Sunday, May 13, 2007

Cleaning Woman Turns Interior Decorator

The woman who has been cleaning my apartment for almost 10 years is fond of “straightening” it up as well. This is sometimes a bit disconcerting, since I generally keep everything in a specific place so I know exactly where it is when I need it. This is especially true of my school materials. For example, because I teach different classes at different schools every day, I have bins for each day of the week. That way everything is ready for me to change my backpack. I have tried to explain this to her, but the bins occasionally get rearranged during the process of cleaning.

On the bright side, she takes much better care of my plants than I do, to the point where I’ve turned over their care to her. Even more, she adores my cats, and they love how she fusses over them. She’s actually sat for them three times, including once having them at her place over New Year’s. In that sense, I’m extremely fortunate since I know when I want to travel that I’ll have a reliable catsitter.

Friday, when I came home, I was a bit surprised to find a brand new carpet in my livingroom. Granted, the old one had gotten more than shaggy and dingy. However, for her to replace the carpet without even consulting me – well, it feels a bit as though a boundary has been overstepped. Fortunately, it’s not as hideous as the bedspread I came home to after one of my trips; I never discovered what happened to the former one which, while secondhand, was one whose muted colors blended well with my décor and which I was fond of.

I’m still not certain about my new carpet. It’s also in muted colors – shades of bluish green and yellow – with a pattern of leaves. It’s not exactly what I would choose. It doesn’t really match any of the rest of my décor, though my apartment, which is made up of mostly used or cheap furniture, can’t really be said to have a décor, per se. It’s possible that she thought the colors matched the sage green of my office/classroom, where there is much more harmony to the curtains, throw rugs, and all. However, the bluish green in the carpet is quite different.

I’ll thank her for the carpet, and I’ll keep it. I can hardly not accept her generosity, especially since I need her other services. Besides which, I have a sense that her tendency for rearranging may actually be good for the feng shui of my place – something to do with opening up new spaces and allowing for greater flow. Occasionally she even finds a better place for some of my possessions than I have. As for the carpet, I’m already used to it, and I may even look for some accessories that match it. And my cats are quite happy with it.

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