Wife Swap

Out of desperation and a need to veg out, I spent last night watching Wife Swap. I found myself entranced by the fact that someone would willingly air all of their dirty laundry (literally) on TV for all to see and judge (and generally be found lacking, as that’s what makes good TV). Why oh why would anyone admit their flaws – their inability to control their children, their anal-retentive cleaning obsessions, the fact that they allow chickens or goats to roam free through their house, pooping on the kitchen floor? Do they volunteer for the show because they think they are perfect, or because they are so desperate to enact change and can’t figure out how to do it on their own?

And what about their spouses and children? I can’t imagine M’s reaction if I announced at the dinner table that a host of cameras and another woman were coming to live at our house for two weeks and change everything that he holds dear. And for those families with teenagers, I can only imagine the fights that would ensue there. Or do they too suffer so from whatever the household inadequacies may be that the embarrassment of watching mom and dad on TV is the better of two evils? I even checked the website, thinking that perhaps the size of the cash payment would make it worthwhile, but found that no prizes are awarded as couples participate on the show for the “opportunity to re-discover why they love each other and decided to marry in the first place.”

Despite myself, as I watched the featured women head up another household and change all that we, the viewers, think is wrong with the other, I found myself wondering what someone would change about my household. My guess is someone would clean much more thoroughly than I, and insist that my children put clothes on much earlier in the day. Wait, do you think someone would work through A’s sleep issues for me? Wouldn’t that be nice, to come home from a two week stay with someone else’s family and find that my daughter slept. Ahhh. Perhaps I’ll audition after all.

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