Jefe de la Casa: Boss of the House

Ten years ago in April, I became el jefe–the boss. Now, I was not without some training and had clearly established myself as the Alpha in my dog pack. Nonetheless, my new role forced me to learn more about home maintenance, yard care, and big-ticket purchases than I ever wanted to know. As I muddled through my new role, it finally occurred to me I was acting like a manager, not the leader my university degree proclaimed me to be. I did a U-turn and sought out those to assume some of my responsibilities.

I hired a monthly landscaping service, a financial advisor, an accountant, and a cabana boy. But I haven’t stopped mowing the lawn, planting and maintaining the vegetable garden, tending to the swimming pool, nor fertilizing the citrus trees. I do laundry and cooking. Then, on my 70th birthday, I acquiesced my role of house keeper.

Yes, I have a biweekly cleaning service. Yes, some have a weekly one, but I’m old-fashioned enough to think I should bear some burden for my messes. Please don’t assume I’m a saint, for my week of cleaning may be simply vacuuming the tile floors or dusting the piano. Further, I’ve been known to run an unplugged vacuum up and down the living carpet to give the appearance it’s been swept, and I spray Pledge in the air to give a clean scent. I certainly don’t scrub down the shower, nor the toilets.

No, the only day I do a serious pick up and put away, folding and straightening, and sweeping and dusting is the day before my cleaning service comes. It’s absurd; I know that, but I don’t want be the talk of the town. “Man, we went to clean Sue’s house–talk about a filthy, trash pit!”

I should stop complaining about being El Jefe because the day will come when I’m locked up in a retirement care facility. My lawn mower will vanish, my garden will be some potted plant, my wardrobe will be nothing more than a robe and a night gown. I’ll be told what to do, when to do it, and what to eat. I’ll no longer be in control of my own destiny. My Boss title will be nothing more than a fading memory.

OMG, this blog is depressing! Sue, el jefe de la casa, needs a cerveza!

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