The Cuban MOP


Is anyone outside of the island of Cuba and the city of Miami familiar with a device called the “Cuban Mop”? It’s a stick shaped like the letter “T”, from what I understand its sole purpose is to clean floors but I’ve learned that nothing “Cuban” has JUST ONE use!

It started almost a year ago, Michael and I closed on our first home and requested assistance from “Mafia” (my husband’s grandmother) to help tidy up the place. When “Mafia” left Cuba her family and herself went to Spain and met others who were seeking FREEDOM as well. They told her about a nice family here in Tampa that would need her assistance in cleaning a very big home they had and that was her first job here in America; she was sort of a maid, so I had no worries with her services. My husband and I needed the extra assistance because we were also working full time jobs and at the time did not have enough time accrued to enjoy the fruit of our labor. It was quite the opposite, the closing date kept having to be delayed so we had requested so many days off for closing that we had not one more day to spare!

The home had been vacant for months, you could tell because there were daddy long legs and ants in every crevice.  All she asked in return was that we pick her up and drop her off as well as some lunch. I said, sure! “Will Work For Food”? Close the money case Howie!!!!  DEAL! I gave her a brand new mop, some nice smelling detergents, gloves; bucket, what more could she need? Well, apparently she NEEDED the Cuban mop! As soon as Michael and I got home from work that’s all she talked about, she kept saying that the American mop is no good! It didn’t dry fast enough, it didn’t clean well enough, and she couldn’t rinse the water off enough. I laughed because I couldn’t figure out if it was a pride issue or a legit request.  I let her nag me to death that day and a few days later on, I just kept smiling and nodding at her because I have learned that you don’t argue with “Mafia”, no sir! You just let her do all the talking and nagging.

A few weeks after the home was ready and within living standards Michael and I decided to get married and live together! What a great joy this was! A new life and a new home to start brand new! We had to let her know specifically because she would be hurt if she thought she had missed the wedding! We went over to Mike’s grandparent’s home one afternoon and declared our joyous news! She was less than pleased; she was mostly confused and angry! She said, “Well, since you are married let me get you a gift!” I was expecting anything at this point, (every girl has become an expert at last minutes gifts) but what she handed me was less than desirable, she handed me a stick. She said that as a wife I would now need this, it was the “Cuban Mop”.



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