We all have our guilty pleasures in life and for the past couple of years, I shamefully admit one of mine was indulging in the sinfully, riveting Reality Bravo TV series—The Real Housewives.
It started innocently enough after a few of us huddled together at the bus stop listening to our ring leader describe the latest happenings of The Real Housewives of Orange County. Basically, one of the living Barbie Dolls in that series had recently turned 40 (horrors!) and her hunk-of-burning love husband threw her a decadent birthday bash on a champagne laden yacht and insisted she open her gifts from him in front of their closest 200 or so friends. After all, it’s so much more effective if Biff, Porscha and the rest of the OC crowd know how much of a price tag the edible lingerie or the 24-karat gold Rolex watch he gifted her with would be setting him back.
As luck would have it, a repeat of that very episode was on later that evening, so when my household was finally comatose, I clicked on Bravo and sat with my mouth wide open as I watched the OC birthday girl promise her main squeeze a few “favors” (nothing I can mention a loud here) in return for all her new baubles.
This was just one of many enthralling story lines that pathetic woman across the country like myself got roped into on a regular basis. On a lucky day, we could get high on watching the richest of the rich screw up, I mean overcome challenges in their narcissistic lives, during one of Bravo’s Housewives’ Marathons. Watching a solid 14 hours of such pampered entitlement was always a huge gamble.
One could either walk away writhing in inconsolable grief knowing full well the only designer wardrobe we would ever know would be the clearance items from last year’s Target collection or we might actually pity them for confusing the pool boy with their own son.
It all started with the Orange County ladies but before any of us could skedaddle on over to Wal Mart to check out the latest rollbacks, the series quickly grew spinoffs in other parts of the country such as New York Atlanta, New Jersey, D.C. (a total flop!), Miami and my real favorite—Beverly Hills. The Housewives series quickly took American viewers by storm, and I was ecstatic to be along for the lame ride.
That is until recently, however. After spending months watching in hiding (let’s just say my husband doesn’t see why I would ever in a million years be fascinated with watching grown women sweat it out over whether their lip or breast implants would draw the most attention.) I decided enough was enough.
Though this intriguing band of filthy-rich housewives were fun to watch, I knew better that most of them were miserably unhappy and even though they could afford to coat their cheerios with caviar each morning, they could never have as much fun as The Real Housewives of South County that I hang out with on a regular basis.
They may take philanthropy to an entirely different level than us local yocals, but you can’t tell me that our PTO functions are any less exciting or important, especially when we end up at Pancho’s for Wing Night to plan our next bake sale.
And just because they spend about $20,000 for one of their kid’s birthday parties where the snotty little birthday girl declares she hates the living unicorn her billionaire daddy flew in from somewhere over the rainbow doesn’t mean the ones we townies cobble together in our own backyards with Smurf piñatas and Betty Crocker layer cakes are not as special.
Apparently the majority of the Bravo housewives are also fluent in many a culture including knowing how to speak several foreign languages. The one that they all speak the clearest, however, is F-bombese. I think Atlanta and New Jersey are tied for the record number of times that the “F” word has been used as often as you and I say “Hello” or “Good bye” with the Miami ladies coming in a close “effing” second.
The Real Housewives series was definitely a hoot while my interest lasted, but basically these shows proved that even the stinking rich have problems too—and lots of them! Most of us couldn’t imagine in a zillion years living a life that centered around our elite social blunders or how on earth we could keep our collection of $700 a pair eel skin pumps from getting grass stains on them while at the soccer field.
Yep, that’s it for me—no more watching such dribble when instead I can hang out with so many amazing housewives right here in South County who cook hot dogs, clip coupons, clean their own houses and don’t have to pump up the volume in their lips to make themselves feel more attractive. What you see with us is what you get, and as far as I’m concerned that’s “real” enough for me.