“I didn’t wash your underpants because you’ll just skid mark them again.”

We have a home that we AirBnB in North Carolina. We’ve gone through three cleaning services.

The last one, we needed to fire last week. We had them come clean, while we were here in town, because we’ve issued complaints in the past and we were hoping that we could finally see how much they want to work with us.

It was kind of a test.

The list of constructive notes we gave the service was quite long. One time a guest reached out and privately told us in a note that there was a yellow pee stain that she had to clean off a toilet.

When we asked the service about it, they said, “Oh, that’s not a big deal. We use yellow Fabuloso. It might have been not completely wiped.”

Well, maybe you shouldn’t use YELLOW fabuloso on a toilet? Do they use Brown Fabuloso in the bowl?

Other issues were lots of cobwebs left in our sun porch. There were lots of other missed marks with cleaning levels. And we patiently tried to work with them. One problem was our requests for improvements were always met with excuses rather than, “Yes, ma’am, we’ll keep an eye on that. Thank you.”

It’s like these people were better scapegoat farmers than home cleaners. There are no mirrors on a scapegoat farm, and there are only perfect scapegoats, their goat coats completely impervious from mud, despite them being covered in it. You know this personality. The kind that deflects all criticism and sends off another scapegoat with, say, “Don’t toilets with Yellow Fabuloso” written on it as it Bahhhhhhhhs into the sunset.

Usually, we have the crew turnover the house after guests check out. That requires them to wash linens and remake the beds, put away dishes from the dishwasher, fluff pillows and make the house look ready for the guests. But this time, all they had to do was clean. So they had at least an hour or two extra time to concentrate on just cleaning.

Not to mention, we’re the kind of people who clean before the cleaning. We aren’t the only ones. Tina makes all the beds and cleans her bathroom. I windex’d my bathroom mirror and cleaned my toilet. I wiped down a few windows and the TV, because last time they cleaned, they didn’t get all the children’s fingerprints off the TV and glass doors.

We simply wanted to see how good of a job they would do just cleaning the house.

When they arrived, we left with our dog Josie so they wouldn’t have to deal with her or us.

They cleaned and wrapped up around an hour and fifteen minutes later.

We came home, and immediately noticed all the things that they have been doing in the past. They don’t do a great job with the cobwebs in our sun porch. We had fluffed the pillows in there, but they didn’t move them to vacuum the sofa. My bathroom tub has a glass partition that they left streaked and incomplete.

But the big miss was the kitchen. They didn’t mop under a rug and they missed several spots on the floor. They didn’t wipe down the kitchen counters and there were coffee grounds on a shelf.

Tina got a text from the owner of the service soon after the cleaning that read, “How was everything?”

Tina responded that she wasn’t happy with a few things, namely how dirty the kitchen was.

“We thought that since you love to cook so much, we didn’t spend as much time in the kitchen.”

Wait, what?

“I gave you the same knife I chopped the raw chicken because, I didn’t feel like washing it.

“I didn’t wash your underpants because I know you’ll end up adding more skid marks?”

Scapegoat farmers.

In what world do you live that you don’t do your job because the result might mean the job would be undone?

The problem, too, was that the owner always made excuse after excuse as to why something wasn’t right. She never took responsibility. Requests for improvements were always passed off as not her fault. It was always the fault of something or someone else.

For Tina, this was the last straw.

The last straw. The last straw means you need to say goodbye. The last straw means every effort was made to continue, but both parties weren’t agreeing despite every effort to make amends.

The idiom is “the straw that broke/ breaks the camel’s back.”

Over the weekend, I was T-boned by an old friend with a big beef. They named me the straw that broke the back of a family I considered a surrogate of my own in a dramatic scene of angry spittle flinging. The egregious wrong was this post from 2020, which I had forgotten about. I told the person that I never wrote it, but I was proved wrong.

Wrong and red handed. Three years is a lot of sleeps. And I ain’t getting any younger.

It sucked the way it played out. First the person said it was on Twitter. But then I said it would only be on my blog so I linked the person to the blog and said, “Go nuts.” The person said it wasn’t on the blog. That they wanted nothing to do with that piece of shit. But there were receipts on Twitter, and they would find them.


An hour later, the person forwarded me screen caps from another person’s phone [from this blog, not twitter]. And I know whose phone the screen caps originated from.

Digital footprints, homies. They’re real. 🙄

It wasn’t the whole post, just select parts that the screen capper thought damning enough to paint me ugly.

Anyway, this person expressed anger toward what I wrote, but not a denial of the events. They scolded me for familial betrayal. That they once looked up to me, and can no longer do that (ouch). That they thought I was more mature than that (ooooffff). That I was too old to be so immature (yikes). How dare I betray them and their trust (touché). All they did was love me (ditto). And look what I went and did (wrote an honest response to getting shit on, okay.). I was told I’m also too old to soil my pants. I got fed up and attempted to call the person. But the person did not answer despite the damn phone being in the person’s hands. “Maybe we can talk about it in person someday.” They typed out.

Telephony is a pretty solid choice over text and definitely as good as face to face, but what do I know?

I’m not sure I’m missing anything. But if I am, leave it in the comments.

Within minutes after trying to make a case, I was abruptly blocked on all social media and the person’s phone. What I assume happened was that I was getting close to getting into the weeds about the target of the 2020 post and what happened in a subsequent KO of verbal abuse that broke my back and caused me to walk away from their family completely.

But, message heard. Loud and clear. Love lost. Toilet flushed. Toothpaste on counter.

I wrote what I wrote. I didn’t hide it. No way to deny it. I made my bed. I’m sleeping in it.

If the result of the OP was a manifestation of anger and insult, I can’t change the way anyone else feels no more than anyone else can manipulate the way I feel or felt. Anyone who tries to convince you that your feelings aren’t founded, aren’t valid, or not real are manipulative narcissists with a penchant for serially ruining relationships.

The feelings these people feel, felt and will feel are true. And I applaud them for reaching out and telling me the best way they could. Over text. They were the honest emissions of the human experience and the brain’s response(s) to emotion, to betrayal, to family, feelings, wrongs, etc etc. Good on them for airing their grievances. Right? Kudos. Ignore these things and your insides will eat ya. Expressions of truths hurt. And when avoiding all expression while living in an echo chamber where no expression of dissent is allowed, it’s unsustainable. At least for me.

Scapegoat farmers gonna farm scapegoats.

I could go into way more detail. It would be contributing to this Sarah Bernhardt melodrama. I never wrote about the subsequent complete falling out that completely broke my back. I don’t think so anyway. I’ve been wrong before. I’m not the sharpest tool in the shed. But the relationship-ending story was a doozy. I gave up. Quietly. It kinda sucks that the wound had to be reopened, because now I’ve been reviewing my journals from that time, and the stories are riveting.

But … the past is the past. The now is the now and the future will be the future. Time to move on, kids. I’m not in the business of kowtowing to abusive insults. It’s been years. I’m hurt. They’re hurt. Shit, man. Hurt people hurt people. I wrote the post. I made the bed. I sleep in it. I own destroying the relationship, because I didn’t want it in my life. Too much verbal abuse, hurt and pain. Now justification can be theirs to moan about me because that 2020 blog post was so egregiously evil. And this post can be the death nell.

Or not. Retaliation, thy name is Blindness.

Que sera, sera.

Now somebody come here and change my skid-marked drawers!!!


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