poster-girl for “THE Perfect Wife” and always managed to have a smile on her face and dinner on the table for Mr. Brady when he got home from a rough day at the office. Carol was always dressed in the most stylish outfits, even for bed, and never had a hair out-of-place – even when she was sporting that horrible mullet.
Mr. Brady was tall and handsome, had a good job and loved his family. He rarely raised his voice and was always able to solve any dilemma in under 30 minutes.
However, one of the most underrated characters on that show had to be Alice the Maid Extraordinaire! Alice wore a uniform and seemed to always be helping Mrs. Brady cooking, shopping or packing the kids’ lunches. Alice did laundry and vacuumed and never wanted for a day off – occasionally an evening for a date with Sam the Butcher but that was it.
Everyone wanted their family to be like The Brady Bunch and more importantly everyone wanted their very own Alice.
Back then I didn’t understand what Alice did, I thought she was just a member of the family who happened to wear a uniform. After all, she went to all the kids’ activities and even got a trip to the Grand Canyon and Hawaii.
As I got older, and was assigned chores, I came to understand Alice’s role more and how important someone like she was to a household. I am sure Marcia and Cindy NEVER had to scrub a toilet or clean out the dryer lint tray. Carol never had to take out the trash or change sheets on all those beds and I think it is a safe assumption that the Brady Boys didn’t scrub the bathroom tiles.
When I first got married and the husband and I lived in our tiny apartment, cleaning was not a big deal. Our apartment was 3 rooms and we weren’t home during the day so it was never that messy. Also, I was in the “newlywed phase” and cleaning and cooking were all part of playing house.
I got to use my new state-of-the-art-vacuum and all the other goodies I had stressed over and carefully registered for at Fortunoffs and Linens and Things.
After a couple of years the husband and I made the “big” move to our tiny townhouse. Now there were more rooms to clean and 2 dogs to clean up after. We had our own washer and dryer so laundry was now an everyday occurence and not something that was saved up to take up north on a visit to Mom’s house.
Then the kids came and overnight my house began resembling a frat house. There were mounds of laundry and toys all over. The bathrooms were always covered in toothpaste and rather than wash the windows I chose to close the blinds. The husband and I accepted that we were just dirty people.
What choice did we have? There are only so many hours in a day and no matter how many hours I spent cleaning, the kids destroyed my hard work in minutes.
I complained, sucked it up (a little) and moved on.
Then ALL my friends, and even my brother, got a cleaning lady. This fascinated me since the only maid I knew of was Alice and my friends did not seem to be as well off as the Brady family.
Apparently it was the new “in-thing” to have a woman come to your house 1-2 times a month to do a “good clean” and more importantly scrub your bathrooms until the fixtures shined. (the fact that you clean BEFORE she arrives is irrelevant)
I was completely and utterly envious of my friends and family. I wanna a cleaning lady!!! I would whine to the husband and my mother – neither of whom seemed to care.
I tried my hardest to find a way to get a cleaning lady but it was just not meant to be. I keep telling myself someday my Fairy Godmother will answer my wish, wave that wand and BAM! get me my very own Alice – heck at this point I would take Sam the Butcher.
I am SO tired of cleaning toilets and doing laundry and washing sippy cups. Any down time I have is spent picking up matchbox cars and cramming Lego pieces into plastic containers.
When I was little, never did I think my Saturday mornings would be spent lugging a vacuum up the stairs or getting on my hands and knees to actually vacuüm each step.
I never dreamed my children would constantly miss the potty or leave the bathtub filthy after their baths. It is unbelieveable the amount of crumbs and juice cups 4 kids can accumulate in a 12-hour period!
Fair Godmother, if you are listening, PLEASE PLEASE PRETTY PLEASE help me. PLEASE wave that wand or sprinkle me with fairy dust or put some magic spell on me, ANYTHING to get me a cleaning lady. I am not picky, I dont even care she’s good, so long as the toilets are clean!
Until then I guess my only consolation if that the boys are getting older and they have started to help me more around the house. They think it’s “fun” to help me load the dishwasher or take out the trash. They have NO idea what I have planned 🙂