Monday, May 8, 2017

Story: Amorous Hierarchy

This is a very loose translation of a French story that appeared as an article on a now defunct Yahoo Group together with a couple of tweaks I added to the story. Even though the story appeared as an article, in terms of brevity, it's very similar to a caption and could have very well been done as a caption rather than an article. I think it's an interesting twist on the traditional lady-to-maid story.
T. H. Enerdly

By Hanna, Femme de Chambre
Fabienne and Giselle were two girlfriends in training as chambermaids at a hotel school. The photo was taken during their internship at a grand hôtel in Geneva a little more than six months ago.
At that time, they were so much in love that one couldn't conceive of them breaking up...Don't they look like a pair of Siamese cats?...However, Fabienne, the blonde, decided not to continue her internship, leaving her girlfriend Giselle in turmoil.
What happened was the following: On a whim, Fabienne checked the help wanted notices for the hotel and discovered that the position of assistant to the executive secretary was vacant. She applied and was hired to fill the position, leaving Giselle to continue training as a maid.
Fabienne found her new position agreeable. Especially when, from the comfort of her office, she would summon Giselle to serve her a cup of coffee. They would then play a subtle lovers' game. For example, Fabienne would tenderly reprimand Giselle for some wrinkles in her uniform. Fabienne no longer wore the white apron, and that changed everything between them.
Even at night, when they played their lovers games, it was Giselle that cleaned their studio apartment and did the ironing. Fabienne considered asking her companion to don the white apron when in her presence, to call her "madame" and "mistress," and to sleep in the rooms reserved for the chambermaids at the hotel, thus allowing Fabienne to enjoy the apartment all to herself.
Since the end of the internship, Fabienne has worked upstairs in the executive suite, and Giselle has worked downstairs as a chambermaid. One of Giselle's duties was to act as the waitress at the dinner party to celebrate Fabienne's promotion.
Tomorrow, confident that she now has the measure of Giselle, Fabienne will ask Giselle to serve as the maid at Fabienne's new apartment, to don the white apron, to call Fabienne "madame" and "mistress," and to do the housework. But until then, it's out of the question for them to share a bed, even though it's the same bed they shared as lovers.


  1. Having the protagonist be well-off is the traditional way to get the ball rolling in these stories, but I think the setup can be as simple as a friend or co-worker getting a promotion. That puts them on a trajectory for greater success and future earnings. The lady need not descend the social ladder as such, just stagnate in her position as others rise. 10, 20 years later and that gap can widen to a chasm.

    Although, I am not an Lady to Maid originalist as I have a more liberal interpretation of what constitutes both a "Lady" and a "Maid".

    1. Yes, interesting observations. A former friend of rival who's risen through the ranks can sometimes offer a more interesting dynamic than the traditional lady-to-maid formula.

    2. Have you read Robert A. Heinlein's short story "...All You Zombies"? [If not, you should -- it's an absolute classic of time travel science fiction (and features no actual zombies):] It comes to mind because of this line: "The sergeant looked sour, but rank is rank, regardless of era; he did what I said—thinking, no doubt, that the next time we met he might be the colonel and I the sergeant."
      Now, the Time Patrol is certainly the sort of organization in which an agent might be assigned to fill the role of a lady in one time period, and a maid in another, not because of any sort of downfall but simply because of the assignments she is given. And a lowly and uncomfortable assignment coming in a later year than a more plum one might simply reflect the fact that the later one came earlier in the career of a time traveller. But if a former friend of the long-vanished Lady Holdernesse were to recognize a chambermaid at the Plaza Hotel, it could lead to some awkward attempts at an explanation....