Sure, sometimes I allude to the possibility that the crazy cruelty, incessant idiocy, and stomach-churning hatred heaved out into the world by our Real Housewives of Orange County could bring about the kind of fiery day of reckoning Tamra studies with her personal trainer/spiritual guru while she's doing burpees. Yes, I've suggested Vicki pantomiming the act of nailing herself to a crucifix during a party in Newport Beach might very well lead to Catholicism as a whole shutting down just so the religion's followers do not have to be in any way associated with a creature I'm pretty sure was thought up by Satan himself after a particularly rough week. And okay, fine -- I've called some of these women morons and lunatics and Mephistopheles' asshole. I've giggled uncontrollably just glancing at the hideous purses Gretchen once thought would make her a millionaire and I've gone on record saying I'd rather drink the urine of a possum in heat than ever so much as taste Vicki's Wines By Wives. I stand by those comments; they're entirely accurate, but none of it means I wish personal harm to come to any of these women. Watching the accident go down on tonight's show was scary and I'm glad everyone is safe. That's not to say, however, that I would have objected to this accident knocking some sense into the heads of the truly senseless, but I suppose it's best I don't get greedy. Besides, I've already used my allotted three wishes on praying Bethenny gets herself ordained and shows up in Palm Beach to perform Luann's wedding ceremony in a long white dress and a veil.
It takes a very special form of bile-spewing creature to make it into the Top Five Worst Housewives of All Time in less than a season, but Kelly Dodd – asshole extraordinaire – has managed to reach that pinnacle. She's already proven she has what she so succinctly coins "anger issues" that rival the table-flipping rage of felon Theresa Giudice. She's also mastered the fine art of furious projection previously made famous by Professional Victim, Kim Richards, in that she strikes out both blindly and cruelly at anyone in her airspace just to take the focus off her own disgraceful behavior. (Kelly might also drink as much as Kim did in Kim's sickest heyday.) It's difficult, actually, to choose the very worst thing Kelly has done so far this season since her behavior thus far has mirrored that of a third grade sociopath stricken down with both a superiority complex and insanity, but I suppose it's nice that we have a choice. So which terrible action was the very worst? Was it when Kelly shrieked "Cunt!" and "Dumb fuck!" across a dinner table while proclaiming herself "an amazing mother"? Might it have been the moment she told Shannon she was ugly with a sick smile smeared across her face? How about the way she's decided Vicki Gunvalson is awesome and just slightly misunderstood? These are, of course, all excellent options for anointing Kelly with a crown made out of dogshit and her own broken dreams, but the single grossest thing I think she's done went down in the final two minutes of last week's show, after she'd already made Regan in The Exorcist sound like a Disney Princess. Yes, Kelly insulted half the people at the table with filthy epithets, tried to then hug her victims, announced she doesn't need to suck dick because she's a multimillionaire who's never had to develop a gag-reflex, and smiled serenely at Vicki, her soul sister. All of that was despicable, but the worst of it was in the aftermath, when she decided it would be hilarious to make fun of Heather's mannerisms and voice because all that action proved was that this very sick woman has not – and may never – learn a single thing. She's shown herself to be as idiotic as the black stools upholstered with muppet fur lining one of the twelve bars in her home and I fear nothing short of an exorcism that comes with a complimentary brain transplant can save her now.
Much to my constant dismay, I am the forgiving sort. I’m not quite sure where this little trait of mine comes from, but since I have a few fond memories of my father staunchly holding some grudges, I’m just gonna go ahead and claim that my forgiving nature was bequeathed to me by my mother, along with an almost identical face. I don’t much enjoy this aspect of my personality; there’s just something fiercely narcissistic about staying furious with someone and I wouldn’t really mind a bit more fierce narcissism running through my body. Alas, I was apparently not built to cut someone from my life completely. Just in case you need an example, how about the time I forgave a family member for refusing to congratulate me for writing a book that was in no way about her? Her reason for withholding the congratulations? I hadn’t told her I was writing a book and she refused to be proud of me because she wasn't included in the process from its genesis. Save your time and don’t even try to make sense out of it. It makes no sense, but I forgave her anyway because having to be in the same room with both her and my inner inferno of bubbling fury left me feeling short of breath and feverish and I was far too worried about my health to stay angry.
But even a forgiver like me would never just shrug and think, Well, it’s all in the past, had someone decided to sneer, “I’d never be friends with you because you’re ugly,” directly to my face in the middle of my own party the way Kelly did to Shannon on last week’s episode of The Real Housewives of Orange County. That's a comment simply meant to be as hurtful as possible, one said by a person who doesn’t have anything more damning in her arsenal and thus decided to take her anger out on your face. My face rejects that sort of bullshit. Will Shannon and her face end up forgiving Kelly? I have no idea why she would, but we’re still early enough into the season that I suppose it’s possible. Plus, we all need something to focus on besides praying for Jim Edmonds to be kinder to his fetus than he is to the wife who is carrying it.
Here are some places I’d rather be than inside of a car with Vicki Gunvalson on a long road trip:
· A hot yoga class that I’ve run to in order to get a brief respite from the brutality of a humidity-drenched heat wave in late August, one that caused a cataclysmic weather crisis that simultaneously led all air conditioners in the region to explode at the very same moment that Duane Reade and CVS ran out of every form of deodorant including carpet deodorizer.
· Sitting in Biology class on my first day of 8th grade when my hair was newly lobbed into some hideous asymmetrical style, all the better to show off my frosted pink 44 lip-gloss. It hurt just looking at myself in the mirror.
· Standing on line in Nordstrom when I’m in a massive hurry while the person in front of me returns a dress so awful that, not only should she never have purchased the item in the first place, but some designer should have thimbles rammed into his ears and nostrils just for creating it. By the way, this return will be conducted by a Nordstrom employee who just started working at the store an hour ago and nodded convincingly when her supervisor asked if she understood the return process because she didn’t want to appear like an idiot on her first day and now the supervisor has left and the new girl has no fucking idea what she’s doing.
Fortunately, I can see no scenario – including one that takes place in the fiery confines of Hell – in which I will have to ride shotgun as Vicki Gunvalson literally drives me to a full mental breakdown. Briana doesn’t have it so lucky. She is heading from Oklahoma to California, and it’s all because Vicki prayed so hard to her BFF, Jesus, for Briana and her family to live close enough that Vicki can pop by to borrow some brown paint, should she ever eventually run out. Actually, the truth is that Briana wants to be close to her team of doctors because there’s a lot physically going on with her. It’s a shame such a young woman is facing these medical issues. Her husband has to stay behind for a while and Briana cries as she says goodbye to him and to her house and to any future privacy she ever hoped to achieve now that she lives just a hop, skip, and a whoo hoo from her lunatic mother.
There are just some people whose absence in your life feels nothing short of palpable. It’s not even the lack of their physical presence that creates the smoldering void, but all of those damn associations you stumble upon – daily, hourly. If you’re anything like me, you find yourself tripping dangerously over song lyrics. You bang headfirst into television commercials that advertise products you once would have purchased just to see that person smile. You fall with a painful thud down a whirring rabbit hole that’s been lined with a tarnishing silvered memory and land, totally disoriented, into a pit of what you are certain must be simmering regret. When you wake up in the morning, another name pops into your fatigued brain, even before you wipe the cloudiness of sleep from your eyes, even before you remember your own name.
You finally understand why just the syllables that make up the word “longing” sound so incredibly hopeless.
I have not experienced any of the above emotions during the many months that have gloriously stretched by since The Real Housewives of Orange County has graced my television screen. I have not missed a single one of those ladies or the bedazzled tank tops they wear without even a hint of irony. And while I suffer from the terrible affliction of always wanting to give a person a second (or a nineteenth) chance to prove he or she is not a total asshole, my opinions are already rather solidified when it comes to some of these women who have suffered continuously due to the exposure and stress being a part of this show brings into their lives – and yet they still always come back for more, more, more.
What’s even left to say anymore?
That Brooks really has cancer or that he never had cancer?
That Shannon's marriage has legitimately been repaired or that it's currently being held together by a very loose Band-Aid with emotional puss threatening to leak out from all sides?
That Tamra is a reformed sinner or one just taking a break from sinning due to sheer exhaustion and the recommendation of a PR rep she met while standing on line at her local CVS buying generic antifungal cream?
That Heather might or might not petition the United States Postal Service to get her very own zip code for her behemoth of a home?
That Meghan believes that her terrifyingly chilly husband truly loves her or that she just got temporarily dazzled by a proximity to fame and ended up in over her head in a marriage that reads like a Grimm's cautionary fairytale about a once-blonde woman who was swept off her feet by a psychotic baseball player?
That Vicki is a pathetic asshole?
As we head into part fucking three of a Reunion that could have been covered in half the time if they’d just left out the colonic montage, what we do know for sure is that nothing will be resolved. The questions we have will never get answered despite my guess that every single one of these women will be back next season, even Vicki. It probably won't matter that there’s an epidemic of rumors floating around that the rest of the OC Housewives are threatening to refuse to film with her in the form of a reality TV fatwa or that she has been exposed to be foolish, hysterical, cunning and naïve (hard to pull off both at the same time, but then again, Vicki is special), friendless, and the kind of mother who chooses a man over her own kid. She'll still be back. She cannot stay away from any kind of attention. But it’s not her fault – God made her that way.
It was probably somewhere around the fifth hour of watching the Senate hearing on Hillary Clinton’s role in the Benghazi attacks when a series of revelations began to sweep through my mind like a brushfire caused by an aerosol can of Resveratrol exploding inside the bidet of a marble bathroom that is Coto de Caza-adjacent:
1. There’s the ability some of us have to keep calm under pressure – and then there’s the way Hillary Clinton reacts under pressure. That woman did not so much as lightly perspire the entire time she was being grilled under hot television lights by political foes who would probably rejoice in literally roasting her over a bonfire like she was a rotisserie chicken. No matter what she was asked, her composure was nothing short of masterful.
2. And speaking of masterful, I want the name of Clinton’s makeup artist toot sweet and I’d like to buy stock in whatever company produces her matte face powder and blotting papers because – holy shit – those are clearly some excellent products and perhaps our greatest hope in the fight to make unintentionally shiny skin a thing of the past.
3. Anyone who can walk away from watching the coverage of these hearings without fully understanding the term “bipartisan” at this point is either an idiot or was too busy checking the US Weekly website so as not to miss the latest pearl of wisdom that has fallen from the inflated pout of young Kylie Jenner, a girl who now more closely resembles a blow-up sex doll than a human.
I’ve come to believe that watching Reunion episodes of The Real Housewives of Fucking Wherever is very similar to sleeping with a guy you promised yourself you’d never writhe beneath again before a cocktail of literal cocktails combined with the false notion that sex doesn’t have to mean anything settled first into your head and then gravitated quickly towards your waxed nether regions. What I mean here is that you think that you will get some satisfaction from the whole experience, but what you are really left with is a few hours lost from your life, a teensy bit of regret, and a wet spot that you could swear looks exactly like Vicki Gunvalson’s first face.
Just like sex with an ex, nothing that happens during a Reunion is brand new. Sure, maybe someone has a new outfit to show off or a tighter ass to wiggle or a point to make that’s said in a different manner than it’s ever been stated before (examples here might include “Here’s the newest reason I think Brooks is a liar” and “No, I’m staying on top”), but it all really comes down to the fact that, in both scenarios, nothing changes and nothing is truly gained and you probably could have achieved far greater happiness by eating a Snickers in a dark room where you could pretend to ignore the suggestion written on the wrapper of the King Size bar that a chocolate bar so humongous is really designed for sharing.
Fuck Snickers and whomever designed its packaging. Fuck the sharing of candy of any kind. And really fuck the OC Housewives who have done next to nothing all season long. Beverly Hills had a wineglass-heaving sociopath and an alcoholic who relapsed right there on camera. New Jersey boasts an incarcerated castmate who never completed the evolution cycle and a son-in-law who was rumored to have banged his wife’s mother. Atlanta has NeNe, the largest being ever measured by the naked eye that allegedly doesn’t contain some Sasquatch blood. And what does Orange County have? A whole lot of nothing.
Last week’s episode of The Real Housewives of Orange County had a subplot that seemed both weirdly literal and colorfully metaphorical at the same time. A storm was brewing in Oklahoma, one that might be strong enough to sweep Vicki clear to the east coast with just one fierce tornado gust, but (luckily for those of us who reside on the east coast) that was just a hint of the real storm to come. The real bluster comes about at a party thrown by one of our illustrious Housewives – and at this point, I think I might only have disdain for those who continue showing up at events where they are verbally assaulted before being handed a gift bag.
But this is The Real Housewives and what that means is that a party cannot just kick off the hour! First we are invited on kind of a journey where we get to see how all of the relationships are currently lined up so that we know who the teams at the party will be. At this point, Meghan is the captain of one team and she is lobbying to name her team “BROOKS IS A FUCKING LIAR AND I HAVE PROOF” but she’s concerned that the team name won’t fit on their shirts. Brooks, who is either a liar or a man falsely accused of doing something so despicable that it almost defies comprehension, will lead up the other team. Obviously, Vicki will be the star of “TEAM WHOO-HOO,” but the real question is where the other Housewives fall. Prior to this episode, it appeared that Shannon and Tamra would join Vicki and Brooks’ team. They would shut their mouths and gaze at the floor and Shannon would grip some crystals tightly in her palm and chant for Vicki not to yell at her about anything and Tamra would pray directly to God for the same thing because she’s religious now. There was a chance that Heather might have joined Meghan’s team, but I think Heather would be far more likely to quickly jet off to some tropical land so she could avoid the conflict altogether. Still, the lines seem to have changed recently and the teams are no longer so clearly separated and it all becomes clear when Heather meets up with Meghan at a dinner where Shannon will join them a bit later.
Tamra’s extremely classy faux-sex fiesta is over now and all that remains is the faint scent of discount-priced lube in the air and the very real need to pull duct tape off of body parts in one quick and incredibly painful motion. But just because terrible fetish wigs have been removed from the heads of Housewives all over town does not mean that any of them have forgotten what went down at a party where the guests were required to watch Tamra and Eddie’s oh-so-clever play on a sex tape that was really a workout video and then not vomit when the scene mercifully faded to black after we all got to hear that Tamra is really tight. See, just because it’s a brand new day doesn’t take away the fact that Vicki told Meghan’s husband that he married an asshole or that Meghan’s husband is a total asshole or that people have questioned the veracity of Brooks’ illness or that Shannon is never happy when she’s sober. Isn’t it sad when we realize that all of life’s greatest problems do not dissipate the moment we remove the leather collar and leash from around our necks? Oh, misery.