The Wisdom of the Cleaning Lady

A pic of me, using the Echoism app, which takes each side of your face and flips it to create two perfectly symmetrical wholes. This is just one of the two. Bizarre, I know.

One morning, after my boyfriend left for work, his cleaning lady arrived as I was putting on my makeup.  "Just a second, please!" I hollered, giving my cheeks one last swirl of blush. She stepped inside as I was gathering my things to head to Soho House. We started chatting.

"Have you met him yet?" I asked, rolling up the cord of my laptop charger.

"No," she replied as she slipped on a pair of yellow rubber gloves and prepared to wash the dishes, "But I can tell what his personality is like just from being in his apartment."

My interest was piqued. "Really?" I asked, amused, "How would you describe it?"

She soaped up a sponge and said, "Mmm... Well, you can tell that he's happy-go-lucky—but disciplined."

I couldn't believe it. She pretty much hit the nail on the head. "Happy-go-lucky" and "disciplined." Two words. Not only was it precise, it was also concise. Usually, it took most people three words to capture a personality, but she got it in two. I told him this story later that day and he was impressed with her perceptiveness.

I mean, how can anyone tell if someone is happy-go-lucky just by cleaning their apartment? I didn't see any sign of that in his place. It's warm and inviting, but very straightforward. And very... Brown. There's lots of brown and wood going on. 

A few weeks later, when we were riding on the subway together, I brought up that story again.

"Remember how your cleaning lady described you in two words?"

He nodded.

"Well... How would you describe me in two words—and only two!"

He thought for a moment and said, "Mmm... Let me think. What did my mom say about you? She said you were sweet and adorable."

"But that's not specific enough! That could be anybody!"

We both paused.

"Oh, I know," I said, feeling rather impish, "How about... Flawed yet endearing?"

For a split second, he pursed his lips in agreement before blurting out, "You're not flawed!"

"Too late! I saw it! I saw the look in your eyes!"

I squeezed his arm really hard and we started cracking up. 

"You're ridiculous," he said, shaking his head.

Pretty much.