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My Five Wives, Season 1, Episode 9


jinjy2

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You Asked, Brady and the Wives Answer

It’s Q&A time and the end of the season already. I guess time flies when you have five wives.

Brady and wives round up the kids to go to “Aunt Rosie’s†to answer “lots of questions from lots of fans.†I only bring this up because Brady seems positively giddy about his “fans.â€

First the younger kids answer questions:

It appears to me that the kids have been coached, but I’d coach my kids too if they were to appear on TV. (But I wouldn’t let them appear on a reality show.) These are the small children, so the questions are understandably lightweight.

  • The kids like being on TV. One says it’s because “it doesn’t happen to many people.†I’d argue that reality TV “stars†are a dime a dozen these days. One girl says they can show everyone that “polygamist†isn’t wrong and they will make a difference in the world. I don’t know if it’s Paulie’s daughter who says this, but when she says it, Paulie looks proud and has the closest thing to a smile I’ve ever seen on her face.
  • Altogether, the family has four dogs, three cats, and a turtle.
  • The kids feel that they get enough attention from their dad, except “sometimes.†Also, they call their non-bio moms “Aunt†to avoid confusion at home and questions in public.
  • They do explain their family situation to their friends. (I like the kid who tells his classmates, “My family’s abnormal.â€) An older daughter says it’s a lot easier going public for the little kids than it was when she was little.
  • The kids tend to fight with their bio full siblings, not the kids of other moms. Josh the Earnest adds “You just know their mom will come after you.†That’s the kind of answer we’re looking for—one that gets to the nitty gritty of this family’s dynamic.  I hope Josh has lots more to say. (Turns out he doesn’t.)
  • The kids all have different plans for their future careers: hairstylist, author, artist, cartoonist, scientist, robotics engineer, nurse, police woman. Nice to see that everyone is treated as an individual unlike some other mega-families.
  • The kids are asked who the best cook is. They are very diplomatic so no wives’ feelings are hurt. As for the worst cook? Another unfair question, but everyone is happy when the kids answer “dad.â€

Time for some teen talk.

  • All of the kids—boys and girls— say they would not like to be in a plural marriage. That’s very telling. It’s also telling when Hannah, Robyn’s daughter, says “It’s just difficult for all parties involved.†This shows me that the kids understand the toll this lifestyle has taken on their parents. Interestingly, one boy mentions that “It would be fun for all the kids not yet born,†which I suppose is a holdover from his Mormon upbringing.
  • The kids are close with each other and consider themselves full and not “step†siblings.
  • The kids go to school with other polygamists and have been bullied, but not because of polygamy.
  • The kids do get special one-on-one time with their mom and dad when they turn 8 and are baptized.  (I’d like to know if they’ll baptize the little ones since they’ve left the church.)
  • The teens don’t have to get jobs, but a lot of them do. They all share a car.
  • No one has a boyfriend or girlfriend because as one kid puts it, if “you can’t kiss, it’s not worth having.†He makes a solid point.
  • Dad gives the boys a birds-and-bees talk when they turn 13. It is not established if the girls get a talk.

The teens are dismissed. It’s just Brady and the “gals.â€

  • The wives were taught they had to follow polygamy in order to get to heaven. Now, when they’ve left the religion, Paulie says she “chooses†this family. She loves them and is committed.
  • Brady chose polygamy, nobody made him. (His parents became polygamists when he was a teen.) Robyn says Brady wouldn’t have been a “cheater,†i.e. wouldn’t have allowed himself to fall in love with multiple women if he wasn’t a part of this culture. It seems to me he found a cheating loophole.
  • They do the TV show so the kids don’t have to live in fear and to change people’s viewpoints.  Brady feels a lot freer going public, but he would have said no if he thought it would hurt the children. Nonie worried it would break family apart. Clearly, she’s seen a lot of the other reality show families.
  • Robyn says people don’t understand how they could be happy. She says she’s happy. (Does she not realize we have seen what she’s been through in the last few weeks? Ring-gate ring a bell, Robyn?) Rhonda thinks polygamy is more fun than monogamy. Nonie adds, “I know he loves each one of you guys and I know he loves me. It makes it easier for me to believe he loves me because I know he loves you guys and I think I feel more secure in my relationship.â€â€”That’s a strange argument. Why can’t she believe someone would love her, and her alone? When we cut to Paulie, her head is bowed and she looks tense and sad and I realize that polygamy creates women (or draws women to it) who have very low self-esteem.
  • The wives don’t feel that they were “tricked†into polygamy. I agree. They were raised in this faith. I think the original polygamist wives of the 1800s who went along with the men’s new idea from their god---they were tricked.  Rhonda feels her parents thought they were doing the right thing for her salvation. Robyn adds that she wasn’t encouraged to think for herself. She wasn’t tricked, but she was “very carefully led.†Rosemary tries to defend the faith and Robyn’s parents by adding “because they loved you.†Robyn says her love for her kids is different, “I want them to have their eyes open.†Good going, Robyn. Remember before when you said you were happy? We don’t believe you.
  • Paulie reads a question about how long Brady dated each wife. And she’s smiling again! It’s a small, guarded smile, but it’s a smile nonetheless. I wonder if it’s because Brady dated her the longest. We’re not going to find out because Paulie only tells us how long they were engaged (3 months). The other answers range from 6 weeks to 6 months, which all seem too short to me.
  • All the wives except Rhonda do not think another wife would be a good idea. What’s Rhonda’s game? I think she knows that Brady doesn’t want/can’t handle any more wives and wants to appear easygoing and all-in with this lifestyle.
  • What if a wife wanted another husband? I’ve been wanting this to be addressed because I’m still steaming mad over Kody Brown’s response to Meri when she asked how he would feel if she got herself another man. (Something about vulgarity!!! DOES HE NOT UNDERSTAND THE HYPOCRISY?????) Sorry, I digress.  Brady’s response is only slightly better. He says he understands that his wives should have the same rights, blah blah blah. Then he patronizes the women by pointing out that he would never handle it as well as they do. He would be a jealous mess. Why don’t we just try it and see, Brady? Nonie says he should give himself more credit. I’m not sure what she’s trying to accomplish here. Does she want another husband?

And then there were five: now it’s the wives without Brady.

  • Sharing a husband is enough for them. Rhonda would rather have a portion of an awesome guy than all of a not-awesome guy. No, Rhonda, you deserve and could find a wonderful man to keep all for yourself.
  • The sister wives’ relationships with each other go through ebbs and flows depending on circumstances. Yes, there’s rivalry but “that’s what sisters do†according to Nonie. But when sisters sleep with the same guy, Nonie, it’s usually a deal breaker.
  • Rosemary deflects a question about keeping secrets by making a quip about her cycle. Everyone giggles, except for Paulie.
  • There is no cutoff for the number of children they can have.
  • After the children are grown, the wives see themselves traveling and having fun together. See, I think these ladies could be friends without so much drama if they didn’t share a husband.
  • Brady tries to kiss every wife goodnight and all agree he is a good kisser. (Ick.) Also, they all have their favorites of Brady’s body parts, but I’m trying to block that conversation out.
  • If one of the wives gets horny and it’s not her night:  “tough!†says Robyn. Everyone giggles, including Paulie!!!!!

Brady’s back:

  • Brady is able to name all the kids in order of birth. Very slowly. Off camera. A helpful picture guides us along.
  • None of the adults would have any problem with one of their children being gay.
  • Brady works hard to afford this large family and the wives help as well. They do their finances together, wear hand-me-downs, do couponing, have yard sales, and buy in bulk. They are miles ahead of the Brown family in this regard.
  • Brady’s alone time consists of his drives to and from work, that’s it. Nonie, ever Brady’s champion, says she would like to see him get more alone time. I think she’s angling to be his favorite wife.
  • And that’s the next question. Nonie looks hopeful, Brady knows what’s good for him and says they are each his favorite.  Some of the wives chuckle. No one looks amused. It’s uncomfortable.
  • Does Brady avoid favoritism? He says he loves each one the same and it should be apparent that he does. Rosemary’s not buying it but Paulie nods in agreement.
  • They do not discuss their sex lives with each other. It’s good to see that they don’t act like middle schoolers until Brady does the “lucky dance.† Siiiigh.
  • Has Brady ever called out the wrong name in an intimate moment? No, although sometimes he becomes disoriented and forgets whose bed he’s in.
  • He will have sex with his wives “as often as they need it.†Eeeew. He does not feel obligated. He feels “privileged.†Can we stop talking about sex now?
  • No, we can’t, because another “fan†wants to know if they can hear each other having sex through the wall. No, smart aleck, they built the house to avoid that.
  • The final question is about whether Brady is as thoughtful in bed as out. The wives all get odd looks on their faces. That’s because Brady is not really that thoughtful ever—at least from what I can see. He must agree with me because he cuts them off and walks away.

Just as I suspected, we didn’t learn much. Here is what I take from this episode—and really I think this reflects the family’s life in general.  The kids did really well explaining their individual feelings without tearing down their parents’ lifestyle. Brady is all about appeasing his wives. Rhonda seems to be the—I won’t say “happiestâ€â€”maybe most content wife. Paulie does in fact smile, but it’s sort of a sad smile and it’s very mysterious. We don’t know what she’s thinking. Nonie is all about Brady—I think she’s jockeying for first place in Brady’s heart. And because I can’t say it enough: poor Rosemary and Robyn. Hopefully next week when the family is interviewed by a professional, we’ll get some real answers.

To discuss this program, go to the forums: http://freejinger.org/forums/viewtopic.php?f=14&t=21415

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