The Real Housewives of Orange County
By the power vested in me as the founder and president of the Real Housewives Institute, it is hereby declared that everyone associated with the Real Housewives trip to Ireland — every producer, story editor, assistant, camera editor, location scout, craft-services provider, hair-and-makeup engineer, wardrobe supervisor, and whoever is in charge of Shannon’s trunk of supplements and Eastern remedies — is fired.
How can all of the women congregate in the bar downstairs, gaslight Kelly Dodd into going on a rampage, and then have a furious altercation that makes the 60 ghosts of Meghan’s dead O’Toole relatives turn over in their shallow graves and the only footage we get of the whole thing is a shaky video from Heather’s phone? (But you can’t blame Heather’s phone for being shaky: It was probably still trembling from disgust after broadcasting Vicki’s wonky nipples across one ocean and one continent into the unwitting eyes of Terry Dubrow. That phone was traumatized, honey.)
We’re going to get into the fight in a bit, but how, logistically, is it possible there is no footage? Did the women tell the crew they were going to bed and then sneak out of their rooms like this is an eighth-grade trip to Washington D.C. or something? The point of this trip is to film these women 24 hours a day. Haven’t we learned from experience (like Luann bringing home a guy in Turks and Caicos and Sonja sleeping with the pirate Johnny Depp in St. Barths) that someone with a camera needs to be on-call at all hours during these vacations in case hell breaks loose when normal people should be sleeping?
I honestly want to know what happened. Did the crew think they had the night off to go to the pub and enjoy themselves like they were on vacation, too? If they needed to rest because of union rules or whatever, then there should be two crews. This happens far too often and exactly when plying these women with stress and alcohol for days on end is about to pay off.
Before we can get to the fight, we have to talk about the women’s day trip. Meghan organized an excursion to the Bailey’s Farm, where the cream for Bailey’s Irish Cream is made. When Vicki is informed they are going to a farm, her response is a sarcastic, “Wonderful,” which is always the appropriate response when you are informed that you will be going to a farm. When the women arrive, Farmer Joe tells them that they will not only tour the farm, but also work on it. Oh no no no no no no no no no no no no no no no no no no. NO.
This initially sounds like something these women would enjoy, because it is alcohol-related, but the only strenuous, agricultural activity Vicki Gunvalson wants to do on her vacation is cutting a lime wedge in half so that she can suck it both before and after a shot. Now she’s all dressed up in a hazmat suit trying to avoid errant flows of cow urine while trying to strap a bovine udder into some torture device that looks like a sex toy for some sort of alien creature with 19 clitorises.
The worst part is Meghan, who planned the trip, doesn’t even go with them. That is sort of like saying, “Oh, I booked us a sweatshop-experience tour where we’re going to stitch together 100 pairs of $19 jeans in 45 minutes. It should make our fingers bleed and at least one of your eyeballs will pop out. But while you’re doing that, I’m going to get a pedicure and talk to someone about my candle line.”
Even worse than her candle line, Meghan took Kelly to the village of Greystones because her genealogist told her that if she went to that town and tapped anyone on the shoulder they could be related to her. Meghan decides she actually wants to do this. First of all, that was not a recommendation. It’s like when your mother asks you if all of your friends jumped off a bridge, if you would too, she doesn’t actually intend for anyone to do any belly flops into the river. Similarly, this genealogist doesn’t want any of his countrymen disturbed by Meghan King Edmonds O’Toole Fitzgerald Flaherty VI.
Once you get past second cousins, it is legal to sleep with and marry that person, so I don’t think that you’re really that related. And what did she expect to do if she found out any of these people actually were her fifth cousins? Trade life stories and become intimately connected for eternity? Exchange potato recipes? Take him to the tattoo parlor and get the O’Toole coat of arms (it’s a priest drinking a Guinness and holding two screwdrivers) put on their lower backs? The answer is “take a really weird selfie.” She skipped out on her farm trip so she could take a selfie with a stranger.
Meghan and Kelly meet the rest of the women for dinner on the farm. All day Kelly has been wearing this awful grey knit cap that gives my retinas the hives. What the hell is that thing? Is it a beanie that has been stretched out? Is it a beret with erectile dysfunction? Seriously, it is ugly. This brain-sucking monstrosity from the Ashley Laurita by Alene Too Hat Collection makes Kelly think it’s a good idea to apologize to Tamra about saying it’s no surprise her kid doesn’t talk to her. Bad move, Kelly. Can’t you see everyone would rather talk about Vicki’s nipples than try to get serious?
Kelly won’t let it drop and, once again, like when she called Shannon a See You Next Tuesday and told Heather to “Fuck off,” she apologizes for what she did and says she didn’t mean it but she was only speaking out of anger. This is a recurring theme and something that happens when Kelly gets drunk and mad. Shouldn’t she wise up? Instead of apologizing all the time, maybe she should take some anger-management classes. Or maybe she could just watch Charlie Sheen in Anger Management. Would that possibly do the trick?
At dinner the next night, Kelly is wearing some sort of Swiss Miss costume blouse and the rest of the women are wearing black. (Tamra’s dress has cutouts on the elbows. Of all the spots on anyone’s body that don’t need to be accentuated, it’s the elbows, the slobbery dog jowls of the body.) Shannon is trying to get Kelly wasted, ignoring Kelly’s insistence that she isn’t drinking and even having the bartender pour her a double. This is real shady. I love Shannon, but I do believe that she totally set Kelly up at her ’70s party and it happened again here.
The problem is, once Kelly did get drunk and disorderly, the whole crew had turned in for the night and we missed all the drama in the hallway. Apparently Tamra, Shannon, and Heather were having drinks and told Vicki to come down but not invite Kelly because they hate her. Then, after Vicki tells Tamra everything Kelly has been saying about her, Tamra decides to text Kelly a selfie of her and Vicki to make Kelly upset.
Alright, what Kelly said about Tamra was cruel, unfounded, and totally awful. However, the women are behaving in a way that plays into Kelly’s persecution complex. They are totally ganging up on her, treating her shabbily, and purposefully excluding her. Tamra sending her that photo of the two of them together is literally something that a 13-year-old would do to wound a classmate. That is not cool.
However, Kelly has been diagnosed with an acute case of Brandi Glanville Syndrome whereby she squanders all the good will of being treated poorly by lashing out in mean and inappropriate ways. If she wants Shannon, Heather, and Tamra to stop calling her trash in the back of a bus (or she wants to gain viewer support), she shouldn’t tell Shannon to go shave her chin. She shouldn’t resort to curse words and petty insults just to gain the upper hand.
I have to say that, on the shuttle on the way to the airport, Heather is probably the worst. Not only does she falsely accuse Kelly of having a psychotic break, she also calls her trash and tells everyone that Kelly has problems and she’s sorry for her daughter. Isn’t saying, “You have problems and I worry about your daughter,” kind of the smarmy way of saying, “It’s no wonder your daughter doesn’t talk to you?” Heather is acting just the same as Kelly, but in reverse.
I can’t believe that there is still more to that shuttle ride. Remember, everyone, that someone is driving that shuttle. There is a 54-year-old Irish guy named Brendan whose job it is to take groups of people to Shannon airport and this is the first time that four howler monkeys have been let loose in the back of his van, belting the back of his freckled neck with their shouts and insults, recriminations and petty name-calling. Brendan thinks about the farm where he was raised in County Clare, where sometimes his sisters would get into a tussle and his mother would rap her wooden spoon on the kitchen table and tell them to stop shouting like banshees. Then he thought about those wraiths, the spirits of wronged women whisking about the land like a frosty draft bucking at a wooden door. He thought of them (some of them maybe even Meghan’s executed forebearers) and of their shouts and what went wrong in their lives to turn them into such awful creatures, knocking about from ruin to ruin across the green soddy landscape, butting their heads into the ground like they want to be buried there, like the only thing better than their shouting revenge was the silence of death. Either that or they just wanted to hide in the soil, trading in the resentment that fuels them to maybe one day sprout out of the earth as a flower or a tree or a shamrock that will be trampled.