Monday, June 05, 2006


Are you young, independenly wealthy, and in need of maid service? A Cook? There's a trend that's being talked about in news, the Room Maid. Time Magazine has an article about this setup, and it sounds pretty good for someone who can afford it.
Shorty after Stephen McCarthy moved to Las Vegas in 2004, he offered a female friend an interesting proposition: if she kept the place tidy, cleaned up after his dog Maya and brought in the paper each morning, she could live in his house rent free. It worked well until, McCarthy says, his friend began to get possessive, jealously questioning him when he went out on dates. Her argument that she had a right to ask after his whereabouts since she did " everything, just like a wife," prompted him to ask her to move out after a year. " That's the point," the divorced architect says. " I didn't want a wife."...
The guy pays for the house, the food, the utilities, etc; in exchange the Room Maid cooks and cleans and generally cares for the place. According to Salon.Com (annoying Las Vegas as viewing required):
These "roommaids" cater to young professional men who don't want the "financial burden of hiring a housekeeper or the emotional commitment of living with a lover."
Not surprisingly, the Time article reports that this horrifies some feminists (as CNN also reported), considering this their nightmare as perfectly healthy women seem uninterested in seeking a corporate career and instead seem to prefer working at home. Quotes Salon writerTracy Clark-Flory :
I wouldn't call myself horrified, but I am somewhat depressed by the traditional economically driven gender roles exhibited here.
I don't know how big this trend is but I can see it being a winner for both people involved, all radical feminism aside. The guy gets the place cared for at the expense of a slight increase in food and utilities, and the girl gets a place to stay for free while needing only daily maintainance work and cooking meals she'd have to eat anyway. That leaves good time for school, writing or other creative work. The only rough part would be assuring the ground rules are established, this is a business transaction, room mates, not lovers.

Expect a sitcom based on this within a year or two.

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Anna Venger said...

Hmmm. A few years ago, a friend of mine and I were discussing why men tended to be satisfied and women not in their marriages. We came to the conclusion that men wanted the house cleaned, meals prepared, kids cared for, errands run and if they got that they were happy while women were still waiting for the friendship and partnership thing to kick in. And this little story seems to confirm our suspicions.

I don't think I'd like this setup for my daughter. If she wants to to live like that she can just take over the upkeep of our home since I think housework sucks. And I wouldn't want her in a precarious arrangement with some man who may or may not be trustworthy. What happens when he drinks too much or brings home friends who do? There's just too many places this train could go off the rails.

btw, welcome back. Did you have a good trip? You were missed.

Christopher R Taylor said...

Seems to me the toughest part would be making sure the roommate part didn't become something else. Personally I think a single guy and a single girl living together in any construction is a bad idea and generally unwise, but from a purely pagan, utilitarian perspective, I'd consider this ideal.

Thanks for the welcome back, the coast was beautiful but I always come home a wreck from any vacation, it's just exhausting.

Anna Venger said...

Nah. The older I get the more conservative I get. Girls should live at home with their folks until they get married. It wouldn't hurt guys to do that either. Of course, if we went back to no sex before marriage too (or at least engaged which is probably closer to the truth), that wouldn't be too long; marriage age would drop again to around 22, the day after college graduation. Scary how a few years and a couple kids can change one's perspective!