August 06, 2006 11:02 PM by Joe Blackmon
This week, in "Harris/Van Noy," an Oklahoma mother of three who agrees with her husband’s edict that an obedient wife belongs in the kitchen swaps lives with an unorthodox, working mother from Texas who believes her stay-at-home husband should rule the kitchen, on "Wife Swap," MONDAY, AUGUST 7 (8:00-9:00 p.m., ET), on the ABC Television Network.
Each week, from across the country, two families with very different values are chosen to take part in "Wife Swap." In a two-week challenge, the wives from these two families exchange husbands, children and lives (but not bedrooms) to discover what it’s like to live a very different woman’s life. It’s a mind-blowing experiment that can change their lives forever.
Dawn Harris (32) gets up at 5:30 every morning specifically to make coffee and pack a lunch for her 34-year-old husband, Jimmy, as he heads off to his construction job. Dawn spends her day at home doing all the family’s cooking, cleaning and laundry, as well as caring for the couple’s three children — Zack (13), Colten (9) and Annalee (6). Dawn is required to have a hot dinner ready for Jimmy when he walks in the door from work, and must also scratch Jimmy’s back for him each night so he can fall asleep. In addition she works full time from home as a medical transcriber, frequently not finishing at her computer until after midnight due to the constant interruptions of kids and home life. Jimmy refuses to help Dawn, believing that his role as head of the household exempts him from domestic duties — but at the expense of domestic bliss.
Dawn gets an eye-opening look at husband/wife role reversal when she travels to Texas and swaps places with 32-year-old working mom Kym Young, a hard-charging manager of a car dealership. Kym ‘s husband, Hallmark Van Noy, is a 38-year-old aspiring but unemployed actor who dotes on Kym, does all the household chores and is happy to be a stay-at-home Dad for 6-year-old Baylee. Here, Mom wears the pants and Dad wears the apron — especially when he serves his wife breakfast in bed.
In week one of the swap, downtrodden Dawn is shocked by the very idea of a house-husband and has difficulty accepting the princess treatment from Hallmark. Meanwhile, no-nonsense Kym nearly comes to blows with Jimmy when she undertakes the subservient role she must assume as a woman in Jimmy’s traditional home. But in week two of the swap, when the wives change the rules and turn the tables, Dawn cracks down on Hallmark’s soft life, forcing him to trade the kitchen for calluses and get a job doing manual labor, while his acting dream goes up in smoke. And tough-talking Kym gives good old boy Jimmy some lessons he’ll never forget, as he takes his kids to school for the first time ever and buckles under the weight of Dawn’s unending workload. When the couples are reunited at the end of this swap, stand by your man may indeed be replaced by stand up to your man.