The Real Housewives of Orange County
Ugh, this trip to Dublin. As a gentleman of proud Irish heritage who could hold a passport to the Emerald Isle if he ever stopped being lazy and bothered to deal with some European bureaucracy, I must say that this is the worst thing to happen to my people since the British and peat. Okay, I take that back, I actually like the smell of peat (and the smell of Pete, who is British). This is actually the worst thing to ever befall the Irish nation. Worse than the potato famine, worse than the Catholic Church and their abuse scandals, worse than the IRA, worse than the fall of the Celtic Tiger, and most certainly worse than Jedward.
Most of what makes this the worse is Kelly Dodd, a woman with at least one Irish name who doesn’t realize that Irish people speak English. She walks into their hotel in Dublin and asks the host, “How do you say ‘top of the morning?’” Um, you say it “top of the morning.” They speak the same language that you do, Kelly. For some reason, it seems that her ears can’t decipher even the easiest of brogues. Then, when the host excuses himself because of “me accent,” she replies, “me Lucky Charms.” Does she have any idea how insulting that is? She’s boiling this whole country down to a pile of stereotypes and then trying to get them to laugh about it with her. Of course, she gets upset when this strategy bombs.
Which leads us to Kelly Dodd’s sense of humor, or, rather, her complete lack of one. She is the type of person who says, without an ounce of irony, “Let’s make like jelly and roll.” She thinks that’s funny. Kelly Dodd, a golem made out of used Diva cups and a broken bride-to-be tiara from a hen party, is not funny. She isn’t even a wafting odor of funny. She is the sort of person who uses thrice recycled jokes in the hopes that people will think she’s amusing when she knows, deep down inside, that the wells of her creativity are dryer than the eczema on Dick Cheney’s back.
Kelly Dodd has the same sense of humor as my grandfather (who was Irish). He was the only other person on Earth who would play that annoying game when someone asks, “What is on your shirt?” and then flick your nose when you look down. I hated this when I was 8 years old, so I could only imagine how I would feel about this now, especially after she’s been told to stop multiple times.
But we have to look at the larger context of what happens on a Real Housewives vacation. They all start drinking at brunch and they don’t start with mimosas and wine. They go to the bar at 2 p.m. and start hammering shots. Even Tamra gets going, even though she is not supposed to be drinking, because she can’t stand to be around these women when she’s sober because she says they’re all crazy. Did anyone ever stop to think that they’re not crazy and also drunk, but that they’re crazy because they’re drunk?
Kelly keeps annoying everyone with her nose-flicking game. Even when they tell her to stop, she continues. Tamra is drunk (she hasn’t been drinking so her tolerance is lower than Billy Bush’s career prospects) and she gets all annoyed. It gets worse when she gets up to use the restroom and Kelly says, jokingly and harmlessly, to “keep walking.” Tamra returns and says, “I’m such a good friend, I didn’t even tell Heather that you had your realtor look into how much money she owes on her lot.” Then Kelly calls Tamra a liar and we’re off to the races.
Before we get to the main event, let’s take a step back and analyze this. First of all, Tamra never should have brought that up, because there is nobody more annoying than the person who says, “I promised to keep your secret” and then lords that secret over you. It’s even more annoying when that phrase precedes the exact secret they want credit for keeping. Kelly claims that she wasn’t asking her realtor — that the realtor offered that information — but even still, she never should have brought it up to Tamra while trying to shame Heather. So, even though Tamra was wrong, Kelly was wrong first.
However, Kelly is the absolute wrongest when she tells Shannon, “It’s no wonder that Tamra’s daughter doesn’t speak to her.” That blow is so low that even Billy Bush’s career prospects look like Yao Ming standing next to it. Shannon tells Tamra, who freaks out in the middle of an Irish department store and then storms onto the bus and hyperventilates. It’s a move that justifiably pisses off absolutely everyone. There is nothing that Tamra could have said to warrant such a vicious attack that was so perfectly calibrated to injure her in the most heinous and perverse way.
What makes it even worse is when Kelly says, “I didn’t mean to hurt Tamra. If I wanted to hurt Tamra, I would have said it right straight to Tamra’s face.” Well, Kelly, then why say it at all? If you didn’t want to hurt Tamra, even if just in the eyes of Shannon, why even bring it up? Why even put that out in the air to breathe and flitter away like a butterfly made of halitosis and queefs? Did she not think that Shannon was going to tell Tamra? Oh, my God, Kelly Dodd makes me so mad that I want to light my own pubic hair on fire.
Tamra, Shannon, Heather, and Vicki are all justified in being upset with and appalled by Kelly’s behavior, but she frames it as them “teaming up” on her. Well, if you do something that is so generally offensive that everyone thinks is wrong, it’s not them teaming up on you. It’s the court of public opinion sentencing you to death by a thousand paper cuts on your nipple. She calls all the women “mean” for the way they’re treating her, but they were just reacting to the even meaner thing that she did in the first place.
Of course Kelly Dodd calls the only human being in existence who is worse than she is: her husband Michael, a C.H.U.D. wearing a fedora. He tells her not to apologize because she did nothing wrong. What? Of course she did something wrong. Of course she should apologize. She should kiss the Blarney Stone so that she can have the gift of gab and continuously apologize until the last moment that her body is taking in oxygen and her cells are fueled by the rumbling engines of mitochondrion. She should apologize long after the fairies and trolls all across Éire have risen out of their centuries-long slumber and rediscovered the magic of the living realm. She should apologize to them, each and every one, as they wash over her with their intonations and charms, their fantasies and reveries, their protections and teleportations. She should never stop apologizing to them even as they feast on her flesh and use her earthly body to create the perfect conditions for Armageddon.