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Clean Up Woman, no Betty Wright.

The millennial ethical dilemma has quickly become: Should married couples allow “attractive” house helpers in their homes?

Alice from The Brady Bunch, Geoffrey from The Fresh Prince of Bel Air, Ms. Garrett from Facts of Life and Diff’rent Strokes, and Rosie from the Jetsons all have one thing in common.

They were all amazing contributions to the TV families they served?

Yes, but mostly because they don’t exude sexuality. While these characters did have their own very lowkey romantic escapades, they didn’t exactly pose a “threat” to the men, women, and couples they worked for. These characters didn’t exactly have the boys creating tents if you know what I mean. We never had the thought that Mr. Brady and Alice would run off together or that either of the Aunt Viv’s would be snuggled into the arms of Geoffrey if Uncle Phil didn’t play his cards right.

So, that leaves the question, why was the Flashy girl from Flushing so successful?
Dead mom of course.

Let’s be honest: would a woman truly allow an attractive woman such as Fran prance around her husband and pre-teen son dressed in mini-skirts. I mean, even CC, a work companion, was taken aback by her and immediately saw Fran as competition for Mr. Sheffield’s (yes, I used the accent) affection. Even after Fran and Mr. Sheffield got married, and Fran became the woman of the house, CC still called her Nanny Fine. Although, the resentment was strong with her, CC may have been on to something.

Credit: The Nanny sitcom

In the close to seven years my husband and I have been married. Our lives have changed tremendously. We have added our now, three year old son to the Engram roster. We have earned and are still earning degrees, gotten “grown up jobs” and with our changing socioeconomic status, we are now able to enjoy luxuries such as housekeeping and Parent Day Out programs. As a Pisces wife with ADHD being married to a Gemini scientist raising an inquisitive Cancer toddler, things can get messy around the house quick, so I was smart enough to enlist the help of a cleaning service.

A study from the Harvard Business School found that nearly 25% of couples who had divorced sited “disagreements about housework” as a contributing factor for why they ultimately decided to call it quits. When it’s date night having a babysitter or Parent’s Day Out program to drop the little one off to can be look upon as an investment even if we are spending money. It has also been proven that hiring outside help for household duties can save a marriage.

When I hire a cleaner, I never think about the appearance of who the agency will send out. For a couple of reasons:

  • We’re not home when the cleaners arrive and;
  • It’s highly unlikely that my husband would even have the time for acts of infidelity.

I often joke that I hope it’s an old lady because in my mind I equate that with experience meaning she’ll do a great job cleaning. But I have to ask myself if that thought is rooted in internalized misogyny. Although I know my husband wouldn’t be tempted, am I subconsciously worried otherwise because of what I’m told in the media about conventionally attractive house helpers?

Looking past the ideology of attractiveness and the Eurocentric standards of beauty and attractiveness, because as we know and have learned: an emotional attraction could be just as worse. I do NOT want my husband having inside jokes with our household help, because “what’s funny?”

I wonder, do we only allow my sister-in-laws to babysit and send our son to a PDO to prevent having a nanny or non-familial babysitter around the house? Do I worry that my husband would pull a Gavin Rossdale and have an extramarital affair with the nanny? How embarrassing that must have been for Gwen Stefani, am I right? Am I afraid of my husband going viral being inappropriate with our nanny? Am I afraid of having to publicly ignore red flags and convince myself as well as the internet that my husband isn’t grooming our nanny with casually groping?

My personal opinion on this may seem incredibly vague. “So, Brittany, would you or wouldn’t you have an attractive house helper? And why did you only talk about your husband and a female household helper? Is that more misogyny?”

Infidelity isn’t inherently male driven nor is it a male dominated issue–cheating is a human problem. I just know myself and it is unlikely that Tyler the Creator would be my pool boy. And although we shared vows, unfortunately I can’t in 100% confidence say what my husband wouldn’t do. Thus far, he hasn’t given me a reason to not trust him, and after seven years, I feel like that won’t change, but that doesn’t mean the chances are always zero. Because we are all individuals who are subject to freewill and are able to our own personal actions.

Overall, I can’t speak for all married couples, but in the Engram household, I wouldn’t care if Kim Kardashian-West cleaned my toilets butt naked holding nothing but a Mr. Clean Swiffer Scrubber and Lizzo was her thong wearing assistant. I just know what I would wish, and personally, I wish a bitch would. And that applies to my husband first and foremost and any house helper.

Edwin & Brittany Engram

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