Tuesday, January 31, 2006
Do you ever listen to "This American Life" on NPR? It's an interesting program, where they basically choose a theme and put together different kinds of stories on that theme. It's a lot more interesting than that sounds. I download the show via audible.com onto my iPod, and listen to it when I'm walking the dog, or walking back to work after dropping Maya off at school (though we haven't been doing that as much lately...gotta work on that). You can listen to it for free on the radio, of course, or if you are willing to sit in front of your computer and listen, but my mind wanders when I try to do that.
Saturday's episode was called, "I enjoy being a girl (sort of)" and was really interesting. It included four or five different stories about being a woman. One of which made me think about things a bit differently than I have before. I tend to think of polygamous marriages as bad for women (and not so great for men, either), because I have this idea in my head that the women all live in one house, with a ton of screaming kids running around, not enough money, no health insurance, and just being red neck to the nth power. Plus there are horror stories of 14 year old girls being sold to old men as one of their multiple wives. Who wants that? Well, Elizabeth Josepth was one of the stories on This American Life, and she is well educated, well spoken, works outside the home, and is one of 8 wives in a polygemous marriage. WTF? Well, she says it works out pretty great for them. They all work at professional jobs. They all have their own houses (two wives share a house, because it's really big). They all get along and love each other and party on tequilla when they feel like it. There are about 20 kids between the 8 of them, but 10 of them are grown and moved out now. When 3 of the wives had babies all close together, they paid a 4th of the wives to stay home for a few years with the kids, so they could go back to work. Amazing.
So, I'm not saying this is for me. I'm not saying it's for most people. But it did make me open my mind a bit about alternative lifestyles, and see that people's lives can be SO different than mine. For another glimpse into the 'different' choices that intelligent people make, you can read the continuting saga of an 'open marriage' at Bitch PhD. It's not a blog ABOUT her open marriage, it's about her life, but she happens to have both a husband and a boyfriend, and her in laws just found out, I think, and the shit's kind of hitting the fan.
Discuss. (In Linda Richman's voice, of course!)