Wednesday, February 27, 2013
Let me preface this by admitting that I never watch these types of shows!
I know, big surprise. However, what you might be surprised to learn is that I actually used to watch "Jon & Kate Plus 8" on TLC one upon a long time ago. Back when the family seemed genuine and sweet, and not yet jaded by all the cameras. To be honest, I watched it for the adorable kids and grew attached to them and their crazy toddler antics.
Fast forward several years later and now the kids are all so much older. But still adorable. And so, despite my attempts not to, I couldn't help but watch the season premiere of "Celebrity Wife Swap" this week. Although I hate Kate Gosselin with the heated fury of 10,000 blazing suns, I do like Kendra Wilkinson a lot. Whereas Kate is a bitchy, psycho camera whore, Kendra always struck me as more down to earth and "real," despite being a former Playmate and pseudo "girlfriend" of Hugh Hefner at one point. Still, she and her husband Hank only have one child, while a determinedly single Kate has 8 to contend with mostly all on her own.
While the whole concept of these "wife swap" shows always skeezed me out, I had to admit I was mildly intrigued to see how this one would turn out. If you have the time and want to watch it for yourself, you can see the entire episode below for yourself (my comments to follow):
I have to say, things didn't turn out half as bad as I'd feared. And even though Kate is still such a cold, soul-sucking bitch, she actually does a pretty awesome job with those kids. I mean, they didn't even need Kendra there. They practically ran that whole house by themselves! On the flip side, I think Kendra's spontaneity and open-ness relates so well with children, and Kate could learn a thing or two about just letting loose and not being so strict all the time.
Over at Kendra's house, I do think Kate was right on the money about all the free time Kendra has. I believe mothers should learn to spend some "me" time on themselves, but this is ridiculous! A nanny for only 1 child? Both Kendra and Hank seem like they have loads of free time (when the NFL is not in season, of course), so it seems bizarre to me that they should have a nanny taking care of little Hank as much as she does. Big Hank really does do a lot, too, and allows his wife to slide too much on her responsibilities, I think. But I also respect their relationship and how they run things, and don't think Kate had any business telling Hank what to do in his own marriage. I guess I can relate to Hank because I'm very much like him in a relationship. Which is to say, I'm very laid back and not afraid to cook and do chores around the house when needed. And I would also want my SO to be able to go out and have fun with her girlfriends, inasmuch as I would like to be able to do the same with my own friends every now and then. Of course, once again this is doable when you only have one kid. Not so easy when you have 8 of them running around. Sheesh!
Although I don't have children, Kate was right in that they need structure and schedules in their lives. At least, that's a truism I've observed firsthand with all my friends who have children. She was also right that a family needs to do more activities together, and for the love of god definitely eat at least one meal a day together.
But Kendra was awesome in changing things up a bit and having that taco "picnic" in the basement media room. Although it turned into such a horrifying mess, I can speak from my own childhood experience that we kids love nights like those. It shouldn't be every night, but whenever an impromptu dinner change-up did occur, it was something us kids always remembered. Even now I remember those fun moments, like the one time we were given tuna fish sandwiches and potato chips for dinner and watched Jaws on VHS rental for the first time. I will never forget that!
So all in all I can say this was an exceptional episode. Having read up on it, though, it seems that this is not the norm for "Celebrity Wife Swap." Seems it's usually more trashy and/or staged than this. So in no way will I become a regular viewer now. I came to see how the adorable Gosselin children were doing after all these years, and came away learning a lot about raising a family. For who the hell knows when that might come in handy for me, current situation being what it is and all.
But maybe someday I might need to know how to strike that right balance between order and spontaneity when it comes to raising a family. Or, barring that, how to find that right balance just in my personal life.
What do you readers think?
Side Note Observation: Kendra is a very, very fine looking woman! Ain't she? Kate looks like an old, dried out drag queen by comparison. Kendra even looks great in the morning with very little to no makeup on. Of course, she's also 10 years younger than Kate and doesn't have a veritable brood of children following her around all day, every day.