Meditations and Musings on Real Housewives of Orange County

-To feel envy is human, to savour schadenfreude is devilish-

I have a love-hate relationship with Reality TV. There’s a wonderful voyeurism to watching women throw insults at each other, fight over brand names and lament over lost Chardonnay. There’s a fantastic schadenfreude to falls from grace, financial failures and questions of faith, marriage and children. Because I’ve been binge-watching Real Housewives of Orange County: here are a few meditations on the nature of this particular Reality TV show.

  • The idea that a difficult time demands unconditional support even in the face of absolute lies and slander is one I am very familiar with and I dislike greatly.
  • Blaming Satan for everything bad is a very uncomfortable situation.
  • A woman apparently is not a woman unless she’s airbrush flawless and wearing heels.
  • Friendship doesn’t mean totalitarian support: it means asking the tough questions.
    • And yes, that does mean sometimes hating the person you’re currently dating.
  • A lot can go wrong in a 3-part reunion show.
  • Is Andy Cohen okay? He looks really really tired.
  • No one needs to use the phrase “OG” again.
    • That is not needed. Please stop.
  • The amount of money these women spend is the most terrifying thing I have ever seen.
  • Not all children toilet paper houses.
    • I did not.
  • STEP-PARENTHOOD IS VERY DAMN VALID AND SHAME ON YOU WOMEN FOR NOT ACKNOWLEDGING HOW DIFFICULT IT IS TO BE A STEPMOTHER.
    • End of rant.
  • Girl Code does state that you cannot be friends with a current SO’s Ex.
    • But there are special circumstances.
  • Losing a mother suddenly is heart-wrenching and painful. I have been there and throughout this season for that to be a common theme was immensely personal and a bit of an emotional subject.
  • Research will set you free.
  • You cannot purchase your children’s love in general.
  • You cannot purchase your children’s love in hopes of them accepting your terrible boyfriend in particular. 
  • Tornado shelters are claustrophobic: there’s a reason for that, they save lives.
  • There’s nothing to do in Oklahoma.
    • People from Oklahoma, please feel free to correct me.
  • ALWAYS TELL YOUR HUSBAND WHAT YOU SPEND MONEY ON.
  • Also, for the record, spending 50K on a necklace somewhat hurts my spirit.
  • High schoolers should have some accountability for the vast amounts of money and cars and Chanel bags they get.
  • Tahiti is absolutely gorgeous.
    • Let’s go to damn Tahiti. I’ve been to Hawaii. Need more French Polynesia.
  • That being said, the death of a parent and watching this on TV and all of these women circling the wagons around their friend was incredibly inspiring and did remind me of my own friends who were there for me after my mother passed away suddenly.
  • Game night sounds terrible, like it just seems like an open breeding ground for drama and wine-throwing.
  • It’s important to know what to say on-camera and off-camera.
  • Leeches do not help your skin. They make you bleed. You bleed a lot.
  • Champagne is fantastic.
  • For the love of God, if you have a party feed your guests.
  • Naked sushi is somewhat refined.
    • Do not though ask the model to get a job and education while she is naked and serving sushi.
      • She is probably very okay with her choice and makes more money than I do.
  • Homeopathic medicine still is sketch as hell to me: just saying.
  • Ageism is real.
  • Don’t judge a young lady for being young.
  • Judgy eyes are real!
  • Good bone structure is brilliant.
  • Charity galas are apparently amazing and I’d love to be invited to one.
  • So much can be said via text.
  • SPEAKER PHONE ALL THE TIME.
  • I adore the power of the hyphen in a name.
  • Changing your name is hard, Tamra. I support you.
  • Loans between family are not a good idea.
  • Working with family is also not a good idea.
  • Heather Dubrow is my spirit animal and I want to be her when I grow up.
  • Boldness does come at a cost.
  • Context is very important.
    • Things taken in and out of context have ruined many relationships.
  • Politeness can be good.
  • Never underestimate the power of a good party.
  • This show is brought to you by: Grey Goose and Soda with lots of limes.
  • Phone calls can apparently save lives.
  • Do not judge a young married woman. Newlyweds have a lot going on. Calm down, Vicki.
  • Vicki, it is NOT your show.
  • Tamra: PASTOR, not PASTEUR or PASTURE.
  • And Tamra and Vicki: It’s a medium, not a median.
  • Fireball is not a shot of vodka with salt and lime.
  • Who needs 14 bathrooms, Heather? 14 bathrooms? Really, woman?
  • But I think the most amazing marriage is between Heather and Terry.

The penultimate point of this list was one thing: we love watching terrible things happen to people we feel like deserve it. I watched an entire season of this show but it ended with me yelling at a close friend saying “I figured out why I watch this show. It’s a safe way to work through issues that I have had with people.” Watching Real Housewives of Orange County was a voyeuristic way to cope and deal with issues that I had: fight with friends, bad significant others,  losing a mother, disagreements on dogma: it was all a safe way to work through those things. It was a Greek Tragedy: it was a safe, outsider’s view into something terrible but easy to relate to and very likely to happen to someone at some point in your life but played out with flowery language, hyper-violence or melodrama. It’s a blonde, glitzy and very much dumbed down version of Anna Karenina. It’s a morality play. So I applaud you, ladies. I tip my glass of champagne to you.

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Amanda.Actually

I'm just your everyday girl with a keen eye for what's really happening. Be prepared for wit, humor and Dr. Who references. Loves include anime, writing, eating sweets, art and visits to the park to feed the ducks.

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