So let’s talk about what happened during last night’s episode of Real Housewives of Orange County: We all watched for half an hour and then flipped the channel. All of us on the East Coast, anyway, and the significance of the events that happened between the viewing of the first half and the second half made it seem a little silly to even watch the second half at all.
Sometimes the universe conspires to remind you what actually matters and what is actually insipid, and I don’t mean to get all melodramatic on you on a Monday afternoon, but Real Housewives falls so clearly into the “insipid” category that it’s kind of shameful it even exists. On a slightly more humorous note, though, when my grandkids ask me where I was when I found out that American troops had killed Osama bin Laden, my honest answer will have to be, “I was livetweeting Real Housewives of Orange County.” I guess I deserve that.
We didn’t beat around the bush last night – things started immediately with Susan Feniger preparing the five-course dinner party at Peggy’s house while Pegatha and Micah primped and preened and made sure that Micah was wearing the ultra-tacky logo-print Gucci blazer blinged out watch to match the used Bentley he bought his wife to thank her for popping out a couple of kids and not killing herself before they were born. (It was a Breitling, not a Rolex, which just fits so well with the fact that the Bentley was, uh, pre-loved.) Downstairs, the food looked so good that I’d happily attend the party just to chow down. All of our Real Housewives bimbos can fight amongst themselves, I’ll be in the corner shoving extra food into my purse for later.
Next we caught up with Gretchen, who was getting her hair done and gossiping with her hair gay about Slade’s child support issues and her desire to have a baby with him without being criticized by the media or having to fear that he’ll abandon her just like he did his last wife and kid. All of that, at the salon. And on the one hand, I think that Gretchen’s contract requires her to have one scene per episode where she gets her hair done, so they had to fit it all in with the actual plot. On the other hand, the hairdresser is the best place in the world to get crazy issues off your chest. I’ve told the people who do my hair things about myself that I wouldn’t tell most of my friends. I think it’s something about the hair dye chemicals – they make you honest. Honest and chatty.
Next up were Tamra and Eddie visiting Donn and Vicki so that everyone could meet Tamra’s new man. Donn and Eddie took some tequila shots and were generally yucking it up and enjoying themselves…and then Vicki entered the room and the temperature dropped by ten degrees. Everyone stopped talking and started awkwardly inspecting their fingernails and counting the tiles on the floor. Vicki, wide-eyed and silent, stared at Tamra and seemed to be trying to send her a message with her mind, which is probably not the thing to do when several other people (plus a camera crew) are standing in your kitchen, waiting for you to make nice. Once things had become sufficiently uncomfortable, everyone left for the party.
The awkwardness continued at dinner, where Gretchen and Alexis both showed up without their omnipresent men at their sides, which created controversy for two different reasons: Gretchen announced that Slade was spending time with his son(s), which everyone found hilarious because Slade is a deadbeat dad. When it was her turn, Alexis announced Earth Jesus decided not to show because he had some sort of meeting, or maybe it was a client, or maybe he was out of town, or really it was just for funsies, or maybe because he and Alexis are having problems or something. Maybe she told him she wants to vote in the next election and he threatened to stone her to death, who knows. Earth Jesus doesn’t like it when
the help his woman gets uppity.
While everyone was sniggering and snarking, mostly at the expense of Gretchen’s makeup, Alexis’ brain was slowly melting as she sipped her champagne sangria and pushed her lettuce around her plate. (She doesn’t eat, Earth Jesus doesn’t like that either.) She was outside of the house, unattended. Her husband wasn’t present. Should she make a run for it? Should she do something rash? Should she eat carbs? (No. No, she will never eat carbs. Don’t be ridiculous.)
Alexis is not awesome enough to have any of those perfectly reasonable reactions, though, so instead, she ran to the bathroom with Peggy trailing behind her to have a nervous breakdown over being viewed in public without her husband to chaperone. He doesn’t like that group of women, she said! Their husbands need to get them in line! She didn’t say that part, but we all know that’s the subtext, right? All of those hussies need a good man to put them in their place and remind them that their purpose is to look pretty and support the menfolk. And that doesn’t require much yammering, now does it? No, it doesn’t.
Lest her current good behavior cause us to forget that Tamra has been an absolutely awful human being for most of her tenure as a Real Housewife, she used her spidey sense to discern that Alexis was having a meltdown and immediately enrolled Vicki in a mission to go investigate what was happening by putting her ear to the bathroom door. I’m sure she’d weakly claim it was out of concern, but the gleeful smirk on her face showed otherwise. Tamra loves drama at the expense of others like a fat kid loves cake.
And as unnecessary as Tamra’s joy at the situation was…she was right. Going to dinner without your husband is not cause for a party-interrupting crying jag. Spending 20 minutes in the bathroom over it is incredibly dramatic and bratty. And it seemed as though Peggy agreed with me – after prying Tamra away from the door, she opened up the bathroom and told Alexis to either pull herself together or leave. I’LL TAKE HER ENTRE. PASS IT OVER HERE.
Back at the table, Vicki and Tamra returned and talk turned to marriage and fatherhood, at which point Gretchen got up and stomped out because she’s dating a deadbeat dad and that’s awkward. Vicki then brought up that Donn didn’t have any kids with her after they got married even though she wished he had, which devolved into Donn calling her a bitch because she wouldn’t stop needling him after he freely admitted that he would do it differently, if given a second chance. I’m of the opinion that a man should never call his wife names like that, but if you’ve been married to Vicki for 16 years, I’m willing to let it slide. The urge to call her a bitch must be omnipresent and overwhelming.
At about that time, Gretchen (who had apparently returned from her last table exit) got up to go check on Alexis and the diminutive gay guy in a bow tie that had escorted her to the party in lieu of Earth Jesus announced that he was going to go powder her nose. For some reason, that sent Vicki into some sort of alcoholic rage blackout that resulted in her making noises that I wouldn’t want to relive, but surely will have to during the reunion. Those weren’t human sounds, right? They didn’t seem like human sounds. How many cocktails did Vicki have to chug in between Donn calling her a bitch and her being able to produce those noises? I think the over-under is at five.
Back in the bathroom, Gretchen had arrived to tell Alexis that everyone back at the table was making fun of her, which was sort of true, I guess. Mostly they were making fun of the tiny man she brought with her, which seemed a little unfair. What did that little tie-wearing man do to any of them? But because the drama couldn’t commence until Alexis had been brought up to speed on the events at the table while she was away, Gretchen went to work stirring the pot and further upsetting a woman who was already having an irrational, locked-in-the-bathroom meltdown.
When Alexis got back out to the table, she apologized to the group for being a distraction and then teared up again while explaining that her husband is her best friend and trying new things is hard and she’s just not used to being away from him, you guys. Except don’t we often see Alexis attend things by herself? She goes to lunch with the girls, does pilates, gets Botox injections, all without Jim in view of the camera. Is he hiding behind the scenes with the producers during those scenes, or is something else afoot here? Methinks it’s the latter. There’s trouble in Earth Jesus paradise, y’all.
After she made her apologies and sat down, Alexis started in on Peggy for being upset that Earth Jesus flaked out on an expensive, sit-down, plated dinner party with no notice and no good excuse. You see, it was all Peggy’s fault that Alexis was upset because Peggy was irritated to have paid for a meal that Jim had no intention of showing up to eat, despite saying that he would, and why can’t she just be supportive? Supportive of what? Supportive of Jim being rude and Alexis being melodramatic and locking herself in the bathroom like a teenager who hates her parents?
There are certain ways that you just don’t behave in public, ladies, and being asked to leave a party when you’re making a scene is totally fair. Either get it together in advance of the party or call beforehand to apologize and decline the invitation, but don’t show up and blame everyone else for not accommodating your bad behavior and nonsensical crying fits. Frick and Frack probably went a little overboard on the jokes, but they’re drunk and generally awful people anyway, so is that really much of a surprise? All the more reason that Alexis should have stayed home entirely.
Peggy and Alexis continued to argue, this time over whether or not Alexis and Jim are bad friends who never make the effort to hang out with them, and although I don’t know the particulars, that sounds about right. Men like Jim don’t like their wives to have active social lives with other women, because then they get ideas about personal freedom and independence and doing things for themselves, even when the person that they’re around is as dim-witted as our dear Pegatha. The snarling got so annoying that even Tamra piped up to tell them that perhaps they should continue the conversation at another time, and when Tamra is telling you that the drama is a little silly and inappropriate for the occasion, you should probably take that to heart.
Moments later, Alexis took to the dance floor as if nothing at all had happened and promptly starting making an ass of herself with Alexis and a few of the anonymous men who had also attended the party, never mind that everyone else was trying to have a nice, calm moment or that they were drowning out the singer who was providing the entertainment at the party. Nope, Alexis was mad that people had laughed at her while she was making a fool of herself, so the only suitable recourse was to make an even larger, more noticeable fool of herself. Luckily, that concluded the night’s festivities. And also, this recap. I hope everyone had a great weekend.