It was rather shocking, really. After [a certain supper party], I was asked by a hopeful bachelor if I would like to return in the morning and wash the glassware. Taken aback, I did not do much more than smile politely and think idly of what my husband might have to say if I did.
Personally, I enjoy a good blether with handsome young men over a hot soapy sink of dishes, but the politics of doing a-man-not-my-husband's dishes are so fraught with horror that I don't really know where to start.
My mother, who was at university in the 1960s, was generally tolerant about her non-religious friends sleeping with their boyfriends, but what really horrified her was the idea of "doing a man's laundry without benefit of clergy" which one of her girl friends actually did do.
Indeed, there does seem to be something seriously and fundamentally wrong with doing men's chores for them for free. If it is your job, and you are paid, well, carry on. But to do a wife's jobs--any of a wife's jobs--for a man when you are not married to him or related to him by blood is almost always demeaning. Yes, I make exceptions for the very old or the very ill, particularly if you have no romantic interest in Mr. Old or Mr. Ill whatsoever. But in general, uh uh.
So with all those "ifs" and "except", here is one of my top commandments for women: Never do housework for a man to whom you're neither related nor married.
Yes, it can be tempting. Yes, it's a nice thing to do. Yes, everybody loves Betty better than Veronica (except, ahem, Archie). Don't do housework for men for free. You'll regret it.