As someone who has always believed heartily in the concept of evolution – you know, since I value shit like logic and I wasn’t raised a Duggar – I find it fascinating sometimes to trace how one moment in life can directly lead to the next. It’s not always possible, of course. The passage of time and the slugging down of wine can blur those once clear linear patterns, but one thing I know for sure is that writing recaps of reality shows caused one of my sweet readers to recommend to Kate Casey that I appear on her podcast. For those of you who have yet to hear of Casey, she’s a phenomenal interviewer who manages to snag every single reality participant you have ever heard of (including those, like Spencer Pratt, you are trying desperately to forget) and then she pounds them with direct and probing questions People and US Weekly would never even think about asking because Casey’s legitimate inquiries in no way involve how Kylie Jenner’s lips might change due to her unplanned pregnancy.
Oh, Kelly. You are such a tragic moron. First of all, you managed to convince yourself it would be nothing short of wise and incredibly fun to go on this show, even though you claim to have been a multimillionaire for eons and therefore must not need the money. Secondly, you waded into these (well publicized) rage-filled waters although you've diagnosed yourself with the very broad and convenient ailment of Anger Issues. Thirdly, you bizarrely chose to align yourself with perhaps the only human lady in the entire stratosphere less appealing than you are and you actually then had the idiotic gumption to raise the millionth glass of alcohol you've swallowed since you've been on this show and toasted to the fact that everyone else must simply be devastated that they can't BE you, even after it's been made alarmingly clear that to be you means to be ostracized because most decent people refuse to even attempt to stomach your hideous personality. Cheers, Kelly! Here's to your eyes growing ever wider in surprise that everyone besides your ill-chosen mentor thinks you're psychotic -- and not even psychotic in an interesting way like the Countess on The Real Housewives of New York has continually proven herself a psycho with her never-ending delusions of grandeur. You, Kelly, are just a generic psycho and I'm bored with your antics already. Who do I have to blow at Bravo to make sure you don't return next season? You might not be willing to suck dick to get what you want, but I'll make an exception and go ahead and open wide if it means I never have to lay eyes on you again until I see you on the eventual commercials for Marriage Boot Camp.
When last we saw these grown women, they were decked out in sequins and strange necklines and discussing incredibly private matters while being filmed by cameras. The battle royale about Carole dating Adam is still going strong tonight and leading the charge against the relationship like she’s a born-again suffragette who likes wearing turquoise, taking moonlit walks on the beach, and shaming other women is Luann. I do not understand Luann’s behavior. Does she not realize that the demise of Carole and Adam’s relationship could lead to the vegan cookbook they collaborated on (she wrote the text and he prepared things made entirely of kale) never seeing the light of day? Can Luann not even imagine the scenario where she performs her hit songs at signings for that cookbook atop a stage made entirely out of heaps of quinoa? Do they not teach “Thinking Ahead” in Countess Class or was it on the curriculum but Luann missed that lecture because she was banging a twenty-three year old in the bathroom?
I just have to say something: I have no idea why someone would choose to become a Real Housewife at this point. It was different in the beginning, back when the franchise was just a colorful daydream in the mind of Andy Cohen as he sat in his living room and pretended that he was a talk show host by chatting with his dog and his plants. Nobody could know back then what exactly they were getting themselves into as they allowed cameras into their bathrooms and into their bedrooms and into the parties they threw for absolutely no reason whatsoever except for the fact that a producer dying to get a raise said something like, “Why don’t you invite everyone over for a Game Night?!” Nobody back then could be entirely sure how the massive amount of footage would eventually be edited. Certainly nobody could possibly fathom how the behavior that once seemed – at best – mildly bipolar in some of the participants would eventually morph into a cottage industry that has allowed rudeness to become acceptable and rampant cruelty to become simply part of a never-ending storyline. And definitely not one woman involved so much as considered the afternoon when it would hit the press that her husband’s name appeared on the hacked list of Ashley Madison clients.
We should probably start by talking about the outfits, right? I’m guessing that dressing for a reunion show has got to be quite the endeavor. You need an outfit you can sit in for nine straight hours as you discuss events that have already transpired and have already been discussed ad nauseum, but it can’t be too binding because you might need to bound off the couch at a moment’s notice to tear a fellow Housewife limb from limb. And whatever you wear, you know that it can’t be something classy and simple because studies have shown that the rest of your coworkers will out-sparkle, out-sequin, and out-plunging-neckline you if you deign to go with basic black. No, you have to go next level with your reunion outfit because the reunion is exactly like the Oscars for a Housewife – except they leave without a gift bag and most of them have absolutely no talent.
Sure, I write Real Housewives recaps. I sit in front of my television set two nights a week with my laptop propped open and resting on my leg and I take copious notes. I type out in a rhythmic pitter-patter what these women say and what they wear and the ways in which they deflect their odious behavior and my hands actually cramp by the end of the evening, so busy are my fingers as they hit the keys to form words I never could have imagined I’d ever transcribe. By the way, try explaining to a man you’re dating that you can’t hang out on a Monday or Tuesday night in the middle of summer when you’re not working because you have to watch Bravo and then compose ten pages about what Vicki said to Meghan and see how he reacts. Before you do it, I’m going to recommend that you only say such a sentence while wearing lingerie because I find that you’ll be forgiven far more quickly.
But just because I watch this franchise faithfully does not mean that I engage with any other aspect besides the show itself. I do not follow any of these women on Twitter and I have never bought a single item that any one of them endorses. I also did not tune in to watch something recently aired that I think was called The Housewife Awards and I certainly didn’t participate in the voting process. Since I didn’t watch, I have no idea what the categories were or who won or if any Housewife made a pilgrimage to some podium to accept an award, which I’d bet several of them would happily do as there might have been a red carpet there and maybe the trophy looked shiny and perhaps some of the women believed that they could melt the thing down and turn it into a pair of matching golden bangles like Wonder Woman used to wear.
What I have decided to do, however, is hand out a few of my own awards to the Housewives past and present and I will even fashion a tiara out of generic aluminum foil to give to any who have been craving a pop of silver. And the winners are…
If I have to listen to one more human being – or whatever species wants to claim Ramona Singer as one of its own – so much as murmur that Sonja Morgan has any sort of right to claim that all of the other women around her were wrong and innately cruel to have had doubts about the validity of Sonja’s clothing line and that it would actually become a reality and was not instead simply a long-running hallucination festering in the mind of crazy woman, I’m going to strangle that person with one of Sonja’s jodhpurs, which I’m imagining are being sold on her website and will be eventually shipped to my home by her Mailing Intern, Francois. Let’s just look logically and empirically at all that’s gone down. Was there clothing on the bodies of the models at Sonja’s fashion show? Yes. Was the clothing decently designed and styled well? Yes. Did every single person with whom Sonja had interacted with prior to that event have several exceptionally good reasons to doubt that those clothes existed in the first place due to the fact that Sonja seemed to have no clear idea of what her line was about or where it would be sold and because nothing else she has ever attempted on this show in the name of business has ever fully come to fruition? Fuck yes.
There are those perfect sounds – those heart-stopping, universe-bending, sweepingly melodious sounds – that I would love to hear again and again. Like the time I was in a seat that was basically located in the rafters at the back of the stage of Madison Square Garden and Springsteen played For You, a song written before I was born, a song I hadn’t heard him play in any of the twenty-seven concerts I’d trekked to before that one magical night. Or the time my niece, who would always toddle out and greet me when I arrived at her house but would never actually say a word, finally walked over to me when she was about two years old and smiled big and wide and bellowed, “Hi, Nell!” She said my name with a southern accent, like she had actually been born in a place like Alabama, and it was hilarious and weird and unexpected and she’s never ever said it like that since. And then there was the night when a guy I loved twined his fingers through my hair near my scalp and raked them right down to the ends and whispered that I had the softest and most beautiful hair he has ever touched. Or the moment I stood by the shore of the ocean in whatever time of day comes after twilight with some of my closest friends in the entire world and we didn’t say much of anything as we stared at the horizon and listened to the waves break against the shoreline and realized how tremendously fortunate we were to have one another and this perfect night.
If I could hear any of those sounds again I would be incredibly grateful, but alas, the recurring sound that manages to invade my ear canal continuously these days is neither melodic nor is it magical. No, the sound I keep hearing is that of a fifty-something year old grandmother gagging back vomit, and this kind of repulsive sound byte has made me move forward in my quest to lead a coalition whose main goal is to leave Vicki Gunvalson stranded somewhere on that tropical island. I feel very badly that the locals will have to be stuck with her, but I’m guessing that if Donald Trump becomes President, he’ll totally back my plan because I’m sure he’s not attracted to the OG of the OC and I think Trump’s main platform – besides building walls along our borders and pretending that he is sane – might very well be to eliminate all women from this great nation that he’d never want to have to look at and I’m pretty sure that Vicki falls into that category.
Look at me! I’m a Republican now!
It’s Fashion Week on The Real Housewives of New York and that means that we will all be privy to exquisite beauty and unadulterated elegance and we will gain access to the elite of the elite and…I’m sorry, what’s that? Oh, Ramona Singer will be there? Then fuck elegance and class because all Fashion Week on this show really means is that it’s time once again to tread through the bargain basement of blonde muck, but we needn’t despair because once we emerge, we’ll be treated to a New Beginning.