October 24, 2008 08:56 PM by Lisa Stauber
WifeSwap features a pair of opposites switching places (shocking, I know!) Thus week, Brandi Dufrene, who lives in the Louisiana Bayou, will swap with Monique Melton, a professional ballet dancer. Brandi’s three sons run wild in the swamp, and her husband Pookie encourages them while Monique’s son is sophisticated, cultured, and training in ballet with his parents.
Brandi is married to Pookie, who has never even left the state of Louisiana. He’s the utimate Cajun who loves their rough and ready life and runs an air tour company. While the menfolk hunt and fish, Brandi cooks, cleans, and gathers laundry from mud puddles in the backyard. “We make it dirty and she cleans it up. That’s her job, it ain’t ours,” her sons say. Pookie doesn’t discipline the boys either. The Dufrenes eat straight from the bayou, and love alligator eaten on paper plates.
Monique started dancing at age 3, and has been on the dance floor for 40 years. She and her husband own a dance studio. Jake, age 12, dances as well. The family travels the world dancing on stage. Monique loves Paris and the opera, and are determined that Jake will be refined and cultured. “If I actually had free time, it wouldn’t be in the art museum,” Jake says. He just wants to be a regular kid. The Meltons often through wine and cheese parties, and the whole family works together on the housework. Monique even vacuums the dog so he’ll be clean, and she still dresses her son.
Meeting the New Family
Brandi wants to show the world her family and her culture, while Monique wants to bring culture to a new family. “Oh, no sculpture,” Monique observes of Brandi’s house, but she notices the alligator heads. Brandi roots through the Melton’s fridge and finds a bunch of fussy cheeses.
Monique meets the Dufrenes, and Gavin greets her with a small animal. She’s having trouble understanding Pookie’s Louisiana drawl. The family heads out to the swamp to catch some frogs for dinner. Then she has to clean the whole house while the boys look on. Monique asks the boys to pick up their own socks, but they refuse.
Brandi thinks Mike Melton is nuts and that Jake is too girly. She’s sure girls are not going to want a ballet dancer for a boyfriend. Brandi has to taste wine, and she hates it. She thinks the party is pretentious and full of people trying to show off their fancy clothes and eat bad food. Then Mike shows her his grooming routine, which involves moisturizing his face with Chapstick. Brandi has to pick out Jake’s clothes and vacuum the dog. Next she puts on some ballet shoes and tries a few steps. “I would never let my husband or my kids do that,” she says. She tells Mike he’s not a real man and he looks soft.
The Dufrene boys have run off, and Pookie gets scared. He sends them to their rooms, but tells Monique it probably won’t stick. Meanwhile, Brandi has to watch Jake rehearse. “Watching you, you don’t look very happy,” Brandi says. Jake admits he would love to ride a bike, but doesn’t know how. Mike tries to explain art to Brandi and Jake, and she feels sorry for the boy having to live such a boring life. “Is it time to see what Jake’s dreams are?” she asks Mike. “You’re being arrogant,” Mike tells her.
Brandi tells the Meltons that there will be no more ballet. “I’m more of a man than you are, Mike,” she says. She’s also going to make Jake bring friends over to hang out. “As long as they don’t have mental disorders,” Mike says. Brandi’s also getting a real man to teach Mike the art of masculinity. He’s bouncer and a biker, and goes by the name of Beefy.
Meanwhile, Monique is going to introduce the Dufrenes to the magnificent world of dance. “Don’t laugh,” Gavin whispers to his brothers. Pookie is assigned housecleaning, so he can see what his wife has to do all day. “This week, I’m going to bring in a speech instructor to teach you how to pronounce words properly,” she says. “Now, after me, ‘The black swamp rat sat on a Gregory’s lap’.”
Beefy makes the Meltons eat giant turkey legs and wear camoflauge. Jake’s having a great time but Mike hates it. Brandi gets Jake a bike and makes Mike teach him. Jake’s almost a teenager, and is just now learning to ride. Mike thinks it’s too annoying and gets frustrated.
Monique is trying to teach them ballet, but Gavin won’t leave the bathroom so she starts without him. Pookie is goofing off and joking around, so the kids think it’s funny. Monique’s frustrated and feels disrespected. Pookie’s supposed to clean the house, but he thinks his wife is just lazy. “I don’t think Monique understands how easy Brandi has it. It’s not really that hard,” he says. The boys are banned from the bayou and have to wash their socks. Gavin thinks he shouldn’t even learn to clean, since his girlfriend will do it all for him.
Mike sneaks off to the dance studio, so Brandi makes a big mud puddle out back and Jake has a great time rolling in the mud with his friends. “Jake is more of a man than his dad,” she says. Next she lets them start a fire and roast hotdogs and marshmallows. Mike comes home and Brandi confronts him about skipping out on the fun day she planned.
The boys won’t listen to Monique at all and just runs off. Pookie doesn’t want to be a bad guy and won’t make the kids mind. “It’s basically a child raising a child,” Monique says. The Dufrenes are going to the opera, and she gets tehm all dressed up. “Monique does think she’s better than me,” Pookie says. The kids didn’t enjoy the opera very much, and neither did Pookie. “It was a wasted day and tomorrow’s probably going to be wasted too.” Monique throws in a little wine and cheese tasting for good measure.
Mike feels that Brandi is trying to turn Jake against him. He says that Brandi is no longer allowed to be alone with Jake. He takes Jake off to practice dance at the theater. Brandi follows him to try to talk to him. It doesn’t go well. “This is a theater. It’s not for people who don’t have the intellect to appreciate it,” Mike says after he tells Brandi he’s pulling the plug on WifeSwap.
The Dufrene boys have a nice time dressing up and going to a fine restaurant, and want to bring their mom. They also start picking up after themselves.
The Families Meet
Brandi and Mike are still butting heads. “If there are any attacks, they will be directed at you,” Brandi tells him. Brandi says she wanted to bring some different things into his life. “I feel like Dad’s constantly competing with Jake,” Brandi tells Monique, and Mike warns his wife Brandi is trying to manipulate her. Pookie asks Mike not to talk so the wives can speak.
Monique and Pookie had a better time, and Brandi hears that the kids helped clean up. “I’ve been trying to tell you that for years,” Brandi says. Pookie reads some promises the kids wrote about chores they will do, and Brandi starts to cry. “It hurts that it takes a total stranger to open your eyes,” she says.
Photos courtesy ABC.