Dear Prudence

Dear Prudence,
I am a professional woman with a demanding job and a baby. I always figured that after starting a family I'd hire a house cleaner, just as my mother had done. We have the income to do this but my husband objects to this idea. He has listened to my argument that paying a cleaner would give us more quality time with our child and each other, but he says it makes him feel more loved to know that I have cleaned our bathroom myself. He is happy to do his share of the housework and doesn't want me to contract out my share to a stranger. I don't know if some women feel a kind of love for their husbands that best finds expression through scrubbing toilets, but, as it turns out, I don't. I am tempted to secretly hire a cleaner for a few hours each week with my own money and pretend I've done the cleaning myself. Would this be wrong?

—Maid to Order

Dear Maid,
I'm surprised that by now your husband hasn't found out where you'd most like to insert the toilet brush. I'd have an easier time understanding a husband who wants to freshen up his marriage by bringing someone wearing a French maid costume into your bedroom for a threesome than a husband who objects to a hiring a housekeeper to freshen up the bathroom. He certainly has a unique view of connubial intimacy. In your husband's world, nothing beats your lovingly wiping away his failed attempts to aim his urine stream and scrubbing away his streaks. If I had a husband with ideas like yours, I'd be temped to move into my own place where I could hire some household help without hearing a load about how a domestic employee with a johnny mop is a violation of the marital bond. Do not engage in toilet-cleaning subterfuge. Either your husband accedes to having a stranger in your bathroom, or you hand him a bucket, a brush, and a bottle of Scrubbing Bubbles.


There is also a letter about a girl at a sleepover who was woken by a man tickling her (WHAT?) and one about a racist child care provider.