It’s official: Lisa Vanderpump has risen in my mind from ABSOLUTE WALKING PERFECTION to THE DEITY I WILL FORCE MY MINIONS TO PRAY TO IF I EVER START MY VERY OWN CULT – and here’s how I know it: on last night’s episode of The Real Housewives of Beverly Hills, she discussed at the dinner table that she does not trim the hair that covers her nether regions, and I did not want to vomit while listening to a woman who has lived for over five decades discuss her bush. Not only did I not feel even slightly nauseous, I actually gazed at my television set as it was graced with her supreme divinity and thought to myself, I’ll bet even this woman’s pubic hair is fabulous.
I don’t typically spend a whole lot of my time contemplating other peoples’ grooming practices. There are other things to think about, like how I’m relieved that I didn’t end up with the ex who texted me the other night to tell me that he missed my slutty Mrs. Claus outfit. But when it comes to anything about Ms. Vanderpump – and anything includes the maintenance of her vagina – I’m just going to go ahead and make an exception.
The woman is a goddess. She’s beautiful and adored and adoring. She comes off as humble and gracious and self-effacing. And she’s been on television for something like four or five seasons now. You can’t fake that shit forever. If there’s something to attack, the editors are paid extra to find that footage and then exploit it.
It’s therefore clear to me that she is simply just that fabulous, and I’ve decided that my newest greatest hope – besides, you know, world peace – is that I’ll one day get to move into her house. Her closet will serve as fine accommodations for me – I can luxuriate amongst her vibrant caftans and try on her jewelry in my downtime and watch the housekeeper closely so I can finally figure out how to fold clothing correctly and maybe one day I can give birth to triplets under one of her organized-by-hue shoe displays and cloak my brand new offspring in the blouses Lisa chooses to discard because she already wore them last year. My triplets will be resplendent in shades of pinks and purples and they will know the feel of silk from the moment they are born.
And I’ll stay in that closet and hide in the hamper and blame it all on a pretend case of agoraphobia just so I can avoid the get-togethers that Lisa has with the friends that Bravo has chosen for her.
They’re not all so bad; Yolanda seems okay, what with her steely demeanor and her logical mind and the way she would probably force a juice cleanse down my throat. The cayenne pepper might sting a little, but at least it would get rid of all of my toxins, and I could take comfort in the fact that she’s really just doing it for my own benefit. And Lisa Rinna seems kind of cool too, all shaggy hair and heavy mascara and doe-eyed gazes and bubbly enthusiasm and gigantic lips. She strikes me as the kind of person who could be a good friend, who would celebrate your success and commiserate in your misery – the kind of friend so many people can’t seem to allow themselves to be because it involves loyalty and kindness and that’s hard for some to pull off.
So I’ll tell Yolanda and both of the Lisas the secret knock to allow them entrance into my closet home, but the other women will not be allowed inside, not even just to visit or to drop off a snack for me or a swaddling blanket that matches the tiara I borrowed from Lisa and stuck on top of the head of my favorite of the baby triplets. (I’m guessing my favorite will be the one that sleeps the most, cries the least, and is the cutest. But I’m not an asshole; the other babies won’t be denied accessories. They can play in the protective bag a Birkin arrives in.)
Let’s travel now to the land of inequity, shall we? And feel free, I suppose, to blame a combination of God, Mother Nature, questionable parenting and karma, because the other Housewives were just not blessed with the same charisma and sparkle as the brunettes named Lisa or the very blonde Yolanda. (I’m not fully ready to toss Eileen, the newest girl, into this mix, though I find her a little dull and it’s kind of hard to watch her because I used to be a chronic fan of Days of Our Lives and she was on it during the years that I watched. She played John’s wife, and all I can think when she appears onscreen now is that my sister used to say that the guy who played John always squinted his eyes and looked like he was about to come in his pants and that the woman who played Kristen looked like a man. For a while there, we thought that a gender surprise might end up being the big reveal of that season, and it was happening during the era of The Crying Game so surprise testicles were in vogue. So while she seems fine on Housewives, I can’t stop myself from staring at the screen, playing my very own game of I-Spy where I’m looking for evidence of a scrotum.)
Then there’s Brandy, a woman who strikes me as getting sadder and trashier by the passing day. It’s great that she’s taking advantage of the opportunities that come her way – I applaud that proactive nature of hers – but I think I’d have to be trapped in a coalmine that is cut off from both oxygen and sunlight, yet still manages to get an internet connection, to ever willingly listen to her podcast. I used to like Brandy; she seemed kind of down to earth, but now it’s like she’s crawled too close to that earth and she’s become grimy. It’s not like I have one motherfucking problem with the fact that she is often spewing profanity, but she has started to appear, in my eyes anyway, low-class and kind of dumb. There’s not a lot that she says that has any substance. And I’m aware that she’s fallen completely out of favor for me because if she even mentioned her pubic hair, I’m pretty sure I’d recoil in horror instead of wondering if Lisa ever holds hers back with a barrette fashioned out of sapphires.
Speaking of sapphires, I’m sure that Kyle would want us to know that she has a ton of them – rubies too – but she doesn’t wear them very often so that her family’s newfound riches will not corrupt her youngest child. Excellent idea, Kyle! And after you bury your jewelry in the backyard of your estate, you can discuss the value of a dollar with the child who screamed, “I want them all!” – it was a very Veruca Salt-like moment – when you shopped for clothing for her before the family trip to Spain. You know, the one you all embarked upon by taking a limo to the airport where the family then hopped on a private plane and flew towards crystal blue waters to sail on a yacht, all the while outfitting your toddler in a shirt that said I Left My Louis On the Jet and purchasing Chanel dog bowls for your pets.
And Kyle, your Chanel fixation is getting kind of gross. You had cupcakes at your bullshit White Party decorated with the Chanel logo as though Lagerfeld himself was arriving shortly and his rider clearly stated that he’d only eat desserts festooned with his label. You had your nails painted with the stupid logo. It all must stop or, I swear, I am digging a coalmine myself and burying you inside of it.
Do coalmines get basic cable? Because if I heave her into one due to her vain and ridiculous material consumption and there isn’t a signal, Kyle will miss the next episode of Vanderpump Rules! And you guys, Vanderpump Rules is the best show Bravo has ever dumped on the air, and I’m including in that competition the show where I watched people cut hair for a prize. It is lit like a dewy dream and it stars people with absolutely no guile and very few boundaries and it makes me want to guzzle pink drinks and never ever go back to Los Angeles.
Let me walk you through it.
I’m going to start with the supporting characters – at least they’re supporting characters for now. To achieve full Vanderpump pumpiness, they’re going to have to band together to destroy someone’s character or indicate that they have stalker tendencies or gut someone’s pancreas out with a butter knife in full view of a family celebrating a baby’s Christening in the Sur dining room. And since I believe in the power of positive thinking, I believe they can achieve some or all of this craziness by the end of the season. In fact, I raise a pink drink that Tom Schwartz poured for me during the tail end of one of his anxiety attacks to toast to their devolving morals! Do it, guys: you’ll snag more screen time.
Peter is the manager of the restaurant where most of these people work. I think Peter might be kind of handsome, but I can never fully decide if he is or if he’s not – but that doesn’t matter because I’m pretty sure that what’s actually going on here is that he’s pretending to be a guy named Peter but he’s really that pirate who nailed both Luann and Sonja on the tropical vacation those women took on The Real Housewives of New York City. Peter and the pirate look so remarkably similar that I’m starting to believe they are in fact the same person. And I’m beginning to wonder if the pirate has photos of Andy Cohen cavorting with someone he ought not be cavorting with and he’s using it all as blackmail fodder to quietly appear on every single show in Bravo’s lineup.
When he eventually turns up as some guy who claims his name is Quentin on Top Chef, I’m alerting the authorities.
Then there’s Scheana, who wore a wedding dress with a crop top when she married a man who clearly lost some kind of bet. She is not on much these days, and I’m just fine with that. She appears now and again in interludes where she speaks directly to the camera and, for some reason, she is wearing a purple lipstick so distracting in its hideousness that I never much hear what she says. But I also think that maybe I just stopped listening to her after she announced proudly that she was “a guy’s girl,” because let’s face it: that’s what someone announces when all of the girls in all of the world have decided that you’re an asshole.
Still scurrying around the sidelines and away from the main action is James, Kristen’s rebound victim. I want to feel badly for him. He is dating a lunatic. He has a chin ass. He declared to the viewers that Kristen said he was better in bed and has a bigger dick than her ex-boyfriend – but all that really means is that she is still thinking hard about her ex-boyfriend’s dick. Unfortunately, James is too young to know better or he wants to get continuously laid and can’t put in the time to lure in somebody stable or he realizes that being with Kristen will land him on television screens across this great land.
He’d better be getting something out of his relationship with Kristen, and it better involve stuff that not every girl is willing to do – like pose naked with frolicking sheep – because there is literally no other reason for any man to be with this girl for longer than a night or two. She is fantasticallyinsane, but not in the fun-insane kind of way like Sonja from New York. Kristen is damaging in her insanity, and the person she is damaging the most is herself.
First she continues to insist that any person who has so much as given a butterfly kiss to someone she’s not dating is cheating as badly as she did when she nailed her best friend’s boyfriend on the sofa in the living room of the apartment that she shared with boyfriend while her boyfriend was in the other room – and this is something that happened twice. She does not get that all cheating offenses are not created equal and she will clearly never understand that she does not deserve any form of clemency in the matter.
She also doesn’t seem to comprehend that she is not being perceived as smooth or stealth or brave or composed when she sidles up to the bar where her ex-boyfriend’s current girlfriend works and says nasty things to the girl about the man she is clearly still in love with. Ariana, Tom’s current girlfriend, looks almost bemused and more than a little bit impatient as the crazy ex-girlfriend in her midst starts yammering away about how Tom and Ariana’s relationship is built on lies. Ariana gazes with annoyed pity at the lunatic in her eye-line, looking very much how I look when I end up in the same aisle at Trader Joe’s as a child experiencing an emotional meltdown. I smile at the parent slightly and quickly move beyond the madness, reminding myself in that instant to take my birth control pill the second that I get home.
But really, the bar confrontation was nothing in the spinning madness of this grown woman’s life. What came next – the primping to go pick up her mail at Tom’s apartment in front of her current boyfriend and the actual arrival at Tom’s apartment – was almost too insane to relay.
First she sat, styling her hair, on the floor of James’ apartment. She individually curled sections of it but it all fell limp just a moment later, and anyone with decent television reception could have seen the screaming symbolism of it all right there. But no; then she put on a ridiculously low-cut dress and heels that gripped her ankles like she should have been gripping her clearly-fleeting sanity and kissed her boyfriend goodbye so she could sashay over to her former boyfriend’s house dressed like that to get her mail.
Look, I’m not saying it all wasn’t hilarious and really good television, but it was also so utterly pathetic that my heart almost hurt for her. Her moves were obvious and clunky and I literally laughed – I laughed meanly – when I watched her pose with her hip jutting out while she looked through her mail in front of the guy who just wanted her to leave quickly. And seeing Tom wearing clothing that looked like it hadn’t even been washed while she was ludicrously decked out so clearly indicated that he did not give a shit about any of it while she continued to look destroyed in his foyer.
“Girl, get over it,” Kristen said to Ariana the day before, apropos of exactly nothing. “It’s not like I’m trying to have a heart to heart with him or get into his pants.” And Ariana just stared at this unraveling human being, leading Kristen to tell James that Ariana was one of those girls who was “pretending to be the cool girlfriend” but she really wasn’t. And that’s maybe the moment I stopped and really stared at what was unfolding in high-definition onscreen. This girl has officially lost whatever rational thinking she might have once had. Ariana doesn’t strike me as someone pretending to be cool and unaffected by it all; she just is unaffected by it all. And I see it all clearly because I have been that cool girlfriend who wasn’t faking it either. When things are good and there is trust, there’s no need to fake being fine.
There was obviously more. The entire show can’t only be about Kristen thinking she’s not delusional, so we were also graced by the presence of Jax, a male model I find more repulsive-looking by the second. We witnessed him morph into Satan each time he tried to destroy his best friend’s relationship in one fell swoop and say inane things like, “I’m tired of everybody blaming me for their problems,” when he causes them all. We got to see Stassi arrive at Sur in a pristine white dress and snidely make comments that the place was like a time warp, as though it wasn’t just a year ago that she worked there too, and if it hadn’t been for her boyfriend who she moved in with in Manhattan – and who probably foots the bill for their current impressive west coast digs – she’d still be working at Sur too. She also actually said the sentence, “I only want to boss the cool people around, not the losers,” and I prayed with all of my being that the girl is still under the age of twenty-five because an adult can’t really get away with saying something that juvenile.
That said, I have to say that I don’t dislike Stassi. She strikes me as quite the handful, but I find her insults impressively cutting and I think she’s clearly kind of smart and she’s definitely crafty and she’s a loyal friend to those who show her loyalty in return. She might be a bitch, but at least she’s an articulate bitch.
All of this is to say that the women on The Real Housewives of Beverly Hills, once my favorite group in the entire franchise, have started to bore me, so I’m happily turning my attention to the younger crew battling for reality television stardom. They should know though – psychotic Kristen and calm Ariana and newly-betrothed Scheana and even sly Stassi – that they are just playing for third place.
Lisa and her bush have snagged spots one and two.