I Want a Handsome Butler

I’ve been thinking very hard about my priorities, and have finally come to the conclusion that what I really, really want is a handsome butler.

Not a Roomba — a friend was recently extolling the virtues of her robotic vacuum cleaner and how it cleans the floor while she’s out, but I was already shaking my head. Robotic vacuum cleaners would merely suck up pieces of Lego that my children can’t live without, like the One Ring which came with the Hobbit set. No, as I know only too sadly from personal experience crawling around on the floor, what’s needed is a sentient intelligence which can instantly sort out the rubbish from “my precioussss”.

I’m not looking for emotional attachment, as I’m already quite attached to my husband — just level-headed, pleasant professionalism. Someone who can cook expertly, sew on missing buttons the proper way with a button shank, and iron my clothes until they’re devastatingly crisp. Other duties would be to chauffeur me around, remind me discreetly of appointments, and address me as “Milady”. On top of that, I’m expecting some serious eye candy.

As you can see, I’ve clearly spent too much time thinking about this. About as much time as I used to spend on idle questions such as “which superpower would you prefer to have?” (by the way, if you ask anyone this question, they will tell you right away, as though they too have been mulling over flying vs. invisibility for decades). This shift from superpowers to super-butler probably has a lot to do with age and, unfortunately, responsibilities.

Of course, I could do what I normally do and let things slide. I’ve already fallen far, far below S.E. Asian standards as my sister discovered to her horror, when she visited and found that I no longer iron my t-shirts. And since I work from home, I told her cheerfully that I only wear yoga clothes and sweat pants because “it helps me concentrate” (an absolute lie).

GeorgeHuStill, I have to admit that when we went out together, I couldn’t help admiring her cute outfit accessorized with dainty sandals. She looked adorable. I looked like…well, at least I was comfortable. And that’s precisely why I need a butler. I don’t want to continue this sloppy lifestyle! To do so however, you definitely need some kind of household help. The sort that’s struck a chord with the 50 million other fans of Downton Abbey, although nobody seems to have daydreams about being a scullion at Downton despite the historic odds being higher.

For 99.99% of human history, it has actually been physically impossible for one person to get all the housework done by themselves. If you look at the evidence, even poor people hired servants part-time, or if they couldn’t afford to, certainly didn’t have a “house” of their own to maintain. Group living, with all its attendant joys and horrors, was the norm along with back-breaking chores like washing clothes and hauling water.

“So how did the ancient Romans manage?” my 7 year old asked.

“They had slaves!” I answered. Wealthy Romans even had body slaves — people whose sole purpose was to trot alongside their masters, scrub their backs, dress them, and carry them around in litters.

Now I am totally against slavery, especially since I’m forced to act as a personal body slave to 2 small children most of the time. But I don’t see anything wrong in hiring a professional to help out. The only problem is the fees, plus the fact that most butlers were old and “uncle”-like because they had to train for years. At this rate, I’m just as likely to get a handsome butler as I am to fly. But it doesn’t mean I won’t think about it…a lot.

JapaneseTeaCakeBook Suggestion:

  • The Remains of the Day, by Kazuo Ishiguro

Snack Suggestion:

  • Anything not made by you, served on a beautiful tray with a sprig of green.

Photo 1: Clive Owen in Gosford Park, Premiere Magazine 12/8. Actually, I think he was a valet, not a butler. Photo 2: George Hu as “Hayate, the Combat Butler”. Photo 3: http://deens-japan.com

Would you rather fly, be invisible, or have a handsome butler?

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153 responses to “I Want a Handsome Butler”

  1. My superpower would be healing. And I would prefer a mom to a butler – someone to shop, clean, do laundry, make tasty nutritious meals, remind me of what I need to be reminded of – but NEVER EVER EVER TO NAG or criticize!! Just to love me and laugh with me.


  2. I think I’d have to go with handsome butler. You make some excellent points. And I’ve often thought about how much simpler my life would be if I had an attractive man to do things for me without complaining about it. If flying butler was an option, I’d go with that one, though.

  3. Hmm… and here I was thinking I was the only one who had “Acquire Handsome Butler” prioritized on their Bucket List. GMTA! (And by handsome I mean hunky like those twin butlers Isabella Rossellini had in Death Becomes Her)

  4. Handsome butler all the way. A baby, a toddler and a wonderful husband – but sadly, none of them are capable of keeping the house (or me) to the standard I would like. Sweat-pants a go-go here, while tripping on blocks and ignoring the mould in the shower for as long as possible.

  5. The actress Margaret Rutherford, when she was young and just starting out on her career, used to live in a rented room, which she shared with her maid, who looked after her and the housework. I admire that attitude, so a handsome butler would be ideal!

  6. http://www.dlmchale.com writes: Congratulations on being Freshly Pressed. I enjoyed reading your post and will spend some additional time on your blog in the hopes of experiencing some more of your talented and “authentic” voice. Thank you for sharing this with all of us. It was fabulous!

  7. I loved your post! It made me laught! I have 3 little ones and wish sometimes I had the power to move my nose and make things happen! ( bewitched)…
    You won a new follower…

    • Ps : I gave up my joggings after a friend of mine told me how happy she was to see me finally in normal clothes! But for busy afternoon I m wearing leggings!!!!

      • Thank you! Actually, I just recently discovered leggings – the chic version of yoga pants. Although the ones that I bought came with a “control top” which after a few large meals, proved too confining for me. Maybe “control top” actually means “portion control”? 😉

  8. Handsome butler would definitely be high on my wish list, along with personal stylist, weight loss guru and 24/7 masseuse. Thanks for adding to my list of unfulfilled fantasies.

  9. I think I would like a chauffeur. Nice looking wouldn’t hurt. I have spent the last 8 years driving kids to and from school, and then to and from college, and myself to work. If I could just summon “the car” (and driver) whenever I wanted to go somewhere, or get my kids picked up from school after their exams, that would be so nice.

      • Hmm, self-driving cars might actually be here sooner than you think… but I’m surprised that no one here has yet to mention what I think is the best superpower of all – teleportation!

  10. You and I seem to have a lot in common. Apart from the reading and eating part. I’m also a slave. For 3. Or was it 4. Depends how you count. It’s going 24/7, and if I decide to live up to any standards, it just gets worse, my house e.g. Hang in there, girl! You’re not alone!

    • Thank you for the reblog! Hmm…flying while invisible does have its perks but it also seems a bit dangerous… (clearly, I’ve spent too much time fantasizing about superpowers).

  11. I like the way you think.

    I too have pondered the superpower debate, and while invisibility and flying both sound neat, I’d pick teleportation over both. I’d never have to hunt for a parking spot again.

  12. I want a body servant. I would like someone to scratch my back where I can’t reach. And they’d have to be psychic, too, and know exactly how much pressure to apply, etc. Wow. I was happy until I read your post. Now I feel unfulfilled. Why can’t I have a backscratching body servant? WHY?

    Your 7 year old is almost old enough for the role of indentured servant. Just sayin’. I have a 15 year old washing my dishes as I type this.

    • I like the way you think – yes! I’ve started the 7 year old on dishwashing but he’s very unsatisfactory at the moment. Tends to leave the water running while he gives me a monologue about Mine Craft. I’m very encouraged by your example so I’ll keep him at it!

  13. Ahhh yoga pants… I love walking around in them all day… until the postman arrives and I run downstairs so he thinks no one’s home!
    Great post, I echo your thoughts!

    • Ooh, there are many more uses for yoga pants — such as sleeping in them, lying around watching TV, er…not that I’m speaking from personal experience…

  14. […] I quite enjoyed her story, but Yangsze Choo sealed my fandom with her blog. Here is her hilarious post on instant ramen and lobster. It’s enough to make me consider offering instant ramen at my own kung-fu movie party, which is how we’ll be celebrating the new year at my house. And if you’re not sold yet, read about her musings on her need for a handsome butler. […]

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