Now that we’re done with New Jersey, the sun seems to shine a little brighter, the air seems a bit crisper, humanity seems capable of goodness and positivity. Well, maybe not the Real Housewives of DC specifically, but, you know. Most of us.
Last night’s episode was probably a bit slow for some people, but I still have such a reality TV crush on this group and their non-Jerseyness that I loved it anyway. When the bar of expectation is set so low, there’s no place to go but up, and as long as I get at least one heinous story about the Salahis per episode, I’m a happy girl.
This time, we started with Bacon. Err, Lynda. We started with Lynda and she was frying bacon. I thought about licking the tv, but I didn’t, so everyone take a moment to admire my restraint. She lost me when she said that when you’re from the South, you have to serve the men first, and to that I say: hell to the no. I don’t know what part of Georgia she came from, but in the part I come from, it’s not the 1950s anymore.
Over at Stacie’s house, she was hanging out with some of her sorority sisters from Howard and the subject of Stacie’s biological parents came up. As it turns out, her bio mom is white and her dad is black, which makes things sort of awkward, since her biological mom’s current family has no idea that she had a child with a black man who she met in Nigeria in the Peace Corps.
And I just…I don’t even know what to say, and for better or for worse, I almost always have something to say. What a screwed up situation, and Stacie seems to be handling things so well and being so reasonable about all of it. If I were her, I would be straight up angry. Don’t even get me started on why, in this day and age, it would be any more scandalous for a grown women to acknowledge a mixed-race baby from her past than it would be for her to acknowledge any other baby from her past. I need to move on to other things before I have a rage blackout.
Over with Mary, things were decidedly less horrifying. She was helping her friend Ted open his new salon, and for reasons I don’t entirely understand, Michaele was there. Ted said that she was sponsoring the event, but as it turns out, that just means they donated some wine for the party. Clever. Mary got all prettied up when she got to the salon, and refreshingly, she again had zero problem appearing on the show with no hair and makeup. Her life seems like a lot of fun, doesn’t it?
The party itself seemed like fun too, and Lynda and Cat showed up and were both on fairly good behavior. Lynda and Michaele actually managed to have a pleasant, civil exchange with each other, but then the real fun started when Mary and Cat got together to complain about Michaele and her social climbing. Mary thinks that the Awful Twins use their wine to get into events and meet people through “sponsorships,” and not only do I think she’s right, but I think that’s actually kind of a brilliant idea. I wouldn’t have guessed that those two could come up with any sort of effective scheme for anything. Then again, they did manage to sneak into a White House dinner, so…
Anyway, back to Mary. She’s painting her dining room high-gloss black and took Cat and her friend Jason out to another friend’s contemporary furniture store to pick out some new stuff for the room. Cat thought the idea was stupid, but I think it sounds awesome – I wanted to paint my bedroom black for my entire youth and my mom wouldn’t let me, so you best believe I’m going to be doing it at some point in the future when I own my own place. And I will also put cool white modernist furniture in it! So Cat can just go back to that rented shabby chic crapfest that she lives in and shut her mouth. HARUMPH. Ahem. Team Mary.
Not that it matters, because it appeared as though the only reason that the furniture trip happened in the first place was so that they could all sit down and Jason could tell another story about how worthless and horrifying the Awful Twins are. They had invited Jason and Ted to go to the Congressional Black Caucus Dinner and guaranteed that they had tickets for the entire group, and when they got to the door, the invitation only allowed one person in.
WELL. The Salahis ran them in the side door anyway, and when they got inside, Ted and Jason didn’t have seats. Instead of leaving, Michaele and Tareq went around asking for seats and trying to steal other people’s spots. Eventually the Secret Service (yes, the President was in attendance) figured out what they were doing and gave them the boot, leaving Ted and Jason inside and pretending not to know who the Salahis were. But you can’t keep good grifters down! After they got kicked out by the Secret Freakin’ Service, they snuck right back in, this time to the VIP area! So I guess we know how they managed to sneak into the White House – they’ve had plenty of practice.
Before we knew it, it was time to head out to the country with Mary, Cat, Stacie and both Jasons for the grape stomping event at the Salahis’ winery. The place hasn’t had a stomp in a while because Tareq’s mom filed a lawsuit a couple of years back to try to have him removed from the business, and I guess that gives you a pretty good indication of what kind of person Tareq is – even his mother hates him. The injunction on the place had been lifted, though, but that still didn’t stop mom from calling a reporter to…I don’t know. I honestly have no idea why any of this would be newsworthy in a place like DC where so much actual stuff happens.
In the limo on the way to the vineyard, the subject of Michaele and her controlling husband came up, and Jason told the same story about being forced to sneak in the side door of the Congressional Black Caucus event. Mary took the opportunity to remind everyone that Michaele used to sell makeup at Nordstrom, which I wish she’d just drop, but I think it should be abundantly clear to everyone now just exactly what the Awful Twins are up to. Sadly, I think Michaele is just along for Mr. Tareq’s Wild Ride because she doesn’t know any better and either won’t or can’t stand up for herself. When Stacie tried to call back and inquire about the security issues (with Cat’s help), Tareq strategically, uh, “lost the call.”
While everyone else was in the middle of nowhere in Virginia, Lynda was having a slightly tedious dinner with Ebong, but he appears to put up with her nagging instructions with an ease that few men have. Good for him for taking it in stride, and good for her for finding a man who can deal with her. Good for both of them for skipping the grape stomping foofaraw.
When the limo finally arrived, ominous security guards with earpieces and dobermans (I think they’re the same guys that Danielle from New Jersey hired for Monday night’s dinner) greeted the crew and Cat was just loving it, and by “loving it,” I mean “hating it with the kind of intensity that most people reserve for intercourse.” Cat is mostly loathsome, but if the group could just manage to point her unnecessary negativity at the Salahis at all times, I wouldn’t have any kind of problem with her. She called Tareq a control freak to his face and then made fun of his little whistle, at which point Mary’s chardonnay nearly shot out of her nose. If you’ve never shot alcohol out of your nose before, let me just tell you: it burns.
Cat then refused to stomp grapes (also, can we just talk about how many different kinds of animal pelts she had hanging off of her?) or blow the whistle during the grape stomping, and then she told Tareq that he didn’t have any manners because he was American. And, you know, I agree that Tareq is entirely without manners and needs an attitude adjustment, but Cat calling others’ manners into question is probably more irony than she’s intelligent or self-aware enough to understand. Eventually Michaele’s assistant (speaking of animal pelts) told her to stop being so bitchy, and it occurred to me that all this show really needs is Cat and the Salahis. Everyone else could have gone straight back home in the limo and I wouldn’t have even noticed.
As we were promised, some grapes eventually got stomped, but they weren’t grapes from the Salahis’ vineyard. They didn’t even bother to hide the supermarket crates from the cameras, and there were only a couple of pounds in the giant vat that everyone got into. I used to work in marketing at a large winery, and I’ve seen a good bit of actual grape-stomping take place, and what they had wasn’t even a reasonable facsimile of the real thing (plus it looked like it was the winter, and that’s not when you have grapes on the vine in that region anyway).
In fact, I worked at the place where this happened: (If you’ve never seen this video before, stick with it until the end)
Anyway, Cat ran out of that place as soon as she realized that Jason also had to leave, and she shouted “bollocks!” the entire way to the car. After she and Jason were gone, Michaele asked what had been discussed in the limo on the way up and, well, it was them! When the subject of the Congressional Black Caucus Dinner was raised, Michaele denied that anyone snuck in but didn’t really explain what the confusion was over, nor mention being kicked out by the Secret Service. It was sort of a non-explanation, and those usually happen when the truth has already been discussed.
Speaking of weak excuses, the talk then turned to whether or not it was appropriate for Lynda to tell Michaele to eat a cheeseburger and Mary tried to defend her friend by saying that Lynda always has everyone’s best interest at heart. I think we all know that Lynda doesn’t care about Michaele at all (she said as much earlier in the episode), but Michaele put Mary on the spot to be accountable for Lynda’s actions and she didn’t really have much of a choice but to have her back.
Michaele then put Mary on the spot again for Cat and Lynda making fun of her the previous week, and even though Stacie vouched for the fact that Mary wasn’t making fun of her that night or involved in the conversation at all, Michaele didn’t seem interested in hearing it. Neither did Tareq, who appears to have taken the opportunity to come from totally out of left field and say something nasty to Mary about her daughter that we won’t get to hear until next week, but for which I am sure he will deserve a punch in his puffy, self-satisfied face.
I like Mary quite a bit, so perhaps I’m a little biased, but the whole scene seemed incredibly manipulative. The Salahis got called out on being party-crashing grifters, so they immediately shifted the focus to someone else in order to pick at her over things she didn’t even do or say, and then brought up her daughter in a way that looks like it isn’t even remotely related to the subject they were discussing and seemed purely intended to upset Mary. Stay classy, Michaele and Tareq.