Steel yourselves, because this week we’ll be spending a lot of time with the Real Housekids of Dallas. Too much time, you ask? There is no such thing. Children are precious, the cat’s in the cradle and the silver spoon, etc. etc. Kameron’s kids are learning Spanish cooking vocabulary — cien gramas de mantequilla, por favor, and put them directly in my boca, gracias. Hilton and Cruise begin chanting “Cupcake! Cupcake!” in an effort to make Mom eat one of their fresh-from-the-oven baked goods in one bite. She tries, and fails spectacularly, spitting goo onto the kitchen floor as the family tutor slash chef looks on forlornly. Let the record reflect that this is the most I have ever liked Kameron.
Stephanie is eager to foster her son Cruz’s (yes, lest you forget, there are two /kruz/ children on this television program) newfound interest in hip-hop dance. (Dedicated students of the Real Housewives Institute will recall that Noel de Lesseps, too, exhibited an interest in break-dancing, truly the sport of young kings.) Instructor Cambry, who has a non-name so close to being a name that it’s easy not to realize that it is not in fact a name, takes Stephanie, Cruz, and his older brother Chance through a basic, very cute stepping-kicking-knocking (didn’t you know that I’m a professional choreographer?) routine. But when the boys end up squabbling, Stephanie worries about trying and failing to discipline them on her own while Travis is away at Harvard Business School (what, like it’s hard?).
Increasingly exhausted Brandi finally caves and hires a nanny to watch baby Bruin, leaving her free to chauffeur her daughters around. Brooklyn (modeling a rainbow glitter-poop emoji headband that I, an adult woman, covet) sobs because she’s too hot, which turns into Brinkley sobbing because Brooklyn accused her of eating a booger (this, after she tried to lick the back-seat camera lens), which turns into me reflecting on how deeply unprepared I am to raise children. Cary, meanwhile, shows Zuri photos of their relatives in Copenhagen and wonders if getting to know them would be a good way to reconnect with her dad, so look forward to the Housewives having the best Danish vacation since Rosencrantz and Guildenstern.
In D’Andra’s case, she hasn’t spoken to her mother for four weeks when Dee arrives at her home serving high-collar vampire Lucille Bluth glamour. She’s come to make peace. “I’m 77 years old. I go to bed and I think, ‘Do I really want to continue this battle?’ You’re all I have,” she says, tearfully. “Just go ahead and keep building the company. I don’t need it.” If you’re thinking, gee, didn’t Dee literally give the family business to D’Andra at the end of last season but then entirely fail to follow through on it, you are not alone: D’Andra also recalls this! Wearing the pinkest garment I have ever seen in my entire life in a confessional, Dee explains that, before, she knew D’Andra wasn’t ready. (She doesn’t exactly say that she thinks D’Andra’s ready now —only that she doesn’t want to risk losing their relationship.) D’Andra cries and holds her mother’s hand. This could be the beginning of a beautiful friendship, provided that lawyers and contracts and signatures are involved as soon as possible, for D’Andra’s sake.
That battle may be resolved — sort of, allegedly, maybe resolved — but D’Andra remains in the middle of a cold war with LeeAnne, who is herself in the middle of wedding planning. She’s said she wants to invite 500 to 1,000 people (although that number is already, thankfully, getting scaled down), with a reasonable budget of $250,000. Weddings are insanely expensive, but unless you’re one of the more interesting members of one of the world’s more interesting royal families, I don’t think you spend a quarter million dollars without trying to spend a quarter million dollars. Something is being unnecessarily gold-plated, whether it’s the invitations or napkins or toilet paper. Please mail me a check (gold-plating optional) if you disagree.
“Do you walk down the aisle or do you stand and wait?” she asks Rich. Her beloved — thrice divorced — responds, “Usually when I get married, I’m already down there.” Haters won’t appreciate this joke, but whatever, this is legitimately funny and also Rich is hot. She wants D’Andra to help with the planning — she was her maid of honor, after all — but the weirdness between them lingers, and D’Andra isn’t returning her texts or calls.
That is decidedly not the case for Kameron, who phones LeeAnne to invite her to a “little paint-your-dog party,” as if anyone would have any idea what that means. They are not, as I had feared, applying paint directly onto anyone’s fur, but instead paying homage to their beloved pets on canvas. Everyone’s dogs are invited, as are their kids. There will also be a string quartet that, to Kameron’s consternation, actually proves to be a string trio.
The party is a Who’s Who of Dallas’s canine luminaries, including D’Andra’s Brussels Griffons Dixie and Gypsy, LeeAnne’s beagle Carly, and of course Kameron’s Yorkie Louis Vuitton, who takes a hot, wet dump a few feet to the right of the oblivious cello player. The paintings come out to be exactly the serviceable if blobby likenesses you’re imagining, although Stephanie’s pup, notably, looks like he’s smoking a huge blunt. LeeAnne accidentally eats an appealingly frosted dog biscuit, as was probably inevitable. Even this is not enough to convince D’Andra to stop ignoring her.
Time to shake the information tree and see what kind of overripe fruit falls down! It takes zero effort for LeeAnne to get Cary running through her gossip checklist like a spy checking in with her handler: Stephanie says you’re sweet, Kameron hasn’t said anything, Brandi says that “maybe you were in Kameron’s ear a little a bit.” A righteous retribution is surely coming Brandi’s way, but LeeAnne has more important relationships to attend to first.
The next day, D’Andra and LeeAnne finally get together. With enormous sunglasses on LeeAnne and a giant hat on D’Andra, this looks like a confidential Deep Throat meeting going down over iced coffee. D’Andra, again, wastes no time in making this all about LeeAnne’s upcoming wedding, drilling into her friend with questions. When will it be? (November … or maybe spring, LeeAnne answers noncommittally). Do you feel like he’s going to stay married to you? Do you feel like he’s faithful? What about these whispers of the two of them spending nights out separately; what about these whispers of other women?
LeeAnne is, understandably, pissed off and defensive, maintaining that her relationship is great, wonderful, thank you for asking. I have been firmly on Team This Is None of Your Business D’Andra What Are You Even Thinking so far this season, but I don’t know: There’s something about D’Andra’s absolutely mind-boggling insistence on pushing these buttons that’s beginning to give me doubts. I just don’t think D’Andra is the type to fabricate wackadoodle rumors — how much is there that she knows that we don’t? Sure, the one person in the continental United States who did not know that Tom was a dog was Luann, but what if I’ve been blinded by Rich’s silver-foxiness? I certainly hope not.