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Thursday, January 6, 2011

Maid's Quarters

When people think of classic late 70's, early 80's sitcoms like Dif'rent Strokes or The Jeffersons, the characters of Mrs. Garrett and Florence come to mind. Both of these characters were the households' live-in maids. If you were huge fans of these shows like I was, you'll have noticed that we never see where these beloved maids actually lived. That's because if their living quarters were anywhere near the size of the maid's quarters in my apartment, the American viewing public would have protested in horror.

While it is difficult to get a good idea of size from this photo taken from the doorway of this room filled with sporting equipment, I can actually lie down on the floor (when the room is empty) and have my feet and head just barely touch opposite walls. That's keeping in mind that I'm not very tall. Also, there are no windows apart from a tiny one to let some air in, so there is no natural light.

Pretty much every apartment in every building I've been to has a maid's room. The maid's room in our apartment is a little small compared to some of my friends' apartments, about a half to a third of the size. There is also a bathroom with a shower that we use to dry swimsuits and store cleaning supplies. Some of my female friends use this extra room as a walk-in closet and bathroom to get ready in the morning. Other uses are as a room for a cat litter box or as a room to dry clothes. As you can see, we use ours to hold bicycles, tents, and various other sporting goods.

A friend who lives in our building uses his maid's room to actually house his live-in maid. When I first met him, he told me that with coming from a modest background, the idea of having a servant working for him made him and his wife uncomfortable. They tried to give the maid one of the bedrooms so she could have a little room to spread out, but she was uncomfortable with the idea of their young son having a smaller room than her so they switched back. In addition, she never comes out of her room unless she's working, despite being told to come relax in the living room if she wants to. It seems odd to me to be cramped in one tiny room in your off time, but it must seem equally odd to the house help (at least in this woman's case) to be given the space to spread out.


  1. When you have guests stay over, you should force them to sleep in this room. You can then steal their passports and force them to be your maid.

  2. Don't think that isn't already in the works. The only question that remains is whether we force you or Mary in to servitude.


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