Post 30 — A Working Girl


“Larry, I need to talk to you,” said Jean after dinner one night. The evening air was beautifully cool and a tropical breeze kept the air moving as they sat out in lawn chairs with their toes in the sand. It was hard to believe that the day had been steamy and still. “Do you know what I did today?”

“Wrote some letters?” Larry guessed, sensing he was inching into dangerous territory.

“I ironed. For three hours I ironed every damn article of clothing this family has. And I cooked a pot roast so we could have a lovely dinner together.”

“Well, you did a great job. Dinner was really good; did you see how many helpings Carolyn had? She said it was just like a meal we would have had at home.”

“But that’s the problem!” wailed Jean. “It was just like a day at home! I traveled 7000 miles and I ended up in exactly the same place I was before, only now there’s sand everywhere and I sweat a whole lot more. Do you any idea how hot it was in the house with both the iron and the oven on?”

Having spent his day in an air-conditioned television studio, Larry decided it would be best just to nod and keep quiet.

“Now that Karen’s in kindergarten, it’s the first time in twelve years that I’ve had a moment to myself. And I hate it. Tafuna during the day is more like a desert island than a tropical one and I feel like I’m stranded all by myself.” Jean was one of only two stay at home moms in the neighbor. Many of the teachers hired were husband and wife and spent their time at the schools or television studio.

Jean finally got tired of sitting around the house all day, so she’s now a member of the working class. Her job at the library started this week and seems to be working out well. She works from 7:50 to 11:30 so we just haul Karen in with us since her kindergarten hours are almost the same. Jean picks her up when she’s done and brings her home. This kind of leaves me hanging as far as getting a ride home is concerned, but being a natural-born martyr, I didn’t complain too much. Since she’s working as a part-time employee, she didn’t have to sign a contract–which is what we both wanted.


I start to work tomorrow at the library. For money. Not much, but I expect to save enough in two years (pardon me -19 months) to buy myself a car or some new furniture. If I buy a car I won’t need the furniture because I won’t be home enough to notice the lack. Ha! I will be typing and learning to catalogue. Things are fairly unconventional there and whoever is available gets to do just about anything. The only prerequisite for the job was knowing how to read! I think it will be interesting and I might learn something that will be of some use when we get home.

We now have a house girl. I just don’t have the supervisory knack, I’m afraid. She did a lot of work and while she isn’t the best ironer in the world, she pitched right in and did a lot on her own. She will be coming in five days a week, from 7:00 to 11:00. I will be working from 7:30 to 11:50. In addition to keeping up the house, I have the reassurance of knowing someone will be available if one of the younger girls are sick.


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