Saturday, April 18, 2009

A Peaceful Evening with Wife Swap

We were without Scott last night. At first, as the night approached, the house seemed too quiet despite having the tv on and three kids in the house. It was just his presence that was missing.

We ended up having a really nice evening. The kids and I ate an unhealthy dinner (mac & cheese and red grapes), followed by an unhealthy dessert (chocolate peanut butter shakes). I like to spoil the kids when dad's gone. ~smile I enjoyed the quiet evening with the kids.

We also watched Wife Swap and discussed the two families.

Wife Swap was rather interesting and we had some good discussion/comments about it. The episode featured a deliberately "poor" family and a deliberately "wealthy" family.

The "poor" family was actually rich in every other way. They made the decision to live in a small log cabin (complete with the mud/straw cement between the logs) without the trappings of modern life, including electricity. They shared bathwater and then used that to flush their toilet. Dad was a fiddle player and mom was a square dance caller. They spent less energy on making money so they could spend more energy on being a family. They took care of the family farm animals, dipped their own candles, and completed crafts by headlights/candles in the evenings. I thought it was wonderful how involved the father, especially, was with this family; he actively participated in family activities that many dads stay away from. It was obvious that this family was close.

The "wealthy" family was actually very poor in every way except money. They designed their nice, large house around a chandelier. They bought their spoil, ill-mannered children every toy imaginable, all of which were stored in the basement with little room to actually play. Mom was extremely shallow, rude, condescending, and uninvolved with her family. She said she spent $30,000 a year on her wardrobe and probably $20,000 a year on the kids' clothing. She spent money on several cosmetic procedures (breast enhancement and several lip plumpings) without first discussing it with her husband. The lips looked obviously fake and ridiculous! She booked her hair appointments for an entire year at a time and spent 2 hours a day primping, followed by another hour primping her preschool-aged kids who wore hair gel and had their blemishes covered with make-up. In the evenings, she went out partying with friends while her husband, home from work, did the laundry (it was beneath her to do herself) and took care of the children. It was really sad!

My kids recognized immediately that the poor family was a much happier place to be. They saw that money doesn't buy happiness. They saw how sad it was that the wealthy kids were being raised to value money and expensive things over relationships and family. It was a good discussion. We had a good laugh at the fact that she called people who shopped at thrift stores "losers". Guess we are losers! We don't mind one bit.

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The Four Week Vegan said...

Wife swap always makes for good conversation. The few times we have caught it the kids were so glad they lived our life and not the ones portrayed on TV. You also have to keep in mind that show is SEVERELY edited - neither family was probably exactly like what was portrayed.

Twisted Cinderella said...

Definitely a good episode for prompting family discussions.

Deb said...

How sad to live like that woman and her family. If that is what having lots of money does then I'm so glad we're 'losers' who shop at Goodwill!!!
Rick was away from home Friday night as well - it was really weird and empty feeling around here :( So glad he's back home today!

Scott said...

My presence being missed and "too quiet" seems oddly ironic. But I like. ;-)