Monday, July 18, 2011

Dubai Stereotypes: the Maid Slave

The Maid Slave (MS) is a woman on the verge of desperation. It's summertime so of course the kids are off school and going nuts from boredom and, if that wasn't bad enough, the prospect of going home for a full six weeks without her maid at her side makes her feel a little sick inside.

MS isn't sure how some of her friends manage without a live-in maid. A few of them even do their own housework! Her mind boggles when she thinks about how different her life would be without dear Rashida; no long lunches with the girls, no weekly mani-pedi, no spa days, no gym sessions... she shudders. It would be like Before, that awful time when she had to work and do her own laundry...

As it is, MS can barely make it through each Friday when she's forced to give Rashida the day off; MS would secretly like to insist that her maid works a full seven day week - after all, it's not like she does much on her day off bar a bit of church and hanging out at the park with the local maids - but MS fears the censure of the other ladies in her book club, some of whom are frankly quite militant about the whole maid issue.

Yes, Fridays are quite chaotic, she muses. It's truly a miracle if the beds gets made and the dishwasher turned on, what with Ralph insisting that they indulge in a long brunch with people from his office. MS knows that the weekly jaunt really is an investment in their joint future but sometimes she would dearly like to just go hang out at the beach instead. But it can't be helped... after all, a wife must support her husband, she's known that right from the start. Darling Ralph, he can be relied on to always have his eye on the prize, quite admirable really.

Thank goodness Rashida never complains on Saturday morning, just rolls up her sleeves and gets on with it. In her darker moments, it sometimes crosses MS's mind that, if it came down to it, she'd be more upset if Rashida decided to leave her than if Ralph did. But she supposes that's because she spends hours every day with Rashida, who really is an old sweetie, while Ralph often comes home late looking cross and demanding his dinner without even a mention that her hair looks nice or noticing that she's changed her shade of lipstick. MS shakes the pesky thought off as quickly as it occurs, making a mental note to work through that particular knot with her therapist at the next session.

In the meantime, MS simply must sit down with Rashida to go through the HUGE list of stuff she has to get done before she and the kids fly out of Dubai next week... she's really not sure how she's going to get it all done in time...

Most likely to say: "I love my maid, I really do. I mean, sometimes she can be a tiny bit slow for my liking and her dusting could be a bit more thorough, but after all, nobody's perfect. It could be a lot worse."

Least likely to say: "I love doing housework. I get a deep personal satisfaction from seeing my floors look sparkling clean, knowing that I personally effected the transformation. There's nothing like it!"


juicyfatkin said...

If MS was too be totally honest she would have a number of confession to make about what happens on Fridays when the maid is away for example:
- I don't make our beds on Friday, I wait until the maid comes back to work on Saturday
- I leave all the dirty dishes in the sink for the whole of Friday for the maid to do on Saturday
- I never have dinner parties on Thursday evening because I don't want to tidy up the following morning
- I always have take aways on Friday as the maid isn't there to cook
-I'm so glad that Brunches are on Friday so the maid has to come in to help

I could go on but I will let some others think of some more

julie said...

This MS syndrome applies in Hong Kong each summer too. If not every weekend. Here our helpers get Sunday off. Life is such a chore, pun intended.

Kate S. said...

Juicy - why should I bend over and pick my knickers up from the floor when there's somebody else paid to do it (and who won't dare complain)? Not me, I hasten to add, but I'm having to work hard to get my kids to NOT turn into MS... an uphill battle!

Julie - glad it's not just Dubai :-) Global stereotypes, indeed.

Anonymous said...

What a lazy bunch - and I don't mean the maids! What about the Sisterhood ladies? I give up!