We must face our fears head-on. A life lived in fear is a life only half-lived. We must confront that which threatens us, we must be brave in the face of fate.
So I decided to just talk to the woman about the underwear. To gird my loins like a man, as the Bible tells us. The Bible also supplies puns. It truly does have all the answers.
Now, there one thing you should know about my maid Felista. You know how they say the eyes are the windows of the soul? Her eyes are like LCD plasma screens. She has the most vividly expressive face Ugandan genetics ever conceived. The way her brow and cheekbones and laughterlines and lips and nostrils move it is constantly obvious what she is thinking.
So I walked into room she was mopping and announced the need to “talk about something”.
She straigtened up from her labour and there was The Face. Lit bright and glowing with expectation.
“Oh, no,” I said to myself. “She thinks I am going to give her a raise.”
This was good practice for the task of addressing uncomfortable conversations by tackling them head-on. I could just tell her, point blank, that I was not going to give her a raise.
After successfully doing this, I noticed The Face changing. It darkened with suspicion and some shades of contempt.
“Oh, no,” I said to myself. “She thinks I am going to proposition her sexually.”
This one I was not able to tackle head-on. You do not just announce to your maid you do not want to bone her through head-on tackling, you do it by just not boning her. I decided to just tell her what was on the agenda.
“I would like to ask you to not wash my underwear,” I said, blunt as a bald head.
“Why?” she asked.
“Because, Felista, I am not a four-year-old. I can wash my own underwear and I don’t feel comfortable having someone else involved in my personal garments.”
“Okay,” she said. Before she turned back to work I could see The Face.
The Face was shining with a different light now. It was almost celestial, the light of a saint bathed in gratitude to the Divine, who had brought timely deliverance from a dreaded bane.
In short, she was thinking, “Thank God.”