The Real Housewives of Potomac
I know that every reality show is, as the kids say, problematic, but HOLY SMOKES is everyone’s husband just the goddamn worst in this episode. Sweet Feminist Christ, can I somehow convince all these women to leave their regressive husbands and go live on Wonder Woman’s island? Good lord, I want them all to succeed even though their business ventures are vague. Can someone just free them of the dumb men in their lives? If someone could also free them from the nonsensical drama of event invites, that would also be great.
Up first is Karen going out to dinner with Ray. They’re having a date night before either one of them gets arrested for some kind of fraud, either financial or emotional. One of my favorite moments is when Ray completely rejects the idea of tartare because he’s the oldest blackest man. Karen keeps talking about how hard she’s working on her charity (which is admirable … in a way) and how hard she’s working on her perfume line (which is debatable). She breaks down while talking about her mother’s battle with Alzheimer’s and you can’t get mad at that. You can get mad at the alleged nonprofit status of her charity.
Gizelle and Ashley are going jewelry shopping for a gift for Robyn to celebrate her event. The drama of the invites is still lingering in the air and they accuse Monique of convincing people to abandon Robyn’s event. Karen is the Benedict Arnold of event invitations and that’s only one of a thousand reasons she can’t be trusted. Meanwhile, Ashley keeps obliviously asking about Sherman and Gizelle finally opens up to her about their breakup. According to Gizelle, he doesn’t want to do the work on the relationship all the time. When you have kids, that’s gotta be important. Shit, it’s important when all you have is a Neopet and a succulent garden. Ashley wants to tell Gizelle about Sherman’s “Park After Dark” scandal, but maybe now is not the time.
Meanwhile, Monique is at home with her family and she’s being thankful that Chris is a hands-on father and helps her with the kids. Like … bitch, that’s what he’s supposed to do. There’s more to say about their relationship dynamic, but we’ll get to that. She’s having an afternoon stroll with a new friend: Sherman’s ex-wife, Kyndall. THIS. IS. MESSINESS. This is nothing but messiness. They get to shit on Sherman and they get to talk about Gizelle. They insist that it’s a violation of the Girl Code to date your friend’s ex. Y’all are damn near 50 and you’ve been divorced for almost half a decade. GET OVER IT.
It’s time for the dueling events!
Robyn is setting up her She Is Empowered event and I’m not convinced it’s not a timeshare or MLM introduction meeting. Charisse has also chosen to defect over to Monique’s event. I guess everyone wanted to wear a gown. Charisse and Robyn have one of the longest friendships and that fact is demonstrated to us by some photos with the RuPaul’s Drag Race season-one filter. Gizelle and Robyn conclude that Karen has no character because Robyn had that long-ass phone conversation and isn’t coming to her event. This causes a thought to implant into Gizelle’s and Robyn’s brains as if it’s been incepted there: At some point, they are going to confront Karen about her behavior and they are going to do it publicly.
Monique has invited Kyndall to the event and Karen immediately extends her an invitation to the Huger Charity Gala Fun Run For the Cure. Once she’s extended the invitation, everyone starts asking who to make the check out to. Karen says just to make it out to her FOR-PROFIT BUSINESS. What in the world? Her response to the questions: “I can do whatever the fuck I wanna do.” Okay, Karen. Tell the IRS that.
Suddenly the show turns into Flip or Flop: Potomac and I’m not mad. I would watch a real-estate based spinoff featuring Robyn. If Juan was on it, it would have less angry tension than the real Flip or Flop.
Candiace goes to see a wedding venue with Chris in the biggest, clunkiest drag-queen shoes and the tiniest dress. At first, I thought she was getting out of the car to go to some other event, but nope. Just going to see a ballroom and some tablecloths. Candiace believes that the larger the wedding, the bigger a commitment — and since her parents and Chris’s parents are no longer together (and Chris has some bad relationships in his past), they have to have a big wedding. This girl does not need a wedding venue. She needs deep, deep therapy. She wants to cover the ceiling in flowers. GIRL. FOR WHO? Chris asks her to do some basic wedding budget math and it causes numbers to fly across the screen and she practically falls asleep.
Next, Monique heads to the salon with Chris to get mani-pedis. Listen, I don’t know their relationship and I’m sure they’re very happy but WOWZERS, do these two have a very rigid dynamic when it comes to talking about their roles at home. Monique is excited to start working on her website, but they both are freaking out that she’s going to be *GASP* working on her own pursuits. Chris literally says, “I would much prefer you to be home with the kids every day. When are you going to give me more babies?” WHAT THE FUCK IS HAPPENING? WHAT YEAR IS IT? I understand the important of family and the delicate balance all women must strike when it comes to career and children that is not asked of men at all, but DEAR GOD. This is all presented with no irony or awareness. Monique also says that she has to devote herself as a wife first and foremost and she has to create her business before she gets pregnant (because the implication is all her work would have to stop). Chris also says, “You have been looking after me, so do something for yourself.” Not “you deserve to be fulfilled as a human with ambitions.” Nope, just “your career is a trade-off for taking care of me, a full grown man.”
THEN COMES ASHLEY AND MICHAEL. OH MY GOD. What is there even to say?
When they start talking about having kids, the editors play a montage of Michael saying he’s willing to start thinking about kids … along with a montage of his extreme requirements for Ashley to fulfill before he has children. Then he outright denies that he’s open to children. Ashley just wants everything to be discussed because neither of them are getting younger and if they have to separate because of this, it’s better to do it sooner rather than later.
Then THIS MOTHERFUCKER RIGHT HERE says that he has worries about Ashley’s relationship with her mother because he doesn’t want Ashley to raise his children the way her mother raised her. ARE. YOU. KIDDING. ME. It should be pretty obvious now that Ashley’s mother did not always make the best choices when it came to raising her daughter. It’s also clear that there is a man in her mother’s life who made choosing her daughter first very difficult. There’s financial problems and possibly some drug issues (either her mother’s boyfriend or her mother’s own issues). NONE OF THOSE THINGS are Ashley’s fault. NONE OF THOSE THINGS should be a reflection of Ashley’s character or Ashley’s capacity to be a loving and supportive mother. NONE OF THOSE THINGS prevent Ashley from providing a good home to her future children. Only a truly empty and cruel person would throw their partner’s parent’s behavior in their face as a reason to keep their partner from having children and being happy. It’s one thing to say, “There’s a history of XYZ illness in my family and I want to make sure our children would be healthy.” It’s quite another to say, “Your mother was a bad mother and you might be too.” Fuck Michael. Ashley just needs to LEAVE HIM.
Finally, it’s time for Karen’s event. She’s invited Kyndall and Carson Kressley for some reason. Gizelle and Robyn are showing up in distressed jeans to a cocktail party event to confront Karen about her lies and to ask who to make the check out to. As Robyn says “It’s not an ambush. It’s a message.” I’m ready to receive the message.