It’s her blue Hoover vacuums that hold up the framework of my life.
Someday, I hope my diploma can hold up the framework of hers.
Economic recessions came and went, but my mother returned every Monday, Friday and occasional Sunday.
She spends her days in teal latex gloves, guiding a blue Hoover vacuum over what seems like miles of carpet.
Small-business scammers came for a stop at the inn several times.
Guests stained sheets, clogged toilets, locked themselves out of their rooms, and then demanded a discount.I grew up in a bed and breakfast, in the sticky thickness of the hospitality industry. I was late to my own fifth birthday party in the park because a guest arrived five hours late without apology.Following a weeklong stay in which someone specially requested her room be cleaned twice a day, not once did she leave a tip for housekeeping.The fifth essay in our package appeared on The New York Times’s new Snapchat Discover, and you can view it at this link by pressing the arrow/play button.At age 6, I remember the light filled openness of the house, how the whir of my mother’s vacuum floated from room to room.She put an ad in the paper advertising house cleaning, and a couple, both professors, answered.They became her first client, and their house became the bedrock of our sustenance.When it comes to service workers, as a society we completely disregard the manners instilled in us as toddlers.For seventeen years, I have awoken to those workers, to clinking silverware rolled in cloth and porcelain plates removed from the oven in preparation for breakfast service.At 14, I remember vacuuming each foot of carpet in the massive house and folding pastel shirts fresh out of the dryer. I loved the way the windows soaked the house with light, a sort of bleach against any gloom. My mother and father had come as refugees almost twenty years ago from the country of Moldova.I loved how I could always find a book or magazine on any flat surface. My mother worked numerous odd jobs, but once I was born she decided she needed to do something different.