Monday, September 18, 2006

"The Plastic Exterior is All I Saw"

Wow. I really loved Wife Swap. I have so much to say!

As usual, I can identify with both sides. I love to organize and label. But my house really isn't nearly as organized as Lisa Fine's house. I try to keep my sanity and know where things are. I try to create a place for everything, but the worst thing is that I can't keep everything in it's place. :)

As far as Tori's life, I am not the cleanest person. I have dirty dishes on the counter and in the sink. You will probably find dirty socks on the floor. The bed isn't always made and there is dog hair in the corners. That's life.

Probably the first thing that I noticed about Lisa? Her comments about appearance and about society and "judging a book by it's cover." She said "Society Does Judge Books By Their Covers." Was probably a true statement. But the first thing I thought when viewing the "talk like a pirate" website and you tube videos? That Ol Chumbucket was an attractive man that had a certain charisma and charm. I immediately thought that Mad Sally was a lucky wife. But later on in the show, Lisa makes him shave his head and cut off his beard so that he will "look like everyone else" (her exact words) and she justifies it by telling John "This is the real world. We don't get to make the rules, we just have to play by the rules." That disturbed me. You raise your children by telling them that they have to play by the rules? Whose rules? Wow. Whatever happened to thinking for yourself? I felt terrible for John. She made him wear suit and TAN. She made him go to work as a "filer" when he clearly explained to Lisa that he worked a 9 to 5 job for years and that there was more satisfaction from doing something that he loved. She treated him as though he had never been a responsible adult and as though he had never had a job. He made the comment "John has been erased."

I also noticed that the first thing Lisa's daughter said to Tori (Mad Sally) was that she was pretty. Instantly I thought that was a suck-up technique, but Tori noticed it as "judging her by her appearance" which I guess was true. And then later Lisa's daughter got angry and said that Tori smelled and insisted that Tori wash all her clothes (those that she had brought with her.)

I thought it was also interesting how Tori scoffed at their typical "my daughter's a cheerleader" comment made in Lisa's letter. I can't imagine that when you introduce or describe your child, you describe her as a "cheerleader." She's a 13 year old girl. Wouldn't you say "She's a loving, smiling, intelligent daughter." or perhaps list her qualities, and not label her as a cheerleader? That poor little girl. It amazed me as she proceeded to completely break down when told she couldn't do cheerleading for a week, and when she cried and said "I will do my laundry, I will wear Pink, and I will cheer." and then again when she cried because she wasn't able to function without her Make-up. I am sorry, but as a 13 year old I was NOT allowed to wear makeup, and certainly not everyday. Not to mention crying over it? It seemed so insane to me!

And Tori hit it on the head when she said that Lisa was teaching her daughter to be perfect at all times, and that "perfect is unattainable." And how about her daughter's comment that she has to spend all the time "picking out the perfect outfit" each morning and that she has to be perfect, or "I might have no friends and be a loner like (Tori)" Wow. True friends don't care if you are perfect. And not all 13 year old's get that, but wouldn't you, as a mom, make it a priority to let your daughter know that being herself, even if she isn't perfect, is more important than being fake?

I also got a kick out of the Fine family's "proper way to fold clothes" and Mad Sally's comment "Why would you spend all that time folding clothes that you aren't even keeping?" Um. Yeah. And their answer "That's just how it's done."

I really was very turned-off by Lisa's husband. He made CONSTANT rude comments to Tori. "Sally Constantly Questions Me." He found it annoying to be challenged or questioned. Wow. (we all know a woman shouldn't have her own thoughts or ideas.) He also said (about Sally's Rules) "That's really intelligent (sarcastically.)" and "You are ridiculous." Then later "A pirate as a role model is ridiculous." And then Lisa's daughter saying "Pirates have mental issues." LOL.

Over at the pirate ship, I thought that the family was actually fairly reasonable. Of course they could use some organization. Like so Max knows where his pajamas are. The kids could use some rules. The fleas could go. But those things aren't the end of the world. I love that their kids are encouraged to be creative and themselves. I love that they don't put labels on everything (I mean figuratively, although I guess in this case it applies literally too!) The feminist in me was a little disturbed when Lisa told the daughter "How are you going to take care of a family" as though her entire existence and growing up was only to culture her to be a wife and mother. I also noticed that when discussing her own daughter earlier in the show, she said that she would "make someone a wonderful wife." ugh.

I really think that John and Sally are both very well versed people. My favorite part of the show? Just after she forced John to get his hair cut, shave off his beard, tan, wear a suit, and go to a "real job" -- Lisa was complaining about clutter and disorganization and dirt. John said "So Let's Deal with the Clutter! But stop trying to make me your husband. Stop trying to make us YOU! You are SO worried about appearances that you forget what's inside!" True. So so True.
I liked how the pirate kids made comments like "I am not fucking Suzy Homemaker" and "It feels so weird to be putting my life into categories (when organizing and sorting into totes)"

Sally was right when she said to Lisa "your kids are afraid to make a mess in the house because of you. They are trying to live up to your expectations." And I did enjoy it when she said that everything was rigid and that "the plastic exterior is all I saw." I did notice that Lisa's kids REALLY enjoyed building the pirate ship and doing the play. It was like they were laughing and being creative. It was great.

But at the end, after Lisa got home, I heard Craig say to the kids "Put those in alphabetical order" and I about died. LOL.

What a show. I know that they cut out full conversations to make it seem so dramatic and that some comments out of context can mean completely different things. But it was a great show.

So, did you watch it? What did you think?

1 comment:

Mon said...

This was a good one. It's hard to walk in someone else's shoes when they are so different than your own. I did think the pirate family took to Lisa's changes much better than Lisa's family took to Tori's changes. They were better sports about it.

But, there is a line between messy, and unhealthy....I couldn't live like that either, fleas? Arrrrrgh.

Related Posts with Thumbnails