bom dia, voce fala o portugues?

Our housekeeper came yesterday, which means I left for work and the house was dirty, and by the time I came home, it was clean. I have to say, it is an awesome feeling to come home to a clean house and to know that there is nothing you have to do to tidy it up. It feels totally self-indulgent and wonderful – like a long bubble bath on a Sunday afternoon. (Which is something that I haven’t done for quite some time, and I really should.) One thing that hadn’t occurred to me, however, is the immigration status of our housekeeper. The first two times she came to the house, I paid her with a check, and she didn’t say anything. Yesterday, she called to let me know she was going to come at noon instead of at 9 a.m. (not a big deal, she has a key), and she asked if from now on, I could pay her in cash. Somehow I just never stopped to think that maybe she’s not here legally, which means she wouldn’t have I.D., which would make having a bank account, or even just cashing a check, difficult for her. I suppose it’s also possible that this is just a side business and she doesn’t want to declare the income on her taxes. The conversation left me feeling rather guilty that I hadn’t thought about her situation earlier, like I should have been more considerate and asked her up front how she wanted to be paid. Oddly, though, it didn’t occur to me to feel guilty about the thought of assisting a possibly illegal alien or the fact that I may be helping someone to avoid paying taxes until much later. I guess I have a skewed sense of ethics – my loyalty tends to be more toward individuals rather than government institutions. If that makes me a bad person, so be it.

Anyway, since I have a clean house (woo!), we’re having some friends over for dinner tonight. It’s one of Dave’s co-workers and his wife – I’ve met them a few times now, they were at our wedding, and I like them a lot. I hope the wife and I get to bond some more, because lord knows I need some girlfriends around here. Ever since I cut off Psycho Krissy earlier this year (btw, did I ever tell that story? I’m not sure that I did, and she doesn’t read this blog, so if you want to know, I’ll tell you), my total number of girlfriends in the state of Washington has been a big fat zero. Poor me. All of my girlfriends seem to be either in the south or on the east coast, no one in my time zone. Well, that’s not entirely true – my friend Leslie moved to Sacramento recently, but that’s still a few hundred miles away so it’s not like I can go shopping with her on the weekends or anything. And Dave is ok for shopping, but he gets bored quickly, and (as I tell him every time he turns his nose up at something that I love) he just Doesn’t Understand Fashion. So here’s hoping that I make some new girlfriends soon.

P.S. The subject line loosely translates to, “Good day, do you speak Portuguese?” Since our housekeeper is Brazilian, it seemed appropriate.