The doorbell rang and woke my baby up and I thought, “great another screwed up day with a cranky kid.” I am so sick of childcare consisting of 13 hours a day, 7 days a week. My husband told me I had to have this baby or get out. Sometimes I hate him, lately more often than not. He is bossy and controlling. I hadn’t even turned 21 before I made a major decision about marriage.
My husband is an anal retentive neat freak and he expects all things perfect all the time. He would come home and if the house were the least bit off he would start yelling and slamming the dishes as he put them in the dishwasher. If the lampshade were a sixteenth of an inch off, he would roll his eyes and correct it in front of me as if I was either to blind or too lazy to do it myself. He would use the leveler on furniture, pictures and the lamps to make sure everything was even all the time. I told him having a baby is going to upset his whole universal balance of cleanliness. My daughter’s first words besides “Mama” and “Daddy” were “fresh” and “clean”. Now the house is always in disarray and I hope the squalor chokes him.
The bell rings again, by this time the baby is screaming, the phone is ringing and the dog is going crazy at the door. Little dogs are so loud and obnoxious with their Napoleon complexes. Who is waking us so early in the morning? How rude! Is it another Jehovah’s Witness with their Watch Tower ideas or a Mormon to convert me to the altruistic ways of Joseph Smith?
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My life sucks. I have an entire day of cleaning and childcare. How am I suppose to clean the house, wash the car with such a small child under foot? My daughter is into exploring everything. She finds every crease, crack and hole in the place. I have several loads of dirty laundry waiting for me with my name on it; same goes for the clean ones.
I tell my daughter no less than a hundred times a day to quit tormenting the dog let alone me. She does not want to listen to anybody. She is a bored and lonely child with no siblings. My husband just says “I was an only child too or that I should have had another baby,” like I am some kind of breeding machine.
I walk through the house to get to the door; glancing at all that needs to be done. The shower needs a good cleaning and I take a mental note of it. I want to do it before the mold starts to spread. The grout is a dingy color and it looks like it could use a good dose of Ajax. The mat on the bathroom floor is covered with towel lint and other vacuumable unmentionables.
Toilets have got to be one of the worse things on earth to clean, because I know darn well what people to do in there. It’s one thing to have to deal with you own stink let alone others. My feet are so cold, walking over the marble floors and of course they need mopped too. All four walls in the bathroom have brown stains on them, a mixture of hot steam and dirt blending together and dripping down. I wonder to myself what cleaner would take that shit off.
The kitchen has about 200 square feet of pure mess. The refrigerator needs to be cleaned. When it gets too dirty the butter starts picking up all the other odors in the fridge. It must be kept up constantly or everything will stink. The floors are all tore up because new tile is going in. There are two different kinds of laminate floor showing; one is an old yellow and brown seventies pattern mixed with the dirt that was buried with it years ago and the other is pink and white.
There is dust all over the chair, couch and bookshelves in the living room that must be close to an eighth of an inch thick from all the sanding going on. The family room is littered with hundreds of small toys in an assortment of bright annoying colors, red, green, blue splattered randomly all over the floor.
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The carpet has stains galore. Pet stains, kid stains, food and drink stains. The carpet definitely needs to be vacuumed and steam cleaned. I seriously doubt that I can accomplish much with a kid undoing everything as I go along. My goal in life was not to be a life long servant, a cook and a maid. Isn’t there more out of life? I feel completely drained and ruined.
I opened the door to a crisp, clear day. The air is fresh and there is still dew on the grass. The street is quiet and a small white cat leaps into the air and lands on my front hill. There stood before me was a migrant worker. He was of small stature. His face looked as if he had wrestled with the harshness of the weather and lost. He wore a red and black flannel shirt that was much too hot for the day. He had silver in his teeth; which immediately caught my eye. He was smiling. Jesus, surely he can’t be happy. What’s there to be so happy about?
My husband came to the door at about this time. I knew my husband wanted the weeds pulled out and he was glad someone finally came by to do it. Spring is a wonderful season, a time for new growth and bright flowers. The rains, although limited this year, bring lots of weeds with it. There are two large hills with red apple planted. These hills had quite a bit of clover, crab grass and various weeds in them. There is a large flower bed in the back filled with plants like Lilies of the Nile and geraniums that someone saw fit to name after Martha Washington. In between these plants are weeds, weeds and more weeds. It seems never ending. He did these weeds for 70 dollars and I figured it would take him about 4 hours to finish.
After some time had passed, I glanced out the window to see how much was left to go. Watching him reminded me about a recent article I read in the Los Angeles Times about new comers to America. It talked about how recent immigrants are having major problems with housing issues.
The women that were interviewed in the article, spoke about how roaches and rodents caused rashes in their children and that their apartments are moldy. The tap water is the color of apple juice and they know it is not safe. They have been trying for two years to get the landlord to fixed the problems. They say they cannot make too much trouble for the fear eviction or worse deportation. There is really no place to go for most low-income tenants to go. The housing market is tight and their budgets even tighter.
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Another woman spoke and says she shares a one-bedroom apartment in Santa Ana with 18 other people because she cannot afford anything else. It is now becoming commonplace to rent living room couches to sleep on for $200 a month. The city is trying to put limitations on the amount of people that can share a housing unit because of the strains it puts on the sewers; even the schools are drained.
Even more difficult is imagining life in a third world country. What circumstances brought them to such a far away place? In China, baby girls are left on the streets to die because each family is allowed only one child and the male child is of the utter most value. In Afghanistan women have no rights. Women are not allowed to be seen in this society and must be accompanied by a close male relative to even step outside. They must cover themselves from head to toe in burkas even in triple digit heat. Ice cream is forbidden because it is considered too erotic. Music is deemed evil because it causes people to lose control of themselves so no radio, instruments or singing. Beatings and death are not uncommon even for the most minor offenses.
In some parts of Africa girls undergo genital mutilations and are circumcised under the most excruciating and unsanitary conditions. In Eastern Europe, women are lured or kidnapped from their homes and forced into prostitution. They are forced into brothels and sex trades without the use of contraceptions to prevent pregnancy or disease. They basically become slaves until they are rescued or dead with the latter being the usual way out.
Life is brutal. So I wonder where this person has come from and how life in America is for him. The old adage that grass is always greener on the other side just has more manure.