Once, a married male colleague and I were mourning our late working hours. "At least you got someone at home looking after your kids. I go home at 2 and then have to get up again at 6 to send the kids to school. You're lucky your wife is doing all that for you," I said, pouting.
"Why don't you also get yourself a wife?" he responded, in jest.
Somehow this conversation has stayed with me, years later. I do so badly need a wife. Someone to be there when the kids come from school; to make their breakfast and send them off in the morning; to do their homework with them in the afternoon; to take them to the park and play badminton in the evening; to make sure they're eating nutritious food; to keep a tab on their Internet use; to be with them when they need a shoulder to cry on. And to look after the house, the groceries, the cleaning and the domestic help.
It should be me doing all that – as per my biological and social role. But I am away all day earning an income (playing the husband), leaving this big gap in my kids' lives. For a while, my housekeeper filled in part of the role (a small part). But I guess nothing replaces 'the woman of the house'.
So I'm giving this advertisement out to the universe: Send me a wife. An efficient homemaker, mother and domestic finances manager.
Marital status: Any
Sex: No bar (and not required!)
Salary: Almost nothing
Sigh. But who on earth is going to take up an offer like that?