This week on our favorite show, Rich Women Doing Things, the rich women did things at Christmas. They sat alone in their houses while their children partied with their father and his new girlfriend, and all they got to unwrap was a giant cocktail ring that she probably paid too much for. They laid in their beds and cued up Find My Friends to ensure that all of their children were hung by the chimney with care, hoping St. Nicholas would soon be there. They mourned the loss of their mother, who would miss this holiday, but then saw her in every bird that tweeted across the snowless and soul-less expanse of the San Fernando Valley that these women call their prison.
But mostly, they talked about Erika being drunk because, child, she was wasted. She didn’t seem that drunk when she was telling Crystal that she should combat her eating disorder with laxatives or that she shouldn’t eat chicken fingers, but by the end of the party, she was blurrier than the cinematography on the first season of RuPaul’s Drag Race.
Just when this party couldn’t get more awkward, Diana calls everyone inside to sit in her living room while her human chew toy and Leif Garrett cosplayer husband Asher sings “O Holy Night.” You know this one. It is the carol that the annoying girl with a good voice sang as a solo every year at the high school Christmas choral concert. It is, for sure, the favorite Christmas song of Lea Michele, Anna Kendrick, and Ben Platt. It was cringe enough when Asher pushed aside his luscious locks and busted into a full rendition of this concert that no one wanted. When the first notes struck, I cringed so hard that I felt what it must be like to do abdominal exercises, and then I had to check myself in the mirror to see if I had turned into Chris Hemsworth.
But it gets worse. My girl Erika starts singing along! Then she heckles him, “Hit the high note!” right there in his living room. This is not a big, booming venue like when Dorinda “Jovani!”-ed Luann to death. This is like a dozen people at an empty Christmas party in Bev Hills. They all see it; they all want to die; it is an embarrassment.
It gets even worse outside as Erika slurs her words and tells Kathy Hilton that she didn’t go to her daughter’s events because she didn’t want to bring her “scarlet letter” to them and make them deal with it. Rinna is telling her to put her drink down, and Kathy Hilton is so embarrassed that she fakes having to go to the bathroom or get a drink or hide Kyle’s purse just so she can get out of the situation.
Kathy walks over and tells the other ladies that Erika is getting out of control, and Garcelle fills her in on what happened. Kyle falls back on her, “But she’s cutting loose. She’s having fun. Cut her some slack!” Okay, I’m calling bullshit on this. Yes, we all have that friend (or family member or self) who sometimes gets a little too drunk and needs to be corralled. Or sometimes you have a friend who uncharacteristically gets that drunk and needs to be corralled. I think we can cut those people some slack when they display general messiness. For me, that was the case when Erika wasted on the boat in Mexico. Was she a mess? Yes. Was she hurting anyone? No. Just let her sleep it off and rock on with your bad self.
However, what we see at Garcelle’s party, with Crystal and the laxatives and her roasting Asher during his performance, is not general messiness. It’s embarrassing at best and harmful at worst. Like Garcelle says, you don’t cut someone slack for that; you sit her down and tell her she needs to get her shit under control. I see that Kyle is just trying to rep for her friend, but she needs to stop denying everyone else’s experiences with Erika and just be like, “Yeah, sis. Maybe stick to Diet Coke for a bit.” Kyle says she doesn’t want to label Erika an alcoholic, but I don’t think talking to her about this is giving her such a label. It’s letting her know she’s getting too drunk or that her drunkenness is messier than it should be. There is a whole spectrum of behavior between those things, and Kyle, of all people, should know the difference.
Luckily, after the incident, that is exactly what Lisa Rinna does. She visits with Erika, who tells her that she doesn’t remember the party at all. She came home, puked, fell over and hit her head, and woke up the next morning at Andy Dick’s condo in Reseda, which, if you search Rock Bottom in Google Maps it, puts the rounded red arrow right in his driveway. This, Kyle, is what real friends do. Lisa tells Erika she is out of control and needs to knock it off.
It seems like Erika learned her lesson when she shows up at the Grandmaster Rooftop, which sounds like someplace that would host Dungeons & Dragons tournaments. At first, she orders chamomile tea, but the waitress tells her, “We don’t serve hot drinks up here.” Sister mister, outside is exactly where you need the hot drinks. Who came up with this policy? The Scarecrow from the Wizard of Oz? So Erika then asks what kind of cognac they have at the bar. Um, Erika, there are plenty of other options. Soda water. Regular water. Arnold Palmer. Ginger ale. One of those giant ice spheres they put in expensive Scotch that you slowly melt with the heat of your hand. We don’t have to go straight to booze.
Erika and Garcelle have a little chat, and I was hoping that Garcelle would bring up the drinking, too (and she might have, but we didn’t see it). Erika tells her that no one has told her how to rebuild and that she’s still struggling with that. Fair. Then she tells Garcelle that Sutton is a liability to her. I like Sutton about as much as I enjoyed getting the old chlamydia test where they stuck a Q-Tip down your gentleman’s hole, but that isn’t something you say to her closest Judy in the group.
She then tells Garcelle that she doesn’t need to cover for Sutton all the time. I agree with that; I think Garcelle often saves her friend from the worst of what the ladies can bring … but isn’t that exactly what Kyle, Dorit, and Rinna have been doing for Erika for the past two years? Does Erika not see how she benefits from their protection just as much as Sutton does from Garcelle’s? I guess not. So let’s just let everyone be protected, shall we? Or let no one be. Either way, you know there will be carnage.
Speaking of Sutton, she goes on the world’s most awkward date with a lovely lawyer named Sanjit, whom she met on “The Bumble,” which is also what you call when you try to smack someone in the ass and you kind of miss, and it doesn’t make as good of a slapping sound as it does in porn. Anyway, good on Sanjit for sitting there through an entire date with Sutton itching her neuropathy and trying to convince anyone that she was a punk in the ‘80s. If wearing a mismatched sweater set is punk, Sutton was right there in the front row of an X concert.
This isn’t the only awkward romantic interaction. Dorit calls PK, the sweat-coated inner band of a Kangol hat used to sneak some ketamine into a second-rate music festival, in to talk about his DUI arrest, which wasn’t a DUI at all. (Note to Mail TV anchors: PK stands for Paul Kemsley, so calling him “PK Kemsley” is like saying “chai tea,” “ATM machine,” or “assless chaps.”) He says he wasn’t going to tell Dorit about it at all until he had to call and ask her to pick up his car, which is a move so dick-ish that even Dicks Tracy, Clark, and Van Dyke were all like, “Fuck you, dude.”
Dorit expresses how upset she is that he lied to her about it, but PK, a piece of bubble gum on the bottom of your shoe after walking up Picked Scabs Mountain, tells her he didn’t lie; he just didn’t tell her about it. That is what we call a lie of omission, and PK, a pinata of farts, should know that. What Dorit is reacting to is a breach of trust. She expects her partner to tell her about something as big as being hauled into a police station, and if he doesn’t, whether or not it is a lie, it is still one of the biggest breaches. That’s funny because “Biggest Breeches” is the nickname the kids gave him at school because of his enormous undergarments.
This really is an episode about people misbehaving because of drinking, mostly Erika and the Human Stench That Dare Not Speak Its Name. Alone in her house, after Rinna and Mikey left, Erika thought about what had happened at that party. Well, she didn’t quite think about it; she searched for it. She rummaged around in her mind, like trying to find a shoebox of old photos when the power was out in the house. She knew it was there if she banged around long enough, but even if she found it, she wouldn’t be able to look at them, to examine them. She thought harder, waiting for the flashes to wash over her like a flashlight spun quickly in the middle of the room, but they never came. She just stared out the window, waiting for them to descend, her mind breast stroking toward them as if underwater, as if they were being pickled in their own juices, seeping in the forgetfulness. Maybe one day she could remember, maybe that day is now, depending on what kind of cognac they have.