Dropping Aftershocks Knowledge
Advice for the future Real Housewives of Houston from reality's pros
Who knew a pack of hysterical housewives could be such a well-oiled machine?
Bravo sure knows how to spin thread into gold, what with hit seasons of the returning Real Housewives of New Jersey and Atlanta and brand new shows in Washington, D.C. and Beverly Hills. The jury’s still out for us on Beverly Hills, but we’ll fill you in on these 90210 newbies very soon.
With word that Houston just might be home to another franchise of Bravo’s ever-expanding empire, we’d like to offer some advice for local aspiring Real Housewives. Follow a few of these simple rules and you could become a Bravo-licious superstar with your own spinoff.
Practice insanity. Everyone loves a little crazy. The lure of middlebrow-America-run-amok is just too much to resist. Images of négligée-clad housewives doing donuts on well-pruned lawns (in luxury SUVs they can barely afford) occur to us almost daily! Well, Bravo has mastered the psychic equivalent of such behavior: frequent disassociation, incessant babble, paranoid outbursts, shopping addictions, and of course plenty of unchecked obsessive-compulsive disorders.
Everyone loved New York housewife Kelly Bensimon’s psychotic break in the Caribbean, Lynne's own private blizzard of painkiller-induced dizziness in Orange County, or Danielle Staub’s almost charming fits, outbursts, and malapropisms in New Jersey. Forego the psychiatrists and physicians, though you might want a neutral yet supportive MSW or other generic caregiver to help round out your television-worthy psychoses.
It must have seemed like a gift to producers when the Salahis showed up to interview for The Real Housewives of Washington, D.C. Apparently the grand mansion featured in their application video was not theirs, even though they were reluctant to admit it at the reunion show. How could you forget that you don’t own a mansion?
And faced with denunciations from political officials for crashing the Congressional Black Caucus dinner and the White House state dinner, they could only crazily cry conspiracy. At one point, Michaele just sobs hysterically for apparently no reason. Maybe the Salahis should forget the tennis bracelets and polo-gear and go straight for a pair of Chanel strait-jackets?
Make sure your young-adult children are failures. Kids should exist to make you appear loving and supportive. Who said anything about developing their own personalities or pursuing their own selfish dreams?
Encourage them to drop out of college, hop from part-time job to unchallenging internship, and especially to live in your home rent-free. At some point, you'll have to give them a reality check while you’re enjoying a box of wine in the kitchen, but viewers will savor their sullen indifference.
Didn't we adore Ashley moping around her Mom's house in her pajamas? Or Bryson's prodigal return to NeNe’s Atlanta castle after his drug bust? The worst thing for you is an independent young adult. We realize now why Orange County’s Vicki hated her own daughter for becoming an ER nurse and trying to enlist in the military. Remember, you can't exploit your kids if they flee the nest.
Get a gay friend. Or better yet, become gay yourself! Dabbling in lesbianism is the newest craze among the housewife set, as evidenced by Danielle's fleeting relationship with depressing singer Lori Michaels or Kim's tabloid-worthy lesbisode with DJ Tracy Young in Atlanta.
If you don't have the courage to actually “do it” with another woman, though, please make sure that at least you have a gay male sidekick.
The gays in New York and New Jersey scared us a bit, but we were in love, for a while, with Atlanta’s own dandy Dwight. Was it his confession at last season’s reunion show that he had undergone penile-enhancement surgery that spelled his eventual doom? All is not lost, however. This season he’s been conspiring unexpectedly with Greg and talking behind Sheree’s back, inspiring some of the best Z-snappin’ and finger-wagging fights we’ve seen yet.
Don’t mistake Dwight’s descent to the doghouse for a blanket condemnation of our brethren Thank goodness for the serenity of D.C.’s power gays: stylist Ted Gibson, his partner Jason Backe, and especially the delicious Paul Wharton. Nothing made Tareq Salahi look worse on the reunion show than when he accused Jason of overdramatizing and then lying about witnessing security members asking the Salahis to leave the Congressional Black Caucus dinner.
Overdramatize? We know what that really means, Tareq. Do you know what time it is? Just watch your back at your next stylist appointment, or that miserable haircut you have is going to get even worse.
Get behind a little-known charity, or start your own. Chances are you are guilty about all that money you have, and you'll want folks to think you’re altruistic even if the tens of thousands you donated to provide food, booze and party-favors raised mere thousands in actual donations. Can’t you find a baby with a neuro-blastoma to support, even if you garner only pledges for her recovery, not actual dollars? Perhaps a lonely teenager with arthritis?
Our favorite charity event in past seasons was certainly the Atlanta high-heel marathon for NeNe’s Twisted Hearts (“battered but not broken”) charity. Of course a gay man won, and we admire NeNe’s efforts to raise money for domestic violence victims.
Speaking of which, we were shocked to hear Tareq try to defend shoving his wife Michaele, who recently announced she’s battled Multiple Sclerosis for years, just before throwing a glass of red wine in Lynn’s face. Then there’s Orange County Tamra’s soon-to-be ex-husband Simon. He was brutal and controlling, but now there are charges of domestic abuse, which hardly surprise us.
File Bankruptcy. We thought New Jersey’s Joe and Teresa were ballers, having racked up over $11 million in debt by the second season. Tareq and Michaele, however, were bankrupt before their season even began. Bankruptcy is charming to the average viewer, who likes to imagine how all the bills will disappear magically after a few visits to a soothing attorney.
Our favorite financial advice of the D.C. reunion show came from the glib Tareq: “When you go through bankruptcy proceedings, you’re not allowed to pay your bills.” Maybe so, Tareq, but aren’t you supposed to wait on that strategy until after you start bankruptcy proceedings?
You can’t argue with a crazy person. Anger-management strategies will come in handy as you prepare for your first reunion show. Our final piece of advice might be helpful when the video montages, Andy Cohen’s obvious questions, and the screaming accusations start. Don’t try to talk over your insane companions. Keep some affirmations handy. Take a deep breath and think about your higher power, or that box of wine waiting in the kitchen.
After a solid 20 minutes of complete, grade-A BS from the Salahis on the recent D.C. reunion, the other women couldn’t take it anymore. Only a few minutes of their inconvenient facts and Michaele started howling as if everyone else was crazy. We liked Cat’s response best:
“Oh, shut up.”