This week is progressing better. I have committed to writing a 50,000 word ‘draft’ of a novel a’la my own personal NaNoWriMo and Dax is getting more sleep (he’s been plagued by nightmares since we decided to consciously let go of our ‘past’ wounds). He’s also cooking like a dream (chicken noodle soup with matzoh balls on Monday and Black Marlin steaks last night). The only proverbial fly in the ointment, however (besides the auditors and other deadline ridden rodents) is the domestic.
When we decided to leave Jozi and move to the quiet sanctuary of Hout Bay, we left two homes: my chic little pad in Sandton and his hippy hangout in Melville. I was blessed, after a good few months of revolving hell with bad help, with a true domestic executive in the form of Sibyl who revolutionized my life and made me a shinier, happier Scarlet. Dax had a quirky (predictably!) crone who been with him since he was 3. I was heartbroken to leave Sibyl and equally horrified when Dax mentioned The Hag was moving with us! One of the biggest benefits of moving cities is you get to ditch excess baggage: fair-weather friends; conniving colleagues; suffocating family; ex lovers and other bad domestic decisions. Although I felt tricked by this wicked twist of fate, I made a concerted effort to be ‘nice’.
Not to much avail, mind you. Dax is supremely generous and gave most of the ‘things’ he was not allowed to bring into our new home (for instance, a well worn bed with what I could only describe as a whole lot of ‘bad chi’) to Haggy. Since we moved however, TH has battled to relinquish her dominium over Dax – and the household. A subtle gauging of the terrain and enemy camp took place last month but yesterday, full blown war was declared. While valiantly trying to blog and start with my 1,667 daily word count, TH who is unable to communicate clearly in any of the 12 official languages (sign included) and exhibits a plethora of OCD tendencies, indicated she wanted guidance as to which washing powder to use – hand vs automatic – in the machine. On clearing up the confusion by pointing to relevant pictures, I looked into said machine to find our whites tumbling merrily with shocking pinks and a couple of devastatingly dark blues. Nearly hysterical, I took 10 deep breaths (a crisis coping technique Dax teaches to his yoga classes) and gently requested that she only wash white with white in future. TH then defiantly informed me in her own kombuis ‘taal’ that she had tested the colours by hand, and they were fine. Which is wildly ironic since she f**ked up one of Dax’s favourite white t-shirts last week. Surprisingly, formerly white, it is now a weird shade of tie-dyed baby blue. I responded that although this may have been adequate in the past, it would not ‘wash’ now. White with White, Darks with Darks and heap all the Coloureds together (which sounds ominously like a laundry areas act) was the way we washed in The Bay.
Totally nonplussed at being told how to do her job (which she has NOT even vaguely adequately been doing – the floors downstairs have not seen anything resembling broom, hoover or mop) TH started muttering evil invocations in a stage whisper behind my back. Starting to feel more than mildly unwelcome in my home, I opted to find a more companionable coffee shop to write in and picked up the phone to moan to Dax.
Bottom line is this: female accompaniments (be they co-workers, sisters, ex-girlfriends, mothers or maids) to bachelors generally exhibit highly antagonistic behaviour toward new females entering their ‘territory‘. While whole studies at Harvard could be dedicated to this phenomenon, the end result would pretty much always be the same (and thereby conclusive): the female who reigns in bed, rules the kingdom. TH would do well to realize this. In a turf war between maid and missus, whoever is f**king the boss is bound to win. I’d suggest TH pack her bags, hike up her skirts and hitch back to Gauteng in search of some other man to laud over.