Saturday, January 14, 2017

Serve First

Long time no see, reader peoples. Along with general holiday craziness, Daddy and I have been laid up with winter plague. He was the first to succumb to what in the American South is known as "the crud," which is a delightful colloquialism for a head cold and conditions of a similar nature. I fell victim about a week later.

I spent New Year's weekend caring for my malarial master, despite the almost guarantee that I would also get sick. He was concerned that would happen. I didn't really care if I did or not. It was the first real opportunity I had for domestic service beyond simply fetching a drink when he would shove an empty glass at me.

I arrived quietly, armed with four cans of chicken noodle soup, two boxes of tissues, and a bottle of Mountain Dew (his soda of choice). He had advised me to let him sleep if he was doing so when I arrived, so I went about picking up trash and dishes and cleaning up the kitchen.

It's interesting, trying to navigate someone else's kitchen without guidance. I hadn't really been given any sort of domestic tasks in his home before. We typically switch off who cooks based on who is hosting during each visit. This time, I brought up food I'd already cooked and was trying to determine what could go in his little dishwasher based purely on instinct and what I could remember from watching him on previous visits. I don't think I managed to destroy anything.

It's interesting to me how much of a motivated housekeeper I am when I'm doing it as a service. I look at my own kitchen or my own room and just kind of grimace. I procrastinate like a son of a bitch when it comes to cleaning up my own spaces. But when I'm cleaning for someone else, I keep finding new things to do when one task is finished.

Which, by the way, is hard, when your master is a bit of a neat freak.

He warned me the house was trashed because he'd been sick. His idea of trashed is more like mildly cluttered.

Fortunately, as I've mentioned in the past, he's wonderfully observant, so he noticed pretty much if not everything I did, regardless of how unnoticeable I thought it would ultimately be. I spent the long weekend fetching drinks, cooking soup, making two dinners from the mess of food I brought with me.

Amidst that, he might rattle off a list of tasks, and I might get a little frazzled trying to get myself organized. I particularly have this issue when I'm cooking a meal with multiple dishes. I kept thinking "serve first, then do [x]."

I've never really had that thought before, but then, I've never had much of an opportunity for service before. The few I can remember have been sparse with perhaps years between.

One thing I do know from those few experiences is I'm much better at taking care of others than I am at taking care of myself.

1 comment:

  1. There is such healing in cleaning for others. I too, do a much better job for others than I do in my own place!

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