A Supermodel in Your Basement

Posted On: 06.14.12

My friend. She’s defecting to the ‘burbs. I choose this verb because I am sad that she is going. Alas.

Anyway, she has three little kids – and is pondering a fourth which makes me a pinch envious – and is considering hiring a live-in nanny. The nanny would live in a guest room in her basement. She told me that this actually makes more financial sense than hiring live-out help. Fine.

The debate here is not help versus no help or live-in versus live-out help although those can indeed be interesting – and incendiary – debates. The debate here has to do with the particular nanny.

The potential nanny? She just signed with a major agency as a model. A plus-size model, but we all know that these days plus-size models are pretty much size 6-8. The point? She’s hot.

My friend does not seem fazed by any of this, that there would be a gorgeous 22-year-old living in her home. And this makes me smile because it is clear that my friend is happy and confident. It doesn’t hurt at all that my friend is gorgeous… and a lovely size zero.

But. I don’t know. I just couldn’t do it. Invite a model to come live in my home, with me, with my husband. Here’s the thing. I trust my man. Completely. But I’m still not sure I’d want to add that little bit of eye candy to the trenches. Am I crazy to think this way?

Would you hire a model to live in your home and help out with your kids? How much does beauty affect your interpersonal decisions? Do you think it is unfair of me to suggest that my friend not hire someone because of her looks and her job? Is this some kind of discrimination I imagine?

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Oh, and...

  • Random, but are you more of a gummy candy or chocolate kind of person? I am the former, hands-down, but the kids' dentist gave me quite the serious lecture about "sticky forms of sugar" including gummy candy, fruit snacks, and raisins. He said chocolate and ice cream are much better choices. But I love my gummies. Do I need to hide them now? Wah.
  • A Cup of Jo... I love this blog. I actually wrote its author - the amazing Joanna Goddard - a bit of a love letter (well, email) yesterday and let's see if she responds!



38 Comments for: "A Supermodel in Your Basement"
  1. JHS

    This is hilarious! I think your friend should hire this person if she seems like the best person for the job, but I’m with you. No need to add unnecessary distractions to the home front, right? What a fun dilemma though!

    As an aside, don’t know why people get so unbelievably worked up by the question of hiring help.

    • Aidan Donnelley Rowley

      Distraction. That’s exactly my thought… But maybe this wouldn’t be the case. The couple I’m speaking of is madly in love and so so cute, but I guess I just wouldn’t necessarily feel comfortable with the scenario. Then again, I do have a blog with the word ‘insecurity’ in it! And not sure what the fuss about hiring help is – probably related to those pesky mommy wars, as well as financial questions and considerations?

  2. I love A Cup of Jo too! I wrote Joanna an email fan letter a while ago too and she responded. Great taste, my friend!
    As for the model in the basement, I think I would be fine with that, but who knows, maybe that is naive?

    • Aidan Donnelley Rowley

      I love Joanna’s mix of thoughtful and light on her blog. That’s really my goal here, you know? And I love that you’d be fine with the model in the basement. Love 🙂

  3. Katherine

    I’m a sports agent and as a result, I am around men all the time. There are literally no women in my field (mens soccer). No women coaches, no women scouts, no women agents, no women players, no women owners of teams or administrators of leagues. I am the only women on our scouting trips to various countries where the men are far from home…and often away from home (life on the road seems to enhance a sense of freedom to do what one wants). As a result, I feel like I have seen men from a different angle — essentially in the locker room where they let their man-ness hang out. It is shocking, sobering and very, very different from how women would ever act. Of course all men aren’t the same and I convince myself that my man isn’t like them at all, and the world of athletes is perhaps worse than others…but it has changed my instincts on what is going through the mind of a man. So no, I wouldn’t allow a hot woman to live in my home in a million years…and yet it would be completely fine to have a hot man living in my basement.

    • Aidan Donnelley Rowley

      Wow. So thankful for your unique perspective, Katherine. I guess I just think that everyone – even really solid, loyal husbands and fathers – can be distracted, you know? And it’s so funny that you joke about the hot man in the basement scenario because that’s what I did last night. Husband and I were brushing our teeth and I told him about my post and said, super-seriously too: “I think it would be really distracting to know that there was a male model in our basement.” He smiled. Ah, the stuff he puts up with!

      • Katherine

        I love the tooth-brushing hot man in your basement anecdote…adorable. Perhaps that scene should make it into a book:-).

        • Aidan Donnelley Rowley

          I think you are right; it deserves to be in print, huh? Btw, loved your take on the supermodel in the basement. Still think about how fascinating your perspective must be. A bit bizarre that I have essentially blogged about infidelity two weeks in a row now. Interesting!

          • Katherine

            Yes, this job has made me so cynical about men. I’ve been afraid to comment on the “wired to cheat” post. Maybe I’ll take your lead and brave the waters of such a sensitive issue!

          • Aidan Donnelley Rowley

            You know just how much I wish you would post on that one. Alas 🙂

  4. Hope

    Hi Aidan,

    Love this post and think if I were still married, I would be in your boat 🙂

    Where is your friend moving to? I am also leaving the city – though not by choice…. Where did she find this particular live-in nanny. I am looking for one as well.

    • Aidan Donnelley Rowley

      Thanks, Hope! I’m pretty sure she randomly encountered this nanny on a play date and later learned that she was leaving her employer or something? Not sure. I do know a lot of people who have had great success on care.com. Also, sending an email to your extended circle of friends saying you are looking is always a good bet. Good luck!!

  5. Meg

    Whew boy — no, I don’t think I could handle having a hot live-in nanny distracting my guy and caring for my children! Though I consider myself a relatively secure person, that would be enough to send me into a self-conscious and existential tailspin. Eek! But kudos to her for being awesome and secure enough to not let it bother her… I wish I could be the same way!

    • Aidan Donnelley Rowley

      It is really wonderful how secure she is. I’m inspired by her confidence, actually. I am plenty confident and secure when it comes to my marriage, but this whole scenario just gives me pause – perhaps because I am a writer and I can imagine a bevy of plot twists. I said it to my man last night – yes, while brushing teeth – “this would be a great set-up for a novel!” And I think it would.

  6. Michael Thomas

    Yup, in a heartbeat. Bridget loves super models, and i aim to please me lady.

    • Aidan Donnelley Rowley

      Hey you!! So generous of you to ponder pleasing your beauty by installing another beauty in the basement. Hope you guys are good. Happy belated!!

  7. Dara

    I once read a quote that women succeed in spite of great beauty, not because of it. There is definitely a reverse discrimination thing that happens to some ladies. There was this one writer on a show where I was staffed and she was gorgeous – model hot – tall, leggy, exotic. We are now close friends but I told her that when she walked into the room on the first day of work, I wondered who she was sleeping with to get the gig. It turns out she’s astoundingly talented, an amazing co-worker, and happily married. I hated myself for jumping to that conclusion.

    I’d probably let the model live in my house just to make up for my former thought transgressions. But I’d also have to give it a trial period to see how I felt about my husband living with her.

    • Aidan Donnelley Rowley

      Your anecdote speaks volumes. And I probably would have jumped to the same conclusion. Which is terrible. What’s interesting (or not) is that I am surrounded by very beautiful and very talented people and yet there are still those assumptions that alight. I think this situation is tricky, and somewhat unique though for some reason. I think it’s something about the intimacy of home, of having an extra person who is extra hot in a private space. I don’t know but I do admire that you’d be willing to give it a trial. Oooh – will email you, but one of your recent comments here inspired a post. Stay tuned 🙂

  8. I would be more like you! My husband is as loyal as an old dog. But still, I prefer to be the only beautiful woman living in my house. That being said, my nanny is gorgeous and 22…but she doesn’t live with us. Kudos to your friend for rising above the insecurities.

    • Aidan Donnelley Rowley

      Yes. I think this has something to do with the living-in aspect. Our nanny is also young and beautiful, but she doesn’t live with us, has her own fun life, etc. Btw, just love the way you describe your man. Extra-endearing 🙂

  9. AG

    I love Cup of Jo. I forget how I discovered her blog but it was fairly recently. I remember reading it thinking Joanna and Aidan should be friends, I wonder if they know each other! Let us know if she responds 🙂

    I also love gummies….Haribo Gummy Bears are my favorite snack whenever I am flying anywhere. That’s crazy to me that chocolate and ice cream are better for your teeth.

    • Aidan Donnelley Rowley

      Love that you think Joanna and I could be friends. I just admire so much how her blog has both depth and whimsy, you know? Alas, the gummy thing. As you will see in tomorrow’s post, I tried to be good and buy sugar-free jelly beans. Not a good call. At all. I think it’s not that ice cream and chocolate are good for teeth, but they don’t get stuck in the teeth like gummies/raisins/etc do. Who knows!

  10. I love your new digs, by the way! I would never hire a anyone more attractive than me but I don’t think it would really matter. My husband always surprises me with who he finds attractive. Going with the most qualified candidate makes the most sense.

    • Aidan Donnelley Rowley

      You are right. This should be about qualifications and not about looks. Now you have me curious about your husband’s type! I think the question of “types” is super interesting… how do we arrive at a type? How many of us end up with our types? Do types change over time? I think this could be its own post, don’t you?

      • Absolutely! You should write about it. My husband likes women who are unique and not perfect, which is annoying since I spent many years trying to look perfect. He likes them chunky, he likes them skinny, he likes short hair more than long hair, he likes big noses and big smiles. He loves everything I hate about myself. He would probably find the frumpy nanny I hire more attractive than the supermodel!

  11. If the nanny seemed like a good personality fit for our family, it wouldn’t phase me in the slightest what she looks like. I trust my partner. That said, the idea of hiring live-in help is so totally foreign to me that I have a hard time wrapping my mind around that. No judgement toward people who can afford to do that, but it’s not something I could see myself doing even if I had money.

    • Aidan Donnelley Rowley

      The question of trust is something I really want to explore here and I am pondering a few posts on the topic. I think all of us have different comfort levels with different scenarios… and, ultimately, that is okay. I think there are some people who could never envision having someone live in. I am probably one of those people although I can’t say for sure. I am really quite surprised that I didn’t get a flame or two here because I know this can be a hot topic.

      Thanks for your comment. I’ve really been enjoying your blog.

  12. No way. No hot women living in my house. I actually don’t think I’d hire someone younger than me, either. 😉

    • Aidan Donnelley Rowley

      Ah, the age thing is a whole separate (and interesting) question… So good to know I am not alone in my “no way” thinking. Hope you are well. xo

  13. Kendra

    Just came across this and am a bit late to the game but I have to say heck no would be my answer. I am a writer as well so always imagining what could happen, and a worrier to boot…I would not be able to handle it. My mind would go to dark insecure places. Not everyday, but on my bad days! And I also think that realistically it would be a distraction to even the most loyal of men. I wonder if the situation was reversed, and the live-in help was a gorgeous man, how men would respond to the question.

    • Aidan Donnelley Rowley

      A kindred spirit! And you are right to point out that even if we were generally cool with this setup, there would be bad days, insecure days, when we wouldn’t want a model prancing around our home in her cute PJs, right? And I so love the scenario of a hot manny in the basement. Now, that would be an interesting novel, huh?

  14. It would be a cold day in hell before I let that happen.

  15. Hey, if it gets me out of scrubbing the toilet, I’d be fine with it! Err…then again…I’m a guy, so I might be slightly biased here. I often joke with my fiance about hiring a housecleaner who would dust in a French maid outfit, so I’m hardly qualified to respond.

  16. UES Gal

    No way.

    I cannot tell you how many friends I had growing up where the Dad had an affair with the hot (inevitably Swedish) au pair, in his own house. Maybe it is because they are European, but still. (And then the kids (guys) grew up with really screwed up notions of what should go on in a marriage because “Dad did it, so it is okay.”)

    You want like a Mrs. Doubtfire… about 85 years old, wearing white nurses shoes and a Scottish accent.

    Even if it did not cause a divorce, the Dad had a relationship with the woman and caused all kinds of problems. With all due respect, I think this person is being very naive.

  17. LED

    This “happily married couple hires hot live-in nanny” is no new novel idea – it has been written so many times and made into so many movies – no wonder most people aren’t comfortable with this idea – it seems to rarely, in movies, books, and life, be a good one as many have seen this actually happen in life.

    To each their own I say – as it would really would fully depend on the individual character and prior influences/path in life of the nanny and the couple. For some it would work swimmingly, no problems or indiscretions, as it probably will for your friends. They’ve evaluated the choice and feel it is right.

    But, for another mix of people it could be a disaster. The bottom line is – we as humans fail all the time. We make bad choices, we do things we regret, we try things to “try” them – just once to see what it is like – even though it creates unintended collateral permanent damage often.

    So, would I? Probably not-it isn’t so much trust as you said Aidan – so much as it disturbs the singular intimacy and oasis of living in partnership with a spouse. Why create temptation within that oasis – it is around us all the time as it is….

  18. JAL

    Hey Aidan,

    I actually really enjoyed reading your post- and it’s because of a very similar experience I had earlier this year. My husband and I are hosts on an apartment-sharing service and frequently have roommates- mostly travelers from other countries visiting NYC for a few months.

    The most recent request came from a real, signed, runway model who walked for all the famous names in Tokyo, Milan, Paris and NYC. We are both very average typical looking joes, so it was quite intriguing…. it was actually my idea to finally decide to invite her. My husband was curious as well. I was really curious about what would happen.

    Although we had many guests in our home over the last 3 years, we never had a model, and someone who is actually *famous. Turns out, the three months hanging out with our model roommate was a blast! She was young and energetic (early 20s, we are in our 30s), she was lively, taught us about her eating and exercise regimen, and was seriously smart, empathetic and a great listener. We got to hear so many crazy stories about the industry! And witness some drama as well~ but in the end We kept in touch and are good friends. We really don’t regret following our curiosity and meeting such a special person. She came into our apartment and shocked us with her height and elegance, and lack of any fat on her body, but she left our home as a friend who we went through some great moments with.

    That’s why I am always up for a new experience. And in the process I learned more about my husband and he learned about me so we got closer!

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