sister-wives in dc

Dear internet,

There was a discussion on DC urban moms (DCUM) today about someone who wanted advice on how to tell her new friend that she’s a sister wife. Most of the comments scoffed that the person was obviously a troll. And who knows, maybe they were a troll. But, let me tell you: There were definitely sister-wife families when I was growing up in the suburbs of Washington, D.C.

From the outside, it just looks like workaholic dad and really supportive, close-knit circle of mom friends who live near each other and are always over at each others’ houses/watching each others’ kids. The dad is there sometimes, not all the time, he helps out with projects at the different houses, everyone lives in the same neighborhood.

Bear in mind that it was pretty common to have absent dads (deployments, overseas assignments, etc) and SAHMs, so the moms band together to take care of the kids in a little pod. Plus, there are lots of single moms/divorced parents in general.

The suburbs of Washington, D.C. are the perfect place for polygamy. The DC suburbs are vast but also kind of cut-off. You could have one family Maryland and the other in Virginia and seriously nobody would know. Probably people wouldn’t even know if you had a family in Vienna and a family in Chantilly. People are transient and work long hours so no nosy neighbors.  Northern Virginia is like the perfect place for a polygamous family to blend right in. Plus the salary is amazing if you don’t have to pay for childcare.

How am I so sure there were sister-wives in the DC suburbs? I was friends with kids who would say things like “I have to check with my moms.”* The only thing that really stood out about the families: they all had these amazing basement food bunkers. and safe rooms. and guns. all the kids had and knew how to use guns. which is why my mom told me I couldn’t go play at their house anymore.

The girls all ended up going to cosmetology school or another vocational path in high school, and then they disappeared to various small communities out west. In retrospect, I guess they went to get married. The boys, on the other hand, got a college-track education. Because you need a good professional six-figure job to support 3 wives and 13 kids in the DC area. 



*what’s my opinion of sister wives? I don’t really care either way. Sounds complicated, but what relationship isn’t?

I once worked with a guy who was engaged to be married for the fifth time. “I am an old-fashioned guy,” he said. “I believe if you’re gonna live with a woman, you should marry her.” He was 37 years old.