How did we get to the point in The Real Housewives of Orange County (or in society, I guess) that Gretchen and Slade (SLADE!), are easily the least terrible and most sympathetic people on the whole show?
Where did we lose the narrative? When did this whole operation go completely off the rails? Am I taking crazy pills? Bueller?
This week, our Orange County ladies headed to Florida for a “girls weekend” that ultimately also included three out of five significant others, one housewife with hurt feelings and another one that was so hopped up on painkillers that she had no idea what was going on anyway.
After all the drama of last week’s episode, this one was actually kind of tame, by comparison. Well, unless you’re talking about Vicki, in which case this week was a histrionic mess. You see, she was the one that planned the girls weekend, and I can sort of sympathize with her being upset about the fact that the boys weren’t invited and that they were rude to interlope on the whole thing. It was a trip, after all, not just a dinner or a cocktail party.
Perhaps it would have been slightly different if Alpha Douche Jim and Beta Douche Simon had actually been invited by their wives – they weren’t. They merely decided that their women needed to be supervised at all times, and that included when they were going on Everglades tours and sitting by the pool in Florida. Slade showed up as well, but it seemed more likely that he did because Gretchen had been complaining to him about being uncomfortable around most of the women that were going. Also, he probably went because Bravo producers made him go in order to create more drama for the cameras, since Vicki’s face contorts into a mask of horror and revulsion at the mere mention of his name.
The evidence best supporting Vicki’s desire for a girls-only weekend was probably the footage of the group going on a hovercraft tour of the Everglades with a guide named Bubba. Alexis had yet to arrive and no husbands were present, and the four wives (well, I guess there were three by the time they got on the boat, Lynn and her facelift needed to take a nap) played with alligators and wild boars and generally seemed to have a good time and enjoy each others’ company. Also, it kind of made me want to take a tour of the Everglades.
But then Alexis and Alpha Douche Jim showed up afterward, and then people started to get a little snarky. Although no one was snarky about Alexis’s outfit, which surprised me. She apparently stepped off the plane wearing a neon orange mini dress, some sort of sparkly quasi-tiara, and huge chandelier earrings and she had her hair in what was obviously a professionally done up-do. The woman just might be the vainest creature on the face of the planet. I hope one of her kids gets fat just to spite her (and if she keeps things up, one of them will almost surely hate her enough to do just that).
The more I see of Alexis and Alpha Douche Jim, though, the more I think that they’re an inspired bit of casting on the part of Bravo. These two people are so obviously ravenous for the attention, for people to think that they’re wealthy, for people to know their names that Alexis was getting herself injected with Botox on camera after only two episodes of residence in the reality tv universe. She was MADE for this sort of show, and her husband has given Beta Douche Simon someone to look up to, which has only made him more easily hateable this season. They’re keeping the OC Housewives interesting, one Godly seven-carat necklace at a time.
With their relationship as an example, Simon has started to crack down on Tamra’s uppity ways, which he blames on Vicki’s influence. On the one hand, Tamra is probably the most spiteful, negative, loathsome woman on the show, and perhaps he has begun to recognize that. On the other hand, Simon almost certainly knew that he was marrying a shrew from day one. If he didn’t take the time to get to know his wife, then that’s not Vicki’s fault. Or if he’s merely embarrassed that she’s acting like that on national television, then I’m not sure why he chooses to participate on the show with her. Although he’s probably not smart enough to think through that line of logic himself, so, ya know.
In the face of all of this househusband ridiculousness, Vicki had a considerable opportunity to curry favor and sympathy, which she completely and totally squandered by acting like a big baby about the whole thing. Instead of being able to articulately explain why it’s rude to bring people that weren’t invited on a cross-country trip that someone else has planned, she whined and rolled her eyes and made faces and refused to participate in her own trip, and it all just sort of reminded me of how people act in middle school when someone brings a girl no one likes to the lunch table. Vicki obviously is a smart and successful woman, and she should be able to handle an unpleasant situation with slightly more maturity than is characterized by having a mini breakdown while getting a manicure.
In all actuality, Slade seemed to be the most reasonable of the spouses present, and Gretchen seemed like the least mean of the mean girls. When Vicki insisted on questioning her about why she had to choose Slade and how she thought Jo felt about Gretchen stealing her man (which I’m pretty sure Gretchen didn’t actually do), instead of flipping a table (as would be appropriate on a different Housewives show) or letting out a vicious string of profanity (which would be appropriate on ANY Housewives show), Gretchen managed to answer the extremely rude questions in a calm and collected (well, sort of collected – homegirl isn’t a rocket scientist) way in front of a group of not-always-friendly women.
And then Lynn popped a couple more pain pills and pretended that her husband had been there the entire time. If she had just offered a few to Vicki, this whole episode would have never happened.