I grew up in a household that always had a maid. I know it is not politically correct to call them that now, but I don’t know what you are supposed to say. (so for this post, I shall use the ‘M’ word).

If you read the book ‘Help’, then you know that is what maids were called in the South in the 60’s.

The first time I was aware that I didn’t have a maid is when I was first married. I was 19 and my husband was 21. We were in college and lived in a studio apartment. When it came time to move, we really wanted our $25 cleaning deposit back.

We  tried to do our best, but when the landlady came to inspect the apartment, she said the back of the oven wasn’t cleaned. I said I couldn’t reach it, as the racks were in the way.

She pointed out that the racks came out. ‘They do?’ was my reply.

On a similar note, I had no idea that the toilet seat went up, as I grew up in a family that never once lifted it. This I did find out, the very first night I got up and nearly fell into the toilet.

On the subject of what you call the maid. It is OK to say Merry Maids. These are groups of men and women who come to clean your house. They are professional cleaners and do a thorough job right down to the light bulbs.

That is not the kind of a maid we have. No, we have a woman and her teenage son who come once a week and do some laundry, ‘clean’ the kitchen and bathrooms and vacuum.

I should be thankful that I am lucky enough to have someone do these things for me. For most of my life, I have been The Maid.

The Maid and her son have one really great quality. They are supremely honest. This is most important to me, as I am very lax about jewelry laying around.

The other day the son found a $5 bill on the floor in my bedroom and promptly gave it to me.

I was so floored, as he could have easily pocketed it, that I gave it to him and said, “Thank you”. (I figured that would show him that honesty pays).

I was reminded of a time about forty years ago, when my daughter found a $5 bill on the campus of her school.

She took it to the office and when she came home, told me what she had done. We were very proud of her honesty and rewarded her with a trip to her favorite bathing suit store.

Then since no one claimed the money, the principal called her a week later and when she went to his office, he presented her with the $5.

Forty years ago $5 was a big deal. That would be like finding a $20 today. Or maybe more.

You could go to five movies or out to lunch three times. Jody is now 52 and I’m sure she never forgot the incident. I know I never did.

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