As President of the Real Housewives Institute, it is my obligation to admit when I am wrong, and now I must issue an apology to Eileen, because not only is she pretty cool and not boring, she actually has made me like her. I would eat my words, but no one on this show ever seems to eat anything other than pancakes covered in apples and whipped cream, so why should anyone start now?
Watching Eileen last night was sort of like watching one single person dropped off in a tribe of gorillas that know sign language. It’s like Eileen is one of those Scotsman with an accent that is so thick, all the other women know that she’s speaking the same language, but you just can’t figure out a word she says.
Eileen proved herself to be the only sane person on this whole damn show. When she comes down in the morning the day after everyone got in a fight with Brandi and two days after Kim Richards called her a beast and Lisar threw a wine glass, everyone is about to go off shopping and Eileen had to be all like, “You people are crazy. I’m going to a museum.”
I love Eileen for knowing that they’re crazy, I love Eileen because she fails to get caught up in Housewives logic that is shiftier than a Rubik's Cube having sex with a Mexican jumping bean, and I love Eileen because she didn’t want to go bra shopping with Brandi, she wanted to go see some Vermeers because she is in goddamn Amsterdam, and that is how you do. And I’m sorry, but with the internet and the complete takeover of global luxury brands, there is nothing that these women could possibly buy in Amsterdam that they couldn’t get at home. I particularly loved that Kyle went along with her to the museum and was all, “I love museums.” The last museum Kyle went to was when they had a Grecian sleeves exhibit at the Beverly Center, and that wasn’t really a museum, it was just a rack in a Nordstrom, and she didn’t buy anything so she said that it was a visit to a museum because she just looked.
After the museum, Eileen and Kyle have coffee, and they decide that Lisar and Kim are crazy for going shopping together (with Lisa and Brandi) and that they feel like they were left off of Kim’s apology express (toot, toot). I totally get that. I mean, Kim and Lisar have somehow made up, but Kim was shouting at all of them over the dinner table. Doesn’t she have a little more 'splainin' to do?
However, instead of talking to Kim about it (which we all know, at this point, is sort of like trying to grab a cracker out of a crocodile’s mouth), she sits Lisar down for a glass of wine and basically doesn’t even speak, she just puts her hands in the air, palms up, and rattles her head a little bit to give the universal sign for WTF is wrong with you? Lisar can’t even explain why she and Kim are getting along. Lisar just wants there to be peace and quiet and for everyone to laugh at some silly green galoshes and then go back into their rooms and cry quietly in the shower. I totally respect that. I mean, just get through this trip, and then get back to L.A., where she can really take Kim to town. But their truce is completely delusional. Thank you, Eileen, for pointing that out and trying to get some of these women to have something that is approaching good sense.
Now we get to the Barge of Horrors. This will not go down as Crazy Island or Franklin Lakes Country Club or anything, but man, there was some serious emotional tug of war happening on this tiny little boat. But before we get to that, can I just ask: How many chic motorcycle jackets does Yolanda Bananas Foster have? More than she has lemons in her orchard? More than her husband David Foster (Wallace) has creepy looks? Certainly more than there are hookers in the Red Light District in Amsterdam. Well, just like those hookers, I would like to buy and rock every one of those damn jackets!
Okay, I am currently dissolving a Klonopin on my tongue to deal with talking about the Barge of Horrors, because I would have an anxiety attack on the back of that boat that would make Woody Allen’s shrink blush. Imagine all of them sitting there, cruising through the canals and just pretending like everything is fine, like they all get along and love each other, but they really have so much to say deep down inside. It’s sort of like sitting at dinner with your husband and trying to not tell him that he has killed all the passion inside you, and that recently you’ve been having sexual dreams about Trish, the cheerleader who lives next door who washes her MINI Cooper way more often than can be healthy for the varnish on such a tiny automobile.
Finally our hero Eileen is like, “Okay, everyone, I would like to talk about some shiz.” She gets into it with Brandi for supposedly calling her an alcoholic, and Kim for talking about her sobriety. Then the most terrific and frightening thing in Real Housewives herstory happened. Usually when some lady goes off on a tear telling the others what she did and did not say, there is the black-and-white footage of the actual event to prove that she did not, in fact, say what she is telling everyone she said. This footage usually proves that she is manipulating the truth or people’s words in some way to benefit her. However, this time, Eileen explained that she did not call Brandi an alcoholic, that she did not want to challenge Kim’s sobriety, and that she did all of this above board, and the black-and-white footage of those actual events was essentially verbatim to what Eileen was repeating now. It’s like the sky opened up, and for one moment, a sunbeam cast from St. Camille’s blonde locks refracted down on Amsterdam and lit up on Eileen’s frosted mane.
Someone really needs to do this with Brandi because there is no way that no one has ever not told her that she’s a mean drunk. I mean, I’ve been getting paid to do it for years, maybe she just wasn’t listening?
Then Brandi ruined Eileen’s good moment. She was trying to make some joke about how what people say about each of the women isn’t true, and goes around the table and says that it’s not true that Lisa slept with half of L.A., that Kim isn’t sober, that Brandi is an alcoholic, and YBF is too bossy, and Eileen is a “homewrecker.” There is not a functioning phonograph left in this country outside of Brooklyn and parts of Silver Lake, but when she said that, every record that is still left in existence skipped a little bit, and then scratched and the music stopped and everyone looked around like it was a game of musical chairs, but they were all sitting down, which meant they were all trapped with each other for eternity. (Thank God the Klonopin just kicked in, because thinking about eternity with this bunch would send me into quite the panic spiral.)
First of all, calling Eileen a homewrecker was just weak. It was a weak move. It was weaker than Dr. Ruth after a month of bed rest. Brandi did what she always does: “I was trying to make a joke!” Really, she just wanted a chance to say that Eileen was a homewrecker in public, so she made up some lame excuse at comedy and wrapped her insult up in it. However, like her boobs in her Oscar dress, her real intentions were popping out for everyone to see. Then she couldn’t even apologize, because it’s everyone else’s fault that they don’t get her “jokes.”
I don’t even really understand the rest of the fight. Brandi was getting all mad that people said she was a drunk, and Kim was getting all mad again that people said she wasn’t sober, and Kyle and Brandi were getting into it about something that one of them said in a Twitter DM or some nonsense like they’re always going on about, and I just have no idea what happened.
In the middle of all this, Yolanda Bananas Foster decided she was sick of the fighting and she wanted to eat a damn seared scallop already, so she got up and sat down at the dinner table like the badass she is. Slowly, everyone filtered over except for Brandi, Kim, and Kyle, whose very life force is fed by petty squabbles and misunderstanding. In fact, that is what makes Kyle’s hair so damn lustrous: arguments that will never be solved. Look for her new conditioner this fall, Stalemates: By Kyle for Alene Too.
Then the strangest thing happened. They sat down at the table, and Brandi said they should all go around and they should each say a nice thing about one of the ladies. It was kind of sweet, with a few moments of real clarity and emotion, but a lot of people discussing “good hearts.” These women should all be cardiologists, because they really know a healthy ticker when they see one. Oh, there were lots of “good mothers,” too, because as long as you don’t leave your bundle of joy in a box in front of a fire station, that makes you a pretty good mother.
Brandi, of course, just gave them all compliments on their appearance, and for the first time ever in their lives, none of the women wanted to be told how pretty and slim they were. It’s as if something in the grilled sea bass was making them much more dreadfully sincere, like seven little Thomas Kinkade Painter of Light portraits perched around a dinner table. Then, when it was Brandi’s turn, she didn’t want to sit there and listen to all the compliments. Oh God, I think she just wanted even more attention. She not only wanted them to compliment her, she wanted to force them to compliment her even harder.
Finally, everyone was getting along and the boat pulled into the dock, and Lisa and Brandi were having a fun little exchange about Julie on The Love Boat, and Brandi wanted to demonstrate how Julie kissed people and wanted to use Lisa as her CPR dummy. Lisa wasn’t into it and said, “Stop it, I’ll slap you,” clearly joking in that way that Lisa always does. Brandi turned that into, “You can slap me and I’ll slap you back, we’ll slap each other.” I think Brandi meant this as a game, and it was very playful, but then Lisa was like, “No, let’s go,” so then Brandi slapped her. It wasn’t hard. It was as hard as you would thump a cantaloupe at the market to test its freshness, but it was an actual slap.
Here’s the thing about this slap. First of all, Bravo, of course, pumped it up to be way more than what it really was, something that Lisa, Kyle, and the rest of the girls will surely do in future episodes as well. Also, like the Brandi wine toss, it completely makes sense in her brain. Brandi thought she was playing a game and meant it as a joke and thought Lisa would slap her back a little bit, and it would be a lark. However, Brandi doesn’t think like a normal human, she thinks like a lab rat that has been dosed with whippets for two weeks straight, so it didn’t make sense to Lisa at all, who was like, “Where the hell did that slap come from? That’s not cool!” That is, actually, the right reaction to have. Lisa, would you like some of my Klonopin?
They finally got off the barge to meet the rest of their friends and walk back to the hotel in silence, the streetlights of Amsterdam twinkling like fireflies having an orgy. As they left, the boat rose up a few inches, as if it were finally exhaling, as if it were rid of some sort of burden. The captain got out and tied the lines to the dock, and the waitstaff cleaned up the plates and flatware, emptied the dregs of the wine glasses right out into the canal, and piled them all into a grey plastic bucket to take them back to the galley. And just for a minute, the water on the hull of the boat seemed clean and calm, like it could wash away all the dirtiness and the soot of the city. For just a second, it was as if, due to some sort of absence, it could baptize everything all over again.