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My Five Wives, Season 1, episode 5



The Birds and the Bees and Everything In Between

We begin with a wives’ meeting during which Brady wants to know “who I owe what†regarding anniversaries and such. Paulie explains the rules—when you’ve been married 10 years you “get†to go away for a week with Brady. After 15 years, you get a weekend. Why do the trips get shorter as time goes on?

Rosemary and Nonie are both owed trips. Rosemary does NOT look amused. She tells us they are three months past their anniversary. Still, she defers the anniversary talk and brings up a daughter’s question about whether a boy needs Brady’s permission to hold her hand.

Brady decides he needs a meeting with the teens to discuss dating protocol. Paulie explains that with the eldest daughter, it was just she and Brady who made the decisions about her dating. I get the impression that she does not want the other wives’ input on her own children.

Brady says they need to set rules for dating. The wives give him the side eye. I’m imagining thought bubbles over their heads.“Seriously? You, with the five wives, are talking about boundaries?†Mmmmmmkay.

Brady tells us that he decided himself that he wouldn’t kiss a girl until he was engaged. Which could be very limiting …..for people who don’t have five wives. Brady calls himself a fuddy duddy.

Rosemary thinks the family should create a dating “statement†so I guess she’s been watching Sister Wives and saw how well that turned out.

Robyn says that at school the kids are “different†and “not like everybody else†because they are not part of the dominant religion. Nonie points out the kids don’t have much of a social life outside the family and they “can’t date our family.†Which, okay, but it has come to my attention that two of the wives (Robyn and Rhonda) are first cousins. That seems like bending the rules a little.

Brady makes fun of daughter September’s pre-shredded jeans and calls himself a fuddy duddy again. September doesn’t call him a fuddy duddy. She calls him “annoying,†which makes her typical of every 15-year-old girl in the universe.

They do the “repeat after me†prayer thing again and I think this must be a prayer they say often because even though the son who leads the prayer is mumbling, the rest of the group seems to be able to repeat (while also mumbling).

Nonie is looking forward to her anniversary with Brady and has found “babysitters†for her kids—babysitters being the other moms and/or teens. She still wants another baby.

Brady talks to Nonie about their trip. It seems insensitive for him to talk about this in front of the other wives. (It looks like at least Rosemary is within hearing range.) Then Nonie makes a weird face behind Brady’s back as he walks away. Does she agree with me? And the way this part is edited, it appears as if Robyn is disgusted with the whole thing.

Oooh, there’s a shot of the cutest dog in the world!! I don’t know anything about dogs. Is it a shih tzu/bichon mix? Sorry, I got distracted.

Brady and Rhonda speak in her room. She has heard from the adoption agency which has basically refused them because of a ruling against cohabitation. Brady says they have to fight this “stigma.†Rhonda replies that “it’s just because they don’t understand. They don’t know us.†I agree “they†don’t know this family, but I have a feeling they totally understand.

Brady promises to call his lawyer. Rhonda talks about how she got her hopes up and maybe dreams don’t come true. No Rhonda, sometimes they don’t.

After the commercial break, there are more shots of those gorgeous mountains.

Then September tells Nonie that “a dude†invited her out to dinner. My first suggestion when approaching your mom about going on a date, is not to call the boy in question a “dude.†It turns out he’s a boy from school. September, once again acting like every teenager in America, does NOT want her mom to call this boy’s family and then calls her mother “old.†Paulie tells us how September has always wanted to be grown up. Paulie says they need to run this past Brady.

Brady comes to talk to Rhonda about her job. He thinks she works too hard and she should quit. He’s concerned about her. She wants to keep the job because it helps them financially and also she loves it. Brady says he wants to be more successful so that Rhonda doesn’t have to work. (Note: I was going to get on my soapbox about patriarchy and how insufferable it was for Brady to mention that if Rhonda didn’t work, she could be “the mom I know she wants to be.†But I am going to give Brady a break in this case because his concern becomes clearer at the end of the episode.)

Brady says Rhonda needs to take care of herself and work on the adoption. But Rhonda counters that she doesn’t’ get to see Brady or the other wives that much, so working is her social outlet. Brady can’t argue with that and they decide to put off the decision until they look more deeply into adoption.

Brady takes Nonie to what looks to be the same restaurant (same table!) that he took Robyn to for their “sorry-I-had-to-work-on-my-term-paper-on-your-night†date. Let’s see if they order shrimp……...aaaaand, I think they do. I paused the DVR to make sure. It certainly looks like it could be shrimp, but I suppose it could be another type of fish. Anyway there are no complaints from Nonie so I guess she’s happy with her lunch.

They discuss their favorite memories of their 16-year marriage and Nonie says her favorite times were when each child was born, which is a great segue into her asking about having another baby again. Brady isn’t sure he can take care of any more children, especially financially.

Where was this attitude when he was talking to Rhonda about adoption? Also, does he not remember last week’s episode when he was too tired to think? But Nonie reeeaaallly wants another baby. Now Brady decides that he wants a baby with Nonie. (I think it’s all going to hit the fan when Nonie gets pregnant. And what about poor Rosemary? What about Rosemary’s baby?)

Apparently, this has to be done RIGHT NOW because they move on to the bed-and-breakfast which is aptly called the “Anniversary Inn.†They find their log-cabin themed room. Nothing says romance more than an indoor “outhouse†complete with crescent moon on the door. Nonie pronounces it “beautiful.†Brady says it’s cool.

He also says that now that they’ve decided to have a baby, it’s not public announcement time. “It’s more precious and quiet.†Except, you know, for the millions of people watching it on TV. He continues in this shy and reserved manner when he sits on the bed and says “this is where the magic happens baby.†Nonie replies “We’ll make it creak.†And there’s a picture in my head I’ll never get out.

After their night o’babymakin’ Nonie and Brady come home. The other wives come over to bring an anniversary gift to Nonie for her anniversary. It’s bath towels, which I can appreciate because all those kids must go through towels like crazy. Nonie concurs.

Nonie says she finds it “awkward†to tell her sister wives about her decision to have a baby. This seems to be a recurring theme on polygamy shows: the awkwardness of acknowledging a carnal relationship with your shared husband. I guess, but they’ve had 24 chances to get used to the idea of one of them being pregnant. They should know the drill. So to speak.

Nonie says “it’s hard to have to share that sexual relationship.†So why are you doing this again? It must also be hard to share towels because Brady scoffs up the brand new ones and heads to the shower.

Cut to Paulie who explains to Brady (after his shower, I assume) that September wants to go out to dinner with a boy and his family. Brady says it’s something they need to talk about “as a family.†Paulie says no which again leads me to believe that she is not on board with the rest of the group weighing in on her children’s activities.

When Paulie describes the dinner it sounds more like a family reunion than a dinner date and that seems to appease Brady. But he still wants to clarify with September. He is protective. He knows how boys think. (They think they’d like to get it on with as many women as possible. I wonder if his boys think this way. I wonder where they would get that idea.)

Brady finds September and she goes all teenage girl on him when describing the evening out. “Daaaaad, we’re not datinguh!!!!!!!â€

It’s decided that an older sister will drop her off at the boyfriend’s house and make sure it’s all on the up and up. Brady threatens to call state troopers if she’s late, then tells her to have fun.

Later that evening, it’s Rosemary’s night, but Brady goes to Paulie’s room to wait for September. Rosemary looks very sad and I wonder why she’s always getting the short end of the stick. So to speak. Rosemary goes to bed alone.

Luckily for everyone concerned, September is home by curfew. See Brady? She’s a good girl.

More cute dog!!!

Because he hasn’t embarrassed every teenager in the house yet, Brady calls a meeting of the “dating age†kids in the family. They all look like they wish the floor would swallow them up. Brady decides on group dates for 16 year olds and single dates for 18 year olds. Two of the girls (September and Rachel) balk at that. Brady really tries to sell them on group dates because “most of the time it’s a whole lot funner†than a regular date. So that’s settled. At least for Brady.

The earnest older brother from last week says he feels very protective of his sisters and does his best 1950s dad impression when he says he doesn’t want his sisters to get “in trouble.â€

Now Brady moves on to “physical contact between the sexes.†I am very impressed with the children for not dying from embarrassment as I would have at that age. Your dad is on freaking TV talking to you about kissing!!!!! And then he starts talking about premarital sex!!!!! And here the teens break into nervous, embarrassed laughter and one points out that this whole situation is “awkward.†He hides his bright red face. The earnest one then approves of the no-premarital-sex rule.

One daughter asks about dating a polygamist. Brady says it’s okay but it scares him. It has to be a really good man who thinks like Brady who is progressive about things like gender equality and marriage equality. Well, kudos to him, but I’m not sure how “progressive†or gender equal it is for one man to have five wives. The meeting is adjourned when one kid who obviously can’t take it any more asks about dating other species.

Brady hears from his lawyer who tells him they can’t adopt in Utah because Robyn is, for all intents and purposes, a single mother. Brady rants about stigmas and being denied because they’re different. I’m guessing most of the states are reluctant to send a child to a home that ALREADY has 23 other kids living in it.

The lawyer says there are other states where a “single mother†can adopt. One of these is Washington, the state where Brady already thought about moving. Rhonda gets excited, but I can only think that this is going to upset Paulie who doesn’t seem to want to move. Anyway, Brady plans to call another lawyer.

Paulie comes to talk to Rhonda about a doctor’s appointment that Rhonda had. Rhonda is having symptoms which worry her. Both women are very upset and I can see that they really seem to care about each other. Rhonda is very scared because her mom died of breast cancer. Paulie comforts her. It seems genuine and touching.

Paulie says she agrees with Brady that Rhonda stop working. (So Brady must have discussed Rhonda with Paulie. Not cool, Brady, not cool. Or, I don’t know, is it cool? Is that how the arrangement works?) Rhonda says she’s worried about finances, and she loves her job even though she doesn’t like leaving her kids. It’s all very emotional and I can finally see a connection between these wives.

Well, I’m emotionally exhausted for this family. I think all talkof babies, adopted or otherwise, should be tabled until such time as the women aren’t constantly threatening to break into tears.

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