Friday, February 1, 2008

Wife Swap

You've all seen this show right? The one where women trade families for 2 weeks. I can't say I watch this show religiously but I will say I am always fascinated by it. The premise behind the show is that the wives and mothers of polar opposite families switch places and alternately live the life of the displaced wife for one week and then force their new families to live life their way the 2nd week. Recently this involved the family of a child beauty pageant winner and a feminist homeschooling family. I mean polar opposites!

As contrived as this experiment some time seems in the end there is always at least one touching moment... when the military mom learns to lighten up a bit from the magician dad for example... and it really does seem like there is value in this experiment after all. Each family starts out so set and convicted in their lifestyle choice and then after catching a glimpse of the other side they ultimately recognizes their faults and change for the better...if only a little.

So what is your polar opposite family? I always try to think what ours would be... but honestly we are so extreme in so many areas it is hard to narrow down the field! How about....
"A Southern Evangelical Christian Fox News watching Republican patriarchal family with a dominant, sex crazed, husband who shouts orders to his subservient wife who obsessively cleans while their kids eat fast food take out in front of their own TVs in their bedrooms? Oh and they have guns and ride ATVs around their property WITHOUT helmets!!! (that part goes without saying though... right?) And they think breastfeeding is disgusting because boobs are a man's sexual property... and their kids aren't allowed to cry because it is weak... and they think "organic food" is a hoax."

But the show stirs up a lot of stuff for me and I always start thinking about what things people would be surprised about if they had to step in my shoes for two weeks. What things would be unbearable or a "no go"? And what things would people be shocked to find out... like that I don't do the dishes... ever! Would my life seem harder or easier? More stressful or more relaxing? You never know what someone else's shoes feel like until you are in them. What would my opposite family teach me?

Of course I would never do it since I wouldn't be willing to leave my kids for that long.


angie said...

I would swap with you in a heartbeat...just think mr. f and i could talk politics all the time. I would get to hang with kid and baby. Plus we could cheat now and again and see our kids. You, however, would have to deal with my very structured and tidy husband...not sure you'd survive that. :-) But I know how good you'd be with Nate and that you would follow my most important rule (TV). Plus he'd get much better food. It'd be win-win for me :-)

Mr Furious said...

"would you wife swap with me?"

Of course they would...Who wouldn't want two weeks with me?

Mr Furious said...

Ang, if you and Mrs F swap, it might be takeout for two weeks over here. You okay with that?

For entertainment we can watch T and Mrs F brawl in the driveway about who goes grocery shopping...

Mrs. Furious said...

I don't Ang you would have to wake up all night every 45 minutes...
I think I get the way better deal out of that swap... as Mr F points out I wouldn't even have to do the grocery shopping!

Mrs. Furious said...


More to the point who would be your opposite family?

I mean trading over here isn't that much different for either of us.

eurydice said...

boobs are a man's sexual property

LOL that made me spit out my drink hahaha!

Chris Howard said...

Once I realized it wasn't actually about swingers, I kind of tuned out :).

I'll have to think about our opposite family. Religion and politics is easy, but the rest is more complicated.

Mrs. Furious said...

"Once I realized it wasn't actually about swingers, I kind of tuned out :)."

Chris Howard said...

By the way, I put up a new post about relationships at my place. I'm not sure if you look in there anymore since we've been sports and politics heavy for a while (heavy being a relative term for a blog that goes for 2 weeks without posts). Sorry to interrupt. Please resume your regularly scheduled commenting.

Mrs. Furious said...

I'm glad you enjoyed that ;)

angie said...

I am laughing so hard here. Mr F, I am all about take out. Indian, Tios, Sushi, ali baba....mmmmm. And yes, the battles in the driveway would be very amusing.

Mrs F, yea the no sleep at night would be tough. really tough. especially given me being used to nate sleeping 12-13 hours at night and a 2-3 hr nap. God bless him.

Opposite family....biggest thing would be if they were all about tv/video watching. Also, staying at home rather than working. not sure i could do that. eating only "american food" and eating lots of bad foods (esp. the kids, i am all about the doritos for me....).Harsh disciplinarian (i.e., spanking, yelling a lot). No books or thinking toys. We are not as strict about organic, so that's not a big deal to me. Oh--i'd be driven crazy if the other family did not exercise, were inactive and homebodies. We are out and about every day, so sitting home (except today when it's so snowy and cold) would drive me to drink. Oh wait, I already do like my drink. :-)

oh and if the neighbor sucked, it would suck :-) like my neighbors too much.

oh, wait, one more thing. if they were republican and creationist and rich but didn't care about the poor i'd kill myself. that i really couldn't take.

Feener said...

i always say to mats that i want vid tapes of other families at home. i want to see if my life is harder, easier, or the same. I feel this would prove to me that either my kids are as hard as i think OR i am a huge wimp like i often think.

Mrs. Furious said...

I checked it out.
People you should go read his post and see what you think.

Oh believe me I'm so with you. I think that all the time. Especially about people I know... I'd love to be vindicated that functioning on so little sleep is unbearable... but I do fear finding out some poor woman gets up at 6 and then crafts all day while simultaneously threshing her own wheat and scrubbing the grout of her shower while baking cookies for her neighbors!

michelline said...

This is a really good post. And a tough one to answer! Like Chris said, politics and religion are easy.

I do know what I couldn't do without for 2 weeks (besides my family) - the internet! With my luck, I'd be placed with a family who hasn't updated their technology since 1995 and who only has dial up :)

michelline said...


Opposite family....biggest thing would be if they were all about tv/video watching.

You'd hate my house, LOL. We have 4 DVRs. Each kid has her own and Chris has 2. One for the HD TV and one for the office (the HD replaced that one). I'm the only one in the house that almost never watches TV. Daughter 1 is a movie addict. Both kids love their game systems (Wii and PS2). At least the game they play most on the Wii is DDR, which gets them exercising.

Nutmeg said...

Mrs. F... your worst fears won't be realized with me.

It's just about all I can do to dress and feed myself and E. every day. On good days I manage to shower.

When I was a kid I always used to look up at airplanes flying over head at night and think about how all those planes were filled with other people and they were all the center of their own experiences. It was always such a weird sensation.

This is sort of like an extension of that. I think my opposite family would mostly be like yours except I watch more TV than you do (though Eli watches none and couldn't be bothered with it, because he's got things to do!).

Mrs. Furious said...

Oh I've been known to watch my fair share of TV. When I was pregs with Baby as soon as Kid would go to sleep I'd veg out for hours. I just don't watch it with the kids around... and that time is becoming longer and longer as Kid & Baby stay up so late & now I barely get to watch it at all.

Mrs. Furious said...

Have you all not seen the show? It is more than whether you religion and politics are aligned/misaligned they some how pick up on the "one" thing that defines your house and find you the opposite of that. It really is fascinating.

michelline said...

Have you all not seen the show?

I really don't watch much TV. The (very) occasional movie. The local news every morning as I get ready for work. And football are about it. I love the weather channel, but I'd rather read.

I had heard about this particular episode and even watched a bit of the clip on youtube, but that's it. It does sound neat.

angie said...


I need to fess up. I watch tv. We also have a dvr (colbert, daily show, project runway, grey's anatomy are regulars). What i was trying to get at was tv and kids. My son turns next week and has never watch a kids show/movie. He's seen some football (we are fanatic University of Michigan football). So, I do watch tv. Though I too love to read. Unfortunately, most of my reading is medical journals, board books, and parenting books. Fascinating.

P.O.M. said...

I like that show, whenever I can remembet to watch it. They always pick families that are really out there. LIke the fantasy Ferries and magicians and black magic and bible thumping. Craziness.

I think most of us are somewhere in the middle. And a little "swap" would just make us appreciate what we have :)

Julie said...

Hey, I wouldn't mind switching with some fanatic house cleaner wife...come home after 2 weeks to a super clean house. Or maybe someone who is obsessed with doing photo albums and gets stressed to see photos not in albums. She could do mine. It would really be a dream come true.

Mrs. Furious said...

"Or maybe someone who is obsessed with doing photo albums"
that woman would have a field day over here!

Mrs. Furious said...

"I think most of us are somewhere in the middle. And a little "swap" would just make us appreciate what we have "

true, true... you are probably right.

Mr Furious said...

that woman would have a field day over here!

That woman would have heart attack and die, or be buried under the sheer volume of loose photos if she came here.

Andrea said...

Swap, no never I couldnt leave my baby, and honestly Im sort of a clean freak and cleaning up after someone elses family just repulses me.

btw-made the tenderloin last night wow I have so been ovrecooking these suckers my hubby even said this is best best one Ive ever made.Thanks Mrs.F

Mrs. Furious said...

Oh Yay! I'm so glad you all liked the pork :)

Amy said...

i loved that description of your polar opposite family! i'll have to think about mine! ha ha ha

MommyTime said...

Yep, I'm fascinated. Also, though the families are very quite different, I don't think it's enough of an extreme to swap with the folks across the street from you. :) But seems like you guys already figured that out.

My opposite would have to be: evangelical Christian who hates to read and loves Wal-Mart; or woman who thinks home-made means adding sprinkles to store-bought cupcakes; or person who is really super crazy rich and spends all her time getting her nails done and complaining about how lazy the maid is.

But honestly? I think that a very close friend can probably tell better than we can tell ourselves what the one MAJOR button, heart of the matter, drive you to drink and to change how you think issue would be. It's hard to see these things in ourselves because there are so many things we think are deal-breakers.

Mrs. Furious said...

"I think that a very close friend can probably tell better than we can tell ourselves what the one MAJOR button, heart of the matter, drive you to drink and to change how you think issue would be."

Good point! I'll have to call Alexis and ask her what mine really is! I'll report back tomorrow.

Torey said...

I've been thinking about this all day trying to figure out what defines our home.

I had an interesting thought about what I would feel like adapting to someone else's "definition". Having been a nanny for almost 5 years, I've done a lot of different parenting techniques. I've co-slept, cried it out, cloth diapered, carried a coach diaper bag (seriously. . .why?), cleaned, grocery shopped at Whole Foods, and Sav-a-Lot. . .I haven't done it all, but I've done a lot of it. I think that fitting in for me might be easier, because I have a "your house, your rules" mentality. If someone came to my house. . .well, my house, my rules.

I don't know who our opposite would be. I think it might be fun for a day, but I'm not willing to leave my baby. . .

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