Friday, March 29, 2013

Hire A Wife

Recently saw a news report about a new business that’s expanding rapidly—Hire A Wife. It appears to be a step up from the previous concept of hiring a Merry Maid. Apparently, you can hire a woman to do the grocery shopping, clean the house, prepare meals, plan a party, do the laundry, organize… Which brought me to two questions: (1) Is this the only way we define a ‘wife’? and, (2) If I hire one, does that make me sexist?

Then they showed a second report on a similar business called Rent-A-Spouse that includes men for hire to help with moving, household repairs, car repairs, lawn work… So is this how we define a husband? My dilemma: I live in an apartment building where maintenance men (yes, the maintenance crew is all male) take care of repairs. And they contract a service to take care of the lawn. I have a guy who routinely services my car. I don't need moving men. I moved last year and I’m not moving again. Ever! They’ll just need a few good men to carry out the body.

I've been busy between editing and writing something new. I looked around my apartment and noticed that my near-empty fridge looks like I moved out weeks ago and the clutter has gradually grown back since my last attempt at organizing. How does that happen when one is not here all day, most days? I try to blame the cat, but she has no opposable thumbs and is partially declawed. (I didn't do it!)

In truth, the state of my apartment is the result of a different dilemma—write/edit or clean. Well, that’s a no brainer. That's like saying eat chocolate or fold the laundry.

I've decided I need a wife. Hey, after she fills the fridge and pantry, cooks, cleans the apartment, does the laundry and puts away all the clutter, I could have her plan a party. The place would be fit for guests! And then she could come back and clean up after. Here’s where I hang my head in shame. I could be a sexist. I could buy into these narrow definitions of a woman’s role. (Can a woman be sexist when it comes to other women?)

I wonder if those Rent-A-Husbands serve cocktails and hors d’ouvres shirtless? I could hire them for the party. Maybe one of them would hook up with the Hire A Wife and then she could hire a wife to plan the wedding. (Oh, there’s a book in here somewhere.) And of course, I'm joking. If I don't say that, the heroines in my books are going to get together and lynch me, probably with the vacuum cleaner cord.

Linda Rettstatt
Writing for Women


Big Mike said...

Boy could I have fun with this one but it'd get me in trouble with the ladies. Oh, well.

Michael Davis (
Author of the Year (2008 and 2009)
Award of Excellence (2012)

Julie Eberhart Painter said...

We have a hire a husband service here. it's an excellent idea because he's a handiman, not really husband like. So maybe you are over-thinking it.

Rhobin Lee Courtright said...

How funny!
I saw a similar report, but didn't think of it in the terms you presented until, well, I read your hilarious post.

Ute Carbone said...

Great post Linda! You've created a big plot bunny that needs to be vacuumed into the bag of as yet unused ideas!