Big Love
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I Saw What You Did Last Morning

Barb and her old station wagon pull up in front of a ranch house in a well-established neighborhood (you can tell because the trees are more mature). She rings a doorbell and a well-groomed middle-aged matron, Peg, is all, "What are you doing here?" Barb says she's in town for a cancer walk meeting, and asks somewhat sheepishly if she can come in.

Cut to Barb and Peg laughing over Bill's commercial; Barb found it as dorky as I did. More chat -- Peg shrugs off a query about Verna and JoJo with "They live at the mall these days. Those two!" Gosh, you'd think she's talking about teenagers. But no -- because the minute Barb says, "Sometimes I really do think I'm going to blow my brains out," Peg says, "Nicki and Margie," and you realize it's alpha wife talking to alpha wife. Barb moans, "I've been married to Bill seventeen years, and I adore the comfort, I love my mature marriage --" "'Mature marriage'!" Peg scoffs. "Oh, honey. I've been married to Don twenty-seven years, and when he goes into the bathroom and shaves at night, I better click on the TV, try to distract him with a movie -- that's a mature marriage." Oh, Peg, you are clearly the Saucy Wife in your household. Barb says, "You don't have to struggle with it the way I do," but Peg swears that Don's a tiger in the sack and that she sometimes gets all het up over the way the ladies are flinging themselves across his brush-cut path: "I'm telling you, the antidepressants really do take the edge off." Ah, Paxil -- the silent spouse in every polygynous marriage!

Bill comes home and charges on into Barb's house. As he's checking the mail, a sleepy Margene pops her head up from the couch. For the second time in one day, Bill asks one of his wives, "What are you doing over here?" Margene explains that she fell asleep. Bill asks where Aaron and Lester are, and Margene just points: they're both on the patio, in a playpen. The older boy is sobbing. Bill scolds Margene for hanging out at Barb's because she has her own house now. Margene says she doesn't like it over there, and Bill ignores all the warning loaded into that statement. Margene then makes the "give me a car" pitch. Bill protests, "Margie! Look at these bills -- pediatrician, roofer, Utah Electric..." but before we can find out what other fascinating expenses these folks have run up -- or if the good folks at Visa have taken to sending Nicki's monthly statement in a set of leatherette-bound, gilt-edged volumes -- Margene totally ambushes Bill with the news that she heard him and Nicki, sputtering, "In our house, in my bedroom, in my bedroom, I saw you and it was my morning." Bill points out, "It wasn't your morning," and Margene plows on: "But it was my bedroom, and you used my words. You used my words in our bedroom." Well, it's heartening to see that she can have a direct confrontation with one of the two parties whom she feels wronged her. Bill goes to placate her, and Margene says, "I don't mind sharing you. I like sharing you. I like us all together, but...you can't use my words in our bed! That's sacred!" Bill tells her, "I love you and I respect you," and yet somehow it sounds completely hollow, like it's just the prelude to some main event, sort of like how playing "My Old Kentucky Home" opens up the Kentucky Derby. Margene's not buying it and snaps, "What you did was mean!" Bill wheedles, "Well, I'm sorry if you got your feelings hurt." Oh, nice NON-apology there, Bill. Did you learn the disclaim-all-responsibility rhetoric from the message boards at www.henpeckedpolygynists.com, or come up with that all by yourself? Margene calls him on it, however incoherently: "You! Did something bad! You and Nicki! And you hurt my feelings." Barb walks in during all of this, and Bill storms off.

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Big Love

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