The Moth Chase

Elevating the Art of Procrastanalysis – Academics wasting time on pop culture

There’s Just Not Enough Quality Programming for Women

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Dear Moth Chase friends,

Well, that’s two weeks in a row that my husband and I have really learned something about ourselves from the Dunphys – so, maybe there really is real quality programming out there for women! Last week, as Claire ripped apart the kitchen in rage, and Phil puzzled over what it was he’d done, I knew each possibility wasn’t it – I knew it was that he’d finally taken Claire’s advice…from someone else…the second he did it.  Do other ladies out there deal with this with their husbands? I know it’s not just me, Claire, and the other one of my girlfriends who called me this week to rant about her husband doing the same. So this week, when the spa ladies started schooling Phil on how to handle his wife’s problems, my husband had to turn to me again and say with a panicked edge to his voice – “I’m not like Phil!!!”.

But oh, he is – which terrifies me that I’m like Claire! Each time she starts ranting and being completely irrational, I have to wonder if I’m the same way. For each time I’m upset because my hubby hasn’t “heard me,” what have I missed that he’s trying to tell me? I mean, he actually does have to point out to me when he gets a haircut, which I generally feel terrible about. There’s no way I’d notice if he had paraffin hand wax treatments!

Of course, there’s also no way he’d get paraffin hand wax treatments, either!!  But you get my point.

Cam and Mitchell reminded us again tonight that this show is at its best when it’s exploring the vulnerability of its characters. I can’t even imagine how terrifying it is to try to prepare for the arrival of a new baby. And I can’t imagine how terrifying it would be to watch your partner melting down in the midst of that terror. And despite the awful thing Mitchell did, I could also understand it. Throughout life with a partner, each move or step we make together sinks us that much deeper into the relationship – reveals to us that it would be that much more painful if we lost them. Cam and Mitchell seem to capture that even more than the other two couples for me – they evoke the fragility and the wonder of love, and it’s beautiful to watch.

And those guys too are just so darn relate-able – right down to the way they divide their household duties! That’s another classic spousal fight – one of us takes responsibility for “the paperwork” (i.e. my spouse) and the other gets pissed at how it’s been done (i.e. me).  So while Mitchell made a big mistake, there’s something to the frustration of needing to take up that role in the relationship that made me think. Terrible things like this can happen when you open yourself up to a partner in this particular way, when you give them that power in your life. Wonderful things happen too – there’d be no Lily, without or without a hyphen, without that opening, that paperwork and that vulnerability. But vulnerability always comes with a little pain and a little cost. Those guys remind me how much that balance is worth it!

What did you guys think? Where did you find yourself in this episode? How will you love your partner just a little better tomorrow because of Modern Family’s lessons? Generally I hate shows with a message or a moral – but this one just works!


Written by themothchase

March 3, 2011 at 9:10 am

One Response

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  1. Every time I watch this show I am reminded that family is at once security & vulnerability, exhilarating & terrifying. Whether it is learning how to respond/listen to your spouse by being “educated” through other sources, or dealing with what it means to be a family unit on a daily basis while not being sure if your partner will be able to handle the stress of it all &/or the legal security that other families are afforded, or dealing with end of life issues while living & loving. This show never fails to make me feel every ounce of my humanness every time I watch it — & I love it! 🙂


    March 3, 2011 at 10:13 am

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