Sunday, May 4, 2014

On Polygamy

Jeremy and I enjoyed watching Big Love on TV. Occasionally, I've been known to watch Sister Wives. This has given me the opportunity to think about the kind of arrangement where a man may have more than one wife.

Because Jeremy and I come from a tradition where you are allowed only one wife at a time, naturally the guy on Big Love having three at once brought up some questions. Which one do you think is the prettiest? I asked Jeremy. If you could pick only one of these wives which one would it be?

He chose wife #1, the dark haired beauty with high cheekbones. She also seemed to be the most stable and reasonable of the three.

My own choice, if I were a dude from this religion, would be wife #2. The chick was seriously high maintenance and very emotional. However, in my opinion she was the most gorgeous and interesting. I know it would end badly and I would regret it later. But what fireworks while it lasted!

One of the main advantages to having sister wives, is the social aspect of it. I imagine there would be a lot of hanging out. Because there would be two or more other women there, you'd have a live-in captive audience for whatever was bothering you.

There are things that interest women more than they interest men. For instance, I feel like the sister wives would be really interested and supportive if I received an email that really hurt my feelings. I could discuss the hurtful email all I wanted without their eyes glazing over, then Jeremy would be free to pursue what interests him. This is a good example of the kind of camaraderie I could expect from other wives.

However, this advantage could quickly turn into a problem. Since I am Jeremy's only wife, in order to socialize with other women, I either have to text one and ask them to lunch, or do laundry in our building's laundry room when friends are down there. The friends aren't just in my apartment at all hours.

While having the other wives around all the time might prove fun at first, all of the conversation, wine drinking, reality TV viewing, discussing meals, venting about the kids and reassuring other wives that they aren't fat, would eat into productivity and individual goals. I've come to the conclusion that being the only wife here is good in terms of getting anything done.

Another situation that comes with some pros and cons would be the sharing. I really would be fine sharing some clothes with my sister wives. In fact, there is a potential there for having many more clothes to choose from than I do now. There's a chance that the fat sister wife might feel left out of the closet shopping and clothes swapping. What fat sister wife? Come on. You know there would be one.

I'm a little more leery of sharing makeup. This is what I would say to my sister wives. You can borrow my makeup if you ask. And then it depends on which thing you want to borrow. Bronzer yes, lipstick, no. And make sure you clean my brushes when you're finished.

The biggest problem with the sister wife thing is the part where I would have to share Jeremy with them. I'm sorry, but that doesn't float my boat. I'm possessive. Whenever Jeremy goes on a business trip, I remind him no hanky panky.

Even if I could get my mind around sharing Jeremy, I know I'd be really secretly competitive with the other wives. I would be all nice and we're all in this relationship together on the outside. But on the inside it would be a different story. It would bring out my worst qualities.

I'd be on the treadmill working out, keeping myself all tight and fit. I'd look over at my lazy sister wives, sitting on their asses eating Ferrero Rocher and reading magazines and feel really superior. I'm ashamed to admit this, but it's true. I would be committing the sin of pride.

I would do all sorts of things to try to be the most pleasing sister wife. Some of them would be the same things I do now because face it, I want to remain vivacious and interesting. But if the competition were in my house, day in day out, I'd have to seriously up my game. I'd have to buy a blow dryer and learn to use it. I might feel obligated to get a Brazilian.

As I look around my very nice but small apartment, some practical matters come to mind. Where would we put everyone? It's not just the wives. Naturally, if Jeremy and I were polygamous, the other wives would want to have children with Jeremy. I couldn't very well insist that he only have children with me. That wouldn't be fair.

I can tell you right now, Jeremy and I would not want to move to a McMansion in the suburbs. Or a creepy compound.

The one thing I could see working, if I had to be in such a relationship, would be a large loft space in an up and coming neighborhood. Presumably, at least some of the wives would have lucrative careers and maybe then we could all live somewhere really hip.

There would be the corporate sister wife making the big bucks. Maybe there would be another DIY crafty, urban homesteading  type and she could raise chickens in the tiny yard outside of the loft and sew clothes for everyone. If it weren't for me being such a jealous type, this scenario could work. It isn't half bad.

But there's another issue. I'm a feminist. This patriarchal bullshit would bug me. I also feel that what's good for the goose is good for the gander. So if I'm going to have to share with other wives, then there needs to be brother husbands, or at least some boyfriends.

Which reminds me of something that happened way back when, at my kids' nursery school. I'd picked up Noah from the nursery school class and was strapping him into his stroller. At the same time, I was handing my sister in law's phone number to one of the dads who was there to collect his kid.

The reason I was doing this was that the dad was kindergarten shopping for his son, and was strongly considering a school that my niece and nephew were attending at the time. My sister in law said she would be happy to talk to the dad about this school.

So I'm getting ready to leave, and I notice one of the teaching assistants give me a look. What? I say to her.

She just keeps giving me this significant look. Then I figure it out. She thinks I'm giving my phone number to this dad so we could hook up later. I can tell by the look on her face, that is what she is thinking. What a dirty mind on that woman!

Listen. I say to her. Don't give me that look. I'm not even giving him my phone number. It's someone else's.

I continued. I already have one husband. And let me tell you, one man is more than enough for me. And with these kids and my job and this husband I am more than busy. I am too busy and too tired from this husband and these kids to have any kind of affair.

I could have left it at that. But one thing I have to mention is that although this dad is very nice he was not my type. I felt a little bad that the teacher's assistant thought I'd give out my phone number and plan a hook up with him, when there were other dads there that I would easily choose over him.

I wasn't choosing them, because of being more than satisfied with Jeremy and also too exhausted to think of such a thing. Also Jeremy is much more handsome than any of the dads. I'm just saying.

So I added one more thing. And if I did want to have an affair with someone, it wouldn't be him.

By this time, the teaching assistant was lying down on the classroom rug, near the dress up corner laughing hysterically. She was basically incapacitated. That's what she gets for getting up in my business I thought. I handed Noah some Pirate’s Booty and wheeled him out of there.

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