Thursday, May 24, 2007

Reasons Why Being on Wife Swap Is A Bad Idea

Wife SwapI had an interesting thing happen this past week, a producer from ABC (as in American Broadcasting Corporation and all that Desperate Housewives stuff) contacted me to see if I'd be willing to accept $20,000 for me and my family to appear on the reality show that's all about family togetherness: Wife Swap.

Now you may not be familiar with this gem of entertainment, I myself wasn't, but the title pretty much says it all. Two families of opposite circumstances and temperaments swap moms in an attempt to create tension and drama--I mean, to teach, inspire and learn from each other.

Well as tempting as that tidy sum is, I had to turn them down and here are the reasons why (hope you get $20,000 worth of humor from it):

Papa Pilgrim and Family in McCarthy, Alaska1. I know they're looking for an Alaska family but we're just not that exciting. For some real drama they need a family that'll turn some heads. Might I suggest the local newsworthy clan leader Papa Pilgrim?

Sure, switching with a suburban Last Frontier family such as mine would be interesting but switching with a nomadic, iconoclastic, gun-toting, cousin-kissing, FBI-eluding, road-blocking family without electricity or indoor plumbing? Not THAT would be something. Anyone out there interested in a swap with this crew? I think his wife's name is Country Rose. Or maybe she goes by Mrs. Papa Pilgrim.

2. The publicity may not go over well at Andrew's office. I can just see the reactions--somehow having all your clients know that your wife is "out and about" on national television while you're playing host to her alternate has a way of decreasing your credibility and professional dignity. I wonder if the American Bar Association has anything to say about that in their multitude of professional conduct bylaws?

3. On the other hand, maybe we could increase our earnings by getting Andrew's office to act as an additional sponsor. You know, have matching t-shirts made up with his company's name and logo on it and have us wear them all week? I bet they'd like that--lots of coverage and publicity. Didn't someone say there's no such thing as bad PR?

4. As tempting as it is to swap lives with a complete stranger I've always been a little weird about sharing personal things--like husbands--with people I don't know. It grosses me out to borrow someone else's sleeping bag let alone their man, I'm funny that way. Seriously though, what's the difference between sleeping in someone's bed with used sheets and sleeping in a used sleeping bag? I bet the used sheets are even cleaner come to think of it . . .

5. Remember my new kitchen? I'm not so keen on the idea of some other woman messing around in my Coolest Toy. The idea of someone else nicking up my new cabinets or *gasp* setting hot pans on my countertops to crack them makes me start to hyperventilate.

6. In fact, it's not worth $20,000 to come home to someone else living in my space, I'm such a freak about keeping the house clean I can't imagine having another woman in charge of the cleaning around here. She could kill my plants, leave dirty dishes in the sink, rearrange my underwear drawer, use my toothbrush . . . the possibilities are endless and make me break out in a sweat. I know, I know I'm full of psychoses and all this just goes to show you that the producers obviously fingered the right Family O' Freaks when they called on us.

7. And I doubt there's another woman on the planet who could get my Limited Edition Linda Blair Minivan to run properly. It would need a 500-page instruction manual to explain how to start it when it floods occasionally or that one shouldn't panic at the constant beeping noise that would--in normal cars--indicate an open door or the Automatic Breaking System firing off whenever I come to a stop. It's as if the car has challenged me to a game of chicken to see who will blink first--it's not going to be me--and I doubt another woman could manage the beast.

8. If I were to swap with another Mom there's always the chance--however slight--that the other woman would be able to buy her way into my children's affections with her Good Cop routine--you know, the constant candy, video games, t.v. time and staying up late and the kids would be disappointed when I came home and made them once again do chores, bathe, eat their asparagus, get up on time and wear clean underwear. I'm just not prepared for that kind of competition.

9. Plus, I'd miss Andrew. If I'm going to be away from Andrew for a week I'm going to treat myself with a lot of no-cooking nights, sleeping in and Audrey Hepburn movies. I'm not going to be deprived of my husband for a week just so I can wash some strangers' laundry or potty train their toddler. No thanks--maybe for my next vacation but not this time.

10. Besides, there's hardly enough room in our house for two adults, four children, three--make that two--goldfish (yes, they're still alive--go figure) and a parakeet in a pear tree let alone a camera crew. Though I suppose we could put them up in the playhouse or in the crawlspace . . . I have some sleeping bags they could borrow.

11. You know that kind of quality programming would just mean an Emmy nomination and I'm not ready for that kind of pressure at this point in my life. First it's a nomination, then I've got to attend the awards, come up with a designer dress and an acceptance speech and suddenly it's paparazzi galore. From then on I'm a celebrity. Sigh. I'll just stick with my glorious anonymity.

12. With my luck they'd pass me over for a swap with a family living in luxury, complete with a household staff, gourmet personal chef and their villa in Tuscany, and instead give me Edith and Bobby Jo McGoober living off the land in the Everglades making their own alligator jerky and squirrel chutney. Yea, that would be my luck. What if they did a celebrity edition and swapped me with Britney Spears? No, that would be much, there's too much swapping that goes on among the stars as it is.

13. $20,000 would only just begin to cover the cost of the therapy it would require to fix everyone in the family after such an ordeal.

So sorry, I'm not interested. But hey, if any of you are interested let me know. They said I could get a $1000 referral fee if I directed someone else to get onto the show so all it will take is for me to get 20 of you good readers interested enough to get on the show and I can recoup my losses.

And ABC, if you're listening, any time you're looking for someone to help out with that there Extreme Makeover Home Edition show, I'm your woman--but the only thing I'm interested in swapping is my bathroom tub for a jacuzzi.

But now I'm downright curious. If given the chance how many of you would do it? Maybe I really am the odd one here.



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78 comments:

Anne Douglas said...

What a call to get out of the blue. Did they say how they decided on you to call?

Jaycee said...

I think the only people that really go on that show are desperate people because their husband is total lazy ass or a complete mysogynist pig. The $20,000 would have a bit to do with it also.

I wouldn't do it in a fit. But I guess you've got to have a husband for a start.

Heidi said...

Wow. Just . . . . wow.

Megan said...

First of all, FUNNY, funny list!

Secondly, you must be at least flattered that THEY called YOU, right?

Thirdly, no, no, and NO. Not even for $20,000 would I go on that show. It stresses me out for many reasons . . . some of which are on your list, and some of which I won't mention because it would reveal the depths of my own psychoses.

Coralie said...

The big thing I've always thought about this show is that they always swap you for your opposite, and when I come up with the list of things my opposite would be, $20,000 wouldn't be enough to live in that house for a day, let alone a week. There are somethings that aren't worth it for any money. That's one.

Janie Hickok Siess, Esq. said...

OMG, the horror of it all!

I don't think the Bar would find it too humorous, though. It would be even worse if I were the SWAPPEE since I'm the member . . . can you imagine?

I'll stick with my near-brush with greatness, thanks. I've already been on Dateline, Good Morning, America, Burden of Proof (old CNN show) and a few other choice goodies and I can tell you from experience that they're just a bunch of vultures. And that Nancy Snyderman, M.D. on the Today Show? Harumph! I'm not even going to tell that story!

You made the write decision.

Christina said...

Wow, they asked you to be on Wife Swap??? That will be a story to tell family members for generations to come :) No, I would not want to do it even for $20K, which would pay off all my bills and then some. It would just be the weirdest thing to act like someone else's wife even for a short time!

Crazy Working Mom said...

Great list! I do watch the show but there is NO WAY I would ever volunteer to be on it, money or no money.

laughing mommy said...

I'd do it for $50,000 or more. But not for $20,000.

Jordan said...

My exact opposite... someone with snotty atheist teenagers and a clean house?

Hm.... could I deal with it for a week??

You're much stronger than I am. I don't know if I could walk away from $20k. It's so easy to say that I would, but geez. That's twice what I make in a year.

I watched one episode, and the people were so nasty to one another when they got back and neither of them really changed or learned anything but how better to hate people that are different from them. I guess they did learn how much they enjoy their own psychoses. And their husbands. They both RAN to meet their husbands (and neither of them really seemed the type).

I'm really tempted to tell you to refer me but . . . like I said, I'm too weak to say no, so let's not.

Mamma said...

Mine would so be the bad house. Lots o love, but lots o dirt.

Too weird they called you. I'm dying to know how they found you.

No, I wouldn't do it either.

Stephanie said...

laughing mommy, that was my thought. Except I was thinking $100,000.

Jeana said...

Man, where do I start?

Very cool that they asked you!

No way in...No way. And I always wondered how they get women to do that, and now I guess I know. Still, I wouldn't do it.

crissybug said...

Did they tell you how they came across you for a canidate? I think that would be an interesting story.

I can barely stand to watch the show. My husband can't even watch it. It is terrible what they can do to a family. I don't see how they think this is beneficial!

$20,000 is alot of money, but I would never subject anyone to that! You made a very good decision!

la bellina mammina said...

They tend to lok for wives who are total opposites, so if you're a clean freak-fuggedaboudit-you'll get someone who's so messy that the 20k won't be enough to put your back house to how it was before!

Val said...

heehee "Limited Edition Linda Blair Minivan"
That's funny stuff!
How much is a new minivan? More than 20k, I'm sure!

pussreboots said...

I wouldn't do it either.

my4kids said...

My answer if they called? Nonononono....never!
20k just does not go as far as it used to. And yes I don't think it would cover the trauma of living in someone elses house for a week and depending on someone else to make sure the kids take their meds since even when kelly is here there are some that are taken during the day. I mean I can't even trust the fil for that one. I couldn't stand the thought of someone else being with my kids for a week also. I can be the momma bear ya know and if I heard she raised her voice at them the show may take a whole new turn afterwards like the jerry springer show would be calling after.

Just way to much trauma on my part!

An Ordinary Mom said...

You can't leave us hanging ... how did they choose you? How did the conversation go?

I have never understood why people would even go on this show.

Stie said...

At least you can take comfort in the fact that they picked you to be the "normal" wife. What if you were the crazy one and they contacted you to be on the show? Do you think you'd know if you were that crazy? I wonder if I would...some days it's questionable!

Yuva said...

but iam thinking, may be more husbands would be interested..;~D)

chelle said...

Nope ... couldn't do it. Not only for hubby's professionalism but my own pride.

sognatrice said...

Too funny that I clicked on this just as "Wife Swap" was coming on TV--yes, we have it even in Italy in both the American *and* Italian version. I don't think I could do it either, but as another member of that Bar Association, I think you may be overestimating ethics rules ;)

Funny post, and hopefully Extreme Makeover Home Edition is on the horn soon!

Kate said...

That is too funny - we get that show over here and I've always wondered who would say yes to that?

Poppy Fields said...

My girls and I watched the french version of this just one time, and they made me promise never to do it, not that I have the possibility...

Jenn in Holland said...

Is this the same show where the screaming mimi "christian" woman did all that ranting upon her return? I haven't seen the show but there was a video that made the internet rounds last year.

Holland has a show something like this too. Can't be bothered to watch it.

And... I laughed all the way through this post, but at this line:
11. You know that kind of quality programming would just mean an Emmy nomination and I'm not ready for that kind of pressure at this point in my life. First it's a nomination, then I've got to attend the awards, come up with a designer dress and an acceptance speech and suddenly it's paparazzi galore. From then on I'm a celebrity. Sigh. I'll just stick with my glorious anonymity."
I had to stop and wipe tears from my eyes.
TOTALLY hilarious.

Sorry, you missed out on the big bucks, but baby, you've got your dignity!

Darla said...

Oh, my. No way on earth. It would take a lot more than $20,000 to entice me to give up my family and put up with somebody else's. I've got the perfect husband and kids... or at least, they've been trained to have faults I can deal with.

As for the house, though, they can have this one. LOL Thank goodness it's just temporary. 15 months and counting.

Char said...

There is no way $20,000 would do it here. I don't like the whole premise of the show anyhow.

AuthorMomWithDogs said...

LOL! Yep, I'd pretty much have the same exact reaction you did! Yuck.

snarflemarfle said...

That was hilarious!

I've caught snips of that show flipping through the channels and every time it's just too weird.

Nope, wouldn't do it. Extreme Makeover? I'd be more willing!

Mary Alice said...

Well, I am a military spouse – I wouldn’t mind a swap with a very ritzy woman –IF they could guarantee that it would be filmed during one of our cross country military moves.
I think having some other woman deal with getting three cars, three teenagers, all the household goods and two very large dogs all the way across the country would be interesting. Maybe she could stay extra long and work on enrolling the kids in the new schools and unpack everything…..yeah, I might consider that – but to swap when I am comfortably settled and everyone has stopped crying – ummm not so much.

mcewen said...

Not sure that I managed a successful 'vote' but didn't want to mess up the figures by doing it again!
If you ever watch that programme you spend most of your time gasping for air! But it's therapeutic - aversion therapy!
Cheers

Lisa Milton said...

You are so wise - leave the money on the table and keep your peace of mind.

We got this show early on; I hate to think who they would pair you up with...

It is a little cool that they knew who you are and called.

M said...

I've only seen the show once, but if I remember correctly doesn't the other wife get to decide how your $20K is spent?

No way!

Julie Pippert said...

Wow, how amazing to get that call and question!

No way! No way I'd do it. For your list and more!

KC said...

how cool that you got that call, but UGH No Thank you.. That show always goes for the extream.. the wife who lives in a tiny little place that never cleans it and has dog poo in the middle of her floor and lets there kids run wild, swapping with the rich wife with the huge home and who is a super neat freak, that would rather die then leave a dirty dish sit in the sink overnight and who has to run her childrens life and not let them live at all, by giving them 50,000 nit picky rules to follow.

though It wouldn't be to extreamly bad to have one of those orgainzed clean freaks come to my house for a week and clean it for me ;P LOL

Great T13

Babystepper said...

Not for $20 million! Yikes!

Amber said...

I've never watched the show except for when they featured it on Oprah. But for $20,000, my hubby would have me kicked to the curb. The man is itching to finish that basement of his....

sara - The Estrogen Files said...

Ab.So.LUTELY NOT!! Too much invasion of my privacy. I don't even like Hubbers going through "MY STUFF!".

My van makes that same binging noise - it's the broken gas gauge - and while it annoys anyone else, I just don't hear it anymore.

Gina said...

I've this show a few times and I couldn't understand why anybody would want to expose matters meant to be really private for the whole world to see. Not just for the money, is it a form of exhibitionism?
Oh, these reality shows freak me out!

TeaMouse said...

I think your point on the emmy is a good point. For me the stress of finding just the 'right' dress would be enough to scare me away.

With my luck I'd end up in a rich house and get spoiled come home and have a filthy house to clean because the wife didn't want to get her pretty manicure messed up....lol!

I've watched the show and they always put you with such opposites. We'd probably get some heathen atheist that won't let the family pray or go to church or someone who is part of the wicka and I'd have to send my kids to therapy...lol!

I loved this list!

Judy Callarman said...

Your list is very entertaining, as always! I'll bet there's somebody around who would endure all that torture for $20,000.

This Eclectic Life said...

I watched that show one time...you made the right call. What a funny list and what a strange request out of the blue. Fun TT.

JAM said...

I'm a guy, but I voted anyway. Wouldn't want to be on a "husband swap" show either.

That's cool you were asked, but boy they would have to really up the price to get folks. Maybe the price was carefully arrived at to be tempting to the kind of people you see on "Cops" but not enough for folks who work hard and save, ya know?

When I read your first paragraph, I thought "no way! She wouldn't let a strange woman in her new kitchen!" I didn't even think about your poor kids and husband.

You definitely have a great story now to trump any "well, one time I..." conversations with your friends.

CoachJ said...

No way, jose! Although we had a famliy in our church get interviewed to go on the show, they haven't heard anything about it. I guess a Southern Christian family wouldn't do much for ratings....

Joy T. said...

I love it! Great TT. Not that I would ever go on a show like that but to be asked would be kind of cool. Although. My luck I'd finally convince myself to go thinking I was the wife who lived all happily and everything only to find out WE are the hillbilly's!

Starla said...

I couldn't do it. Too much pressure on the woman.

Sure, the family could be totally screwed up without any help from the wife/mother, but ultimately it would still be her fault for whatever reason.

No thank you.

Besides, I have a hard enough time dealing with mine and The Hubby's crap, I don't want to deal with a complete stranger's crap.

Absolutely great reasons why not to do the show!

minerva said...

I love my family and my relationship with my husband WAY more than $20K. way, way, way more. way.

Melissa R. Garrett said...

It appears that 90% of us, by my vote, wouldn't swap, even for the $20K. And trust me, my family could desperately use that money. You'd definitely be getting the raw end of the deal, though, as they always swap you with the complete antithesis of YOU and your family. I have to wonder which side of the fence my family and I are on. Are we the family that does it the "right" way, or are we the bumpkins that inspire pity. I guess it depends on the day ;-) You made the right choice ~ nothing good really ever comes from those programs, and I would much rather gain my fame in a more productive and less humiliating way.

Terra said...

No, way our stupid stuff is for us not someone else! Besides who wants to see a perfect family on TV :) Ultra boring!

Scribbit said...

I suppose I could mention it here rather than answering each comment individually:

They wanted an Alaskan family and found me through my blog. They were very nice and I appreciated the thought but I'm just too private a person to allow that kind of scrutiny.

And yes, who knows if we'd be the "normal" family or the "odd" one. We certainly have our moments that would make you cringe I'm sure.

But it makes for a good story right?

J Fife said...

Wow! So cool that you were asked. Too bad it's such a cruddy show. Now that your name is out there, maybe an awesome show like The Amazing Race will come calling. Now, that I would do in a heartbeat.

Ni Yachen said...

I agree with you. I won't swap my spouse for any amount of money. Now I would negociate on kid swaping.

Chris said...

They always have at least one nut bar for the whole world to laugh at. I'm sure that's not you but I'd have nightmares wondering who is in my house.

Marie N. said...

Ugh! I can't even stand to watch the ads promoting the program.

Tell me, did you laugh when you told your family what happened? What did your husband say? Do you know who referred you to the network (not that I'd ask you to share who, just wondering if you know)?

Stephanie said...

This is so funny!! I had someone from there contact me off one of my reader's boards. We even had a phone interview. My husband thought it would be an awesome opportunity. I personally tanked the interview because there was NO WAY I was going on that show!

I didn't want to leave my house, and I knew the people that I'd have to live with would have Bush placards in their yards!! NO WAY...not a chance!!

The Lazy Organizer said...

I think I would have paid for cable just to watch it! I would have laughed at you and then never spoken to you again. I don't understand why people go on those shows either. Like someone said, $20,000 wouldn't even buy you a new van.

Of course it it were $20,000,000 I might think about it.

K T Cat said...

Linked.

Momish said...

I heartily agree with all your points and wouldn't do it either, no matter how heafty that sum looks on paper.

But, on another note, I think it is really great that they tried to recruit you! I would be floored and flattered if I had gotten that call. I hope you get a referral at the very least.

Daisy said...

58 comments already? I have to add my two cents -- I'm with you all the way, mama. I wouldn't do the swap thing, either. I especially liked your reasoning in #11.

Haley-O said...

That's HILARIOUS!!!!!!!! At first, I thought NO WAY I'd do it. But, then again...it would be an adventure.... And, it IS $20,000. But, then, my daughter -- I wouldn't want her to be part of it, you know? So, probably not. My hubby and I just had a really good laugh about this now. So, thanks for that! ;)

Beckie said...

OMG, is this seriously how they get the people on that show?!

They put you on there to make a fool of you.

Good choice, Scribbit.

Jenny McB said...

My family would drive anyone crazy, I bet they would switch me to an all girl family. But I think it's worth more than the 20,000. Your new kitchen would be the best reason not to.

Loralee Choate said...

Ug. I have watched that show. Sorry, but my freak flag is just too weird to be viewed by that many people. Heck, my blog audience knowing what they do about me freaks me out enough. Having it on TV???? I couldn't take it.

And, ya know...the toothbrush thing doesn't sound too exciting, either. Bleck.

colleen said...

I can't believe they asked you. How do they even know who you are. I don't like the way they sort of stereotype traits or blow them out of proportion because they think it makes good TV. Ultimatly it's a huge invasion of privacy...and then there's # 13.

truevyne said...

ABC did NOT call me, but I am totally with you. I wouldn't be on the program for any less than 1 million guaranteed dollars. My mom begged me to apply for wifeswap. She apparently thinks I could really teach other families some wonderful things. Yeah, only my mom would think that.

Slackermommy said...

Now way!I don't trust their editing. We had friends of a friend do one of the nanny shows and it was edited in a way to make them look way worse than they were. I thought these were supposed to be reality shows?

Le laquet said...

But hey - you got asked that's ... umm what is that? Is that good or just plain weird?

so grateful to be Mormon! said...

hi scribbit: i wouldn't do it either. i was especially tickled by your number 11. :) kathleen

Damselfly said...

20 grand?! That sounds like a lot of money. But how would you ever live it down?

Heffalump said...

As much as $20,000 would solve a lot of financial stresses...no WAY would I do it. I have an awesome husband, and I would not swap with someone else for a million dollars, not even for a day!

Leslie said...

It isn't something I'd ever do, but it has to be cool to be asked. That's one heck of a cool conversation piece.

I loved your list, too. Very funny.

luckyzmom said...

I voted no. So all who have commented here will be safe from them contacting us, I hope!

polliwog said...

Wow. What a funny thing to happen!

I'd be afraid to do it because I think my family wouldn't want me back. They'd like the new mom better!

I'm a little freaked out right now ... that photo of the Pilgrim family looks like my own family. Ack! Though we do finally have indoor plumbing.

:-)

testblog said...

I got the same phone call! What a hoot! It would take about 20 million for me to let America see my kids rooms on national TV. Seriously.
Just wanted to post, as I stalk the blog quite frequently. Thanks.
Michelle-whitetrashmom.com

Missy @ It's Almost Naptime said...

Oh my goodness Michelle, I found this by googling Wife Swap Blog. Too funny it is you.

And, um, I am the weird one...I think I'd do it for far less money. I didn't even know they paid you.

Hmmm. That does explain a lot.

Jennifer said...

After watching this show several times, I'm not convinced there is a "normal" mom and a "weird" mom. It may appear that way at first, but pretty soon you realize both families have major issues.

I think one of the moms thinks she is the "normal" mom though... which is part of what makes the show so funny.

(Off topic - I never saw this post since it was before I found your blog... why not run a way-back feature and share some of your old stuff with us newbies?)

Summer said...

I don't think you're weird. I wouldn't do it for a million dollars.