Ok, ok, before we go any further: Omarosa from The Apprentice tried to famewhore her way into last week’s episode of Real Housewives of DC and we all totally missed it. I usually have excellent reality slimeball radar, but she was able to slip past. If you catch a rerun, you can see her in the scene where Tareq Salahi opens the champagne with a sword, standing behind him and trying her best to get into the shot. I don’t know why this amuses me so much, but it does.
Anyway, about this weeks episode. We had booze, gossip, parties, etc. All the usual Real Housewives goodies. Two of the cast members also managed to make a trip overseas without embarrassing the entire country, but don’t worry – there were plenty of other deliciously shameful moments to make up for any good behavior that might have occurred overseas.
Things started with Cat this week, and she was meeting with her editor (read: ghostwriter) to discuss her upcoming book and its very important cover shoot. The publisher wants a Sex and the City vibe for the cover and she thinks that’s ridiculous, despite the fact that her book seems to be about swanning around London and all of her inappropriate lovers, which is, uh, kind of similar to Sex and the City. She also discussed the book with Lynda, who brought up the fact that Cat’s new husband has a very political, sensitive job that might not mesh well with the kind of dishy, soapy book Cat has planned. She seemed undeterred.
Next we spent some time with Stacie and her adorable family, who went out to a friend’s vineyard (not the Salahi’s vineyard – an actual vineyard) to spend what appeared to be a relaxing day in the country. Just as things were looking fun and normal, the Salahis pulled up in that same white limo from last week’s party (maybe they got a deal on a multi-day rental and they’re going to, like, use it to do their chores for the rest of the week?) to make the entire thing awkward.
First Tareq spouted some nonsense about the longevity of wine, and then Michaele babbled about Obama in the longest run-on sentence I’ve ever heard. They both made a lot of word sounds, but I’m not sure that they had a complete thought between them. I’m guessing that’s not a completely unfamiliar occurrence in their household, and I doubt Michaele would know a complete thought if it punched her in the face.
Luckily Stacie’s husband was able to change the subject from politics to his brother’s hip-hop success in Paris, and he mentioned that they would be making a trip to see him perform soon. Never a couple to miss an opportunity to look rich even though they’re basically grifters, Tareq and Michaele immediately announced their plans to go to France to see him as well. Not that they know or care about Jason’s brother, because they don’t. But they do care about what everyone thinks of them, and spontaneous trips to Paris are probably pretty convenient if you’re trying to convince people that you’re rich.
Next up was Lynda, who was at Saks Fifth Avenue to help set up the store’s charity VIP fashion night. She donated her models’ services for an informal runway show during the evening, and Mary also showed up to drink free booze and gossip. (I love her. Have I said that?) She broached the subject of Lynda’s showdown with Michaele at Paul’s birthday party, and Lynda continued to pick at her weight and her relationship. I think Lynda’s probably right about the negative influence that Tareq’s attention-whoring has had on Michaele, but still, her concern rings incredibly false. “Eat a cheeseburger” is not valid diet or marital advice.
Then it was back to Stacie, who was preparing to leave for Paris with her husband. He appears to plan for trips like I do – we’ll figure it out on the way! Planning is totally overrated, and it takes away the magical mystery of traveling. Michaele and Tareq, on the other hand, were ready to go with lots of luggage and various obviously expensive things splashed about the scene for extra impact. Stacie and Jason seemed surprised that the Salahis wanted to go to a hip-hop show, but I can’t imagine that going to a Parisian rap show is, like, 8 Mile or anything. It’s the City of Lights. Come on now.
While they flew to Paris, Mary got together with her husband to have dinner and gossip and drink (love her). She thought Michaele and Tareq were a bit unreasonable at Paul’s party (putting it kindly) and hoped that things wouldn’t try to put on the same kind of show at an upcoming event that she’s throwing with the salon she goes to. I admire her (perhaps producer-imposed) ability to hope for the best from those two, but I think she’s going to be sadly mistaken. As the old saying goes, [poop] in one hand and wish in the other, see which one fills up first.
Back at Cat’s house, things were cute for a moment while Cat’s kids welcomed her husband back home from his work. Things got a bit more contentious when talk of scheduling came up and Cat complained of her stress and lack of sleep while he “swanned around” on a work assignment out of town. Naturally, her husband didn’t take kindly to her referring to his wage-earning as “swanning around,” consider that she worked on a vanity book project and went to parties the entire time he was gone, and her command to “chill out” didn’t seem to put him at ease. I wonder just how much pre-divorce fighting we’ll get to see from them.
And after that little bit of juice, we got something even better. I think it’s been pretty clear all along that Michaele and Tareq are showboating, grifting balls of worthlessness, but we finally got a little bit of confirmation. Remember how Michaele offered to plan and throw a birthday party for Paul last week? Or at the very least, she mentioned it would be sort of a “joint” thing because their birthdays are so close together? According to Paul’s publicist, Michaele and Tareq had their attorney call before the party to inform Paul’s people that the couple would not show up without a signed agreement that they were not expected to pay for a single thing at the party. *AUDIBLE SIGH HERE*
I don’t know where Michaele and Tareq are from, but where I’m from, if you offer to throw someone a party, you foot the bill. If it’s a joint party, you foot half the bill, at the very least. Either way, you don’t blithely sign your name to an event and act like it was your doing, all the while expecting someone else to sign all the checks just to secure your attendance at the party. Well, you don’t if you’re a decent person, anyway. The Salahis are clearly not. In fact, they appear to be actively competing for the title of Worst People on Earth. Joe Francis is still beating them, but they’ve got a lot of episodes left to go and I like their chances.
Speaking of the Salahis, they and the Turners had arrived in Paris to be greeted by a bottle of Dom that the Salahis had clearly managed to lift from the duty-free shop at the airport by stashing it in Michaele’s handbag. The group sat on their hotel balcony and toasted to Paris, and I was beset by an interesting question: if it meant a trip to Paris, would I be able to put up with the Salahis as traveling companions for a few days? And if I chose the trip, could I restrain myself from physically attacking one or both of them?
By the time that the concert rolled around, though, the trip seemed like a lot of fun. The crowd was pumped up, Michaele and Tareq were perhaps a little drunk, and everyone seemed to have a good time. I still wouldn’t want to be bound to the Awful Twins for any extended period of time, but they managed to get into the spirit of the show and not ruin the whole thing or embarrass the entirety of the US population, as most Housewives likely would have.
Back in America, things were considerably more awkward. Mary’s daughter, who looked to be of approximately middle-school age, brought up the topic of sexting. Maybe I’m just getting old, but it was kind of horrifying to hear a kid that young talking knowledgeably about texting naked pictures to boys. I mean, everyone loves a good sext now and then (sorry mom), but I’m genuinely glad that kids didn’t have phones when I was in middle school. I didn’t get one until I was 16, and that was pretty young back then (and by “back then,” I mean 2002.) Allow me to make a momentary PSA: kids, if you’re going to sext, at least have enough sense not to include your face.
Speaking of awkwardness, it was time for Cat’s book cover shoot! Her husband had to cancel on her (because he had actual paying work, how dare he), so the strand-in photographer loaded her up with shopping bags and accessories to take some really cheesy photos that didn’t seem to be all that well-conceptualized or skillfully shot. As a nice surprise, Charles was able to show up at the end and give Cat a nice surprise. He took her for a separate shoot afterward, and suffice it to say that he’s a successful photographer for a reason – his concept, while similar, was much more interesting.
Still in Paris, Michaele and Stacie were shopping and swapping stories, although the only thing I could look at or think about the first time I saw the scene was Michaele’s head-to-toe brown leather suit. Where does one even purchase such a thing? And when you’re slender enough to wear basically anything and your husband is clearly willing to rack up debt in order to look rich, how do you decide on head-to-toe brown leather? When I was finished staring at her appalling outfit, I rewound and actually listened to what Stacie was saying. She’s adopted and has contacted her birth mother, but now they’re on the outs because she won’t give Stacie any information on her birth father, who doesn’t know she exists. How did such a nice, normal, intelligent woman with a genuinely interesting backstory get stuck on this show?
In other People I Like news, Mary got together with her hairdresser friends Ted and Jason to drink and get ready for their fabulous party, to which everyone was invited. They also gossiped, because hair stylists always have the BEST gossip, and Jason dropped a great little story about how Tareq had bragged to one of his clients about spending so much money on Paul’s party. As more people started arriving to the hotel to get glammed up for the show (can we talk about how great Mary looks with straight hair and extensions?), even more gossiping started.
Lynda, naturally, didn’t want to be seated next to Michaele at the night’s event and Stacie tried her best to avoid Cat, but when they’re all on the same TV show, they kind of have to be seated next to one and other so they can all be in the same shot. Luckily Lynda and Michaele weren’t beside or across from each other, and drama was mostly staved off until people got up and started milling around.
Unfortunately, when the Housewives all started drinking and cheers-ing each other, Lynda decided to tell Stacie that she could be the Diana Ross of the group. When Stacie’s friend (correctly) pointed out that saying something like that was just an uncreative way to say, HEY, YOU’RE BLACK AND WE’RE NOT, Cat decided to have an opinion again. Nothing good comes from Cat having opinions.
In the grand tradition of white people who aren’t comfortable around people who aren’t white, Cat didn’t see anything wrong with the comment at all, but rather with the fact that anyone was offended by it. In fact, she was so offended that someone was offended (even though she didn’t make the comment herself or really have anything to do with it), she stormed out of the party to have a pow-wow with Paul, presumably because he’s the only black person associated with the show that isn’t sick of her yet.
Cat suspects that Stacie’s friend Erica is just jealous of her and the fact that she’s making all of these new and wonderful friends, and that everyone just has the wrong impression of her. I don’t think Cat’s a racist, per se, I just think she’s used to being around people exactly like her and the idea of being around others is not all that appetizing. Since she’s got her Black Friend Paul, clearly she can’t have a problem with black people! Of course not! Friendship with a single black person always indicates a total love and acceptance of everyone who’s not white, didn’t you know that?
And also, as an aside, you should always be skeptical of people who are constantly insisting they’re widely misunderstood. The same goes for women who insist that they don’t have any female friends because all other women hate them – at a certain point, if everyone has a certain idea or impression of you, it’s time to consider the possibility that maybe they’re not all wrong.
Back inside, Tareq was boasting about Michaele’s weight and how much she’s gained since she married him – 20 pounds, apparently. I really don’t like to comment on anyone’s weight, but if the Awful Twins are going to make it a voluntary part of the show (and even go so far as to mention numbers), then I think it’s justified: there’s no way that Michaele has gained 20 pounds since marrying Tareq. It’s just…not possible.
Particularly since the other Housewives say she’s gotten progressively thinner and more frail, it seems like her husband realizes there’s an issue and chooses to overcompensate for it instead of dealing with it. Lynda’s method of drunkenly browbeating Michaele is not the answer, but if she does have a problem, then hearing her husband publicly boast of an imaginary weight gain also won’t help. Although Lynda’s suggestion that Michaele lose her husband instead of losing any more weight was, sadly, spot-on.