Sticky Notes

April 25, 2008
By Nathan Leach, Spokane, WA

Sticky Notes

I have a house. My house occasionally becomes dirty. My mother believes it is absolutely crucial that we hire a “cleaning lady” to come make our house sparkle once every two weeks. My father and I think it’s a complete waste of money, but little things like this are just bits of gossip that my mother can bring up in dinner conversation to make her seem to come across as sophisticated or perhaps even dignified.

She pays our cleaning lady, whose name is Yvonne, forty-five dollars each time she cleans our house, which probably only takes her a little over an hour. She cleans while we aren’t home, so who knows what kinds of shenanigans she’s getting herself into, for all we know, she could be running drug deals right off our very own porch.

It’s not that I don’t trust her; it’s just that my mother makes us clean up the house the night before she comes, so when she arrives the following morning, there just can’t be much to do. She doesn’t complain, for our house must be the favorite on her route, she walks in, sees there there’s about as much of a job to do as there is to file her fingernails or call one of her girlfriends, picks up her check and leaves.

The only form of correspondence between my mother and Yvonne is a little sticky note that they leave upon the counter before and after each visit. My mother usually just writes “Hi Yvonne! Thanks again!” with a smiley face or some other happy remark. She could write more, but that would take thought and effort, besides, the only reason she writes them is because she wrote one the very first day, and then Yvonne responded to it, now they just both feel like they have to respond to each other so they don’t come across as rude. It’s an unbreakable chain of compulsion. In the beginning, my mother just wrote them to inform our cleaner on what areas of the (already clean) house that she should focus on.

Yvonne writes back, usually saying as little as “No, thank YOU! See you in two weeks!” This doesn’t make much sense because they literally haven’t seen each other face to face for over a year. But hey, at least our house gets cleaned whether we need a specialized cleaning lady named Yvonne or not.

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