Liar Liar now go mop the kitchen.

Apparently I’m a liar. This is highly disappointing since I tell my little children regularly that “liars live with the Devil.” And then I cackle and threaten to get them vaccinated.

My husband is big on the budget. I recently won a particularly empowering budget war and took home a cleaning lady.

A week ago she was scheduled for her big debut. After four hours pre-cleaning for the cleaning lady not a sock was out of place. I had toys and books and clothing organized, found homes for things that were still camping in boxes, and pre-spotted my kitchen floor. By the time Wednesday night rolled around I was wiped (so was my house) and ready for someone to handle all the messy work–mopping, vacuuming, bathrooms, etc.

Thursday morning I woke with giddy excitement, but ten minutes before her ETA she called in sick. It was completely deflating.

Today was her much anticipated revamped debut. I have waited with baited breath and stubbornly dirty bathrooms for over two weeks. Last night I put another two plus hours into refitting and reorganizing the flotsam and jetsam so she wouldn’t be scared off.

“Hallo!” I said, opening my door with a smile. She looked nice enough, early forties, German, over dressed. Over dressed?

I ushered her inside and we began the tour of the house. When we had finally made our way back to the kitchen I handed her my list and pointed out the supplies neatly laid out on the table.

“Oh!” she said with a little start, “No no, I can’t clean today. My daughter has a meeting at school, she told me yesterday so I can’t stay. Sorry! Next week for sure,” she said.

I closed the door as she left with a little extra force and looked around my seriously dirty house. It hasn’t seen a real mop job in I don’t know how long, the toilets are unmentionable, and I kind of wanted to cry.

To make matters worse, that meant I’d have to return the cleaning budget cash to the bank account. I’ve totally overspent this pay period (it’s called magic diet juice and was a necessary investment) and hate to think of that much needed paper fuel going to waste.


What if I cleaned the house? I looked at my watch. Two hours before my husband’s arrival, could I really do a four hour job that fast? And what if he asked me about it? Then again, if he asked if the cleaning lady came, I could honestly smile and say, “Yep!”

And without another thought I was off. I plunged in and started at the top, squeegying my way down four floors of windows and dusting and bathrooms and mopping. I took extra care to make it look like someone far more talented than myself did the actual cleaning.

Just as I wiped down the last toilet seat Mr. Prompt walked in the front door next to the bathroom. I shut off the light, shoved my supplies into the corner and casually emerged.

“Hey baby,” he said, “Did the cleaning lady come today?”


“So how did she do?” he asked. How did she do? What kind of question was that? I hadn’t thought that far into my deceit. That was also the moment I remembered the countless hours my man has logged practicing and learning the fine art of human lie detection.

“Oh…you know.” I said, trying to avoid outright dishonesty and jail time.

“What do you mean? Did she do a good job or didn’t she?”

“Honey, you’ve got to give these people time. A person can’t really tell anything this early on…”

“What are you talking about?” he asked, “How much did you pay this woman?”

And that’s when I knew there was no way I could look my husband in the eye and tell such a big, fat, live-with-the-Devil lie. I sat down on the bench, put my head in my hands and spilled the whole sorrid tale.

The worst part? He thinks the house looks amazing and wants to know why I don’t just do this every week. I think my sister’s mantra is right: Lying makes it worse.




  1. I sooooo feel your pain. I too hired a cleaning lady. The first one was great… until she started calling in sick each week. I work full-time and have a blog design business I do on the side (ie when my 3 kids are sleeping at night), so trying to find time to do it and keep it to my OCD standards is always a challenge. I fired that one and hired another one… only to have her quit on me the very next week because she got a FT job…. the next one came for two weeks. Each week she broke something. And each time she hid the fact, so yea, I let her go to. I had another one all lined up, she seemed PERFECT, and then she didn’t show up. SO now I’m totally deflated and have decided to suck it up and do an overhaul of the house on Sundays… and the kids get to join the fun. I mean, a 2.5 year old can wipe down baseboards, right? I do daily spot cleans and spend Sunday morning scrubbing, wiping and vacuuming. Grrrrr….

  2. Oh, Annie, I’m sorry. But it IS funny.

  3. Oh no!!! After your negotiations for her finally came through, she ‘no-show’s’ you like that! That is downright rotten!

  4. I have two pieces of advice: One, fire her german arse. And two, hire someone else. Oh, and three (I know; I need to practice counting) never, ever lie to your husband about money. They’ll buy just about anything else you tell them (“Yes, of course I love your mother’s squash and leek casserole!” “No, not having any hair is NOT the same thing as being bald!”) but they have this money thing wired right into their y chromosome. Resistance, as they say, is futile.

  5. Not to condone your lie but some housekeepers do need time. I used to clean houses and would go in thinking I did what they wanted only to be told that I missed things (very picky or OCD). So if you should hire someone else keep in mind to be very very specific. The list is a great idea and be sure to check everything before they leave so that next time nothing is missed. I didn’t mind this at all. I was able to give them what they wanted and I had repeat buisness with referals. Good luck next time!

  6. Oh Annie, Annie…you sneaky little devil.
    what is this DIet Juice you speak of???

  7. This is why I don’t clean my house. Then my husband would expect it all the time.

  8. I have long told my kids Lying AND Whining both make things worse…

    I’ve never had one but I’ve heard a good cleaning person is hard to find. I’ve sure wanted one, though!

    How much would you pay yourself if you hired yourself?