Recently I watched an episode of Come Dine With Me filmed here in the UK in which one of hosts defined herself as a housewife. Indeed, while she seemed like a genuinely lovely (if moderately delusional) person, she called herself a housewife, no less.
Now, while I can only hope that such a statement was part of some heavy scripting by the ghastly, ghastly production teams of Channel 4 (I’ve been on one of their shows, so yes, I can judge), I have a fear that it might not be. Indeed this woman, by the name of Pip, went on to tell the viewers that she also house a housekeeper.
Dial that back up a minute, a housewife,with a housekeeper? How does that work out?
In modern times. it is women like Pip and shows like The Real Housewives (read my other opinion piece here) who give REAL housewives like myself a bad name. Indeed, while Pip is probably relaxing poolside and the women on that blasted show are undoubtedly getting their nails done, some of us are working our asses off, trying to make sure that the home isn’t falling apart and those who live here are still fed.
Women like myself can not afford home help, we cannot afford manicures or Botox or Pilates classes. We wear hairbands and sweatpants and then we tidy, scrub and cook from dawn until dusk. Sometime sour partners turn in at 11pm and we ourselves are still up cooking and cleaning. We are not “ladies who lunch” (thanks, Pip), we are unpaid maids.
It is not only offensive to us for women who live such a lavish lifestyle to refer to themselves as housewives, but also to the people who maintain their home for them. Indeed, Pip, much to my condemnation, found it amusing enough to call her housekeeper her “maid”. In the modern century, that is the utmost height of disrespect. Cleaners are not “maids”, they are cleaners, who work for a day’s pay, and deserve such respect. I also feel sorry for the husband’s, husband’s who, seemingly, are working high-end jobs to provide these women with luxury lifestyles. I have no such privileges, but neither do I want them. I know my husband works hard, and so I do my utmost to maintain our home to a high standard out of my love and respect for him. It’s give and take, and i wonder how some of these women would fair to live a real housewife’s life for a day.
Personally, I cannot understand the appeal of constant luxury. Sure, it must be nice for a day or two, but then what do you do? It must get boring to only be able to relax or socialise. Sometimes you need work, you need something taxing, something which engages your brain. What do these “housewives” have to worry about? A little bit of stress is surprisingly good for you. It promotes strategic thinking and problem solving. Do you know what happens when you don’t flex that every so often? You’re absolutely clueless when the manure really does hit the rotating oscillating air circulation device!
Bless her, Pip was actually worried what people would think of where she lived. Personally, I wouldn’t worry a dime about where someone lived, whether they had a cleaner or a Nanny, or what their house looked like. When they have a cleaner and refer to themselves as a housewife, though? That’s when the claws come in.