Alexis thinks God talks directly to her.
Not in, like, a metaphorical way.
Like, in words.
I wish God would give me hints about life every now and then. I wish he would have told me two days ago to shine a flashlight in my mouth and look in the mirror, because then I would have already known that my tonsils are infected again and I would probably already be on antibiotics. But instead, I snuggled up in my jammies last night with my laptop to watch The Real Housewives of Orange County while already nauseous and dizzy.
Surprise: It didn’t help.
Where even to begin…the mix of lunacy and idiocy in this show is thick enough to choke a pony. The mind, it reels.
In this episode, Alexis, Tamra, and Lynn actually managed to make big enough fools of themselves that I found myself LIKING VICKI. I HATE THEM FOR MAKING ME LIKE VICKI. Do you you know how horrible people have to be in order to make me feel any kind of positive feelings for that woman? I can’t figure out a way to quantify it, so if you can, please help me out in the comments. And then there’s Gretchen, who is totally winning this season so far, but we’ll get in to that in a moment.
Let’s start with Lynn, because all she did in this episode was get a stupid face lift. And buy her already-beautiful teenage daughter a stupid nose job. It’s not like I’m anti-plastic surgery. Someone want to pay for me to have a nose job? Sign me up. The thing is, though, we’re in the unique position of knowing that these people get kicked out of their house in a few episodes for not paying THOUSANDS of dollars worth of rent. Lynn chose a face lift over having a place for her kids to live. On the other hand, I guess, if she was a good decision-maker, she probably wouldn’t be on this show.
The meat of this episode, though, was really the dynamic between Vicki and Don, Alexis and Sleazy McSleazerson (really, I can’t remember his name), and Tamra and Simon. Alexis and her husband have one of the most backward, controlling, screwed up marriages that I’ve ever seen depicted on television. Simon? Simon aspires to the level of control and psychosis that they have in their relationship! Don? Don thinks they’re crazy, and he’s right, but Simon thinks Vicki is uppity and he’s worried that she’ll give Tamra ideas about workin’ and book learnin’ and all those other uppity feminist notions. Simon and Tamra are about to lose their house, so the WORST thing that she could be doing right now is working outside their home, right? Of course. Even though all he’s doing is…tequila promotions?
In order for all of these patronizing feelings to become clear, Don and the two douchebags had to go on a little golf outing where they all shanked balls for a while and then had drinks. Sleazy had a cigar, in order to signal to everyone that he was the Alpha Douche of the group. The subject of an impending Girls Trip to Florida (why do people living near the beach need to go to Florida?) came up, and Sleazy let it be known that he does not “allow” his wife to travel without him and never will, and in order to suck up to the Alpha Douche, Beta Douche Simon agreed with him about how, ya know, there’s a man’s place in a relationship and his wife just wasn’t going 3000 miles away without him, man. Because then she might realize how nice it is not to have him around.
More or less, it seems like Sleazy and Simon don’t actually think that their wives are people with agency over their own decisions and the ability to reason and form cohesive thoughts. They treat them more like pets. And, actually, when you think about it from that perspective, it sort of makes sense. I certainly wouldn’t let my bulldog, Lucy, go on vacation to Florida with her friends from her puppy class. She might run off with another family or something, and that would be terrible! Because Lucy is a dog, and she’s not rational. That, and she doesn’t wear a watch, so she wouldn’t know what time to go to the airport to catch her flight home. And, ya know, no thumbs, so hitchhiking back is out of the question. To Simon and Sleazy, that’s sort of how their wives are. I don’t think it’s outside the realm of possibility that they feel the same about women as a whole.
Which means, of course, that Don is abnormal and has a weird marriage. His wife, Vicki, has a personality and a successful career and is even allowed to leave the house without signing out on the sheet by the door, the horror! I may not always like Vicki’s personality – and her husband may not either – but they at least appear to respect each other as individuals, admit when they have problems, and then try to fix them together. That’s decidedly healthier than Simon and Tamra’s situation, where he tells everyone (including her) that they have a perfect relationship while she silently seethes and then complains to the cameras later, when he’s not around.
And if Alexis’s body language during her lunch with Gretchen (we’re going to ignore the horrible nail appointment with her babies for the benefit of my sanity) was any indication, she may be starting to chafe under her husband’s control as well. It seemed like she had the speech about the Godliness of her husband and marriage memorized, since she probably has to make it very time her husband humiliates her in public or she has to explain why she’s not allowed to come out and play with her friends. During some of the most ridiculous parts (mostly about how “Godly” her husband is), she couldn’t even manage to look at Gretchen.
(Side note: I hate when people use “I’m from the Midwest” as some sort of excuse for being backward or ignorant and for setting a terrible relationship model for their children. People use “I’m from the South” as the same sort of excuse, and let me make it clear: people in the Midwest and the South have the internet. We have TV! Ignorance in this day and age is a choice, no matter where you come from. Don’t be a lazy snot and blame the example you’re setting for your daughters on the region that you’re from, Alexis.)
All of this stuff is why, as I mentioned before, Gretchen is winning this season so far. If I had to listen to someone like Alexis gush about how great it is to be controlled and condescended to all day, the look of abject horror that would come over my face would be unmistakable and probably take the conversation to whole new levels of uncomfortable. Gretchen, being somehow far more adept at keeping her mouth shut than I would have been, managed to make a few self-deprecating jokes (that were actually funny!) and steer the conversation out of truly horrifying territory, all the while being pretty diplomatic about why she prefers her relationships to be a little different. After that, she got her motorcycle license and made fun of Slade for his lesser skill at driving one. She’s really starting to make the others look bad.