Saturday, September 10, 2005

I just met a girl named Maria

and suddenly that name, will never be the same -- aggggaiin.

Remember that song from West Side Story?

Well, my Maria beats Natalie Wood on any given day of the week.

MY Maria is the lovely lady who comes to my house on Friday's and cleans. I hired her to wash the kitchen floor/entryway and clean my gazillion bathrooms.

That's it.

Oh, but she does SOOOOOOOOOOO much more. I didn't care about the kitchen counters or the towels in the bathroom, all I cared about was that the tumbleweeds of hair from my Mutual of Omaha gang was swept up and the sinks didn't have leftover toothpaste in them. That's IT. I just wanted a clean sink and a floor I could walk on without stuff sticking to my gripper socks.

Maria, whom I've now offered to leave R for, and live in sin with, is the equivalent of my life raft. When she comes knockin' on Friday mornings, all of a sudden, my world is a much brighter, disinfected, squeaky clean place.

Nothing compares to the peace of mind this woman and her friend Esther bring me. They never complain if one week is messier than the last. They never make more than the occasional peep in Spanish while they dust, scrub, wax on--wax off. They smile at me when they arrive--like old friends. They ask if I need anything else done besides the norm. Maria hugs me--Esther and I do the stilted Dakota tries to communicate in Spanish thing and then, they're off.

I go to my office with tears in my eyes over how grateful I am and work.

I do 18 hour days sometimes. Hell, I do those most times. I'm driven and I know it, but being driven left little room for a house that ran smoothly. Of course, divorce and single parenting will do that to you. Drive you to prove you can, when in reality, you can't most times.

Love my mother as I do--orginization was never her strong suit so I kinda couldn't rely on her to help me with that. I was always very organized. I did everything myself when I was a housewife. I would have never considered hiring anyone to help me. I was OCD about cleanliness. In fact, so damn OCD, all of my cans in my pantry were lined up in alphabetical order, facing forward and I waxed my gutters so the leaves would flow freely from them and not get caught up.

I life was small, but it was clean. LOL

Anyway, Maria came yesterday. Buckets and bottles of cleanser in hand. She and Esther, always smiling, ask me how I am.

"Mees Dakotaaaa, how are ju dees week? Ju write a lot?"
Now, I'm not mocking her accent by any stretch of the imagination. I LOVE it. I love to hear her say my name and I love trying to understand what Esther is saying to me when we play Charades. It's melodic, soothing and it makes me smile.

So, I say, "It's been a busy week this week, Maria. I'm on deadline and I have another book due next week. So, I'm off to finish that right now."

"Ju go and work, Mees Dakotaaa. We make evreeeeyting nice for ju. Ju need anyyyting special done, Or just de regular?"

I assure her, that this week, we've managed not to leave the house looking like the wrecking crew stopped by for a keg party and some ribs.

I hug her and thank her profusely for being in my life. I wink at Esther when she asks me about my new boyfriend via Maria's translation. Yes, they know about him too. Maria commented a couple of weeks ago about how pretty I was and that my smile was "different"

Aye Carumba. LOL

Off I go to finish my book and off they go to make some magic.

Three hours later, in comes Maria to assure me that all is clean and she's ready to hit the road. Oh, and BTW, would I give her a reference?

I snort. Would I give her a reference? I'd give her my firstborn and the Holy Grail if I could find it. Hell yes, I'd give her a reference. So damn glowing, it'll singe yer eyeballs.

I pay her, she hugs me. I say vaya condios (sp?) to Esther and they scoot on out. Then, I set about finding everything she's put away because she doesn't like even a grocery list on the counter. But really, I care little because my house looks and smells like a ball of sunshine was thrown down the alley that is Graceland.

I never check to see if she's done her job properly. It isn't necessary. Like I said, they go the extra fricken' five-hundred miles. I mean, while Maria is cleaning the floor, Esther is off slapping the dining room chairs with a towel to relieve them of their dust. Why mess with perfection?

So, I go into my bathroom. I fondly call my room the divorcee suite. It's kick-ass. I have a big sunken tub and a bed that looks like it belongs in a French brothel. I go to the ahem, ladie's room and then I see it.

The roll of toilet paper...

Maria has FOLDED the ends of the toilet paper in what looks like an arrow...I go out into the larger vanity area and find that she's also folded my hand towel in a fan shape and placed it in the big tray of candles I have. She's also made the bed that I left balled up because I was going to wash the sheets, and the pillows are all smooth, the comforter has been sprayed with the Fabreeze junk and she fixed the one piece of my valance that's been troubling me, but I didn't bother to hang properly because I couldn't spread those stupid rings on it.

I literally tear up because this woman doesn't just clean my house, she throws in some added touches that make it a HOME--or a hotel. Whatever, I don't care. I only know, she rules the universe.

Maria calls me later in the afternoon to ask if she can come a bit earlier on Friday next week and I thank her for what she did in my bathroom.

"Oh, Meees Dakotaaaa. Eess ok. I do eet so you smile becaussse you work so hard."

I tear up again because I am a very lucky woman indeed.

Do I know how to fill my life with good folk, or what?

Dakota :)


  • At 5:02 PM, Anonymous Sheryl said…

    Are you going to marry Maria, Mees Daaaakkoootttaa?????

    I'm glad you've found someone that cleans everything and anything for you babe.

    I mean considering you would leave R for her, now THAT is devotion!!!

  • At 5:37 PM, Blogger Jaynie R said…

    I'm so green - I'm sure I'm going to hell

    yay for Maria

  • At 5:33 AM, Anonymous Paula said…

    No matter how well trained Gary is...and he is VERY well-trained, he is never going to fold the TP or the towels like that....

    It makes me feel all warm inside..

    You are so very lucky to have Maria.


  • At 5:29 AM, Blogger Jaci Burton said…


    I need a Maria. Stat!

    Can I move in with you?

  • At 8:14 AM, Blogger Dakota Cassidy said…

    Well, of course you could, but it won't be necessary :)) You're going to be rich writing for NY :)

    You RULE, babe :)

    DC :)

  • At 12:28 PM, Blogger Jaci Burton said…

    I'm going to be rich? Well holy shit! Then why am I still scrubbing my own toilets?

    *off to tell Charlie to hire me a Maria*


    Smooches, darlin'


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