The Real Housewives of Beverly Hills
It has finally happened, ladies and gentlemen who love gentlemen. We have seen Donnie Edwards shirtless and, oh boy, it was worth it. It was all smooth skin and tight muscles, just like I imagined in my more one-handed moments. There were crevasses, ridges, and nooks that you could get lost in for years at a time and never come up for air.
It happened when he was trying on a rather nondescript shirt at a rather nondescript store with his unfortunately nondescript wife. How to describe Donnie Edwards naked? Oh, I would need so many adjectives that I don’t think this publication can afford to publish them all. Let’s just say that a statue will be erected at the Real Housewives Institute in the Shane Keough Memorial Sculpture Garden sometime this fall. You are all invited to the unveiling.
The problem with Donnie, however, is that he comes with his wife, Kathryn, the shrapnel of dried boogers you find underneath the couch on moving day. Ever since the Eileen Davidson Incident of 2015, I like to give the new girls ample time before I start hating them, but I don’t think that my mind will be changed on this one. She has officially earned the Good Housewives-keeping Seal of Disapproval.
Her behavior at Erika’s house was not only incredibly annoying, but it was also inexplicable. We have never seen her act like that, all aggressive and unrelenting. Did she use a deodorant that was not pH balanced for her? Did she not eat a Luna bar after working out? What? Maybe she really has been possessed by the one-legged ghost of Aviva Drescher.
It starts with Lisar, when Kathryn keeps making cracks about how she needs to eat. One little dig, fine, that is what friends do. I’ve been making short jokes about my dear friend Chris for the better part of a decade. Then he tells me that I’m loud and funnier in print and we call it a day. That is not what is happening here. Kathryn is just laying into Lisar and then, when she brings it up, Kathryn is like, “Jeez, it’s called a sense of humor. Why don’t you look into one?” which is not only annoyingly phrased, but also incredibly inaccurate. Offensive jokes that are not funny are not jokes. They’re just offensive.
Then she starts hectoring Erika about opening up and Erika tells her, quite honestly, that she’s not very trusting and it’s going to take time. Kathryn insists that she wants her Oompa Loompa now, daddy. Kathryn is like your annoying little sister who keeps banging on the door when you lock her out of your room. You’ll eventually have to open it to yell at her, so she gets what she wants, but she just goes about getting it the wrong way.
Kathryn also has this annoying habit of totally misstating the facts or glossing over other people’s opinions because she doesn’t like them. Erika tells Kathryn that ratting her out to Lisa Vanderpump about her “don’t get caught in the web” comments will hurt their future friendship. Kathryn says, “No, it will not.” Um, yes it will. Erika just told you it will. That means it will. That is not yours to decide. She also tells Erika that she is “losing this argument.” By whose assessment? Apparently Kathryn’s alone.
Erika’s husband, Tom, is at the dinner, and he is not at all amused by the women — and specifically by Kathryn, who keeps interrupting him. At this point, Ken knows better and he’s just sitting at the end of the table, playing video poker on his phone and thinking about what Giggy is going to wear tomorrow. Tom eventually says, “Do you do this all the time?” which is the sort of reaction that a real live human being would have to what is unfolding at his dinner table.
But now, we have to talk about Tom. I don’t particularly like him. He seems like a wing chair at the Princeton Club: stuffy, uncomfortable, and a little bit past its prime. He also treats Erika like crap. This is the second time we’ve seen them at dinner and the second time that he has shushed her. My boyfriend shushed me exactly one time and he still feels the repercussions to this day. But Erika signed a contract with Tom. Well, not an actual contract, but she gets money, status, and stability, and she has to exchange some of her freedom for that. She has to let Tom treat her the way Tom wants to treat her. Would I be comfortable in that relationship? No. Is Erika? Yes. She is a grown woman who is entirely capable of making her own choices. I may not like them, but I respect her for making them. Also, I like Tom a little bit more because you know he watches the “Painkillr” video like once a week and it just totally floats his boat.
The dinner is a total mess not only because Kathryn is entirely annoying, but also because Lisa Vanderpump won’t let Erika’s comment about “weaving a web” go. The problem is, Erika never said it, at least that I remember. Erika did say that Lisa was “manipulative,” but I think Kathryn improvised this whole “web” thing. Since it’s the phrasing that is getting Lisa angry, this is entirely Kathryn’s fault. That is why you can’t play semantics with secondhand information.
Also, this is why Erika is allowed to be mad at Kathryn for divulging what she said to Lisa, even though it was said in front of a dozen cameras. If Kathryn’s going to repeat it back, at least do it accurately. If Lisa had heard this conversation for the first time when she saw it on the show, I don’t think she’d be as angry as when Kathryn brought it up.
I’m really starting to question just how manipulative Lisa is after Lisar tells Eileen that she is the one who told her that she should express her Munchausen ideas about Yolanda on camera. Yeah, Lisa might have lead this horse to water, but she didn’t make those enormous lips drink. Even after Lisar tells Eileen, she then goes on to trash Yolanda for having lunch with Kim Richards and Brandi Glanville and then skipping out on dinner at Erika’s. Whether or not Lisa told her to say “Munchausen” on camera, Lisar’s incredulous sentiments are hers alone. Anyway, if Yolanda were trying to get sympathy, wouldn’t she show up more often so people could fuss over her?
Eileen, of course, is the MVP of everything. When she’s with Lisar on the beach and she brings up Yolanda faking her illness or trying to get sympathy, Eileen just says, “I’m not going there.” Love her. I’m with Eileen and Kyle. Something is hinky with the way Yolanda copes with her illness, but she’s obviously sick so it’s best to just move along and not end up looking like an asshole. It’s not like she’s going to run a marathon one day and then be like, “Yeah, you caught me. I was joking.”
Eileen, however, does make a misstep when she tried to get Erika and Kathryn to make up at the Agency Gives Back: A Day of Corporate Branding Synergy Sponsored by the Agency and Give Back Homes. She had to know getting them to talk would lead to shouting.
After dealing with dozens of web jokes all day, Erika is not in the mood for Kathryn trying to tell her whether or not she had injured Erika’s relationship with Lisa. She clearly had — and rather maliciously, as Kathryn admitted, just to get a reaction out of people. In the end, Erika forgives Kathryn, but you know it was just so she could sweep it under the rug and never talk about it again. Kathryn is dead to her now, like the shriveled body of a dead fly in a cobweb that the spider never got around to actually eating.
While they were squabbling, Carl and Tanya were just around the corner helping to put a coat of beige paint on the stucco façade. Tanya was so glad that her house would finally look like all of the sofas in the Pottery Barn catalogue. Carl sort of liked the burnt turquoise of their house before. It made it easy to find. There was nothing that bright in Watts, except for some of the better graffiti that was more artistic and not just gang tags and pictures of the male anatomy hastily rendered on the way to something better.
“What are they shouting about?” Tanya asked, as she brought back another pan of paint for them to dip their rollers into.
“I’m not sure. I think it’s something about how they can’t be friends or they’re not good enough friends or they don’t want to have their friends over for dinner,” Carl said, not looking up from detailing the intricate twisting steel bars around the window. “I don’t know, Tanya. I try to listen to uppity white women as little as possible.”
“Me too, but they are making such a racket. What are the neighbors going to think? They already think we’re insane for letting these white people fix up our house.”
“I don’t care who fixes up our house as long as this shit is getting fixed. I work too many hours driving that stupid bus to live in a house with a crumbling roof and all of those broken tiles on the kitchen floor.”
“God, they’re still at it,” Tanya said. “I think I’m going to go over there and hush them up. If they’re squawking like that, it means they’re not painting.”
“Just leave them, Tanya. They’re not getting paid to be here.”
“And so I have to listen to their stupid bullshit dinner-party drama? Oh hell no, you listen here, Carl Robertson … ” Tanya was about to shake her roller at Carl’s face, getting paint all over him, her, the ground underneath them, the bush next to the living window, and probably the fence behind her. It wasn’t worth it. It wasn’t worth it to have that reminder of them making her so angry, those errant droppings of paint that she would have to look at for years just rumbling up that anger that they brought to her house. “You know what,” Tanya said. “Never mind. I’m just gonna keep painting.”
“Mmhmm,” Carl grunted, paying much more attention than the job in front of him afforded, as a car with a faulty engine rolled by, sounding like a clothes dryer turned on with only a loose quarter in the barrel.