Okay, I’m just going to say what nobody here wants to say: Meghan, at this early point in time – just three episodes in – I think we’re all prepared and very willing to like you. Personally, I think that you come off as intelligent and pretty and so unbelievably thin that I’d like to meet with you privately so you might rub yourself against me in the hopes that whatever parasite you have been infected with leaps directly from your ravaged digestive system into my own. I want your good standing on this show to grow and to prosper, like a beautiful cherry tree that I hope you get to plant in the front yard of a home you will never have to move from, a tree so lovely that Shannon will not be able to stop herself from pissing on it during a luncheon because of that one time when you didn’t flirt with her husband. And with that form of kindness in the forefront of my mind, I have to tell you to stop it with the fucking hashtags. I let the “hashtag coolstepmom” go by because it was your first episode and I was too busy contemplating the vast similarities between Tamra and that bile-spewing demon from The Exorcist and chanting safe words that might keep Vicki from shrieking and rifling through the latest issue of the DSM book of psychological disorders in my effort to properly diagnose Shannon as anything other than “simply out of her mind crazy,” but this week you did it again and actually allowed the words “hashtag over-it” to escape from your lips. And so, with genuine affection, I must implore you to never let such a thing happen again and I will even use vernacular you are drawn to in the hopes that I achieve a breakthrough here: hashtag stopthisfuckingnonsenserightnow.
So it’s out in the open and I’m fully prepared to move beyond this Meghan thing and head out to dinner with Tamra, Heather, and Ms. Hashtag herself as they meet up in Dana Point – which is where I learned to surf! – and they all get along famously and the only somewhat dark moment is when a waiter comes over and asks the women whether or not they might like some alcohol and Heather responds by staring at him in kind of a stunned alarm. Hear me now! Any waiters or masseuses or valets or manicurists or Fed Ex deliverymen who are reading this and at some point might find themselves attending to or interacting with a Housewife: do not ask if they want alcohol! Assume that, no matter the time of the day or the night and no matter the occasion, they would like to drink. I mean, should they instead have to deal with both their Bravo co-workers and with themselves while sober? Are you people mad?
And speaking of mad, it looks like Shannon is not getting over her fury at Meghan for having the audacity to be attractive and for once having the nerve to say hello to Shannon’s husband when they found themselves standing next to one another at a party. No, when Meghan called Shannon because she had a question about a fundraiser Shannon once planned, Shannon’s response was brusque. I think that Meghan is probably hopeful that Shannon will eventually realize that she is not out to cause any sort of discord in a stranger’s life, but that’s probably far too rational a thought process to have when you’re dealing with someone Tamra describes thusly: “You have to be very careful with Shannon because things set her off. Good luck, Meghan.”
Holy shit. Can you imagine being thought of in such a manner? Time to evolve, ladies.
Illustrating a remarkable evolution – at least in terms of fashion – Vicki has not worn one of those hideous tight shirts with a cutout nestled smack-dab in the cleavage area all season. I know, I know; she’s wearing exactly that kind of shirt when her face comes up before one of her segments, but then I know it’s coming so I just try to avert my eyes like I did when I watched that scene in Saw II when the girl fell into the vat of hypodermic needles and every time she tried to move, she got stabbed with about a zillion of them and watching that scene on repeat is almost as bad as watching Vicki do anything just once. Still, I think it’s amazing that Vicki is being given an award for being so successful in her career and she should be incredibly proud of her accomplishments and I applauded her even as I threw up in my mouth a little bit when she held up her G-strings and then did a “whoop it up!” screech in the same fifteen seconds.
Who is the person who told Vicki that saying either “whoop it up!” or “whoo hoo!” was endearing? Can I contribute to a bounty for the capture of that individual? I’ll kick in a grand.
As Vicki packs those G-strings, she finds herself chatting with Shannon, a woman who would rather go to a proctologist than on the trip to Napa with people she hates. But how will Shannon conduct herself amidst the stress? With an expression so tight that I genuinely feared her face would split in two, she stated, “As far as this Napa trip goes, I’m willing to go with a smile on my face and my husband by my side.” That sentence? It’s like the verbal equivalent of a cold open in a horror movie when the blonde says, “What? Why should I not go explore the abandoned campgrounds where blood runs from the trees in rivulets that spell out my name? It’ll be great! In fact, let’s pair off! I’ll go with the guy in the hockey mask who brought his own machete!”
The thing about Shannon – the thing about a lot of these Housewives – is that they walk around and say things about having forgiven but not having forgotten. That’s the driving motto for all of these women and it’s kind of bullshit because none of them have really done any true forgiving either, but for delusion’s sake, I’ll put that expression on some G-strings and ask Heather to hand them out as favors at her wine launch.
Maybe Tamara will wear her pair to church.
At the airport, Meghan, Tamra, Shannon, Lizzie, the non-official-Housewife Katie and Heather meet up to get on the private plane that will whisk them up to Napa. On the plane, Meghan sounds excited about the experience and she also hands out wine glasses she decorated for everybody and I find her enthusiasm sweet and I always enjoy a guest who shows up with gifts (hashtag don’tfuckingbackslideonmenowMeghan), and Tamra has decided that Lizzie be permitted to live since she is currently being kind. The way Tamra operates is by the credo of, “As long as you’re nice to me, I’ll be nice to you. But don’t fuck with me.”
What psalm is that in?
Tamra, you see, has become religious during the hiatus. And while not a religious girl myself, I think that anybody finding comfort is a great thing, but listening to Tamra speak about her awakening feels a bit off. Maybe it’s because she herself believes that people would hear that she found God and would immediately think, “Oh, she’s going to church because she’s done so many bad things in her life and she just wants to look good.” First off, how horrible must one be to think other people would think such a thing? Second, I don’t think that’s why she’s going to church, to look good. Personally, I think she’s going to church for the same reason half the Manson family became born-again whilst behind bars – it’s a way to deal with your guilt and to find a somewhat convenient way to feel absolved. So have at it, Tamra. Maybe religion will make you a better person. After all, your evolution is already apparent. Didn’t Moses also once say, “I’m saved! And if you don’t like it, you can suck it”? Honestly, whatever the hardened-eyed one is doing, may she never stop. It’s making writing these recaps so very easy.
Once they all land in Napa, Heather takes off to go check on the arrangements for her party and to make sure the place is absolutely flooded with her product. Look, maybe I’m just immune to finding any of that kind of thing distasteful after watching Bethenny practically tattoo herself and her entire home with the Skinny Girl logo over on The Real Housewives of New York, but I think it makes sense that Heather is recommending that there be bottles of her sparkling wine in every corner, nook, and crevice of the room. She’s launching something on camera; people might as well see what it is. After all, it’s not like it’s a coincidence that she waited until production started again to have this party.
Heather is no dummy.
Over at the hotel, the women are impressed by how beautiful it all is and they wait for the arrival of the husbands so they can be told how beautiful they all are. It should all be idyllic in as far as anything can be when you’re being followed around by a camera crew who has every intention of capturing your very worst moments in high definition, but there’s a problem on the grape-covered horizon and I’m sure we’re all shocked – shocked! – that it’s David and Shannon who are having the issue. I know! How did the couple’s therapy with the cardboard tombstones and the practice eulogies not solve everything? Turns out that Shannon – a woman who carries around hangover pills in her purse, a woman who arrives at a party for a new line of alcohol and instead heads straight to the bar and requests a syringe filled with straight vodka – is annoyed that David stopped on the way to Napa to have lunch and drink some shots of sake. As the rest of the happy couples stand and and wait for them so they can all pile on the party bus and head to the event, Shannon and David take a painfully slow ride on the back of a golf cart and it’s like watching a journey straight into the bowels of a certain kind of hell where the only alcohol served is that which was invented by Housewives. Watching this bumpy ride towards misery makes me realize several things:
1. It’s about time for me to reread Dante so I can review the seven circles of hell because I have a feeling that this season of the OC Housewives is going to feel like a ride to hell in the back of a station wagon with no air conditioning and I like to be educated about the places I’m going to visit.
2. Maybe it’s shit like this that explains why Tamra recently decided that ending up in heaven is an absolute must.
3. Shannon and David really stand very little of a chance of ever having a happy marriage. Will they end up a statistic in the pie chart of divorce? Maybe not, but they will probably never be happy.
See, it’s how they communicate that’s the secondary issue here. (The primary issue is that Shannon is very definitely insane.) On that golf cart, David mumbles that he did nothing wrong today – his argument might have greater resonance if he didn’t finish with the word “today” – and Shannon replies that he has the power with the choices he’s making right now, and the choice she is talking about was him choosing to drink some sake. This strikes me like a hammer blow on the temple as a let-go-of-the-small-stuff moment. There are bigger and far more miserable fish to fly, but everything brings her back to the affair, even sake, and that’s why pretending you are a person who is able to reconcile – you know, to legitimately forgive and forget – when you absolutely cannot do either one is a slippery slope made entirely out of shit and she’s about to tumble down it right on camera.
At the party, David says something to Eddie and it’s too quiet for Shannon to have heard him and he refuses to do an interpretive dance to indicate what his words might have been, so Shannon does what any wife would after intensive therapy that ended with her on her husband’s lap, declaring she had forgiven him for his past indiscretions. She hisses, “What did you say to him?” about three times in a row and I’m officially concerned now for the physical wellbeing of every single person at that party – and that’s before Heather sabers open the bottle of sparkling wine with a hatchet.
Tamra’s in a great mood at the party! She is wearing a pink fur shrug that looks like it came from a gerbil who used to strip in Vegas and she gets to show off her enormous new breasts and she and Heather yell into a speakerphone to Vicki that they miss her and it all could not be going better for Tamra. Even she and Shannon are getting along – and I’m sure it has nothing to do with the fact that they are all drunk and you’re a bitch for even thinking such a thing. Shannon too is in rare form at the party, and by “rare form,” I mean that she’s not crying. She accompanies her former pretend nemesis Meghan to the bathroom and doesn’t decapitate Tamra who keeps knocking on the door while Shannon is in there and even Tamra deals with what last year would have turned into a humongous and nonsensical conflict with humor because now Tamra knows that if God had really wanted her to pee right then, he wouldn’t have presented her with a locked bathroom door.
In the one percenter’s corner of the room, Heather explains to Terry that the cabinets in their new home are over budget. How far over budget? Well, take the national debt of Spain and then multiply it by seven. Terry takes the news well and he has himself another sip of the sparkling wine and he looks up briefly to thank the heavens that women will always bend to societal pressure to look as perfect as is humanly and surgically possible so he can provide all of the cabinets his family might ever require.
On the other side of the room, Meghan wants to make sure that Shannon is okay with her and she brings up the time when Shannon’s eyes spit fire mixed with hazardous chemicals because her husband deigned to look at another woman, and Shannon tells her that Meghan was not the issue. The issue was that David never drinks and he did that day and then he didn’t introduce her to a woman he was standing next to and Meghan smiles thinly and backs the fuck away, which is where she should have stayed, but we’ll get to her misstep in a moment.
First there’s a winery with sex dolls to visit! The entire group takes the bus to the vineyard and the owner allows them to taste the wine straight from the barrels. Heather allows the guy to use the long instrument that extracts the wine and then waits for him to pour it into a glass before she takes a sip, but Tamra insists that she suck off the instrument and she puts it directly into her mouth and then wipes the corners of her lips like she just blew a guy covertly in a basement. Meghan follows Tamra’s lead and Tamra now really likes Meghan in much the same way she likes Lizzie after their anal sex bonding session.
Tamra is just extremely classy and such a girl’s girl. She’d never betray you – said nobody ever.
On the last night in Napa, the group attends a dinner at a home that has a pizza oven – and that means that I’d like to live there – and Heather makes yet another toast about her love of bubbles and it’s all silly and light and then Shannon basically throws up all over the festivities and the vomit is chunky and impossible to dry clean. I think that Meghan should have just left it all alone now that Shannon has tossed away the maps she had been carrying of places to bury Meghan’s body, but Meghan calmly explains that she was offended when she called Shannon to ask about the appetizers for the charity and Shannon was so dismissive of her on the phone. Bad move, Meghan. Only normal people can hear an honest statement and explain or apologize or calmly disagree.
Shannon is not normal.
Shannon was annoyed that Meghan didn’t use her married name when she called her. Shannon is furious that Meghan contacted her on a cell phone that has a number so private, even her army of therapists and homeopaths don’t know the number. Shannon cannot believe Meghan called her when her children were in the car with her. Shannon can hardly think straight through the rage that boils within her like her entire body is a cauldron when Meghan talks about how she’s just trying to do something for charity, but she finally regains her strength and stands up and announces, “I start charities, Meghan!” and then she walks away, refusing to deal with being attacked by the woman who didn’t raise her voice even once.
Thank goodness the rest of her life is brimming with such joy or I’d really be concerned for Shannon’s wellbeing.
Next week, Brooks discusses getting an enema and I have scheduled myself an appointment to get my stomach pumped just in case.