Q: I have seen my dad eye the maid a number of times. At first, I thought it was just something casual but now I notice a remarkable change in his attitude. He has been grooming himself and even applies deo before the maid comes in. My mother is oblivious to these changes in dad and I don’t know how to break it to her. Help.
Ans: Grooming and applying deodorant are great habits. I am sure your mother is appreciating the positive changes that your father’s crush on the maid is bringing into their lives. If they still sleep on the same bed, she must have at least noticed a change in smell. Let your mother enjoy the transformation. Why spoil it for her and make her feel insecure when you are still not sure about what your father is up to?
Bring the issue up with your father instead and ask him about his intentions. There is nothing wrong in crushing and fantasying over someone, but acting upon the fantasy would be unfair towards the maid. Your father is in a position of power in this relationship and trying to use it for his own advantage would be wrong.
The power dynamics, and the taboo of being intimate with someone of inferior social class, make maids great characters for erotica but also ideal target of sexual exploitation. Maybe it’s an innocent crush and he is grabbing the opportunity to just revisit a new version of his better self. How to find out? Ask him.
Simultaneously, you should have a chat with the maid. She could have noticed the extra attention but might be afraid of losing her job. If you don’t want to be direct with her, tell her about a ‘heard of’ similar instance and ask her what she feels. As an employer you should make her feel safe and empowered enough to complain if anything happens.
The writer is an Intimacy & Relationship Coach, Founder of The Intimacy Curator, an organisation promoting self-discovery through emotional and sexual wellbeing (www.theintimacycurator.com). (Have a query? Send it on firstname.lastname@example.org)
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