Monday, March 28, 2011

Sister Wives

Yes, as in polygamy. Its my new favorite television show and I cannot get enough. It’s basically the reality version of Big Love except with four wives, and without the annoying cult-compound plot points that bore me to tears (or used to, now that the show's over). They are fundamentalist Mormons and live in Utah in this massive house which has different wings for each of the families, but all the wings are connected. The series begins with the husband, Kody, courting his fourth wife, which is a big deal because the last time he went a-courting was sixteen years ago, when he married number 3.

I am super hooked for a few reasons. First, I find polygamy in general fascinating. As an incredibly jealous and somewhat self-obsessed person, I find the idea of sharing my spouse pretty unthinkable. Also, I'd be way more into the idea if the reverse - four husbands to one wife - was a possibility, too. Imagine, in that scenario, how quickly my broken blinds would be fixed and how painlessly the dishwasher would be loaded. Yes, I want extra husbands because I can't afford house hold help. If I had more money and could afford a cleaning person or an aupair, the idea would have less appeal.

But the aspect of polygamy that I find totally amazing is the sisterhood component – that you have these women that are friends and sisters and co-mothers. Especially the co-mother part. That means extra babysitters. People to worry about your kids as much (or almost) as you do. People to whom you can turn and say "YOU talk some sense into this child."People to complain about your husband too, who totally get what a douche bag he can be. People to direct him to when he's being a gloomy mofo and you don't have the patience to deal. So I was not surprised to hear one of the wives say that as a kid raised in a polygamist household, there were times in her life that she wanted sister wives more than she wanted a husband. She didn’t WANT just a guy to marry – she wanted the whole family.

But the other reason I am hooked is that these are the nicest, most generous, thoughtful and wholesome people ever. These people go Ice Blocking for crying out loud. I didn’t know what that was but turns out, it is when you sit on large blocks of ice and slide down a hill. Is there anything more wholesome than that?

So, thanks to TLC for some totally addicting programming.

Ultimately I think David’s comments on plural marriage pretty much say it best:

“I don’t get why polygamy is illegal,” he said, “If a guy is crazy enough to willingly take on more than one wife, that’s punishment enough.”