I don’t have maid service, but I have friends who do, and they always clean their house before the maid gets there. Does this make sense?
How about going to the dentist? Do you brush your teeth extra well just before the appointment? And floss. Thoroughly floss between those teeth until you taste that faint metallic flavor that let’s you know you should not have waited until the day of your appointment, in spite of the fact that you hate flossing so much you’d rather pull your own teeth one by one than floss them? Like the dentist isn’t going to look in there and guess that your teeth spaces haven’t seen a strand of floss since the morning of your last appointment.
My friend got a gift certificate for a pedicure for her birthday. She can’t use it, though, because she’s embarrassed that her heels are all dry and cracked, and she doesn’t have time to rasp all that tough, dead skin away. Of course she knows that it’s part of the pedicure to get that poor, abused foot to look good as new, but she wouldn’t think of taking those feet in there and having someone see them up close. And the longer she waits, the worse the heels get so it’s a viscous cycle.
I never go to the hairdresser without washing my hair first. I know she’s going to stand behind me and fluff my hair up while she’s asking me what I want to do this time, and I don’t want to be looking at myself in that gigantic mirror with bed-head hair pressed in weird patterns or sticking out like fake fur. So I shower, wash my hair, condition it, blow it dry, style it and spray it, then go to my stylist so she can wash it two more times, condition it, blow it dry and style it, then put on tons of hair spray. After saying my thank you’s and I love it’s, I dash home and jump in the shower to shampoo out all that hairspray (all hairdressers are heavy handed with hairspray), condition it, blow it dry, style It, and spray it lightly the way I like it.
When I go to the doctor, I take an extra careful shower, then take a washcloth and scrub really well behind my ears. This is carry-over from childhood. I remember my dad doing random ear testing. Just out of the blue you’d be walking from the living room to the dining room and he’d spring out of nowhere and grab you by the ear and flip it forward to expose that white, protected skin that somehow always managed to attract dirt like dust to a TV. No matter what, the outcome of these sneak inspections was me marching to the bathroom for a good scrubbing, followed by another inspection. Just like my dad, doctors seem to always want to poke around your ears even if you came to them because your big toe is throbbing. I’m not ever going to fail another ear inspection, especially one I know about in advance.
I can understand on a purely intellectual level why we shower before getting into a hot tub or swimming pool. The public health might be compromised by the gazillions of bacteria and microscopic vermin that infest each and every one of us. But wouldn’t a hot tub kill them all? It about kills me after ten minutes. I’m boiled clean. That’s not the same as a pool, I suppose, but still, what’s the point of taking a shower when I slather on half a bottle of the greasiest sunscreen I can find just before I jump in the water? The oil slick around me reflects the sun and nearly blinds everyone. The floating bumblebees that are always in pools don’t fare too well if they drift into my wake. Surely bacteria can’t live through that.
Another thing people do is comb their dog out before taking him to the groomers. They’ll take the brush and tug away at those mats to try and make it look like they actually have been brushing the dog daily. As all those clumps of hair form a ring on the floor, the poor beast yelps like a coyote that didn’t crouch low enough when he went under an electric fence. I guess these people think they can convince the groomer into thinking that they actually followed through on the promise they made at the last grooming.
Are we just fooling ourselves? You bet we are. And thank goodness the pedicurist doesn’t comment on the fresh layer of raw, pink skin where the calluses used to be. But does the maid keep quiet about our efforts to hide our messy habits? It probably depends on the tip, and the dirt we didn’t have time to get to because we were too busy scrubbing behind our ears and flossing.