REFLECTIONS IN THE TIME OF CORONA (7) – The Cleaning Lady

This week was our 43rd. wedding anniversary..tau blog tau banta hai na? (have to write a blog, right?) because we still haven’t killed each other.
Since the last few episodes, a lot of time has passed but global events had become so serious that even thinking of writing anything humorous felt like ‘cancel culture’ – I mean I don’t really hold an elite position in any organization, but if I did, I felt I would be silenced. So, I prudently remained silent. But not for long as you know.
There were murmurings last time about my use of the term OCD (mostly from his friends and relatives) so out of respect for 43 years, I have decided to be sensitive and will use the term Senor OCD from now on. Okay with everyone?
Where to start? You all know about the cleaning fetish but the house has been spiffy, disgustingly clean. So, Senor OCD now moved his attention to the cars – mine in particular. Clean the car, get the interior vacuumed blah blah blah. But every time I get the car cleaned, it rains so I figure no point. Yes, I have wrappers of food I munch, and a few tissues and yes, an empty coffee cup – but its my sanctuary. Oh yes there is an empty bottle and the back seat has scuff marks from when my grandkids rode in it and no one can say anything about my grandkids! However things sort of came to a head when the whole family (in different cars) was going for dinner and before I got there, I got a phone call from Senor OCD saying in a stern voice “ no dinner unless you get the car cleaned and there’s a car wash at the corner”. I was about to retort when I realized my grandkids were in the car with me, so to set a good example I obediently went and got the car washed (and yes, I got dinner)
But now that things have opened up (sort of) in Toronto, the first visitor to our house was the cleaning lady. Now I’m a very broad-minded person but the smile on Senor OCD’s face on the day cleaning lady comes, is a bit much to digest. He sings (off key of course), cracks jokes and has a kick in his step. Cleaning lady is no Lady Gaga, but her cleaning – OMG its as though she trained at a home economics institute.
Now who leaves the kitchen towel rolled up into an animal shape on the stove (see photo); or decorates one of the stuffed toys on the pillow (Aha you now know that Senor OCD has a ‘stuffie’ collection and I didn’t tell you this); or folds the edge of the toilet paper in a triangle (you know like they do in hotels); or cleans the inside of the fridge and under my cabinets without being asked or mentioning what a mess they are in? I mean I don’t even see the messes and I’m fine doing superficial dusting, but the cleaning pressure is too much because he feels like he’s died and gone to heaven and I’m a messy Maina. The pressure is too much so usually I leave and go have coffee with my friend till she’s done. Then cleaning lady texts “you like?”. What’s not to like?

Incidentally last week cleaning lady accidentally broke a plate – now if this was me, I would have heard no end of how clumsy I am but when I pointed it out, Senor OCD just smiled and said “its okay, accidents happen”. Sheesh.
There is no way I could ever compete with Cleaning Lady who by the way speaks not a word of English (as she’s a recent arrival from Brazil) so the sign language is worth seeing (all done by you know who).
The other hobby Senor OCD has acquired during COVID forced to stay-at-home, is to become obsessed with WhatsApp. Now we all are, but this is a man who hardly ever used social media. Now he’s on more WhatsApp groups then a teenager and even when I’m trying to do serious work (like now) he’s listening loudly to old Hindi songs, inane jokes, conspiracy theories and chatter etc.
But I had my revenge. Senor OCD has no stomach for movies that deal with superstitions, science fiction or magic. I told him that an old Hindi movie Om Shanti Om (which I had seen) is worth seeing and an award winner. Only half way through he realized its about the hero being reborn but his pride wouldn’t let him walk away. Ahem.
Of course, the biggest message is on the T-shirt with meaningful slogans like the one above which he wears with pride.

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