Girls Without Shoes

March 30, 2009

Confessions of a Motel Maid

This is not what you think, not that kind of confession. Definitely not an X rated confession, don’t even get that idea goin’ round in your head, I’m not that kinda girl. I had a job for a few summers at the local R.V. park/Motel Cabin place in our little town. It was called Shady Acres and had quite a few R.V.’rs and year long fifth wheels there . They also had 12 little cabin type motel rooms. Very clean, very cute in a 1940’s kinda way.

Since we were a river town, lots of tourists came through, and other than the K.O.A. , there was Shady Acres. It was their busy time of year and the owners needed part time help cleaning the rooms. That’s where I come in.

My husband John-Wayne (yes John-Wayne) had been out of work for a little while. After we moved down to the town from his folks’ mountain home, he had to look for an everyday job, rather than doing the stuff mountain families do for a living. He was in between jobs and we had run out of money, so our water bill did not get paid. The water of course got shut off.

For a while John-Wayne hauled water in a big old tank he had on top of his Chevy truck. I would fill the bathtub with some, to use for flushing the toilet, and store the rest for other uses. It worked, but I hated it. Mountain girl I was and could do laundry by hand in my tub if I had to, but dang this was not the dark ages. Action was needed here.

I walked down to Shady Acres and talked myself right into a job. I got the water turned on after a few days work as the owner paid me cash each day. Cool, I was a career woman. My next door neighbor Mimmi, babysat my baby girl Sally-O each morning for 3 or 4 hours while I cleaned motel rooms.

Each morning after dropping my baby girl off at Mimm’s house, I rode my bicycle down the couple of miles to Shady Acres to do the rooms with the owner’s wife Margie.

Margie showed me how to make the beds, tucking in the sheets and folding them down over the blankets so they looked nice. We did not always have to change the bedspread unless it was dirty, but sheets always. Nice to know that in case you ever stayed there, huh?

There was a certain way Margie cleaned the rooms, quickly and efficiently. She showed me her tricks, down to folding the end of the toilet paper in a little triangle. It made me feel that I was doing a little something extra and luxurious for people, kind of like putting the little mints on pillows. I should have made way more in tips than I did, as I put my heart into the job wanting everything to look perfect. Maybe the tourists thought that Shady Acres was not a tippin’ kind of motel. I mean there were no bell hops or room service, though we brought clean towels daily, made beds, and carried the trash out.

Margie and I would stop once in a while for a smoke outside of the laundry house. As we got to know each other, I liked Margie more and more. She was in charge of the motel rooms. Her husband Freddy was in charge of the R.V. Park. Every couple of months Margie would re-do one of the rooms. She would paint and change the curtains etc.. She always managed to keep the rooms fresh and cute with each one having a different color and sort of theme. I think No. 9 was my favorite, as it overlooked the river. I really liked the painting in that room also. It was of a huge pink flower. Later on I took No. 9’s painting home in my bounty of furnishings from their yard sale. I bartered by working for the furniture that I got from their sale. Me and John-Wayne slept on that old motel bed for about 10 years without a frame, right down on the ground. When we finally upgraded to a pillow-top mattress and frame we felt like we were sleeping up so high that we giggled about it. We had a lot of class John-Wayne and I.

Once when Margie and I grew tired of waiting for people to leave No. 8 cabin, she finally knocked really loudly on the door. The woman did not want to be disturbed. Margie finally knocked and used her key and later told me “that was really weird, she is so strange, I went in there and she was hanging upside down just like a bat”. I asked how in the heck she did that and Margie said she had a special kind of boots that made her do that for her health. I was just glad she wasn’t a vampire. The woman left behind a jug of Aloe Vera Juice and I took it to John-Wayne’s Uncle thinking maybe if he drank it his shingles would go away. All that happened was a bad case of diarrhea.

Still, there were some interesting things left from time to time in the rooms. Usually I was afraid I would find something gross or nasty like a condom. Thank God, not on my watch. One day someone checked out and left a brand new bottle of Mescal Tequila straight from Mexico. You know the kind with the worm in the bottle. Gross. I threw it in the dumpster, even though it had not been opened. John-Wayne and his brother Jiggs made me go back and fish it out. We all got drunker than a bunch of monkeys on that stuff. I can’t remember who ate the worm, I know it was not me though. Man those Mexicans made some dangerous booze. John-Wayne said it was ‘cuz they peed in it. I did not believe him.

Freddy and Margie had a little golf cart that I drove around from room to room with my cleaning supplies and linens and such. I loved driving that stupid thing as I did not have a driver’s license. I had driving phobia. Scared to death to drive a car. The one time I did drive, I got in an accident and got a suspended license. I did not drive for 13 years after that. I did like that little golf cart though. I would zoom around from room to room, cleaning, making beds, then hauling the dirty laundry up the hill in the cart.

One day when doing my rounds with the golf cart, the throttle got stuck. I don’t know why, it just stuck. I was zipping along one minute and then found I could not stop the darned thing. I went flying by the office yelling for Fred . “Help the brakes went out!” Luckily I pried the throttle up by leaning down with my hand and yanking it. I was very careful after that to not go so fast just in case.

Once in a while Margie would have a special job for me. Good chance to make extra cash. There was this long, older silver trailer. It needed cleaning badly. I got my friend to help me and we split the money. Margie forgot to mention that this trailer was from hell. The man that had lived there had chain smoked inside for 20 years and never once cleaned his oven. It took us days to finish. What a nightmare. Kenja and I could never look at one of those silver trailers again in the same way.

When we were done for the day, Margie would bring out a popsicle. She said it would cool us down. We’d talk a little more, have a smoke and I would head for home and my little girl. I’d pick up Sally-o at Mimmy’s house, pay her a couple of bucks and go fix Sally-O and myself some lunch. Then it was naptime. I always lay down with my baby girl. I would sing her songs and we’d both nod off. Ahhhhh, being a career woman could sure wear a person out.

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4 Comments »

  1. Your last name isn’t Gacy, is it?

    Comment by Davis — March 30, 2009 @ 3:36 pm

  2. Nice. Don’t make me go John-Wayne on ya.

    Comment by girlswithoutshoes — March 30, 2009 @ 8:06 pm

  3. Sweet story… I love getting your daily popsicle…. too funny!

    Comment by goldenamber — April 13, 2009 @ 5:10 am

  4. I’ve never trusted bedspreads in motels. Some dirt you can’t see but it’s there. I was a chambermaid in my youth, for three days. I was told to use the towels from the departing guest to clean the place. The tooth mug in the bathroom was also cleaned with this ‘second-hand’ towel. And of course, everyone knows never to leave their toothbrush unattended in a motel/hotel room, especially if they’ve pissed off the staff!!! We know stuff that others don’t know but should.

    Comment by indignant2 — July 12, 2009 @ 8:22 pm


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