About Me

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Concord, California, United States
I am a sometimes-writer, everyday mama, creative failure and experimental cook. I am interested in living a beautiful life, spending time with my family and making things that I can feel proud of. When I'm by myself I'm usually outside. Don't bother calling because chances are that I didn't bring my cell phone because I couldn't find it. If you see me walking, it's because I lost my keys and if you see me with only one child... I'm probably in big trouble.

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Sister Wives (and my zillionth post for today...)

Okay, so outside of Big Love I don't know anything about polygamy. I do know one person in a poly-amorous relationship and I find her experiences totally fascinating. I keep hoping that she'll start a blog so that I can read all about it every morning as I drink my coffee (yes, I am that nosey). Generally, I tend to assume that everyone I meet is living their life in a similar way to me. I mean, obviously there are some differences like, I drive a car and you ride a bike. Or, I like vanilla but you like chocolate. I am a heartless moneygrubber with no social conscience republican* and you are a democrat. But other than those small differences, I sort of assume that my role as mother is just about the same as everyone else's. I assume the same thing about my role as wife. I know what to expect from my marriage because it meets a social norm and I assume that everyone else's marriage is the same as mine.

There's been a lot of buzz about the TLC show Sister Wives, which I've been following. I'm surprised by how many people are appalled and disgusted by the way this family is living. Also, I'm really not sure how polygamy is illegal. I mean, clearly these people are not legally married. Or, are they? I am under the impression that the law doesn't recognize any marriage but the mister's first marriage. Is this untrue? I mean, there are men who have five different mistresses and 17 children who are spread all over the country (just talk to any hair-metal-band lead vocalist from the 1990's). Is THAT illegal? As far as the safety of these children is concerned, they all seemed pretty happy and loved to me. Or, at least that's the way the show presented them. They seem well adjusted and normal. Far more than those bizarre Dugger kids. I don't really see what makes it worse than a dad who has been divorced several times and has a bunch of other kids with other women. If anything, this is much better because the home is happier and reflects a loving community. Who am I to say that the only right way to have a family is to have one mom and one dad living with only their biological children? America has broken homes and non-traditional families that are loving and healthy all over the place. And America has traditional families that are falling apart.

I do think that this is sexist. But, I don't think that it's my place to say that another person can't be treated as a commodity if they want to be. Or, more importantly, if they disagree and do not think that it's sexist for one man to have several different wives. It's not for me... but neither are a lot of things. Should they be illegal?

It's difficult for me to wrap my brain around my own husband sleeping with another woman. It's harder for me to imagine him falling in love with another woman. Actually, it's so hard that now that I've written it I'm angry with him and I will probably give him the cold shoulder when he gets home and force him to pack his own lunch for Thursday. But, just because these are my standards, doesn't mean that they'll work for everyone.

Watching the show Sister Wives really made me see the benefits to polygamy. Ha! Seriously, though. I sort of get it. I don't think that I could or would ever want to do it. But I can see how it would be helpful. I can also see how it would be maddening, saturated by jealousy and a total emotional rollercoster. After all, it's difficult enough to deal with the feelings of two people. How in the world is anyone able to deal with the feelings of 5 people?????

So, to close this out, if this family is breaking some sort of law, I think that's really stupid and primitive. It's probably time to update the laws.

*sorry if that's offensive, but I simply couldn't resist.


  1. " it's so hard that now that I've written it I'm angry with him and I will probably give him the cold shoulder when he gets home and force him to pack his own lunch for Thursday"

    Oh, I love that you said this! If I have a bad dream or think things like this, I'm the same way with my husband. It's so not fair, but I can't help it! And, often, I "punish" him by not making his lunch in the morning!

    I haven't seen Sister Wives, but I've read a couple of memoirs by women who left the polygamist lifestyle. I wouldn't last a second in a situation like that, but for them, it's all they've known. They grew up around it, and that's their "normal." I can't fault them for not wanting something different than what they were raised with. As long as they're happy and the kids are well cared for, who am I to judge?

  2. That's exactly how I feel.

    It just seems strange to me that it would be illegal.

    I just feel like, "who am I to say what your family should look like?"

  3. i've never heard of this show and suddenly feel behind in my pop culture =/

    the only time i have ever heard of this is with mormons and it sounded a little cult-ish to me, but at the same time, everyone involved seemed to be fully aware of the arrangement.

    i don't know if the marriages are 'legal', i don't think you can 'legally' have more than one spouse at the same time, or none if you're gay. it seems silly to me that there is a law against this, but then again oral and anal sex even by straight, happily married couples is illegal in some states. who is busting these couples and for what reason, i do not know.