Trading Spouses 2/23 Recap: Andrews – Nelson Trade, Part 2
Today is the 23rd and this show airs on my cable channel 6, over air broad cast channel 44, and 6 plus 44 is 50. I was taping Monk on USA at the same time, and it’s on channel 27, and 50 minus 27 is 23!!!! Good god, that Jim Carrey movie is real, people! You know what else is real? The tension between the Andrews and Nelson families—the last time we saw them, Mark was sulking on the front porch, Doreen was pouting in her room, Stephen was mumbling incoherently about vacuuming, and Terry was avoiding confrontation in her room. (And yeah, I know, that’s probably the suckiest segue I’ve ever written.)
Scotch: Also the apology of champions.
Out in Boston, we last saw Terry fed up with doing all the housework to the point where she stopped doing it altogether and told Stephen that he’d have to help out if she were to participate in it. He wouldn’t commit to doing even some of the cleaning, so she just quit working. Stephen tries to get his daughters to help out, but one is sleeping and the other is busy dressing the dog in baby clothes. I may remind you that these girls are 21 and 23, not 6 and 8. The boy is home too, so it must be the weekend or a school holiday. He’s not doing anything of use either, and won’t even put his socks in the drawer. Stephen gets increasingly fed up with his offspring and finally admits that Terry had a point. He takes her out to a bar to have a couple of drinks and apologize for his behavior. He tells Terry he’s realized that Doreen has too much on her plate and he needs to help out more. Terry is impressed that Stephen got a clue.
About thirty years too late.
Mark cools off after his argument with Doreen over Rachel being sheltered. Doreen was still sullen in her room, insisting she is right that Rachel is too sheltered and that Mark needs to let her get out in the world. Mark maintains that he’s just been preparing her for the real world, and now that she’s a senior in high school, she’ll be getting out into the world soon enough. They eventually drop the argument and the next day Mark wakes Doreen up with news that he’s got a gig that night and Doreen needs to come along and sing in the show. She is none too thrilled at the prospect of performing in front of a room full of strangers, but she decides to do it to make peace in the family.
Doreen and Mark head into Portland where they go vintage clothes shopping for an appropriately punky outfit for Doreen. Mark is having a blast picking out clothes and Doreen vetoes most things, but finally settles on an outfit. Later that night, before the show, one of Mark’s friends fixes Doreen’s hair and makeup for her performance; Doreen is extremely nervous about singing, and dreads going out on stage. Soon enough it is time for her big number, and she goes out, clutching her lyric sheet, to face the crowd of what looks to be about 35 people. She actually does admirably well, singing with Mark’s band, The Shiny Things. Her performance is appropriate in large part because singing a punk song does not require the ability to hold a melody. Had this been the late 70s, she could have gotten a gig with the X-Ray Spex.
The obligatory family meeting.
Do people actually, in real life, have family meetings? Sure, maybe a confab on e-mail, but sit down and all have a chat over some pressing issue? Maybe my fam is too laid back, because I don’t think I’ve ever been at one, unless you count standing around the kitchen table, trying to pick which take out menu to use for the night. But nevertheless, Terry and Stephen call a family meeting where Terry gets to play bad cop and tell the slackers that are the kids that they need to step it up and do stuff around the house. Stephen is glad for the message, and says the kids needed to hear it. What really needed to happen was to have some enforcement in the decree, because five minute later, the kids are back lazing around the house.
Time to go.
It’s the last day, so Terry and Doreen sit down to write their letters. Terry is nervous spending another family’s money. Doreen is also having a hard time with the task. Stephen say he’s sad Terry is leaving and she’s really opened his eyes. Mark says Doreen was a real trouper to put up with the band night. Everyone generally has warm fuzzies about the others, but it’s still pre-disbursement.
The moms meet, and there’s really nothing terribly exciting about the meeting. Terry complains she had to do all the housework and the daughters did nothing to help. Doreen says that Mark was a nice guy but he needs to grow up and Rachel needs to get a life beyond being home-schooled and ballet. They trade letters and go on their way.
The grass is never greener, but the money always is.
Time for the most exciting part of the second half of a trade—the divvying up of the $50,000. Once again, Fox has lead us to believe that there will be some mad explosions over who gets what, but I’m not buying it this time. For all their faults, real or perceived, neither Doreen nor Terry seems like a complete bitch and will likely do mostly right by their adopted families.
Doreen reads the letter Terry wrote to the family, which divides the cash thusly: Each kid gets $10K: Vinnie’s money is subdivided to give him $500 in spending money and $9500 for a college fund. He intimates he doesn’t want to go to college, and his parents get a bit irritated. Melissa’s money is split $2000 to debts, which Doreen wants to go to her for all the money she’s put out, and $8000 for school. Melissa is absolutely furious over this, as she proclaims the government will pay for her schooling. Whatever government will pay for this girl to go to “acting” school seriously needs an overhaul. Gina’s money is divided into $1000 for a design class, $1000 for credit card debt, $4000 for a savings account, and $3600 for six months’ rent on an apartment. This last allocation elicits a whine that she still wants to live at home. (Yes, I know that leaves out $400, but they didn’t say where that went.) Finally, Terry gave Doreen and Stephen $20,000 to do renovations to the house, and Doreen could not be happier, because she’s wanted to overhaul her kitchen. I noticed her dishwasher, and I think I’m younger than it, so it’s time Doreen, it’s time. Doreen gets disgusted with her kids’ selfish reactions and leaves the room to unpack. The kids don’t notice her absence and don’t notice that their dad has proceeded to the kitchen to wash up the dishes in the sink. They continue bitching about their short shrift, and it’s just sad.
Over at Terry’s house, things are a lot calmer and devoid of the strong Bostonian accent. Terry reads Doreen’s letter to Mark and Rachel and the money is allotted as follows: $5000 goes to Mark to fix his nasty-ass teeth. Mark says that this is a bit harsh, but he should be glad it wasn’t me, because I’d have called him on it to his face. Five years in pain from braces leaves me feeling a tad entitled like that. Doreen also directed $15,000 to be put in the bank for “old age,” but Terry doesn’t know what that means exactly since they are old now. Another $15,000 goes to Rachel for her ballet, which makes everyone happy. The last disbursement we’re told about is $5,000 to Mark for his band, which Mark absolutely loves. Terry is just glad to be back at home with her family, where everything feels normal.
Next week there’s no Trading Spouses, due to an NAACP awards show, which is further proof I’m tight with old Rupert Murdoch because I’m going to be out of town at a work thing next weekend. Trust me, I’d rather be tied to a chair and made to watch repeats of the original God Warrior episodes with my eyes held open by those thingies they used in “A Clockwork Orange” than do this work meeting, but no such luck.