It is a very sad day here at the Real Housewives Institute, a very sad day indeed. Why? Because today is the day that my decade of studying, cataloguing, and trying to understand the behavior of our subjects has finally failed. I no longer have any idea what is going on with this gaggling horde of turkey gobbles. I just don’t. I don’t understand what Lisar was supposed to say about Kyle, or the threat that Lisa made against Kyle, or why Lisa might hate Yolanda, or why Eileen is so upset about any of it. And just why the heck is everyone crying when someone else’s mother calls for their birthday?
The biggest mystery of all continues to be … why Dubai? Why would anyone want to spend any time in a place where the best view is of a rocky brown wasteland that’s pockmarked by ugly modern architectural monstrosities? It’s like going up to the top of a skyscraper to look out over a bowl of oatmeal with some raisins scattered around in it. What do they do for recreation? They go to the mall. Need I remind everyone that we have malls in America? They might not drive you around in a fake Maybach golf cart here, but you’re still driving and Limited Too is still the same.
This is the problem with all centers of wealth in warm environments like Hong Kong, Singapore, or even New Delhi — everything is in a damn mall. In Singapore, you can literally stand in a Louis Vuitton store in one mall and see another Louis Vuitton store in another mall. That’s the problem with shopping in international capitals; it’s all global luxury brands. Yes, Erika’s fuzzy pink Chanel clutch is absolutely divine, but there is no way they have Chanel products in Dubai that they don’t have in Beverly Hills. They get the same crap everywhere. And now these ladies are going to pay top dollar to have Erika’s gays lug their new crap halfway across the world. Seriously, Lisar needed to go to Fendi at a mall with an ice-skating rink and an aquarium? There are three Fendis in Beverly Hills, including one in the Beverly Center, which is a fancy mall. Nevertheless, I would book a flight just to go to Dubai and steal Erika’s gold sunglasses. They are that good.
I guess we should talk about that three-hour tour, which was even more disastrous than Gilligan’s. Poor Kathryn! (There is something I never thought I would say.) Watching other people fight about nonsensical things is the worst birthday I could possibly imagine, and I once spent a birthday having a bad acid trip at a race track in Vermont where I thought that the guy selling whip-its in the parking lot was trying to throw me in the back of his van and make me a slave at an ashram in upstate New York. (He was.) At least Kathryn got to avail herself of Erika’s homosexuals for her birthday. “Oh, how can we celebrate you, Kathryn? Oh, come bask in the gay halo of my homosexual support squad. Enjoi! (That’s gay for ‘enjoy.’)”
I can’t talk about what happened on the boat. I don’t mean that in a “I can’t even” kind of way, as if it’s too much to bear. I can’t talk about what happened on the boat because I do not understand it at all. I just absolutely can’t shake out the tangles of this knot. It’s like a dozen Bunchems got stuck in one of Erika’s cheaper wigs and they’re not coming free any time soon.
Everyone’s explanations about the fight between Lisa, Lisar, and Cult Jam (in this instance, Cult Jam is every sentient being that is currently on the Arabian peninsula) are just way too baroque and insane to make any sense. I believe Lisa, Lisar, and Cult Jam (in this instance, Cult Jam is Kyle) in the sense that they all think they are telling the truth — it’s just that they all have different versions of the truth, like three students painting the same bowl of apples perched in the middle of their easels.
Let’s attempt to Occam’s Razor this nonsense and figure out the most simple explanation. Alright. It’s clear that Lisa doesn’t like Yolanda, as everyone says. This might be because of what Yolanda did to Ken at the party, or this might be some Mohamed Hadid grudge that dates back many years. Because of that connection to Mohamed and his family, Lisa can’t declare outright war on Yolanda. (Also, that’s not her style). She got Lisar to bring up the thing about Munchausen, then wanted her to bring Kyle into it because Lisa is trying to get Yolanda to be mad at everyone so she’ll isolate herself from the group. Once Yolanda’s isolated, no one will film with her and the producers will fire her and Lisa will never have to deal with her ever again.
I get why Kyle is lying for Lisa, or at least standing by her. Kyle really does love Lisa, but she also knows that going up against Lisa is a losing proposition. Kyle has been on her bad side lately, and if she wants to stay on the show, alienating Lisa is really a bad idea. Seriously. She is a master and Godfather Andy is keeping her before all the rest of these second-stringers. Kyle is just sticking by Lisa’s side and keeping the Real Housewives bus running, even if that means everyone else has to throw themselves and their caftans under the wheels.
I love Kyle’s advice to Lisa about this fight and her other fight with Eileen: Just lie. Lisa wants to give Eileen one of those fake Housewives apologies like, “I’m sorry I used the wrong terminology,” which isn’t an apology at all. Like a Catholic going to confession, Kyle is all, “No, you don’t have to mean it. You just have to pretend like you do. Let her hear what she wants to hear.” Lisa does that and it works. See!
I don’t quite understand why Eileen is letting herself get so incensed by this fight that doesn’t really include her. I did love how Eileen shushed stupid Kathryn and then when Kathryn was like, “Really?” Eileen just said, “Yeah!” God bless her heart.
Ugh, I think Brandi (say her name three times and she shall appear) is going to make me talk about her. First of all, many of the commenters of this here recap were asking what I thought of her interview outfit. Well, let’s just say that she was dressed like a 25-year-old bartender going to a Halloween party as Slutty Lana Del Rey. I don’t usually pick on her appearance just for the sake of it, but I think it goes to the heart of my argument: Brandi’s ultimate failure is that she can never read the room. She doesn’t know if her jokes are going to land — this is because she is not as funny as she thinks she is — and even when they don’t, she won’t back off. She also doesn’t know what is appropriate for any occasion, just like she didn’t realize her gold nipple dress was right for television.
To that point, wearing a “Being Sober Is Not Fun” shirt to lunch with Kim “Six Days Out of Rehab” Richards is not cute. Neither is a 40-year-old woman wearing a shirt that would be boorish on a Tau Kappa Sigma brother doing a keg stand at a tailgate party. Also, giving Kim Richards a “Medicated” shirt is not funny. Brandi will be all like, “Oh, you people can’t take a joke,” but the problem with her jokes is that they are just cruel reality. So what if she chuckles afterward? That does not a joke make. You can get away with just about anything if you’re funny — just ask Don Rickles. But speaking truth to people’s faces isn’t irony; it’s just dickishness.
But like I said, the real loser of the episode is Kathryn. She has that awful birthday, and that sad cake that she doesn’t even have time to eat, and that awful wish that everyone should just be civil and therefore destroy the very reason for the show in the first place. Kathryn didn’t sleep well that night, and in the morning she was dragging as they got to the airport. She settled into business class and immediately reclined her seat, took off her Tory Burch flats, slid on the Etihad slippers, put on the face mask, and curled up into the sort of fingerless sleep one can only have on moving vehicles.
She woke up a few hours later and could feel the hum of the engines, even though she couldn’t really hear them. Everyone in the cabin was asleep now, the lights out and the window shades drawn. Not even the flight attendants were walking around, but she could feel the presence of someone somewhere doing something. She buzzed her chair forward and cracked the window just a little bit. A cudgel of sunlight came streaming in and she physically recoiled. The light was causing her pain but, though it initially blinded her, it made it easier to see once the sting wore off.
Kathryn couldn’t tell what was outside of the airplane window, she couldn’t open the shade any more to see if there were clouds or land or just great expanses of whisperless sea below her. All she could really see was that tiny hole at the bottom of the window, ringed with a little bit of frost like one perfect snowflake. She imagined she could hear it whistle, like air was leaking out from somewhere, like the fuselage was losing pressure through this one tiny pinprick. She imagined all the cells of her body letting go of each other, one by one, and her whole being escaping out of there in some form of sentient vapor, joining the clouds or the blue sky or the whisperless sea that was outside, whatever it was.
Then she had to close the shade. The light was getting too much for her and she worried it would be destructive. Anyway, she was stuck on this plane until they touched down. Somehow, Kathryn felt that she would be back on land soon.