Archive | September 28, 2010

Let’s Talk about Sister Wives.

Oh, wow.

I knew Sister Wives was premiering on TLC on Sunday night, but to be honest, it came on after my bedtime.  Since I’m usually at work by 7:00 a.m., my morning routines require that I’m in bed by nine.  I’m kind of old that way.


I watched it last night.. rather, I should say, I was forced to watch it last night.  I was ecstatic about watching it until it came time to, and really, the reality of being exposed to a lifestyle I don’t understand (or condone, really) made me crazy uncomfortable.  Bryan turned it on, even though I passively said I didn’t want to watch it, and we were at the races.

Y’ALL, THIS SHOW HAS ME SO CONFLICTED.  On the one hand, I really like the wives.  All of them, to an extent.  Like, I would befriend these women.  They seem unexpectedly normal.  They wear makeup, they wear jeans, they laugh and tease and enjoy the gaggle of children.  They remind me of my friends.  And that?  I was not expecting.

Then Bryan hit the nail on the head.  “I think watching this show is like a lot of people feel about gay marriage.  It’s not wrong or awful or sick, it’s just not traditional.  It’s just different.”


And?  The wives had TONS of logic that I couldn’t argue with.  It gives me more time to do things I want to do, they’d say.  Well, HELL YEAH.  I’m all about throwing my kids at another mom and heading to the movies.  That’s pretty damn awesome.  Our kids have always had this, so they get the benefit of three different parenting styles.  I think that’s pretty nifty, too.  The kids seem fairly well-adjusted, minus Wife#3’s need to name her children bizarre, spelled-wrong names. (Ysbel? Mykelti? Aspyn?)

But then: there’s the husband.  And, look, while I’ll agree that he seems to be a very loving father who dotes on his children.. I cannot get past the kid-in-a-candy-store look that this guy wears.  All the time.  “I fell in love.  Then I fell in love again!  And again!”  Um .. yeah, can’t agree here.  “Love is meant to be multiplied, not divided.”  I agree; I guess I don’t feel that a traditional marriage divides it.

And then he drops the bombshell: he’s looking to add a fourth wife.

So he’s been courting Robin, who “grew up in the lifestyle”, but is a single mom of three kids. (I HAVE TO KNOW THIS HISTORY.  How can you grow up in a fundamentalist lifestyle and then divorce?  DOES NOT COMPUTE.) Also.. I’m sorry, but she has HOMEWRECKER written all over her.  Even I, who has no dog in this fight whatsoever, felt protective of the current wives and their children when I saw her.

Aside: what happens in these families with the patriarch passes?  (Bryan: Well, I’m pretty sure it’s customary that they feed on him.  Then the eldest son takes over the Head of Household and is then expected to seed the wives.  It’s where “Feed & Seed” comes from.)

And although Kody the Husband made the Big Announcement to the whole family about courting a new wife, I am not believing that all twelve kids, ranging in ages from 5-15, are especially excited about this.  A few children expressed hesitance, and all adults jumped on them.  And a doe-eyed blonde girl bubbled over with excitement about sharing this news, to which the family instructed her to NOT TALK ABOUT IT.  “This is family business,” Kody the Husband warned her. 

… that level of secrecy is unfortunate.  I’m not sure if it’s unfortunate because it forces the children to live a life of lies outside of their home, or because it feels VERY MUCH like the speech pedophiles use to intimidate their victims.

All in all, I’m really, really torn.  The kids seems smart, happy, well-adjusted.  And they are my #1 concern in this.  Don’t know if y’all caught this, but I yearn for a large family.  So if you view the tableau in a Monet fashion, with overarching broad strokes, I find a lot of this family appealing.

But there is something dark in there.  I can’t put my finger on it, but it left me strongly unsettled for the rest of the night.  I hope I’ll be swayed into the happy lull of Reality TV in future episodes by crafty editing, but the “This Season, on Sister Wives” clip at the end of the premier seemed to be rife with tears, angst, jealousy, and anger.

I really, really wonder how the polygamist community feels about this show.

Okay, enough: who else watched it?  SPILL.  There is no judgement here.

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