Is there headache money too?

    TSG Vice – When I lived in Latin America, we have a live-in maid. My ex-wife always dealt with the maid, there was a language barrier for me, and being Nicaraguan, she could communicate with her better.

    Maids are usually muchachas (girls) from poor families from villages. Their education was minimal, elementary school at most, employment options few and their salary usually was sent home to the family.

    At one point we were in the need of a new maid, the girl we had with us for some time had gone back to the village, illusion of marriage and starting a family.

    In our search we came across girl, recommended by the wife of a friend, of a friend.

    The interview went fine, she was older than our previous maids, but the important here was someone we could do the work, you would be surprised at how many maids have no idea what being a maid is and we could come to trust her.

    She was in our lives, in our house, every single day.

    While getting to know each other, assessing if she would be the right fit for us, Juana, asks my then-wife, “¿Hay dinero para el dolor de cabeza también?” (Is there headache money too?).

    Confused, something she had never heard before, let alone being asked by a potential employee, it was to be asked.

    The woman replied, “When the señor (mister) at my previous job wanted to have sex with his wife, sometimes she would tell him that she had a dolor de cabeza (headache) and send me to him.

    After the señora, sometimes the señor, would give me “headache money”.

    The places and names are made up, but the story is true. What would you have done?

    My ex hired the woman and made sure she got plenty of headache money.

    Unknown to me, Maria was a pleasant unexpected for my wife, for it was her way out of the marriage to me. The headache was then mine.

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