Saturday, August 3, 2013


I don't believe in housekeepers.

Oh, they exist. They seriously exist. I just don't believe that people should hire people to clean their shit.

The basic problem with hiring people to clean your shit is that it's your shit and when someone else cleans it, you tend to start thinking that you're better than they are. After all, why else would you be good enough that you can leave your shit all over the place if you weren't seriously more important than the ones who clean up their own shit, not to mention the ones who clean up their own shit and your shit too. 

The problem I have is that all the people at the resort where we stayed were of separate classes. If they were young (and beautiful) and from the forty-eight states, i.e., Caucasian, they were making espressos or working at a cash register or behind a desk where they could sit there and smile at us. The management hired a few good looking Hawaiians, i.e., Caucasian-looking, to gather towels and greet people at the door. If they were a more traditional Hawaiian or, God forbid, Philippine, Mexican, or otherwise immigrant with an accent, they were supposed to be invisible and pick up palm leaves and plumeria petals from the grounds at 6:00 am or show up to clean your room after you've dirtied breakfast dishes and vacated to lie on chaise lounges by the pool. You've left socks on the floor, piles of sand where your kids took off their bathing suits yesterday, and bits of toothpaste gumming up the bathroom counter and sink. When you return, you notice that the beds have been made, but unless there's a grain of sand on the floor that irritates your foot, you pay no attention to the fact that the dishes are done, the garbage has been emptied, and your towels are fresh. Your shit has been cleaned and you weren't supposed to see that it was a person who cleaned it. 

So, what about dining out? What about vacations? What about when you're sick? Oh, it's not easy. It's nice having a break from cleaning up your own shit. It really is.

I guess my idea is that all of us deserve that kind of break, so if someone has a job of working in a restaurant and can still afford to take two weeks off each year to go somewhere beautiful and have other people clean up their shit for a while, then it doesn't sound so bad. But if some people get to have it all and the rest are stuck with the shit all day every day, then it's not a good plan.

The other thing was that I did see the housekeeping staff and I would have liked to see them of mixed races, not just Hawaiians and recent immigrants.

Oh, who am I kidding? I started reading 'Eddie Would Go' by Stuart Coleman. The beginning of the book tells about how the Hawaiians were persecuted, how their culture was forbidden, how they were made to clean up shit for the white folks. It talks about treatment of the recent immigrants too.

And there I was participating in all that by going to a resort for a week-long vacation. It's confusing, you know? I wanted a break from cleaning up everyone's shit. I was willing to pay for a break, but there I was, being served by the ones whose culture I came to experience. I didn't want slaves. I wanted to feel a part of a tribe, or at least to watch and admire it for a while. I didn't mind picking up my own socks.

Thank you for listening, jules

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