Why every modern woman mourns the death of Alice - New York News

Why every modern woman mourns the death of Alice

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By: Becky Blackburn, KSL

Hollywood is in the fantasy business, but when it comes to understanding the dreams of women, the guys in Tinseltown are completely clueless. Fast cars? Who cares? Glitzy casinos? Yawn. Explosions? Bor-ing.

But one show understood us. That show knew what we women wanted more than anything, knew what we were too ashamed to acknowledge but what we fantasized about every time we cleaned our kitchens as the kids fought over the XBox.

Alice.

Alice, played by the charming Ann B. Davis, was the beloved housekeeper in the popular '70s show "The Brady Bunch." Wearing a starched blue uniform with a clean white apron, she looked and acted more like a grandma than a maid. Her wisdom knew no bounds. She brought balance and tranquility to a busy household and became the mediator when the family was in crisis. The fact that she kept the house clean was simply a bonus.

We all dream of having an Alice. We want Alice to listen to our woes and clean out our refrigerator and back us up when we need to break up a fight between Cindy and Bobby. We want to come home to a healthy meal after a long of day of shuttling children to all their unnecessary activities. We need Alice to reassure us that our son, who just came home with a dismal report card, is going to turn out all right.

What made Alice especially compelling was that she worked for a middle-class family. Hey, that's us. The Bradys didn't live in a mansion or wear designer clothes, and they could afford a housekeeper, so why can't we?

But we can't afford her. We are too busy spending our money on cars, bigger houses and our kids' traveling sports teams. Our budget is devoted to our cellphone, cable and Netflix bills.

Yet today, we need Alice even more. Sure, it would be nice to have our houses a little cleaner, but we need her sound sense. She could tell us that our 15-year-old doesn't really need a laptop for school. She could reassure us that our daughter will turn out fine even without club soccer. She could tell us not to worry about the expensive reptile guy for the birthday party. The boys would rather throw water balloons anyway. She could tell us we don't need to be Supermom anymore because we have her.

The death of Alice makes the modern woman feel lonely and scared and sad, and deep down, we wonder if there really ever was an Alice. She was so much more than a housekeeper. She represented the oft-neglected virtues of order, cleanliness, harmony, good sense, assurance, equanimity and love. She had a sense of humor we find sorely lacking in ourselves. Maybe we can't afford her, but certainly we can find a way to bring her into our homes, even if it's just through Netflix.


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Copyright 2013 Deseret Digital Media, Inc.

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