The Real Housewives of Orange County
Watching Shannon Beador pack is like watching a caribou stampede in slow motion, except the carnage is entirely emotional and psychological rather than physical. She’s a whirligig of energy, rushing to and fro for her hormones, her herbs, her distilled water for her nose irrigation, her nipple covers for when she’s in a bikini, her marabou-molting scissors in case she wants to rock a boa, her enemas, her sage smudges, her smocks and caftans, her headwraps. It’s all happening and it’s all totally unnecessary. Then, when she arrives at her destination, she had forgotten to pack the essentials like a hair brush and some Alka-Seltzer for when her husband David wakes up with a Corona hangover and realizes that while he was incredibly intoxicated, he allowed his wife to film his dangle while he sloshed about the tub in the honeymoon suite of some hotel that provided “promotional consideration” for their visit.
I will say this about David Beador: He is keeping it right and tight. As the homosexual kids would say, he is keeping his gym game on fleek hunty YAAAAAASSSSSS!!! He could cheat on me all he wants and I’d take him back, just like Shannon did. Heck, I’d encourage him to cheat just so other women could look at my husband and have it once or twice but know that his nice chest, flat stomach, and perfect salting of silver chest hair was mine all mine. And here is Shannon, sleeping in a negligee with a robe over it. There is no better analogy for the indignities of a long marriage than a negligee with a robe over it, now is there?
However, the best part of their weird little cell-phone valentine that they recorded for the producers (and the archives of the Real Housewives Institute) is Shannon running along the beach as if she’s mocking Baywatch or that Janet Jackson video that Antonio Sabato Jr. ruined by being a Trump supporter. At the end, she’s goofing up to David and says, “This is what you wanted to see. Breasts.” It is both hilariously unsexy and sexily hilarious all at the same time. It makes me think that Shannon should start a UCB showcase called Bowl of Lemons that’s just her, Heather Dubrow, Slade Smiley, that girl from Vanderpump Rules who does stand-up, and a madame puppet doing skits. I’d pay $15 for that.
Of course, Shannon isn’t the only one having a weekend getaway. Vicki Gunvalson, a can of Spam with a wig on it, holds her birthday getaway at the Merv Griffin Estate in Palm Springs, or, as the Real Housewives try to rebrand it, La Quinta. As you may well remember, this is where Kyle Richards has a home and also where she supposedly stole a house from her sister Kim. Better buy property in La Quinta before they open a Kyle By Alene Too boutique and the place goes to shit. The only thing that mortified me more than the fact that the Housewives didn’t know who Merv Griffin was, was that Vicki brought two toddlers to his house. Something tells me that a salty closeted homosexual, talk-show host, game-show creator, and bestie of Eva Gabor wouldn’t want any young boys under the age of 18 running around his house in their underwear. It is a very nice house, though, and I’m jealous that my mom doesn’t have her birthday in places like that.
We must talk about Vicki Gunvalson’s children. How the fuck did they happen? How does she have two normal, lovely, and otherwise sane offspring? I haven’t seen Michael in a while, but I remember him as an awkward teen who didn’t want his mother showing up at his frat house to see him stumbling around drunk with his friends as they yelled loud, obscene, and possibly racist things. Now he’s a strapping young man who doesn’t want to show up at his mother’s frat house for her birthday to watch her get stumbling drunk with her friends as they yell loud, obscene, and possibly racist things while the cameras watch. He just grimaces gamely because this is what you must endure as Vicki Gunvalson’s son and heir. But, damn, Michael is looking fine. He almost made me forget about David Beador for a second.
I talk a lot of shit about Vicki, but what she does for Brianna, perhaps my favorite person in the entire Real Housewives franchise, is absolutely sweet and perfect. Shipping in her husband Ryan so that he can be with their family is the perfect gift for Brianna and the sort of thing that makes people see that Vicki isn’t entirely concerned with herself. She’s just mostly concerned with herself. God, remember when Vicki was mad at Ryan because he didn’t ask for Brianna’s hand in marriage? (Like that is a thing?) Now she’s in the kitchen hugging him and telling him how much he loves him.
Okay, I’m droning on and on about the Gunvalson clan because, honestly, I don’t want to revisit the same issues over and over again, which is what this season is doing. Sorry, but I just don’t care whether or not Terry Dubrow will spend more time with his children. I’m sorry. I don’t. I also don’t care about Meghan’s pregnancy. I just don’t have it in me. And Kelly Dodd, the mouse that dies behind your refrigerator and stinks up the house for months on end, I just can’t with her either. Don’t make me do it. Don’t make me talk about her.
Fine. Okay, I will. But are you surprised that I’m #TeamHeather in this fight? Heather is right to be concerned with Kelly’s behavior when all the women go away to watch Dune for Tamra’s birthday or whatever the hell they’re doing. The only two times that Heather has seen Kelly interact with a group was at the ’70s party where she started indiscriminately calling people ugly and at the sushi dinner where she called Shannon a Call Uncle Ned Tomorrow. Of course she’s going to be like, “Can this bitch even be around people and not turn into a rosé-fueled belch tsunami?”
The game of telephone that results in Vicki telling Kelly that Heather is worried she’ll cuss in front of kids is just what happens on these kinds of shows and it’s extremely reductive of Heather’s very real concerns about what Kelly might do when the group hangs out as a whole. At Tamra’s fence-mending dinner party (and, girl, if Tamra Barney has to be your peacemaker, then your shit is severely busted), I did feel a little bit for Kelly because I think her reaction to Heather’s criticism was real, but if Kelly doesn’t want people to say that she shouldn’t hang around their kids, maybe she should stop behaving like a bar fire that started because someone spit tequila into a lighter.
For her part, Heather tries to pass off her behavior at the sushi party a bit more saintly than it really was. Her tone and demeanor were a bit scoldy and, as the type of person whose mouth has gotten him into trouble more than once, I know how it feels to be reprimanded and hate it.
But there were no reprimands on Shannon and David’s second honeymoon. They were just lying there in the tub, his body pressed against hers as the water syphoned and suctioned their bodies together, the sun setting over the ocean outside of the window. Vicki said that David would be paying for his affair for a long time, and this is what paying for it looked like. It looked like rose petals strewn all over the floor. It looked like romantic gestures and special time together. It looked like her hand pressing firmly into his softest spots, unafraid to find the nooks that scared her when they were first married. She found that spot and she hit it, she hit it, she hit it, and David twisted up his face in an expression that looks like surprise, but Merv Griffin will tell you is no shock to him. Then he collapsed in Shannon’s arms as she sloshed against the back of the tub, his head against her bosom as she relaxed and stared out the window at the sun shining the color of just-discovered gold or checks eager to be cashed.