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Ladies Home Prison

August 19, 1990

Jack Smith's essay bothered me. I'm 30 years old, and my contribution to our family income is the five house-cleaning jobs I do every week. In a society where essentially no one remains at home to carry on with "dreary and isolated drudgery," workers like myself are critically in demand and can command a respectable wage for our services.

The sincere gratitude I receive from the working moms makes me a little sad; they often seem so frazzled when they get home. Their dependency on my service makes me feel guilty when I have to quit a job at their house. There may be some hard looking before they will find a trustworthy, responsible replacement to come into their home. But it's always easier for me to clean for a single person or a couple rather than a family of four. If I have to let a client go because of my own time constraints, families are the first to go. It seems like a tough approach, but I'm running a business, after all.

ELIZABETH BLAKE

Long Beach

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