Do You Ever Feel Like You Need A Wife?

Illustration for article titled Do You Ever Feel Like You Need A Wife?

We once had a boyfriend who was homeless and unemployed. (We know, we know.) When this boyfriend stayed with us, we'd come home to find the bed made, the dry-cleaning picked up and roses on the nightstand. Of course, he was dumb as a stump and we always had to pay for everything, so it didn't last. But having someone around to do those little things was great. And in an article in today's International Herald Tribune, a successful research scientist who has been married for 29 years and often works seven days a week says this: "The thing I most want in life is a wife. I'm not kidding." Apparently there's a trend among working women — both married and single — who want a "wife" at home!

With two-income families now the norm, and both men and women working a record-breaking number of hours, the question has become how to accomplish what used to be a wife's job, even as old-fashioned standards of household management and entertaining have been relaxed.


The writer (whose name, appropriately, is Shira Boss) points out that according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, one in five men engages in some kind of housework on an average day, while more than half of women do. The aforementioned research scientist has a housekeeper come in once a week and had live-in help when her kids were growing up, but not all women can afford that. Says one corporate lawyer who finds it hard to trust someone else to do things for her, "Men lock the door and leave. Things could be a wreck or whatever and it doesn't affect their other world. I walk out and worry about the house looking nice, because the kids have play dates, etc. Someone has to worry about that, and it's usually not the dad."

So what's the solution here? Do busy working women need wives? Assistants? (Look where that got Lindsay Lohan and Britney Spears.) Unemployed boyfriends? Funnily enough, the Herald Tribune's Google Ads offered a suggestion:

Illustration for article titled Do You Ever Feel Like You Need A Wife?

Women Wedded To Work And Needing A Wife At Home [InternationalHeraldTribune]


Dodai Stewart

Regarding the 1972 Ms. Magazine essay by Judy Syfers, "I Want a Wife" — it is mentioned in the Herald Tribune article. I didn't bring it up as I was merely commenting on what today's women say in the article itself.