I had to admit to my wife this past Friday that she was right. This is something that I do like to do, but the fact was my asawa was absolutely, 100% correct, and there was nothing I could do to wiggle out of this situation. In just a little over 11 years of marriage (check out “How I Met The Sainted Patient Wife,” a love story for Valentine’s Day) my wife has only admitted to me ONCE that I was right. Despite my status as “King Kano” of “The Compound,” to acknowledge I had made an error in judgment was a bitter, bitter pill to swallow. Oh, how I hate that phrase that has haunted husbands throughout the centuries: “I told you so!”
It started a few weeks ago. I had good intentions. Wanting to relieve my wife of her weekly cleaning of our CR, Comfort Room (bathroom) I had spoken to our 13-year-old niece, Shaina, who lives at our home in Guimaras, that I wanted her to take over the CR duty in addition to her additional chores of washing dishes, sweeping the floors, and cooking rice in the morning.
I had suggested this to my wife many months ago, but she did not want our niece to do the cleaning since she felt Shaina could not do a good enough job and was not responsible. My asawa gets down on her hands and knees to scrub the bathroom floor, and she is extremely particular as to how it is cleaned. It takes her hours every Saturday to complete this task, as I quietly “work” on this website, not saying a word, since my sainted wife is understandably not in the best of moods when she is the only one doing actual manual labor in the vicinity.
So I bypassed my asawa on this matter entirely (a dangerous thing to do when married to a hot-tempered Filipina that carries a sharp bolo), but I felt it was time for Shaina to take on more duties. Since our niece’s mother, Marjorie, who was our maid for a short time, currently works in Kuwait, and our twin nieces, April and Michelle, had gone to Manila last year to be with their own mother and go to college, our resident child labor force has been severely depleted. I had even suggested hiring a maid after her sister Marjorie left.
The photo at the top is the type of maid I had in mind. The more elderly lady photo’s portrayed below is someone my wife would be prone to hire. I have no idea why. But my asawa said she could do the cleaning with the help of Shaina and her brother Sharwin who also lives at “The Compound,” so my dream of hiring a cute Filipina maid was shattered at this time.
So I decide to bribe ask, Shaina, to clean the CR and in return I would give her my old cell phone ( I had a new Samsung Champ from Smart Bro) which only showed a partial screen half the time and had a missing send button, but I told her I would throw in a P200 Smart Buddy load (4.58 US Dollars) every month. I advised her that I wouldn’t be able to get the load until a couple of weeks, and I would see how she would with the extra responsibility. My niece eagerly agreed to the deal, what 13-year-old anywhere in the world wouldn’t jump at the chance to have a cell phone (albeit a used one) plus a monthly load where she could text all of her fellow giggly girlfriends? I told my wife the deal I had arranged. She told be that Shaina is not responsible and that I shouldn’t give her my old cell phone. I said I believe she IS responsible, and let’s give her a chance.
My niece cleans our CR that week, and after a review from her tita (aunt) and some additional cleaning, the first week’s grim task is done. Next Saturday the second cleaning is pulled off but still not to my wife’s liking, but she knows I am firm on letting Shaina do this. The third week goes by, and it’s a big week as my niece will now get her promised P200 Smart Buddy load this Saturday when my wife and I make our monthly pilgrimage to Iloilo to do our grocery shopping.
I’m feeling pretty smug at this point. I think our niece is doing a great job. She still has my old cell phone and keeps it charged. Her friends text her daily, and I know she is anxious to text them back. There’s probably a lot happening in a 13-year-old teenage girl’s world, most of which I do want to know anything about. They probably just exchange text messages about Justin Bieber anyway.
Ahh, yes, my plan is working well despite my wife’s belief that our niece was not responsible enough. But how things can radically change and turn on a guy! Tomorrow the conclusion to this story, and why I had to grudgingly admit my wife was right!