Does anyone else get a headache when contemplating the unbearable meta-ness of Real Housewifery in general, D.C. Housewifery in particular? Or is it just us? We refer to the fact that there doesn’t seem to be a non-promotional moment on the show. As in, Oh, look, our friends happen to own their very own vineyard, can you believe it? Let’s pretend we just popped over for some product shots and ass-smoke blowing, and by the way, did we mention Obama? This is not meant to suggest that housewives of other metro areas aren’t constantly shilling the noxious little fruits of their ghostwriters’ labors, too, but there’s something about the D.C. wimmin and their various and sundry lifestyle remoras that makes us feel like we’re watching an advertorial for a life we don’t even remotely want. Which reminds us — will the D.C. madames’ entire social calendar be consisting of parties in honor of the people who do their hair for the events that make up their social calendar? (See what we mean about the meta?) Because if they get all dolled up for yet another party in honor of yet another “celebrity” hairdresser, we might cry.
Another thing — it’s weird to watch knowing what we already know, right? It kills the illusion, cracks through the veneer of innocence that protects the show from cynics. Like the ugly little moment between Cat and Charles that we know culminates in divorce, with the girls shipped back to London to live with their dad and Charles’s little helium voice app consigned to the trash heap of oblivion. Or that the Salahis aren’t at all who they pretend to be. They don’t live in that house. They probably don’t own that horse, either. In fact, there’s a word for people like them: paid actors.
This week’s manufactured drama involves more ill-advised invitations, more mean-girl triangulations, more rampant displays of pseudo-wealth, and more ugly gossip. It also provides a range of opportunities to meditate on perspective and proportion.
Things that may have been slightly exaggerated on this week’s RHODC:
• Cat’s editor comes over a mere two weeks before the book is due to remind Cat to imbue the book with a sense of “the enormity of what you’ve done.” She means leaving husband No. 1 for husband No. 2.
• What Tareq found when he looked between his wine’s legs.
• Stacie and Jason’s enthusiastic but clearly (clearly!) insincere suggestion that the Salahis join them on their trip to Paris to attend Jason's brother's concert.
• Stacie’s notion of the Salahis as “big ballers,” as opposed to what they really are: big fakers.
• Exactly what the Salahis meant by saying they'd "host" celebrity stylist Paul Wharton's birthday party. Because by "host" they did not mean "pay" — even if they went around the party telling people how much it was costing them. Which is why she had her lawyer call the stylist's publicist and — you know what? We don't care. He deserves it.
• Mary and Lynda’s talk of Michaele’s “beautiful soul” and its slow suffocation by “something more boisterous.” (Lynda has an opinion about Tareq, whom she obviously recognizes as a fellow succubus and emotional vampire. Her message to Michaele: Get rid of your husband!)
• Tareq’s Champagne budget.
• Stacie’s quest for her birth parents as a “journey.”
• Mary’s love for her “besty” hair dressers, Ted and Jason.
• And finally, Tareq’s claim that Michaele has put on twenty pounds since they got married and eats more than he does. Sure, mac. Sure.
Things that were probably not exaggerated on this week’s RHODC:
• Jason’s surprise at the fact that “these white folks” were really going to get on the plane and tag along to Paris for a hip hop performance.
• Michaela filling five suitcases for a two-day trip.
• Lynda’s warm acceptance of Cat. (Turn around, though, and the little lady will stab you right in the lumbar region. Watch your lower back.)
• Mary’s husband’s fulsome love for his wife’s two hair stylists, unfortunately for Mary.