The Real Housewives of Beverly Hills
I am sick of Yolanda’s “journey.” Yes, I want her to get well just like everyone else does, but why does she keep talking about her Lyme disease as a “journey”? She’s not going anywhere. She’s not even leaving the couch or putting on something other than that ratty bathrobe that looks like a single Ugg boot you’d find in a gutter on a Sunday morning. There is no “journey,” at least physically. Yolanda’s disease is a “journey” like sitting at a rest stop on I-95 for eight hours eating Popeye’s biscuits is a “journey.” But she insists on giving it this New Age spin, like she is fostering some deep connection with the universe when she’s really just pulling out her fillings, getting cryo-frozen, and not putting on any makeup.
I think that Lisar, in her way, is trying to express the same sentiment at St. Camille of Grammer’s Holy Relic Fire Sale for Cancer. She tells Yolanda she is mad that Yolanda canceled dinner at Erika’s house after posting a picture with Kim Richards and Brandi Glanville (say her name two more times and she appears). Eileen, the first in line for sainthood after St. Camille dies, tries to defend Lisar and tells Yolanda that it wasn’t about canceling, and it wasn’t about the picture — it was about something else.
The women’s problem with Yolanda, as a whole, has more to do with Yolanda than the other women. She does a very bad job explaining her illness. For someone who is getting an award for creating awareness about Lyme disease, she’s not really making us all that aware. If Lyme disease makes you cut your hair, use FaceTime too often, and cancel plans, then, yes, we have learned all about it. But what about the disease makes Yolanda think, when she gets up in the morning, that she can do both lunch and dinner with the ladies, but then, sometime around 5 p.m., realize she can’t? I honestly would like her to answer that question, and I think the rest of the women would, too. That is what Lisar is expressing.
As Lisar says, you’re never going to get anywhere by criticizing a sick person, but that doesn’t mean the sick person shouldn’t have to fill in her co-workers about how the illness will affect those around her. But, also, if Lisar knows she’s not going to get anywhere by criticizing a sick person, why does she keep doing it? I don’t think she’s going to get any answers out of Yolanda or get her to change, so why keep pressing the subject? Maybe with a better explanation she wouldn’t have to, but even then, leave Yolanda alone. If she wants to sit at home and let Daisy dose her with various sun-dried tinctures made out of aardvark balls and mildew spores, let her do it in peace. You’ll make yourself, and everyone else, a lot happier by not complaining about it.
I need to have a minute to be enraptured by St. Camille. If there is a GIF of her descending that staircase in her glittery green dress with the slit up to her lady oven and a cutout right over her pelvis bone, then I would like that image permanently seared onto my eyelids so whenever I need a moment to just calm myself down I can close my eyes and watch her flick down each step like a butterfly landing on a petunia.
Know who I’d like to never see again? Kathryn, who is really the new Aviva Drescher — ears are the new legs. Kathryn goes to get a hearing aid so she won’t be as deaf anymore, and, well, I’d be happy for her if she weren’t a monster powered by competitive spirit and the ultraviolet rays of her living-room sauna. I did think she made some amends for how poorly she behaved at Erika’s by apologizing to Lisa, Lisar, and Cult Jam (in this instance, Cult Jam is Tom). So I don’t hate her hate her, I just kinda hate her.
Lisa Vanderpump actually sheds real human tears that are not Visine. Don’t get all excited; it is because she loves dogs so much and talks about how she hates to see them tortured. Lisa hosted a big rally to stop a mean doggie festival in China where they torture and eat dogs. The most notable thing about the rally is that instead of protesting the Chinese consulate in L.A., the mob protests a community church. Oopsie! Also, I just want to point out that there are plenty of festivals here in the U.S. that take abused animals and turn them into food. They’re called restaurants. Wonder if Lisa wants to shut those down, too?
Speaking of Lisa, everyone decides to talk about how manipulative she is at dinner. What’s unclear is exactly how manipulative Lisa is off-camera, which we can’t see, but based on past reports from Brandi (once more and she appears) and what Lisar has spilled this year, she likes to call people up and tell them things to bring up on-camera. That is fairly manipulative. Otherwise, Eileen is right: Lisa has a way of guiding the course of events so they work out in her favor. That is also fairly manipulative, but it’s entirely unclear how much of a mastermind she really is.
For the record, I don’t think there is anything wrong with steering events or conversations to work out in a particular way. I think we all do that to a certain extent, but there are some people who are more susceptible to it than others. Brandi (HERE SHE COMES!) will take shit from no one, but Lisar, on the other hand, wants to please people so badly that she ends up being swayed by whomever she’s with. She’s like tofu, leeching off the flavor of whichever sauce happens to be next to her at any given time.
When Lisar and Eileen meet at the luggage store to talk about the dinner, Eileen is right — I should be forced to tattoo these words in my tramp-stamp area for doubting her greatness — for saying that Lisar had perfect opportunities both with Yolanda and at dinner to talk about whether Lisa manipulated her into saying things about Yolanda. Lisar is brash, but she isn’t necessarily brave, which is a problem.
Two travesties happen in that luggage store. The first is Eileen’s Laura Ashley dress, circa 1988. The second is that Lisar is forced to Google scapegoat. Lisar should just stop Googling words because it always gets her into trouble. It’s sort of like when you have a headache and some slight nausea and you get on WebMD and suddenly convince yourself that you have cancer, AIDS, cancerous AIDS, or dehydration. That is Lisar when she Googles words.
Let’s save most of the discussion of Yolanda Bananas Foster’s Lyme trip for next week, when Joe Jonas guest-stars and causes my drawers to get damper than the soil under a sequoia. We do have to talk about the party Yolanda threw in the Jewel Suite, which to my dismay is themed after precious gems and not yodeling folk singers from the ‘90s. First of all, everyone is all dressed up (Erika’s boots!) and Yolanda is wearing a sweatsuit. Sure, it probably cost three months’ rent, but is it really that much harder to put on a pair of jeans, some cute flats, a white T-shirt, and that gorgeous gray biker jacket she wore most of last season? No, it is not.
Secondly … deep breath … there is David Foster (Wallace), the human embodiment of the feeling you get when watching someone else’s dog shit on the sidewalk. I mean, this guy is just the worst. He accompanies Yolanda on “Frère Jacques” on the piano, just so he can step in and make her sound better, then knock her down by saying, “Only your friends would clap for ‘Frère Jacques.’” The slime of it all.
But even worse: He is happy on-camera, all smiles and pervy jokes about turning lemons into lemonade, and then very shady off-camera. Is it sneaky for the Bravo producers to isolate the sound from his mic when he thinks they aren’t paying attention? Yes, but that doesn’t change what he says. After his friend reassures him that his life will return to normal once Yolanda gets well, David says, “How is that going to happen?” His friend offers even more words of encouragement and David just replies, “I don’t know.”
Strangely enough, I sympathize with David. He thought he was getting one thing when he married Yolanda, and he got something else entirely, though I’m not so sure this Lyme situation is as bad as it was at the start of their marriage. Still, it’s the weaker man who cuts and runs when things get tough.
The worst part of the whole ordeal is when Yolanda was talking about how great of a husband he is, and we know — we all know — that by the time this airs they already will have split. That is the precise moment when the night sky of New York gathered in a great flash, as if a star had ripened over the horizon and flooded everything with its glowing afterbirth. Everything stopped moving except for Yolanda, who floated across the terrace and stared up into the light.
Out of it emerged a figure, dressed in flowing robes and carrying herself on huge wings that didn’t even beat, just held her aloft with the glory of her virtue. In one hand she held the trumpet of our lord, Andy Cohen, and in the other a giant diamond. “Come,” said St. Camille of Grammer, reaching out her long, lithe arm toward the terrace where Yolanda looked up in awe. “I am St. Camille of Grammar, protectress of divorced Housewives, and I have come to lead you away from this pain, this ignominy.”
The light started to condense behind St. Camille, and Yolanda could once again see the reality of the skyline behind her. St. Camille held out her trumpet and lowered it so that Yolanda could reach. “Quick,” St. Camille said. “Let us go while you can still save yourself.” Yolanda’s hand flinched outward, and then she pulled it back, holding it close to her chest with her other hand. She didn’t know what to do. Should she leave? Could she leave? Is she the one who gets to make the choice?
Before she could even process all the possibilities, the light faded entirely, and St. Camille was vapor once again. Yolanda’s guests started to move, and she turned around shaken, flashing a smile that was so true that it was completely exhausting.