Wife swap! Yes, what better way to celebrate my 700th post than with a bit of wife swapping? You want to hear a funny story? I spent hours working on this question. Then my computer went doolally and I lost this post. So what follows is what I can remember. These questions are picked at random, so some may think it’s a tad weird focusing on Wife Swap for my big 700. And you’d be 100% right. I can only apologise. Wife Swap was a British television show, for those who don’t know, that launched in 2003 and ran until 2009. It spawned 18 spin-offs around the world, including versions in Israel, Denmark and Germany. Oh, boy, I bet the German one was a barrel of laughs. The premise was a simple one. Two families swap wives and mothers for a bit. Why? Who knows? Money, probably…
The show was outdated, wasn’t it? At the beginning of each programme, each wife was given a set of duties she had to abide by, because, yes, a woman should be defined by her duties and her roles. Hey, it was 2003, readers. The year that put ‘sex’ back into sexism!
You do wonder how a man suggested such an idea to his wife. “You want to swap me with another woman! We’re married for God’s sake! What the flipping hell is wrong with you!” Well, they say hell hath no fury like a woman scorned. Perhaps a sexist remark, but almost certainly not when you suggest in a conversation trading her for another woman…
As I said, there are, or were, 19 versions in total from around the world. Something that I’m sure greatly comforts women the world over. You’d think that these versions would have the same name as the original, but, as it turns out, when translated back into English, quite a few of them have quite different names:
You have the literal ‘We Traded Our Moms’ from France. ‘The New Mommy’ from Belgium. The disconcerting ‘Your Wife, My Wife’ from the Netherlands. ‘Confusion Wives’ from Slovakia. The worrying ‘Couple on Trial’ from Denmark. And my personal favourite, from Chile, ‘Who Changes Whom? Exchange of Wives’. Brilliant.
Heck, there’s even a Chinese version where they swap children. Oh, give me strength.
You may suspect that a programme such as this was riddled with legal issues. Well, I mean, not really, no. Well, okay, there have been quite a large number of affairs over the years. And divorces afterwards. And even some deaths. And some benefit fraud. But, as I’m reliably informed by the producers, well, you know, shit happens…
This show is not to be confused with the actual act of wife swapping, better known as ‘swinging’. From what I’m told, this is some sort of party where couples put their car keys into a bowl and then someone else takes those keys and sleeps with the owner of that car. One was often left hoping that the keys didn’t belong to a gay couple, because if you’re not gay, well, that’s your night sorta ruined.
I don’t like Wife Swap! Who came up with this stupid idea! I mean, I don’t want to get married, but it seems to me that a marriage is something people do because they really love one another. I can’t imagine being in a relationship where it has broken down to the point when all that matters is money. I mean, why else would somebody take part in this show? I think that nobody in their right mind would even contemplate such a horrible idea.
All that said, would you participate in wife swap, readers?
Well, I want to start the next 100 as I mean to go on…
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