I sublet my apartment for the month of September and half of October while I was bobbing around in life outside of New York City (it does exist).
Tenant = a swell, young 21-year-old Frenchman who decided to take a year off of real life to globe trot. His first stop was my fine neighborhood of Greenpoint, Brooklyn. We exchanged a few friendly emails to set up the logistics of money exchange and when/how/where to relinquish the keys to the kingdom, but other than that I knew very little about him.
He texted me once while I was somewhere in the middle of Colorado:
“Is it okay if I hoover in your apartment in the middle of the day? I don’t want to bother your neighbors.”
Hmmm. Hoover. Hoover? No, please don’t hoover in my apartment. Uh, why would you even ask that!?! EW. Oh wait. HOOVER. Ahhhh, those Europeans. They don’t vacuum, they hoover.
“Yes, thank you for asking. Hoover away.”
When I returned my apartment was cleaner than *I* have ever kept it so I guess he hoovered thoroughly and often. I also had a lovely hand-written letter on my counter thanking me profusely for being so “kind with him.” He joined a softball league while he was here (how very when-in-Rome of him) and noted how much he LOVES Americans, that we’re so much friendlier than his “nasty French compatriots.” He proclaimed, “I am considering leaving Paris and moving to the States.”
Fresh from the mouth of babes. Success.
He also left me a kitchen full of food. When I was a Wee Pance my parents yelled at me every night to clean my plate which was naturally piled high with detestable green things. My argument against eating them – so wise beyond my years – was “Everybody has their OWN FOOD!” You can tell a lot about a person by their food. Nothing too outrageous in Julien’s stockpile, but I now picture him wanting to matter-of-factly answer back to me, “Yeah. Well. Everybody has their OWN HOOVER!”