I will hop right into recapping what occurred last night on Vanderpump Rules in just a moment, but first I would like to write a brief letter to all of my female friends whose weddings I have attended over the years:
I want you to know that I was happy to celebrate all facets of your nuptials. I showed up with a smile for bridal showers that were scheduled on Sunday mornings at an hour when I should have still been snuggled in my bed. I made small talk over mimosas and I helped festoon ribbons onto a paper plate as you unwrapped your gifts in a tradition that I still don’t fully understand. I bought new dresses for your weddings and I walked down some of your aisles wearing gowns in styles and colors that I never would have chosen for myself unless I was blind or full of self-loathing.
I didn’t complain when some of you got married late on a Sunday night when I had to be at work the next day at dawn and I refrained from choking the caterer upon finding out the tragic news that there were no pigs in blankets anywhere in the vicinity during Cocktail Hour. I never once wore a white dress or a veil to your big day, I danced in five-inch heels until my feet turned blue, and I felt true happiness that some of you married the exact right man.
But girls: none of that matters anymore because not one of you climbed atop a table in a wedding gown with a crop top to perform a song with profound lyrics like “ugh” and “yeah” during your wedding like Scheana. None of you made a costume change and writhed around a centerpiece of lush peonies like it was a pole while holding a microphone, and I want you to know that I feel cheated and my residual bitterness makes me wish that I could build a time machine so that I could go back into the past and buy you something off the registry of the person you hate most in the world.
Since I’m not named Stassi, I do believe in forgiveness. So perhaps one day I will be able to look you in the eyes again, but for now, please keep your distance so I can grieve the fact that all of my friends have a modicum of class and that not one of you knows how to work auto-tune.
Your former friend,
I will now take a calming breath and do my best to move forward from my pain. I take comfort in the fact that some of Scheana’s wedding will probably be televised for my judgmental pleasure – and if it’s not, I plan on suing Bravo and NBCUniversal for emotional distress. And trust me, if there’s one Vanderpump Rules fan on that jury, I will walk away with a huge settlement and I will give some of that money to Ariana so she can buy herself outfits that are constructed out of some kind of bulletproof fabric because I fall asleep at night fearing for that girl’s safety.
This episode takes place after the lunacy of the events in Miami, where the majority of the cast gathered to celebrate the coming union of Scheana, a girl who probably shouldn’t sing ever, and her fiancé Shay, whose career I’m not sure of, but I think he might be a stand in for Kevin Smith. We got to witness old pictures of Jax that were taken when his name was still Jason, Kristen misinterpreting every word Sandoval uttered in her direction, and penis straws as far as the eye with 20/20 vision could see.
This week, back in LA, we begin in Stassi’s car. Stassi is driving her one remaining friend to work and they discuss the Treachery of Katie (which will one day be a Lifetime movie that Scheana will belt out the theme song for) and Katie’s choice to go to Miami to lie in the sun instead of getting color by climbing farther into Stassi’s colon.
“I understand why she went,” says Kristina, a girl who has been on every episode because Stassi needs an audience, but I can’t help but think that this girl wails to skies every time there’s a full moon that she’s not yet a full-fledged member of this cast, and what must she do to gain that status already? (Kristina, my dear? The answer to that question is that you must sleep with Jax, tell Kristen she’s sane, or lob the mole of off Vail’s lip with a butter knife. So if I were you, I’d embrace the fact that you’re not in the opening credits.)
“I still don’t know why she went,” snaps Stassi as a response.
Now listen: I understand how important loyalty is to a friendship. It’s inconvenient sometimes to be fully loyal and it can put you in an uncomfortable situation, but it’s an essential component to a relationship. And I can somewhat see why Stassi was upset that Katie traveled with people Stassi was once genuinely hurt by. But if Katie avoided every person Stassi ever had a conflict with, the girl would have to embrace agoraphobia and never leave the fucking house because Stassi has had a problem with pretty much everyone – and I’m kind of willing to bet that hers is a life that has been filled with decimated friendships and people she feels have betrayed her. And when that’s the pattern, at some point you might have to ask what the common denominator is in all those failed relationships and accept that it’s you.
That Stassi can pretend to claim that she doesn’t know Katie’s motivations in going to Miami is ridiculous because if she would just talk to her during one of the many times Katie tried to contact her instead of declining the call or answering with a level of bitchery that far too many people over the years have allowed her to get away with, she’d understand why Katie made the choice she did. But Stassi is now over Katie and I’d like to take a moment to congratulate Katie on her freedom, even if it happened kind of by accident. It’s always tough to lose a friend, but maybe it will be an easier scenario to deal with when the friend in question does things like drive someone to work but park a block away and then order that person to bring her home some takeout.
Back inside Sur, a restaurant diners must sign a release form upon entering, all of our regular players are back in action. Sandoval, Ariana, and Jax are behind the bar and Katie and Kristen are serving food and drinks. Kristen has gained the strength to sidle up to the bar Sandoval is working to place an order for a cocktail with sugar around the rim without falling into paroxysms of tears. Her newfound strength comes from her budding levels of delusion that she and Sandoval will find their way back into a relationship as soon as Ariana falls off the face of the earth or gets hit by that Mack truck that Kristen tried to use the Law of Attraction to mentally summon into being last week. Not able to comprehend this magnitude of psychosis, Ariana is feeling “cautiously optimistic” that maybe Kristen finally feels a sense of closure after the talk she had with Sandoval in Miami and she remains kind of unaware that the girl is plotting her bloody demise.
(I must say take I take some comfort in the fact that, as this lunacy has been captured on film, should Ariana go missing, at least the police will question Kristen first.)
Sitting outside the restaurant, Vail is joined by Peter, the manager of Sur. I caught up quickly to the fact that there was a lot of flirting going on, but it took me a while as I found myself staring at the screen, trying to figure out if Peter was wearing eyeliner. I think he was and I’d like to commend him for the precise application and the way it did not smudge in the California heat and I’d also like to know if he’d describe his own personal style as “pirate chic,” because I cannot look at that guy and not imagine a parrot sitting on his shoulder. But that parrot might have to vacate his landing spot because it’s looking like Vail might be swarming in now that she’s decided that Jax is not the right guy for her. You don’t say! It’s not as though there were any warning signs, so thank goodness for that Ivy League degree that helped her piece together the mind-numbing puzzle that the bartender in his mid-thirties who has the names of two girls tattooed forever on his body – a man who is rotten to his very core – might not be husband material. But before we give Vail any legitimate credit, let’s also acknowledge that she sort of let drop that something did happen with Jax in Miami, but she doesn’t quite remember the details.
And now I would like to start a new feature in my recaps and bring you Words of Wisdom from Vail: “Blackouts are God’s way of saying don’t worry about it.” That’s some healthy, rational life advice right there, but I’m reluctant to fully give Vail credit for it as I believe it’s an inspirational phrase she first heard at a Narcotics Anonymous meeting when Andy Dick served as the guest speaker.
Someone who would probably troll Narcotics Anonymous meetings looking for girls at their most vulnerable is Jax, but he’s skipped the meeting for the day to have lunch with his ex-girlfriend, Carmen. I want to like Carmen, I swear. She was direct in how she dealt with the piece of shit eating a cheeseburger in front of her by saying things like “I don’t trust you” and “You really hurt me.” And I wish I could commend her for not agreeing to be this tool’s date to Scheana’s wedding and for coming right out and declaring that she would not be spending the night with Jax. But the thing is, it’s kind of a forgone conclusion that she’ll give in after less than one cocktail – you can literally see the defeat settle into her eyes – and that means a man who says things like, “She’s the best sex I ever had and I’m the best sex she ever had, so why would she need anybody else?” will end up getting exactly what he wants, and that knowledge literally leaves me feeling queasy.
Another thing that almost forced me to stop watching and make some tummy-settling tea was watching Peter on a non-date with Vail. Oh, Peter. I’d like to start by giving you a few recommendations as you navigate these choppy dating waters. In no particular order, please consider the following suggestions for your future romantic endeavors:
1. Change how your bedroom appears to the untrained eye. Hang up your clothing. Put a comforter over the bare mattress. Because should you ever manage to get a girl to come back to your apartment, her first impression should not be that you’re a squatter who doesn’t actually live there.
2. Never take advice from Jax about anything unless it’s about which ointment most quickly cures an STD.
3. Stop believing that staring deeply into a girl’s eyes reads as romantic or suave – especially when that girl indicates that she is on a date with you due to being misinformed about the nature of the outing and looks like she’s there under duress.
He’s not a bad guy, Peter. But to the production staff who haul this gold onto our television screens like they are cute little leprechauns, I’d like to make a real request: can we please never watch two people on a first date – even one that’s a figment of one of the participant’s imaginations – because watching a first date is more awkward than being on one. And I’m speaking from the perspective of being a girl who once met up with a blind date and sat down and ate half of his guacamole and had a cocktail before realizing I was sitting with the wrong person and the guy I was supposed to be meeting up with was standing at the bar, staring at me puzzled. At that date was still less uncomfortable for me than watching Peter try to woo Vail.
That said, I appreciate that Vail comes prepared with an excuse so she can potentially remove herself from a tough situation, but I would also like to caution her that pulling out the “I’m a lesbian” card might not work as well as she thinks it will because most guys will get a little excited by such a prospect and that will turn you into more of a prize. Instead, I’d like to recommend that in the future she use the “I’m feeling really phlegmy” excuse because phlegm is a relatively universal turnoff and, out of all the men I’ve met over the years with odd fetishes, mucus has never been one of them.
Kristen, the walking equivalent of the yellow mucus you get on day three of bronchitis, is going on a hike with her friend and I literally sat straight up on my sofa in surprise that Kristen has a friend. This girl Rachel used to date Jax – shocking – and was the one who introduced Kristen to Sandoval all those light-years ago. Kristen tells Rachel that the girl Sandoval allegedly cheated on Ariana with in Miami that one time just texted her to let her know that she will soon be in LA and she wants to confront Sandoval in front of Ariana.
(I suppose it would be cynical and foolish of me to believe that this Miami girl might just want to be on camera, right? Because everybody waits until production is in full-swing before flying across the country to confront a guy you had a one-night stand with after contacting his damaged ex-girlfriend via social media.)
I find myself rather confused by this entire scenario and I blame my confusion on a combination of working brain synapses and sanity. I realize that I’m trying to figure out the motivations of a sociopath, but does Kristen’s broken brain really believe that Sandoval will come running back her after she helps to orchestrate a confrontation about an incident he has repeatedly denied? And does she believe that announcing to the world that Sandoval’s dick is teeny-weeny will serve as the kind of thing that will make him crave being with her again?
Kristen then shares this devious confrontation plan with her toddler boyfriend, and it’s becoming apparent that James is finally getting tired of his girlfriend’s obsession with her ex. James kind of rolls his eyes when Kristen says that she doesn’t mean to be acting like an Evil Queen – to which I actually said out loud, Bitch, please…at best you’re an Evil Chambermaid – and I think that James’ annoyance at the whole thing means Kristen will be single in the near future, which should terrify the male population at large. But I don’t worry about Kristen being alone for long because I’m already prepared for the day that she will invariably show up on The Millionaire Matchmaker. Bravo loves its cross-programing synchronicity and Patti Stanger might be the only person in the stratosphere who is more of an asshole than Kristen, and though I’m off that show and have been for a few seasons now, I will tune in to that episode just to see the moment when Patti tells Kristen to get hair extensions to fill in her limp locks, which I suspect is caused by her hair falling out in clumps in the follicles’ attempt to distance themselves from the scalp of a crazy woman.
Also about to get some distance from crazy is Katie, who meets up for a drink with the girl who has been her best friend for years. Stassi has finally deigned to grace Katie with her presence and announces to some people that she loves a good apology so she shows up wearing the dress she thinks she looks best in while people grovel in her midst. Stassi’s belief about how the meeting will go lays out something like this: Katie should listen, shut her mouth, nod, and say she’s sorry for putting Stassi in an uncomfortable situation without even taking a millisecond to acknowledge that Katie has been uncomfortable for months having to work with all the people Stassi has put fatwas on.
Needless to say, the moment did not go as Stassi had planned. First of all, Katie showed up looking fantastic and not at all wounded by Stassi’s withholding of friendship. Second, she cut Stassi off from her verbal barrage by saying, “Shut the fuck up, Stassi. It’s not always about you,” and I fully believe that hearing that sentence said to her face was as wounding as the day Stassi discovered Santa Claus wasn’t real because those words destroyed something Stassi has been allowed to believe in for far too long. And as Katie explained herself calmly and articulately, Stassi’s bravado deflated visibly and it’s really kind of sad that she brought all this on herself by never envisioning a time when people would finally become sick of her shit and turn away and embrace a world where they are able to talk to any person they damn well please.
And so, I would like to encourage every person reading this recap to hail the Emancipation of Katie, a girl who finally made the choice to stand up for herself. Losing a friend is very difficult, so I hope that Katie holds onto the newfound strength that she wears so well and – as she mentally eulogizes their currently-dead relationship – that she be careful not to engage in the Halo Effect wherein the absent person becomes a sparkly angel who only did kind deeds. But I also encourage her not to veer too much in the other direction and mentally turn Stassi into the worst person in the whole wide world in her mind either, because she’s not. Stassi is not a devil and she is not an angel. She is just a girl who hasn’t allowed herself to comprehend that controlling people never fully works, but perhaps one day, while she is living on Stassi Island and wearing a push-up bra and a statement necklace, she will finally come to her scattered senses and she will listen and shut her mouth and nod and actually murmur that she’s sorry.