Loco Parentis: Sheets Happen

So do towels. And condoms. My daughter’s brief life as a maid

THERE’S BIG TROUBLE at the Best Western. The scary guy on the fourth floor finally got so aggressive that Ahmet called the cops. Marcy acted as their go-between with the housekeepers, who by then were terrified pretty much equally by Scary Guy and the police. “They all gave fake names,” Marcy reports, awed by their defiance of authority. The upshot: Scary Guy is gone for good.

“Creepy Guy is still there,” she offers.

“What does Creepy Guy do?”

“He’s on the third floor. He follows me around and tries to talk to me.”

“Are you afraid of him?” This job is even worse than I imagined.

“Nah. He’s in a wheelchair. I can outrun him, I think.”

For once, she’s home for dinner. All four of us gather at the kitchen table to eat burgers and corn on the cob. “I got in trouble today,” Marcy volunteers between mouthfuls.

“For what?”

“There was a used condom under the bed in a room I’d cleaned. What kind of person would put a used condom under the bed?” Her voice is brisk, matter-of-fact. “You wrap it in a tissue and put it in the trash. You don’t just throw it under the bed.”

Her father and her brother Jake and I sit, staring at the burgers in our hands.

“I guess we should be grateful they’re using protection,” Marcy says darkly.

Doug puts down his burger and asks, “Are you wearing those gloves?”




"IT’S SO NOT fair!” Marcy declares, storming in the front door after her shift.

“What isn’t?” I ask.