Thursday, July 13, 2006

pretty, you’re the bomb

So we got a maid. This is big stuff for me. I grew up with one maid, Flora, bless her Zulu iskhathulo, and any other maid as far as I was concerned is pants. Flora carried me on her back in an old afghan when I was two, gave me a couple of good hidings at eight, delivered me hot meals to my teenage lair riddled in angst when I was 16. She was an integral part of my growing up, and the only maid I really wanted was Flora. This was logistically impossible, since she’s retired and resides in Mphophomeni township in the Natal midlands.

Peas: “Can’t we find Flora? I’ll get her up to Joburg, take her shopping, and! She’ll get on something epic with Florence! [Moogs’ maid.]
Ant: “No. You stubborn shit. We’re hiring Pretty. Besides, isn’t Flora, like 80 years old?”
Peas: “Yeah so?”

But The Ant and I were fast losing control of our domicile. The place is always engulfed in stray shoes, dead flowers wilting thirstily in vases, clothes all over chairs, CDs all over the carpet, dishes weighing down the structure that encases the non-existent sink, an eternal bath ring.

We had to take action. So, against my futile protestations, acts of immediate suspicion and downright scepticism, The Ant went and hired someone. Well. The whole day Monday I sat at work biting my nails, wondering whether this stranger would clean us out by the time the day was over, and whether she’d eat my spinach quiche sitting in the fridge.

The weekend motto of “don’t worry about it, the maid is coming on Monday,” wasn’t left unattended to. Drop spaghetti on the floor? Leave it, the maid is coming on Monday. Left an excessive amount of human skin [invisible to the untrained eye] on the sofa? No problem, maid on Monday. Overflowing ashtray? No crockery to eat on? (We started using Tupperware in which to eat our dinners). No clean underwear? (Went Scottish Highlander to work). No problem. For through the muddy haze that is the build-up of sacramental scum in our flat, lies a solution. And her name is Pretty.

I roared home Monday, jumping red lights, to see whether my quiche had been devoured and whether my jewellery had been zyphed – she was a perfect stranger afterall – to find heaven incarnate in the form of an apartment.

The smell of Pine Domestos hit me like a welcome slap to the face. The carpets were spotless, she’d even turned down my sheets. I saw the sink for the first time in months. Underneath the dirt, it appeared that the bath was moulded from pure, white enamel, not unlike the driven snow. And my quiche was still intact. Ecstatically, I raced around the flat, oohing and ahing over what could only be a perfectly scrubbed masterpiece. Pretty had worked her butt off. And I fucking love her.

Can’t find where she put my Clinique soap, but nevertheless, I fucking love her.

Then Third Roommate lit up a smoke.
Ant: What do you mean you’re lighting a smoke in this new flat?
TR: We’ve been smoking here all evening.
Ant: Go and smoke outside!
TR: Fuck that dude, this is not that kind of house.
Ant: Now it is.
TR: Fine! I’ll hang car fresheners around the couch.

I sat mum and made The Ant her French meal. Laced with enough garlic to make even Francois Mitterand blush. (She wants French? I geeve her French.).

PS: We coined a theory on why Zidane lashed out in fury during the World Cup final. The Italian player said something along the lines of: “Your mother sucks knob in the slums of Algiers.” And then he lost it.

57 comments:

Jam said...

My wonderful maid, Pinkie, has served a dual function for me in the past couple of months. Not only has she ensured that my house remains spotless, she has also scraped a very emotional me off the floor on many occasions in the mornings. She's worked for me for over 5 years, and I am a lucky girl indeed.

On another note - all the zulu I now understand was passed to me by another wonderful woman called Lizzie who looked after me when I was a child...

Daytripper said...

I fear that I do will sooner or later have to bow to the inevitable and employ a domestic engineer. its not that i can't or won't do housework, its just finding the time!

other-duke said...

My parents also have a maid called Lizzie, we just celebrated her 20years of service, she's a lovely woman, but has reduced a 12 piece dinner set to 8 piece. Bless her

I just looked through your pics on flickr and i can see my old flat!! in the dark pic taken from your mom's place, it's the brown block of flats top left apartment with the face-brick balcony. How exciting. When was this taken?

Anonymous said...

My mother, who (blush) I have had to move back in with for a short while, won't leave anything for our maid... the dustbin is for show only -god forbid we have an accident and someone comes into the house to find (gasp!) trash.. in the dustbin! All stuff must be thrown into the outside dustbin. and we have to do the washing up for the maid. God forbid she finds actual dirty dishes. my mother would just skaam herself if the maid found out she didn't keep a clean house...

go figure...

Peas on Toast said...

Maids can be so important. And Pinkie sounds great! Moog's maid Florence is just my aboslute favourite. This woman gives him the right amount of shit to be considered funny, she's easy-going, caring, hard-working. I asked her to join our book club actually, cos she's such a hoot.

I'm hoping Pretty will be the same.

Peas on Toast said...

Hi chaps - sorry that was a response to Jam!

I also feel bad leaving everything for the maid to do. So Ant and I have decided to do our own washing at least.

Other-duke! Brilliant - so you know where my mum's flat is in Gardens then? This pic was taken about a year ago when I was last in CT. And the greatest part about where she stays is that it's on Kloof Street, within walking distance of everything and anything, near Long Street and there's always hustle and bustle. Not to mention a great view of the mountain.
Which flat were you in again - name?

Third World Ant said...

Babe, my breath is still reeking of garlic on Wednesday morning!

Looking very forward to dishing out the tasks for Pretty next week - we're going to be able to do the white glove test on every counter and come out clean!

Can't wait for the landlord beeyatch to come round and cast her beady eye over the place!

other-duke said...

It's called Rosa Gardens in Gilmour Hill Road, Tamboerskloof. It was incredibly central and was 4km from my office, but i don't recommend living with a lawyer - that you don't know.. i suppose an accountant could have been worse. The maid we had there snapped the security gate key off in the lock - after we told her not to use it because it was broken. I now live in Sea Point and my flatmate and i do the cleaning ourselves (first world style).

I'm looking for pics i took from my balcony to see if i can find your mom's place looking the other way :)

kyknoord said...

Code number double-oh-Peas: Agent of Chaos.

Peas on Toast said...

Ant - dude, for the first time in years, I'll have ironed shirts! No more rumpled hippie-style work clothes!

This woman is a keeper. I just know it! :)

Other-duke - brilliant stuff! (Except living with the lawyer and key snapping off in secuirty gate bits!)

My mum's flat isn't hellish pretty on the outside, being your typical 60s style face brick building, but the views from the lounge window are something else! (We also get to see the back of the Mount Nelson which lies right in front of us - always interesting).
Seapoint pozzie doesn't sound bad either - always an intersting place to live, lots to see and do.

Peas on Toast said...

Kyknoord: :)

Phil said...

Aah Peas. Good to have a maid. Ethel is mine - Saturdays only - and THE BEST in the world. LOVES my dogs even. And avoids my room if door closed (sign for "I am hung over Eth - PLEASE") or even the odd strange chick who may emerge from bedroom with FFG all over her face. OK OK that does not happen. Much. Anymore. Ever.
Enough.

Be good.

Peas on Toast said...

Ah Phil, bless! Ethel sound superb!

Was thinking how Pretty must've imagined what kind of girl I was when she pottered around my room. Something like: well obviously a man hasn't been in here for ages, why does she have self-help books on her bedside table, bras all over chairs, shoes all over carpet...a single, cooked individual.

Good thing she likes your dogs - they're part of the Phil clan afterall!

Anonymous said...

Hey Peas

The missing Clinique soap is an age old mystery, that has not escaped my humble dwellings either. That is, until I caught Patience washing my tub with it. Apparently soap on the windowsill is meant for cleaning purposes and not for human use. No wonder there are no more rings around the bath ;) And dont worry about quiche going missing - the real gold mine is the loo paper :)

Peas on Toast said...

Anon - ha ha! :)
I figured as much. She probably through it away thinking we have enough soap near the bath anyway. Hopefully the fact that we have every single cleaning product known to man at her disposal means that she'll hopefully use Domestos/Vanish/Mr Muscle for things like bath rings and such, and notsomuch my R120/bar soap...

Phil said...

Agreed on the dogs. They miffed with me though as I flew out of JHB early this morning. I suspect a shadow of a garden will remain on my return Friday evening. Little bastards know how to make me pay.....anything in the garage is fair game....which is why the convertible does not stay there when I am away!
They not scared to try leap in when I do bring it home with top down though!

Love them dearly but they can be somewhat trying!

Otherwise all is well...you looking fwd to date on Thursday....?

Also - something you have been VERY quiet on of late - how goes the non smoking?

Peas on Toast said...

Phil - I so miss having a dog! I'm a bit of staffie/dobermann fan myself, but not possible in my living area!

Well. the non-smoking issue. Can I plead the fifth?

Phil said...

Sure you can peas. No worries there. I am a smoker so I know the feeling of trying to quit. Actually I dont know if I do as I have never really tried that hard to quit....probably cause I know I will more than likely fail dismally.
I note a lack of response on the question about the upcoming Thursday night though!

Phil said...

Peas. Here goes nothing. I realise I am potentially breaking every unwritten and a few written rules here but my non work email addie is below ......
ahappyman123@webmail.co.za...
use it.....dont use it.........

In honour of course of my entry in the Doh P's list.....

other-duke said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
other-duke said...

that's brave...

Revolving Credit said...

Hmm....Helmut, if you look a little bit further down the page you will notice the following :
peasontoast@gmail.com

just a thought :)

Phil said...

He he.

Ja ja.

Never promised I was a bloody Genius ok.


Shees!

Antoine said...

There is a simple reason why I will never leave Africa. And that is the person that cleans fault.

In the Jungle we have colonialism at it's best. We have a house boy - something to do with not having a woman in a house full of guys who only have sex every 11 weeks - and cooks who ensure we maintain our weight.

We also enjoy not been allowed to carry anything. You can protest when someone wants to carry your bag the 12 meters from the parking to the office and the bag will be forefully removed from your hands and carried to the office.

Joys of being a "Brunie"

Peas on Toast said...

Phil - *blush* thats very brave - I like it! On Thursday's date, I am in two-minds about it. I am sort of excited, but also sort of terrified to tell you the truth. Does that make sense?
But I'll be in touch, you did leave me your address afterall! :)

Other-duke - he is a brave boy, isn't he? ;)

Rev - Helmut is welcome to email anytime too, of course. Bless! ;)

Antoine - I can imagine! Like Kenya during 'Out of Africa.' I think my mate Doc is also reaping the pleasures of colonialism in India, what with tea makers, a driver, houseboys, that sort of thing.

Phil said...

Hmmm Except in India you best avoid trains of late....bloody terrorists are making like crummy all over the place now.....like being crammed into a coach with 250 or so other indian fellows is not bad enough!

Anyway I feel for all affected.

Revolving Credit said...

Do you think we should explain the local domestic worker industry for any of your foreign readers?

Without context this may well sound very exploitative and colonial.

Anonymous said...

Queen pea

Go on a date, come on I think he has mentioned his car enough times to qualify:)Oh and if he turns out to be a prick you can take a photo and write a cool story about him.

Revolving credit- Funny as always

Phil said...

Now THERE's pressure......hmmmm..... and besides.... peas keeps telling all how she loves being single and is so pessimistic about love and feelings at al.

Not sure she could handle me anyway!

He he

Peas on Toast said...

Yes we probably do sound ridiculously colonial! A couple of months ago Zuzula (of Twentysomething) asked me about our domestic worker situation and whether they are treated right. I think, in most households, they are. Kind of like a member of the family. To have a maid is almost something of an institution in SA households, it's not so much a heirarchy, I suppose, just more of an everyday life occurrence.

Phil - also got scared about the train thing! Luckiy Doc is in Delhi and Mumbai. Let's hope he's safe.

Anon - I'm totally willing to give Phil a chance, completely! Just want to see how Thursday's date pans out. I'm kind of terrified about the dating scene at the moment, so it may just be disastrous. Phil sounds like a catch.

Peas on Toast said...

Phil - I am cynical, and am pessimistic, but as I said, I don't fail in hope that somebody may trun this all around for me one day...;)

Anonymous said...

Queen pea

He waited a week! What so you would not think he is desperate.I think he is a punk:)

And Phil-Get a life ever heard of the saying, me thinks she protest too much.:)

Phil said...

A week in time....ho hum.....hey...what will be will be.

As for being desperate....no...not particularly... but not being smothered by all and sundry ladies either to be fair. Lets call part of it being continually out of JHB of late and the other part due to partying like a loon when in JHB...
Peas I hope your mate is well over there too.

Peas on Toast said...

Anon - where does all this angst come from my dear?

Sure, Cute Unshaven may be a punk, but I'm not losing anything by finding out for sure. I haven't even had a proper conversation with the guy.

Phil is great - I won't mess with that in my current state, but who knows, we may meet pretty soon. ;)

Anonymous said...

Queen pea

Maybe Phil is not a good choice, seems he thinks everyone is always talking about him:)

Angst!mmm is that what you want to call it:)I suppose I like a man that knows what he wants. Confident and not scared to show his feelings. I’m so tired of all the games people play. Well maybe I’m wrong, cant wait to hear how the evening goes. A WEEK!

Champagne Heathen said...

Out of interest Anon, with such demanding criteria, you then are fully aware what you want out of life and men and all?

I am one confident chickie, but it doesn't mean I have the 1st clue of what I want. And even if I did, time is never as open and easy as we all wished it was.

Peas, enjoy the date! But never let him fetch you from your house! From my experience, if he pushes the issue about picking you up, cancel the date.

Anonymous said...

Champagne:)

Demanding? I had my heart broken a couple of months ago. Even though I ended it, his heart was not into it. There is something about having a man taking control. Knowing what he wants. I’m all for the high powered executive woman but don’t give me a man that is not sure if he wants to see me or not. I will rather spend the time alone. I’m now seeing a guy that’s 35, just find that it’s so much easier being with an older man. The boys of 26 were well boys:)

I do hope you have fun peas

Peas on Toast said...

Anon - I agree. I did sort of laugh him off cos I didn't hear from him in a week. But I'm not heartsore about it by any means, I was almost relieved. Now I've heard from him practically everyday leading up to this dinner. I don't know what I want - but at the end of the day, do I want anything at all? At the moment, it's probably not a good idea.

Champs - interesting theory there! Do tell why! Why can't he pick me up? (He isn't though, I firmly believe that if I want to leave, I can on my own steam.)

Peas on Toast said...

Thanks Anon, I hope so too. I'm happy in the knowledge my date on Thurs is in his 30s too. Because the purest example of 25/26 year old boys not knowing what they want was Small Bum. No more I say!

Revolving Credit said...

All this tension....jeez, give a guy a break.
You're assuming that the guys know what they're doing and have a master plan vs just winging it, going with the flow.

I think this is meant to be a meeting/date not a full scale military assault.

Do we need to approach everything in life with so much expectation. Do we proceed with a checklist and a minimum score?

How about we just be who we are and explore the other persons thoughts and emotions over a glass of wines - just meet them and see if you click. Some peeps become friends, other don't and some become more than just friends, but fuck shouldn't it all just start by meeting and greeting.

Now everyone, play nicely!

Helmut, dude, not pressure.
Peas, just enjoy the moment.

(cue the music)
Pudendum..dee..dee..dum..deedle..dum..

Peas on Toast said...

Rev - look I agree with you 100%. I'm going on this date purely out of curiosity with no expectations from him or myself. What will be, will be, and either way I'll play it as it comes.

But! What did attract me to him was his age. He is in his [very] early thirties. Not because I want someone to settle down with - hell no, not now - but someone who has perhaps experienced more than the avergae 25year old has.

Anyway - date is still two days away, let's all rest easy! :)

Champagne Heathen said...

It is a sweet gesture to offer it off-handedly, but as soon as the guy makes it a bit of an issue, that he really wants to pick you up you have to consider why.

My theory is that he is wanting that awkard moment when he drops you off and you have to say goodbye, and it is an excellent time for him to try to score. Or as my Mexican friend once put it "Ai gatta use de bathroom"....and wham, he's in your flat!

It is also a way to ensure, even if you chat over far too many glasses of wine, and snog and all and all, by having to climb in your own car you can make sure things are taken slowly. On Date 1 at least.

Plus one guy who pushed the issue with me, and I still went on the date with (in my own car), stalked me for awhile afterwards. While a coupla of the other just turned out to be plain weird. So maybe I'm just paranoid...

Phil said...

Sometimes methinks any one reador or commenting hereon is a little "unwell" - but thats what makes life fun and interesting...

As for 26 year old boys being boys I guess thats pretty true - but then younger women can be a pain in the ass as well for older guys.....I guess in the end maturity (emotional) depends on what one has been through and experienced in life and what has been forgotten and learned from it all.

Anonymous said...

Revolving credit- You see a man taking control,I love it:) WORDS OF WISDOM

Phil- Hey I was on your side

Peas on Toast said...

Champs - makes sense. Will totally take my own car for the first couple of dates I go on with Cute Unshaven or other men thereon out.

Phil - hear hear!

Champagne Heathen said...

ALTHOUGH, the other tactic of my mexicano friend was to steal the chick's car keys. She would think she'd lost them somewhere. And then she would need a lift home. And WHAM, he's in your flat!

Bluddy dodgy Mexicans.

(Maybe I should stop giving men-of-no-particular-age-but-low-maturity ideas here publically!)

Phil said...

A key thief. Wow. Now THERE's desperation 4u. Hearing all these stories I can see why women would prefer to meet somewhere than be fetched. Actually I am not sure I would want a first date knowing where I live either...believe me there are more than a few nutty women out there as well!!!

guppa said...

jees peas-what are you going to do? you used use cleaning the house as a therapeutic, mind-clearing, 'get-away-from-boys', time to yourself activity. with out your cathartic monday night cleaning ritual- does this mean peas is going to get even crazier?

Champagne Heathen said...

Yes, that's how I used to get drunk guys in clubs to stop bothering me. I would remind them that they had no way of knowing if I was some psycho stalker who, if they took me home, would know where they lived, would track down their phone number, and would be able to steal all their baby pics to hang up on my wall.

Or I would tell them that they were taking a massive risk & maybe I was terrible in bed.

Either one acts as an excellent deterent to even a very drunk guy in a club!

Peas on Toast said...

Phil - keep those stalker ladies guessing my dear! Never be too predictable. ;)

Doc - my dear! Why hello there! No this doesn't mean I'll get crazier, simply because that is not possible. It may mean, however, I'll spend more time in bars and such. ;)

Peas on Toast said...

Champs - I love your style babe.

other-duke said...

hey, i'm all for inter-blog dating.

Just look at Yummy and Click - there's a story that makes you all warm and fuzzy inside :)

Revolving Credit said...

The freedom on expression experienced within the blogsphere, owning to the blogger anonimity, is somewhat curtailed when lots of peeps you know end up reading your blog. I believe Peas has experienced this.

So the question is....

@ which point does inter-blog dating become inter-blog mating.

(cue the music)
Pudendum..dee..dee..dum..deedle..dum..

Peas on Toast said...

Revolving - well. Judging by the fact that two pertinent ex boyfreind's of mine read my blog (despite initial protestations, they do), I'd say that inter-blog mating has already occurred.

However, when the time for real inter-blog mating happens, I'll be sure to try and keep it out the blog. I'll try. Can't make promises, but will try. ;)

You're a card big guy. And this pudendum soundtrack is rather catchy.

Revolving Credit said...

Hhmmm.....inter-blog voyeurism!!

Now that's catchy.

(cue the music)
Pudendum..dee..dee..dum..deedle..dum..I see your bum...deedle...dum...

Freddie said...

Jussis china, having left SA almost 9 years ago...I would give hubbys left ball for a lizzie or a pretty or a christmas! I too had a mafutah lizzie sqweezah... I have to say tho... sugar seems to last much longer now...hmmmmm

Freddie said...

That said... I am returning to joeys for a whole week in september...first time in 5 years! I am kakking it!