From my perch in Manhattan I’ve become mesmerized with the Browns, the polygamist family on the TLC show “Sister Wives.”
Super religious, married, suburbanites. Their life is full of contradictions and they’re everything I’m not. Therein lies my obsession.
One would never suspect that Kody, the affable husband, with his wholesome good looks, is shacked up with four women, or that everyone would be so damn happy and content with the arrangement.
But are they really?
Authorities ran them out of Utah, Janelle, the second wife, is obese and close-ups of first wife Meri resemble a beaten dog. Oh, and a couple of the daughters have shamed the lifestyle by announcing they have no sister wife aspirations.
Meri’s inability to have more children, while her sister wives spit out kids on a weekly basis, is one of the show’s main storylines, and her pain is palpable. What makes it eerie, though, is that Robyn, another sister wife offered to be Meri’s surrogate and Kody, despite being overwhelmed, reeks sensitive man.
“I’ll give you the money for In Vitro. I’ll do whatever you want,” Kody once said, clutching Meri’s hand and looking her dead in the eye. Clearly, this is why the man excels at polygamy – he has the innate ability to make the wife of them moment believe she’s indeed the favored child.
But then Kody had a good role model. His father Winn has two wives, one of whom is Janelle’s mother. And Janelle used to be married to first wife Meri’s brother. Can’t make this stuff up, folks.
Still, when Kody breaks into politician mode, however, and chirps on about family values, parenting and education he shines and I think, “This guy is actually a pretty good husband and father.” But then, with 17 kids and four wives, he has had practice.
Four is his quota. He says. My guess is like an alcoholic who swears off drinking he’ll eventually want another. At that point, I’m converting.