I could see my phone. I could see the baseball bat. Do I sprint? Do I keep tip-toeing?
I decided quiet and slow was the best approach. At this point I didn’t want to draw attention to my unarmed naked and wet body should someone still be out there. I made my way toward the bed, glanced over at my open bedroom door as soon as it came into view, and I think I immediately farted out my heart. Terror instantly engulfed me.
There, with his back to me, in my living room, was a man hunched over my sofa. He appeared to be digging in the cushions, completely oblivious to my being there. What? Was this intruder deaf or something? How had he not heard me? I leapt across the room and grabbed hold of my baseball bat and swung back around as I screamed (and sorry for the expletive), “why the fuck are you in my house?!” My towel began to loosen, but thankfully did not come undone.
The man stood up and turned around, startled.
Oh my… what?!
It was Miguel. My housekeeper’s husband who comes to help her sometimes.
Side note: no matter how dirt-broke or well-doing I am, I always have had housekeepers come a couple times each month to help me with all the deep cleaning that this single dad never seems to find time or energy to get to. It’s how I keep my sanity. The few times I’ve tried to do it on my own, I find myself so stressed trying to squeeze in an occasional deep cleaning that other areas of my life start slipping. If you’re a single parent (or any overly stressed adult), I highly recommend it.
Anyway. Back to Miguel.
My towel loosened a little more as I stood ready to beat the crud out of the intruder in my house. Once my mind registered who it was, I quickly tossed the baseball bat onto the bed and grabbed my towel before it came completely undone, leaving much more of me exposed than I would ever want this man to see.
I jumped behind the door and poked my head around again. “Hijole! Pensaba que no iban a venir hasta proxima semana!” I shouted with that voice someone only uses when they just had the living bejeezus scared out of ‘em. That translates to “Holy schmuckballs! I thought you weren’t going to come until next week!”
Suddenly Ruth, his wife, came into view. Still sopping wet (since this all happened much faster than you can read it and I can write it), I said the same thing to her as I retreated even further behind the door.
They both looked very confused. And then another woman’s face came into view… one of their employees. There I was, stuck behind my bedroom door, looking out and shouting what was probably a terrible mix of English and Spanish at a man and two women as my heart attempted to find a survivable rhythm once more.
I had texted Ruth the previous week and told her that she could take the week off since it was Christmas and all.
She had texted back and said she would still come, but take the next week off.
Except… I had sped-read her text and missed one very important word. The word “no.” You see, in Spanish, to say: “vamos a ir el Miercoles 30” means “we’ll come Wednesday the 30th.” To say “no vamos a ir el Miercoles 30” means we won’t come Wednesday the 30th. I didn’t see the word no, somehow. She had misread my text. I had misread her text. And there I found myself, standing naked behind my door, thankful I wasn’t currently having my throat slit.
Instead of making everything better right then, I told them to wait a moment and I simply shut the door.
Don’t worry. We worked it all out. We had a good laugh (jaja), and we exchanged a couple Christmas gifts before I sheepishly ducked out of the house while pretending I had some shopping to do while my hair dried and my nerves finally calmed.
Dan Pearce, The Single Dad Laughing Blog