My housekeeper and I have a strange relationship. I fire her, she refuses to leave. She misses a day for something totally legitimate like a doctor’s appointment or a school meeting and I feel abandoned and freak out that the house won’t be clean on schedule or ever again. We share each other’s joys and commiserate when times are tough. It’s an odd relationship, because of the balance of power (she seems to have all the power) it has to be.
My housekeeper brings her own lunch. She neatly packages everything in Tupperware and if it’s something I enjoy like birria or nopales she will bring some for me. I always know what she’s had for lunch because in the afternoons when my kitchen is glistening and the sink is spotless and dry her discarded Tupperware sits there waiting for me. I used to talk to her about it. Now I just wash the dishes, it’s my kitchen after all.
When I get done changing the radios back to English Speaking stations I flip the TV on and find the Novellas. They’re actually interesting to me and my Spanish has improved since I started watching them though I still resent their presence on the DVR and wonder where she finds the time. Occasionally I find dusty shelves and I know where she finds the time. If I were the one doing the dusting I’d probably miss a shelf too, that I can shrug off, the dishes are still crazymaking.
Yesterday I went to prep our dinner in the mid afternoon. I was grilling a steak so I wanted it to reach room temperature along with the marinade. I was digging around the freezer and the refrigerator for ingredients when I spotted her Tupperware in the freezer. I popped the top off of it and it looked like something with nopales. Annoyed I tossed the Tupperware in the sink so it could defrost and then be sent down the drain.
After prepping dinner there was a huge stack of bowls and silver to wash. I pulled on my rubber gloves and settled in to wash the dishes. The very last one was the housekeeper’s Tupperware. I flipped the lid off of it, dumped the contents down the garbage disposal and then screamed.
It wasn’t her leftovers. It was mine. It was a full order of drunken crab out of it’s shell from Crustacean, one of my favorite meals. I watched the crab disappear down the drain and had this moment of wondering if I could grab it in time, soapy gloves and all. Just one bite…