|Mother-in-Law Lounge, Claiborne Ave., New Orleans, LA|
Rather than reinvent the wheel to set the scene, I'm going to start with a quote from Wikipedia: "Woman's World is an American supermarket weekly magazine with a circulation of 1.6 million readers. Generally marketed with other tabloid papers, it concentrates on short stories about popular woman-focused subjects." And so, with that tidbit of information put into place, fasten your seatbelts, folks, it's gonna be a wild ride.
Only 5% of the magazine's readership is male and I'm happy to count myself amongst them. When I'm in the check out line at Rouses, I pick up a copy and I like to read it before everyone shows up for breakfast. This week, I learned how I can lose 70 lbs. drinking Get-Slim Detox Tea, the kind that whisks away "obesogens." For some reason, spellcheck disapproves of the word obesogens. I also learned that the University of Oxford, yes, that Oxford University, has made a breakthrough discovery: Triscuits stop stress!
My favorite department in each issue of Woman's World is the one called, "Boy, Was My Face Red!" In it, some unassuming hausfrau tells the story of an embarrassing moment that happened to her recently, usually based on something she said. It's a cute feature that gently reminds the reader never to make assumptions.
Well, this morning something happened that made me type up a story to submit to Woman's World Magazine. What follows is the abbreviated version.
|You're wishing this was about the Mother-in-Law Lounge, aren't you?|
Tracey (not her real name), who is one sharp cookie, let me tell you, asked me when Tammie the Housekeeper was due to show up for work today. She and her husband are staying with us for a week. Tracey asked yesterday, too, but Tammie the Housekeeper has Sundays off. Frau Schmitt and I take care of housekeeping duties when Tammie isn't around. I answered that Tammie usually comes around 11:30.
Tracey and her husband lingered in their suite for a long time this morning. When 11:30 arrived, they came out and made some idle chitchat with me while I was finishing up this week's issue of Woman's World. I was doing the word search puzzle, which was themed around "Mesoamerican Mythology." I was stuck because I couldn't find the last word on the list, which was QUETZALCOATL.
Tracey and her husband had to get to a tour that started at 12:30 so I walked them to the front door. "I'll lock up after you," I offered.
Tracey turned and she had a sly smile on her face, "Can I meet Tammie the Housekeeper?" she asked me.
"I'm afraid Tammie isn't here yet. She always runs late. It's always something with her, I'm afraid. She'll show up in a little bit with some harebrained excuse that usually involves her mother or one of her daughters."
"I don't think Tammie exists," Tracey told me. "I think you made her up. That's why you never have a picture of her on your blog. I think she's an imaginary foil you use to make your blog more interesting. I think Tammie the Housekeeper is a figment of your imagination."
Tracey (I should reiterate that this is not her real name) said this last part while pointing her finger straight at my honest heart. I was astonished. Nobody has ever accused your humble narrator of making this blog more interesting.
Just then, the front door opened. "I'm sorry I'm late, Mr. King," Tammie the Housekeeper said in a state of dishabille. "My daughter, Trisha, burned the eggs and she took so long to clean the pan that she missed the bus so I had to give her a lift to Dorignac's. She just got promoted so she can't be late."
"That's okay," I said. "Tammie, this is Tracey and her husband, we were just talking about you."
"It's nice to meet you," Tammie the Housekeeper said to Tracey, extending her hand to offer a firm and steady handshake, the kind that's a reliable indicator of a person's upright character. Tammie the Housekeeper has a solid grip. It comes from all the sweeping and mopping she does.
|Tammie the Housekeeper|
Tracey stammered, "It's nice to meet you Tammie. I have to admit I'm speechless. You look just like Marilyn Monroe."
Tammie the Housekeeper does look a bit like Marilyn Monroe. They have the same birthmark. In fact, when she was younger, before she was a housekeeper, Tammie worked part time delivering singing telegrams dressed like Marilyn Monroe. This picture will give you an idea of what Tammie the Housekeeper looks like in person:
We all had a good laugh, but, boy, was Tracey's face red!
À votre santé,
La Belle Esplanade bed and breakfast.