Last night’s installment of Real Housewives of Beverly Hills was perhaps the most normal episode we’ve had in a month, but when you compare it to what has come before, that really only means that I did’t have some sort of rage blackout at any time during the episode. How novel!
There were some cringe-worthy moments, of course, including Kim’s random date with a guy from the grocery store, wherein she lied and pretended to have a brand new baby the entire time. But mostly things kept themselves on an even keel, with Lisa doing donuts in her Bentley and Taylor finally leveling with us about what she actually does in her free time, other than put up with her Dexter villain of a husband. I really shouldn’t joke, because it was sad, but I’m one of those people who makes inappropriate jokes when I’m uncomfortable. But I bet you guys probably could have guessed that.
We started with Kyle last night, who was training for a 69-mile (yes, that many, I promise) bike race that she’d do with her husband in Napa. 69 miles is a long way. That’s the distance between my hometown and where I went to college, more or less. That takes an hour and a half in a car, even with my lead foot. Kyle was practicing with her female trainer when the trainer told her that she should get a bikini wax for the race, and I’m still not sure why that would make a difference. Obviously she’s not a professional competitor, and I can’t imagine that it would be an issue of aerodynamics, so…why? Any cyclists care to enlighten us?
Perhaps Kyle should have asked for a second opinion, but she didn’t, so she became our first Beverly Hills housewife to get a bikini wax on camera. The camera stayed up by her head, but still. Leg up in the air. I don’t need to see that. Not even on cable. Her daughter also didn’t need to see that, although she did, apparently from a far different angle. I love my mom for a lot of reasons, but today, it’s mostly because I’ve never seen her get a bikini wax.
Over at Adrienne’s house, other kind of pain was being inflicted – this time, though, it would be the Housewives doing the inflicting. Adrienne had invited Taylor over to take some kickboxing lessons with her hot kickboxing trainer, who would make me very nervous if she was my wife. We found out that Taylor volunteers with a domestic violence crisis center, an organization about which she seems totally sincere and devoted. Finally, Taylor does something besides pack her husband’s suitcases and plan parties. She actually has an activity. I couldn’t help but be a little excited for her, even before we learned more about her childhood later in the episode.
In slightly less serious matters, Lisa and Cedric had to get their American driver’s licenses, so they went to practice driving maneuvers together. And by “practice,” I mean Lisa wanted to go turn some donuts in a parking lot in her drop-top Bentley and then knock the housegay out of the car and pretend to leave him there. Ken wanted Cedric to move out, but without him, Lisa wouldn’t have a playmate. I’d like to volunteer to take his place and ride shotgun in the Bentley with Lisa. I wouldn’t even have to move in, really. Unless Lisa wanted me to. Because I totally would if you wanted me to, Lisa. Just say the words. I have a suitcase. I can be packed quickly. I would promise to be quiet and not eat much, but I think we all know that neither of those things is true.
We couldn’t spend the entire episode tooling around Beverly Hills with Lisa and Cedric, though, because that would have been too much fun and it would have made me too happy. Next up was lunch with Kim and Kyle, where Kyle complained about her missing housekeeper and then insulted Kim for daring to suggest that a reasonable solution to her immediate childcare problem would be just to take the kids with her when she and Mauricio go to Napa for that bike race. I couldn’t care less about their bickering because that’s just what siblings do sometimes, so thankfully, Lisa called and moved the plot along via speakerphone.
Lisa wanted to talk about Martin – the guy from the last episode, remember him? – and why Kim hadn’t called him to thank him for driving her drunk, inappropriately dressed ass home from the party, but Kim seemed unimpressed. She said that she liked Martin but expected him to call her, and really, I’m sick of that kind of stuff. I have such problems with those rules in real life that I can’t blame Kim OR Lisa for having conflicting opinions about them, because they suck. They suck a lot, and there are so many expectations and variations and little details that might make you think one way or the other about who should be the person to call, when really, it shouldn’t be this stupid and hard and we’re all adults, right? RIGHT? And no, this is not about any specific predicament I may find myself in right now, why do you ask?!
At Camille’s house, all of her payroll “friends,” plus that Nick dude that she’s obviously screwing, got together to be paid to have dinner with her and listen to her complain yet again about how awfully Kyle treated her and about how she’s never been treated so poorly in her entire life. Still, St. Camille found it within herself to propose that all the girls get together and try to be friends again, because it’s clearly so important to her that she takes the high road and continues to play the role of the sainted victim for as long as her employees are willing to put up with that line of bullshit. We’ll get to see the dinner, which apparently does not go well, next week. Interestingly, we also got the first inklings of Camille’s upcoming divorce – Kelsey wants to move to New York full-time, where he feels “appreciated.”
Meanwhile, at Kim’s house, Kim was throwing a barbecue for her kids and their friends and recounting a truly odd story of meeting a random guy at the grocery store over a pile of raw chicken that they both wanted to buy. Now, I’m not one to judge – I once went on a date with a guy who I met at a Halloween party where he was dressed as a wrestler, and he actually turned out to be a total sweetheart who I dated for quite a while. When that happened, though, I was 21 years old. I was not a mom of six or so children (seriously, how many did Kim’s daughter list?), at least one of whom likes to interrupt and has a history of throwing sandwiches at my dates.
That didn’t stop the Supermarket Suitor from showing up at the barbecue, though, but he didn’t stay for long. Kim acted like the total crazyperson that we all know her to be by grabbing a random infant and telling him that she was her baby, she was still breastfeeding, and she hates the kid’s father, who calls all the time. I didn’t notice Kim every telling the poor guy, who had brought his little granddaughter, that the kid wasn’t actually hers, and appropriately, he got out of there as quickly as he could. It’s amazing that a woman that nuts actually found so many men to father children with her.
The next we saw Kyle, she and Mauricio had made it to Napa without the kids and they were acting like the perfect couple that we all want to be when we grow up. (Don’t you even tell me that I already am grown up, I refuse to believe it.) Even when they have conflicts over how long they’ll stay away from the kids or whether or not they should have another kid, they still talk to each other like human beings and work things out. That shouldn’t be novel, but when you think about it…it sort of is. Right? Or maybe reality TV has just beaten the last bits of romantic optimism out of me, if I even had any left. (Unlikely!)
Kyle and Mauricio then did a 60-something mile bike ride together, supporting and encouraging each other the entire way. Afterward, they told each other how special it was and what fun they had and they probably cuddled once the cameras left. I was jealous. I am jealous. With the exceptions of Russell and Kelsey, the Beverly Hills husbands are the best of the entire Housewives universe. By far. I want a Mauricio one day, with a little Paul mixed in because sometimes I’m not very pleasant and I need someone who can take that. Self-awareness is important, folks.
Next, Lisa had to go to the DMV to take her written driving test and she complained about having to sit there among the Little People (and I don’t mean preternaturally short people, I mean people who are not millionaires and probably shop at Wal-Mart), which would have been a tad annoying if a completely insane man hadn’t started hitting on her as soon as she sat down. In that context, it just seemed totally and completely accurate, which I think is sort of why we all love Lisa – even when she’s a snob, she’s right. She passed her test while looking impossibly well-dress, but Cedric failed his. He is clearly not ready to leave the gay houseboy nest, and I think that maybe that’s not as much of a problem as Lisa wants to tell herself it is. She needs a sidekick. She’s that awesome.
In preparation for the episode’s final event, Taylor met up with the director of the domestic violence charity with which she works, who wanted Taylor to walk the red carpet at the charity poker tournament they were holding and then say a few words after everyone got settled. In the context of these requests, Taylor let us all in on some painful memories from her apparently abusive childhood, and it sounded painful enough that it made me honestly feel a little crummy over all the snark I’ve sent her way. Yeah, Taylor has some issues, but I think that at the very least, knowing that she had a rough time of it as a kid puts the birthday party from a few weeks ago in a somewhat less ridiculous light.
It was then the day of the fundraiser, and on the way, Russell couldn’t help but find something to criticize. This time it was the date of the event, which I’m fairly sure Taylor didn’t pick, but that didn’t stop him from admonishing her for the bad timing. Mostly, though, the turnout seemed fine. Plenty of people showed up to gamble for charity, including Adrienne, who just keeps putting ridiculous things on her head that make me like her even more. First glittery hair extensions, now a bright blue cowboy hat that matched her shirt perfectly. The event had a western theme, but even if it hadn’t, the outfit wouldn’t have been terribly surprising.
As it turned out, Adrienne’s cowboy hat was lucky, despite the fact that she’s only played poker a few times in her life. (She’s not allowed to play at her own casino!) She was winning games and stacking chips, but then the event ground to a halt for Taylor to get up and thank everyone for coming. And it was sad! Maybe I’m just extra hormonal right now or something (Scratch that, I know I am), but Taylor’s emotional speech and her subsequent one-on-one left me on the verge of tears. First Gossip Girl, now Real Housewives of Beverly Hills – why’s everyone gotta be harshing my mellow lately?