Writing left handed

What’s Up with Sister Wives?

On the first of August, after deciding that I did not, in fact, want to break up with The Wedding Date, I threw my suitcases into the car, grabbed my laptop and headed up to Portland, Maine.

The official reason for my trip was to finish writing a novel that I’ve been working on.  (That didn’t quite happen but I did reach the 90,000 work mark which means I don’t have to kill myself after all because I’m almost done.)

The unofficial reason was to take a few weeks off from life and get myself together.  This fall, I’m producing three shows, taking the GRE, applying to go back to school for my PhD, teaching two undergraduate anthropology courses and—oh yeah—trying to buy my first home.

So I found a little studio apartment online within walking distance of Portland’s downtown and headed north.  I went shopping, I went sightseeing, I went running (all of 4.1 miles over two very horrible days) and I watched about sixty billion hours of bridal porn (Say Yes to the Dress, Say Yes to the Dress Atlanta, Say Yes to the Dress Bridesmaids and Four Weddings respectively) and real estate porn (House Hunters, House Hunters International, Property Brothers and Love It or List It).

It’s good to watch real estate porn when you’re looking to buy a house.  It’s educational.  And it helps to keep your expectations realistic.

I now know, for example, that I want a subway tile backsplash and an under mount sink.  I also know, (courtesy of Property Brothers and the fact they find mold at the 45 minute mark in every episode) that I need to budget for major renovations.

But some reality shows are just stupid.

Take Sister Wives… am I missing something?

Sister Wives Portraits

One very big happy family

First of all, the husband, Kody, isn’t even nice looking.  I can’t imagine how he found one woman who wanted to marry him, let alone four.

Secondly, are there really so single women in the Apostolic United Brethren church that they have to share?  I don’t like sharing.  And although I get polygamy from an anthropological perspective, especially in communities where it is actually—believe it or not— somewhat necessary, I don’t get why these women would go in for it.  Not in the US.  Not in 2013.

Thirdly, what’s with the cul-de-sac?  The show started in Utah but the Brown family (which includes 17 kids) moved to Nevada and now each wife has her own house in a cul-de-sac.  In the episode I saw, they were competing against one another to make the best caramels for Kody.  If I was in a polygamous marriage or a so-called “spiritual union” I wouldn’t want to look out my front door everyday and be reminded of the fact that I was wife #2 (or #3, or #4).

Maybe the next time I’m trying to get my students to comprehend the difference between polygamy, polygyny and polyandry we’ll watch Sister Wives and make caramels.  And then I will lecture about the importance of cultural relativism and not being ethnocentric while thinking “Seriously?  No way.”

11 Responses to “What’s Up with Sister Wives?”

  1. caitybee370

    I laughed at your post because to me it is funny. I really agree. However, it is interesting how polygamy is because it is not considered “normal”. It is very taboo , so it is interesting to see how they all live together and how Kody goes from one wife to another. Well I know for sure I wouldn’t be able to “share” my boyfriend with other women. I would be one jealous and two I wouldn’t want another women in the picture. I don’t know how this guy does it , let alone have 17 children!! Also women can be so naggy and dramatic, so having four wife’s would give any guy a headache hahahahahaha

    Anyways, I do watch it from time to time , basically when I’m bored and have nothing else to do. :/

  2. Captain Phoenix Rising

    LOL! I will too admit that this show is a sick fascination of mine. (And one of my former room mate’s father was a camera man for the show so I bet we could get some good dirt…) I am happy to share food, clothes, books, etc., but not a man. Especially not with other women who are quite whiney! And a cul-de-sac is a court – in mid-western speak. Wikipedia makes it sound much more glamorous than it really is! http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cul-de-sac

    • Kat Richter

      Interesting piece, thanks for sharing. I loved the Google calendar bit. TWD and I recently shared calendars (but not for the same reasons obviously, lol) and its made things much easier. I’m not sure that “polyamory will become ‘average and everyday'” but I do think its a viable option in cases like this, where people are open and everyone has the choice to have multiple partners and relationships. The difference with Sister Wives, in my opinion, is that only the man is allowed to have multiple partners. The women have to sit around waiting for him to choose them. It’s a double standard.

  3. Landlord

    Most non HGTV reality shows are STUPID, unfortunately most people actually think they’re real…that, in my opinion is the real problem. I like the ones where people who have some semblance of talent, compete for prizes or where some folks with talent can offer their services to help others, but the rest—pure garbage, however, if you understand that, do make for some harmless guilty pleasure viewing.

  4. Laurie

    Portland! That’s where Solomon is living! He is apprenticed to a blacksmith and taking advanced scuba training while his girlfriend does the really hard work as a crew member on a wooden schooner taking tourists out on Casco Bay. They are both college graduates, doing what they love. Who ever heard of combining blacksmithing with scuba diving? Next time you head up to Maine let us know!

    • Kat Richter

      Wow! What are the odds! It was all a bit last minute and I kept it pretty hush-hush but I did like Portland a lot so if I go back, I’ll let you know 🙂


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