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Friday, June 4, 2010

Soy un bastardo

My cleaning lady is the best in the world. No job is too big or too small and she always has a smile on her face. I like to think that her smile is due, in part, to the fact that she is cleaning MY house. “She probably looks forward to coming here.” I’ve often thought. And why wouldn’t she? I offer her something to drink, stay out of her way, and never complain. I’m practically the ideal client. I can just hear her bragging to her friends about how much fun she has when she comes over.

Aside from her strong work ethic and positive attitude, she is also a good listener. Or so I thought until recently. As usual, I was talking about myself when I noticed something, or rather, a lack of something. There was no response on her part. No active listening skills or even a half-hearted nod. Our conversation was totally one sided. What was the meaning of this?

I decided to test her. “Josephina, (pronounced Hosephina) you did an awesome job on the house. Sorry we are such slobs.”

“Yes,” she replied.

Interesting, I thought.

“Brantley and I wanted to get you a gift certificate. Where do you like to shop?”

“Yes,” she replied.

Hmmm. One final test. “Josephina, did you have any flood damage?”

She smiled, “Ok.”

I went upstairs and found Brantley and Luke watching TV. “Why do you always talk to her?” He asked. “You know she doesn’t speak English, right?”

“Of course I know that, duhh.” (I totally didn’t know that.)