I Love a Good Stereotype

Did anybody catch “Trading Spouses” on Fox last night? I’ve never watched the show, but I recall seeing ads for this episode over the past few days. I forgot all about it until I was flipping stations around 9:30 PM and caught this particular episode right in the middle.

It seems the premise is that the mothers in two families trade families for a period of time and you get to see how the families respond to this different maternal figure. In the end, the mother designates how an alottment of money for her new family gets to be spent.  In last night’s episode, a large southern Christian woman (stereotype A) swapped families with a petite Massachusetts hippie type woman (stereotype B).

Hilarity ensued.

I missed the first half of the show when they documented them all living together. I only saw from the moment where Stereotype A was leaving the Massachusetts family and asked the family for hugs. Nobody, not even the father, wanted to get off his seat to hug the woman. From that point on, I knew it would get interesting.

The two mothers met face-to-face to talk before returning to their own families. On one side of the ring you had this open-minded, big-haired hippie-chick talking about hypnosis and new age therapies. On the other side was this woman talking about saving the family and how they treated her so badly (from what I could gather, they treated her poorly because she was lecturing them non-stop about going to Hell). Anyway, things really got crazy once the mothers returned to their families.

Well, things got crazy once the southern Christian returned to her family in Louisiana. She went on an all out rampage, threatening the camera crew, telling her family they’re going to Hell, denouncing the unholiness that now encompasses their home because of this woman. She was SCREAMING at her children for allowing the other mother to hypnotize them and for not praying enough for her while she was up in Massachusetts.

Those poor kids. The daughter kept saying she prayed for her mom every night, but her mother wouldn’t listen. I truly feel sorry for those children.

It was fascinating. And scary.

I think I prefer my stereotypes when I know they’re made up versus when they are actual living people (Give me “In Living Color’s” movie gay movie critics or “Mad TV’s” on-going jokes about Bobby Lee (Asian-American), etc…).

OH! And I accomplished something else last night! I managed to clean the apartment (finally). No more dust bunnies, no more ring around the tub, no more crumbs by the computer. Like a proper gay stereotype, my home is now immaculate. You may all visit me now.



  1. Comment by JC on November 10, 2005 11:22 am

    Sometimes, I’m really glad I don’t have cable.
    Congrats on the apartment!

  2. Comment by Will on November 10, 2005 11:31 am

    OK, great. I’ll be right over.

  3. Comment by David on November 10, 2005 11:38 am

    Karl–you’ve got to check out this blog…..

  4. Comment by David on November 10, 2005 11:41 am

    Why be a stereotype? Don’t we have enough of those stereotypical gay people?

  5. Comment by adamg on November 10, 2005 12:04 pm

    Oh, no, and I missed it! As a “Trading Spouses” and “Wife Swap” addict/slug, I finally figured out their formula: Find two couple s from different universes and watch the hilarity ensue. Make sure that at least one of the wives comes across as a complete nutjob. So take a Mercedes-driving vegetarian snob from LA and send her down to a family of Cajun alligator farmers in Louisiana . Once that gets too boring, you can start mainlining the nanny “my kids are demonspawn” shows, where the highlight always involves a four-year-old going outside to play in traffic. Alone. With a steak knife. While the nanny stays inside and tut-tuts in a British accent.

    OK, I need a life.

  6. Comment by karyn on November 10, 2005 3:18 pm

    Amen. I saw Wife Swap this week, tragically. This was so sad. It was this mega granola woman in a Rhode Island Italian home, a McMansion as you are so fond of calling them. She sealed off and or removed all electrical appliances. She insisted the husband wear a peasant skirt to get in touch with his feminine side. She ditched the girls’ blowdryers. Back at home sweet hovel – The Italian Mom (Mama Aint Happy Aint Nobody Happy) ordered a dishwasher, air conditioner and other convenience appliances so they could live in the 21st century. She signed the 11 year old boy up for drama classes, insisted he return his purple hair to its original blond, and bought him a play station. The Husband – well I thought he was another of Hippy Chick’s kids. He had dreds – the big, wonky, matted things – down to there, and piercings and this little Satan beard. He would walk around turning off the dishwasher and AC. RI Mom insisted he go get a job; which he did, grudgingly… and then proceeded to explain to the cameramen that he avoids work like this because it doesn’t satisfy his soul. WTF? The 11 year old kid wears a peasant skirt around the house. Hippy Chick never shaves. I guess that’s personal, but bringing your son up to wear skirt is just cruel – I seriously think they have gone beyond alternative into child-abuse. The poor kid – he is totally being denied a normal childhood and when word gets out what his homelife is like, he is fodder for schoolyard abuse like I can’t even imagine. (Nothing against guys wearing skirts who want to, mind you. I just think this is really, REALLY misguided.) I don’t know; it seems so exploitative. Is that a word? (Sorry, I’m not an overachiever, I could possibly make an error. Just a warning.)

  7. Comment by karyn on November 10, 2005 3:21 pm

    PS. Adamg, you think YOU need a life? I can speak on that nanny show too. The one with the 3 year old Autistic boy who was allowed to play outdoors alone by a major road…while his 4 year old sister supervised… THOSE people should be locked up. Absolutely nauseating.

  8. Comment by Robert on November 12, 2005 3:56 pm

    I saw the preview from that particular episode. That woman was freakishly scary. She had insanity in her eyes. Anyway, I think she’s just angry at the world, cuz she has no control over pretty much anything in her life.

    Cleaning? What’s that??

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