As a visiting adjunct teaching assistant here at the Real Housewives Institute, I certainly relish every opportunity I get to enjoy the conversational Mixed Martial Arts of rich women who are contractually obligated to barely tolerate one another’s company. But I do believe there’s nothing I enjoy quite as much as eavesdropping on a difficult, raw, and intimate argument between a couple of which I am not a member. This week’s Real Housewives of Dallas delivers.
Over dinner, a very uncomfortable LeeAnne forces a very uncomfortable Rich to talk about why their wedding planning has only gone so far as to set a date to set a date. Does this mean he doesn’t really want to get married? Does this mean she doesn’t really want to get married? And is the reason she hasn’t brought it up because of her abandonment issues, or because she knows he didn’t want her to bring it up, or because, I don’t know, maybe she just didn’t want to bring it up, okay?
At first, “I didn’t ask you to just ask you” is all the encouragement Rich offers. (C-minus, see me after class.) But then — after acknowledging that they both need to improve their communication skills — he asks, in a way that is neither patronizing nor dismissive, but genuinely sweet and romantic, “Will you marry me?” LeeAnne is aglow over spontaneous proposal number two, they embrace, and it’s resolved: She can start to plan their wedding. As for the date, they’re sure that it will go ahead and set itself “organically!” As someone who is literally right now in the middle of planning a wedding, I can assure you that this is not how planning a wedding works, but nevertheless, I wish these crazy kids the best! May your future venue have great lighting in its bathrooms and a satisfying outdoor-ceremony plan B in case of rain.
In the hopes of snaring a distributor in her sequin-bedazzled badger trap, Kameron is preparing to take SparkleDog — the number-one choice among pet parents who would get a kick out of potentially seeing their dog take a hot, pink shit — to the Global Pet Expo, a trade show for animal products. She cheerily asks the kids if people will want to buy it. No, her daughter answers. “‘Cause it’s dumb.”
Cary and Mark, meanwhile, check in on their renovation-in-progress. She’ll soon have a Fendi store-inspired closet with interior LED lighting; he’ll have a professional Molteni stove that costs $75,000 and gets so hot that you can’t physically bear to stand near it, which is surely the new living-room pool of profoundly kid-unfriendly RHOD interior design innovations. The family has been staying in her parents’ house while they’re away, and Cary frets (not for the first time) about having to live with her folks — and deal head-on with her strained relationship with her dad — if the construction isn’t finished before they’re back. So look forward to that storyline, I guess.
The group heads to Fort Worth to celebrate rodeo enthusiast D’Andra’s birthday. Cary, who I can only hope has not become trapped inside the Molteni, and Stephanie — still on vacation in Italy — are MIA. (“We had a treasure hunt at the Vatican,” Stephanie will tell Brandi later, and her complete failure to elaborate on this has led me to believe that the Hollman family just lived what will eventually become the basis for National Treasure 3.)
Kameron is about as confident in riding a mechanical bull as you’d expect someone who pronounces the word bull like bowl to be, but the kind operator apparently takes pity on her. Between her pastel-pink cowboy boots, the bull lurches slowly back and forth like someone had laced its mechanical hay with a powerful sedative that morning. LeeAnne, who offers the cryptic and alarmingly specific advice, “If you can’t break a man’s rib cage with your inner thighs, don’t have sex,” proves to be a champion bull rider, but confronted with the beer bong Brandi seemingly produces out of thin air (always keep one in your purse, ladies!), she ends up burping, coughing, and retching, in approximately that order.
Like the vast majority of the birthday parties that I, personally, have both hosted and attended, D’Andra’s night ends with her crying at the bar. But for the most part, hers are happy tears. She describes feeling like she’s at a crossroads in her life. Professionally, she’s working towards separating her business from her mother’s and starting from scratch; personally, she feels ready to be true to herself and pursue her own happiness, without worrying about trying to please literally everyone else on the face of the Earth and whoever else may be orbiting it in various spacecraft. Her newly forged, give-no-fucks friendship with Brandi seems like a lovely way to get started. The conversation somehow devolves into an argument between Brandi and LeeAnne (who, for the record, is neither a Simmons nor a Westcott, but does have the kind of criminal record that truly befits one of America’s elite families) about what exactly is best for D’Andra, and just how much she should adhere to society’s expectations. Kameron, too, suggests that D’Andra needs to consider who she associates herself with. Um, you merely married into Dallas society; D’Andra was molded by it.
Brandi has a gift for D’Andra: It’s the unreasonably expensive dog-tag necklace she’d had her eye on when they went shopping (well, store-drinking) together in Vail. In an interview, Kameron suggests Brandi is “literally investing her money” into wooing D’Andra as a friend, and I can’t help but notice that Kameron didn’t present the birthday girl with a gift herself, at least not a camera-worthy one, though she did find time to shit on her for “putting plastic in [her] butt.” How dare she so carelessly denigrate the timeless art form that is butt darts.
Look, I stan Brandi and D’Andra’s (D’Brandra?) star-crossed platonic romance. All who would stand in its way are mine enemies. I really cherish the freer, weirder, Eat, Pray, Fart-joke D’Andra we’ve been seeing this season, and it does seem that her increased emotional proximity to our resident ginger Puck has been a catalyst to her freak-volution. These women may think D’Andra is forgetting where she came from, but they’ve apparently forgotten that they are all appearing on this crazy-ass reality show. Glass houses are glass houses, even ones with a Highland Park address.
After some more shots, LeeAnne gives D’Andra a lap dance that you might describe as aggressive, or else as the most anatomically efficient way to fracture two people’s hips (all four hips, to be clear). Then she segues into a combination worm-air-hump-bridge-pose-somersault dance move on the bar’s visibly damp floor.
Drunk LeeAnne is, you might say, about to turn. It’s almost as if LeeAnne — who earlier warned D’Andra that she herself has “been the victim” of Brandi — is jealous of their budding friendship. At least, that would be one way to interpret her grabbing D’Andra from behind in a friendly half-chokehold and screaming at Brandi, “My bitch! All mine!”