I 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):
1. 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.
Technorati tags: Thursday Thirteen, reality television, Wife Swap, ABC