RHBH: “You wanna swim with the fishes?”

October 26th, 2011

WELL. This is a little late! Sorry y’all, I had an extremely inconveniently scheduled doctor’s appointment this afternoon, so Real Housewives of Beverly Hills is running a tad behind schedule. And if you were the woman sitting next to me at Dos Toros during the lunch rush today, yapping into your Bluetooth about last week’s episode, then I totally agree with you about Kyle’s behavior.

Anyway, let’s get this show on the road. Last night’s episode centered around a spa party at Adrienne’s house that eclipsed every spa party we’ve ever seen in the history of Real Housewives, which is a not-insignificant number of spa parties. Someone pass me a gold-sprinkled, chocolate-dipped strawberry and let’s dish.

We opened the show with Lisa and Adrienne, who were at Adrienne’s house for a cooking lesson. You see, Adrienne can’t cook a chicken. I just roasted my very first chicken a couple of weeks ago, so I feel her pain – the first time you reach up a chicken’s butt for the giblets is traumatic. After that, though, things are relatively easy. You put the spices on the chicken, you put the chicken on the pan, you put the pan in the oven! That’s literally all you do!

Unless you’re Adrienne, that is, because her plan to roast a chicken involved some extra steps. Namely, washing the chicken with dish soap instead of just rinsing it with water like a normal person. She had salmonella poisoning one time, you see, so she’s extra careful. Does dish soap kill salmonella? I doubt it, right? I’m a very novice cook, and I certainly didn’t put any dish soap on my chicken. I did, however, manage to ruin my roommate’s roasting pan. But that’s not the point! My point is that the chicken tasted good and I did better than Adrienne.

Why does Adrienne need to know how to roast a chicken, though? I need to know how to do it because I can’t spend my entire paycheck ordering takeout from SeamlessWeb, but she already employs a private chef (who spied on the chicken lesson from the hallway, terrified), not to mention all the money in the world, so why waste an afternoon learning how to do things you’re not interested in doing? I wouldn’t be roasting chickens if I paid someone to do that kind of thing on my behalf.

Anyway, a contingent of non-cooking housewives (Kyle, Dana and Taylor) sat down poolside to discuss Brandi’s various neuroses. Apparently Brandi calls herself negative names because she wants to beat everyone else to the punch, which any armchair psychologist could have guessed. Brandi, for all of her flaws, is clearly someone who has had more than her fair share of insults flung her way not only recently, but probably over the span of her entire life. Her ex-husband humiliated her publicly and is try to run off with her kids, which is enough to make anyone a little down on themselves, even under the best of self-esteem circumstances. It doesn’t take a rocket scientist to figure out what’s going on there, and although Kyle seemed to be sympathetic, those feelings seemed to vanish later.

Next up was another home visit from Lisa, this time to the old dude with the young girlfriend who threw that fabulous party last season. He still has the same gorgeous 20-something on his arm, and now he wants to throw another party, this time for Pandora. It’s going to be her birthday and she’s his god daughter, and who better to throw you a birthday fiesta than a rich guy with a 60,000 square foot marble palace for a house? That shindig will apparently be taking place next week.

Speaking of parties and marble palaces and rich people, Adrienne decided to get the girls together for a little afternoon spa party to erase the negativity of game night. Instead of taking everyone to some sketchy medispa for Botox like the more bougie Housewives (Orange County, I’m looking at you) tend to do, Adrienne just…bought all the spa equipment. She just bought it!

The laser machines, the spray tan booths, the oxygen facial stuff, the cellulite zappers, a bunch of aestheticians to operate all of the stations and some male models to serve champagne and gold-flecked strawberries to everyone – she bankrolled all of that. I’m fairly sure that once the manicurists and waiters and cellulite-zapper ladies were done, she just put them into storage instead of sending them back to whatever salon they usually work at. Adrienne’s the only person on TV who’s rich enough to buy other people. (Oprah’s not on anymore, otherwise Adrienne would be second on the list.)

After Kyle and Kim inexplicably wandered into Adrienne’s backyard to jump on her trampoline in their spa robes, everyone gathered back inside and Brandi showed up. Kyle acted like that was some sort of affront to decency, despite the fact that Adrienne is the one that brought her into the group and of course she would be there, but I guess that’s the kind of behavior we’ve come to expect from her and Kim in the past few episodes. Brandi didn’t seem to want to create any drama, but Kyle and Kim continued to look a metaphorical gift horse in the mouth and lose their freakin’ minds instead of enjoying their free unlimited spa treatments.

Meanwhile, Camille took the opportunity to once again embrace her new role as one of the sane people in the group. She talked calmly about hiring a second therapist for her son and how glad she was that he was in one place and going on play dates again, and that was after we saw her desperately trying to be friendly to an uninterested cater waiter. Camille will now be welcoming and cordial to a rock, given the opportunity, which exhibits a level of self-awareness that most Real Housewives never attain.

In stark contrast, the Bobbsey Twins and Lisa were cackling over God knows what about Brandi while some of the other housewives tried to broker peace talks between the two factions. Kyle agreed to hear what Brandi has to say but did not indicate that she would accept an apology, and somehow, Kim thought that was a huge betrayal. I can’t blame Brandi for wanting to have a one-on-one conversation, and Kyle is clearly the more lucid of the two with whom that conversation might happen. Kim’s increasingly warped sense of loyalty seemed to lead her to believe that Kyle acknowledging Brandi’s existence would be some kind of insult to her. I’m not sure exactly what Kim expected would happen, but suffice it to say that none of us know what’s going on in her head on a regular basis anyway.

Naturally, Kyle let Brandi fall on her sword and didn’t bother to be an equally mature person in return. As far as Real Housewives mea culpas go, Brandi’s was actually quite good, and she admitted to what she did wrong and explained her behavior without edging too far into justification. Kyle, on the other hand, tried to semantically wiggle out of insulting Brandi’s parenting skills and wasn’t willing to admit that her behavior that night had been inappropriate, up to and including stealing and hiding the crutches of a woman with a broken ankle. I’m wearing an ankle brace right now, and if I were on crutches and someone hid them from me, she had better thank her lucky stars that I didn’t see fit to beat the crap out of her with them once they were found.

Once everyone was back inside and Brandi had left for the afternoon, Kyle admitted to the rest of the group that perhaps they weren’t completely innocent, a statement which Kim found absolutely astonishing, if her facial expression was any suggestion. Brandi had a very good point, though – hadn’t Kim publicly declared that she didn’t like Brandi to the rest of the party after only having been around her for maybe an hour? I know that she’s clearly addled by…something, but Kim’s also an adult, which means that she’s accountable for her actions just like anyone else.

The question that we’re left with, then, is whether or not Brandi should apologize to Kim. From an etiquette standpoint, she probably should; accusing a relative stranger of being on a specific drug while you’re all being filmed for television is probably bad manners, even if that person is obviously intoxicated in some way. I don’t blame Brandi at all for pointing out the elephant in the room, but perhaps she could have picked a swankier drug? Coke? Coke would have been more polite, I think.

From a practical standpoint, though, I think Brandi made the right decision. There’s no way on earth that Kim’s going to even admit that she acted poorly, let alone apologize in turn for how horrible she was to Brandi. All of that happened before Brandi said anything about Kim’s trips to the bathroom, and I don’t think accusing someone of doing meth is really any worse. Kim, in her infinite emotional immaturity and possible continued inebriation, would have merely restarted the fight in the middle of Brandi’s apology.

To be the kind of person who gets all the apologies she’s owed in life, you have to also be the kind of person who might be prone to accept those apologies – gracious, reasonable, open-minded, secure. Kim is none of those things, in addition to possibly having an anxiety disorder and a substance problem, which means that broaching the issue with her would have just created additional drama. Not that there’s anything wrong with additional drama, of course.

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