Monday, 13 January 2014

We Survived Three Weeks Without The Housekeeper

The Dustpan Fairy

We survived 3 weeks without Evelyn when she went on her vacation back to her hometown in Baguio, in the Philippines.  The 3 of us, David, Joel and I had established who was to be in charge of what chores.  I kept to my end of the bargain with the daily mopping of the entire home and cleaning of the toilets.    Without help, and already suffering from knee injury that never got healed properly, I injured my back in the process.  Yes, that was my opportunity to whip out my “sympathy-seeking” violin.

Joel and David took turns to walk the dogs.  Joel cleaned his room up and cleared it off old clothes, books and other old junk.  He also helped with the mopping when he saw me struggling with it.   David was supposed to be in charge of the laundry.  Yes,  he did do the laundry.  What he forgot was that LAUNDRY encompassed not only putting the clothes into the washing machine and the dryer thereafter, but also the IRONING.   

When Evelyn returned home last week, she almost fainted at the sight of 2 mountain load of un-ironed clothes left in her room.  Each pile was about 3meters high.  When I ran out of knickers and t-shirts, he waved his hand cursorily at me and said,” Go and buy some at Marks and Spencer’s!”  For most of those 8 years when Evelyn became part of our family, the men in my household assumed there was a dustpan fairy and ironing fairy that kept our home clean and spotless and their shirts ironed, folded or hung nicely in the wardrobes.

The Kitchen Fairy

Evelyn always took care of our diet.  For the 8 years that she had worked with us, she rode through my erratic diet fads from vegetarian, to vegan, to south beach and now, Paleo.  She took pains to do her research on what she could cook and what she could not, no matter which diet fad I was on at that particular moment.  With Joel, she was “nanny from hell” because she force-fed vegetables and anything green down his throat so that he could grow up strong and healthy.  He is 21 years old now, and is still being force-fed with vegetables and anything green.

David adopted all the diets that I went through apart from anything that contained alcohol.  So when our diet-du-jour was Paleo, he was happy to have steak and salad for dinner but washed them all down with a beer.  That was the only thing he would not compromise.  Evelyn supported his effort to get healthier by stocking the fridge and larder with fruits, salads, low-fat yoghurt, roast chicken breast and nuts.  This meant that when David felt the urge to snack in the middle of the night, he would not have the desire the open that larder door when all he could find in there was a musty tin of teabags and a pack of nuts.  When I asked for a vegetarian dinner, she would whip up a beautiful chicken pie for dinner without telling David and Joel that she had put broccoli and other forms of veggie goodness into the pie – and there was no chicken in it.

So Evelyn was also our nutritionist-cum-dietitican-cum-experimental chef in our home.  However when she was away,  we survived on M&Ms for breakfast, a chocolate bar gifted to us at Christmas for lunch, and a truck-load of egg mayo sandwiches for dinner.  We figured, that the egg was protein and the beetroot in the red velvet cake bought from the store was a vegetable.  And we got our fair amount of nutritious wheat from the beers.  

Needless to say, she was mortified when she heard about how the home became a mismanaged summer camp for errant kids.  The look of dismay registered on her face when she opened the fridge and saw pet bottles of diet coke, chocolate, half-eaten cake and biscuits of every variety lined up in the larder.

The Dog-Walking Fairy

The dogs missed Evelyn as much as we did.  In fact, Bailey had separation anxiety and slept in her room every night when she was away.  During the day, he sat by the door in anticipation that Evelyn would return to tickle his belly.  When we went out, Bailey threw tantrums by overturning his food bowl and creating a mess in the kitchen. 

When Evelyn got back and saw how unkempt the dogs were, as David did not put in the effort to give them their weekly bath, she was truly upset and considered it animal cruelty.  She very quickly bundled all 3  mutts under her arms and promptly had them bathed and brushed the very hour she stepped into the home right after arriving from the airport.

We Have Been Spoilt

Yes we have truly been spoilt by Evelyn.  She was like an elder sister to me,  an aunt to Joel, a  mum to the dogs….and…. nanny to David.   I have to admit it was a difficult 3 weeks without her because we had to juggle extremely busy schedules at work or school, my Dad’s health, the year-end festivities and the housework.  We often took her for granted because she was  the dustpan fairy and the kitchen fairy.  We always came home from work to a clean and neat home, happy dogs, and hot and healthy meals.

We are very grateful for Evelyn's presence in our lives.  She is like Mrs Doubtfire...big, burly and with hairy legs, but we love her all the same and cannot do without her.  

About the writer:

The writer of this blog post is a 44 year old mother of one, who spreads her time between her day job as a marketing professional at a financial institution, her hobby as a certified professional tarot reader and numerologist, and her family which includes a 20 year old son and 3 dogs with personality disorders.  She's married to a Scot who has been affectionately called "The Crazy AngMo" and prays that he does not find out that the term when translated, has labeled him as a "Ginger Head".   Together, we create a home made up with more nuts than a fruitcake but filled with plenty of love.