Light Beige Carpet

Tapete Bege Claro

I was born in Brazil and for almost 38 years I had been a housemaid and/or cleaning lady. My mother was always one of those bosses who never had a problem with a maid, on the contrary, she always had wonderful maids. So there were very few. The explanation of this luck seems to be related to the fact that she always treated them with due respect and never admitted that her daughters had any authority over them. On the contrary, I remember that maid’s order had the same weight as my mother’s order.

When I stopped living at my parents’ house because I was studying in another city, I stopped having a maid and started having a cleaning woman weekly or biweekly. That way, I worked a little more with household chores, but it was just cooking and washing dishes. Nothing else. During all my college years my parents paid my bills and, among the expenses, the cleaning lady. The laundry I took back to my mother who always had the “assistant” to do my laundry.

But when I moved to Chicago I noticed other effects… we Brazilians, in general, are known as the owners of the most organized and clean houses. We had excellent maids and we were used to everything shining. So, for months or years, we clean a lot, and as soon as the finances allow it or the discomfort of thinking all the time “I have to clean the house” becomes unbearable, we hire the cleaning service, which usually costs $100 for 2 hours. , that is, 50 dollars/hour. There are usually 2 cleaning women who are then paid $25/hour each. They pay happily. I say pay because I still do my cleaning. The comments are always the same: “The best spent money on my salary”, “It’s not that Brazilian cleaning, but it’s enough”, “Just not having to think about cleaning, it’s priceless.”

But it was a light beige rug that shocked me. I bought one of these and never had the courage to clean it… after almost 3 years, I looked at it and said “enough, you will be donated and whoever wants to clean you”. I haven’t bought another one yet because I need to find one of the kind that looks dirty, just like I did to buy the ceramic tile for the kitchen and bathroom… but I kept thinking about all the years I saw my cleaning lady cleaning a huge light beige carpet that I had in my office… conclusion, I called her and said:

“How did you spend years cleaning that light beige carpet of mine with a brush and detergent? How did you never tell me to throw that carpet in the trash? Only now, when I had to clean one of these, did it sink in. I’m sorry!”< /blockquote>
She didn’t say anything, she just laughed… Obvious! This responsibility/sensitivity was my obligation, mine alone! Worst of all I know that the few times I was a boss, I was decent… so I wonder what they have to put up with…

Written by Feitosa-Santana

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