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?
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.”