I’m so sorry this week’s recap is late. What can I say? Manual labor does not agree with me and invariably leads to massive injury. Let me tell you, being stuck flat on my back is not helping me lose the holiday weight. On the other hand, those painkillers sure do make watching the OC housewives a hoot. A couple of those babies and Vicki starts to look like a well-adjusted, reasonable business woman, instead of the insane crack ho I know her to be; Tamra seems bright and witty; and Gretchen…well, Gretchen just needs to go back to where she belongs…
Don’t worry Gretchen, Auntie Chickbomb will be along to get you soon.
Feel free to join me in downing a few more painkillers before taking the jump…
Welcome to the surreal life of Bravo TV, where slumber parties and fatal illness intertwine as easily as stepmothers to be and potential stepsons.
You’re going to be the best stepmom, ever.
Jeff’s Gretchen’s house looks a lot like the morning after a particularly chummy slumber party, where three young adults and a bleached blond, plasticized, nymphet/mother figure frolic around in early morning attire. A knock at the front door alerts one of Gretchen’s little dogs to a visitor and Gretchen runs to answer it, because, hey, she’s seen the The Postman Rings Twice and besides it’s a guy in a uniform. What better way to lose some weight? Sadly, it’s a mailwoman. But all is not lost, she’s still carrying a pretty big package for the blond wonder. Whoopee!! Whoopee!!! A box for Gretchen. Whatever could it be? Why it’s her engagement ring.
The biggest diamond ever.
I must have a decidedly morbid nature because I can’t help but think that if my fiancÃ© had been lying in the hospital dying when my engagement ring arrived, I would probably have burst into tears. Gretchen is made of sterner stuff than I am and she’s not going to let the small stuff get her down. At least, not now when there’s a diamond ring somewhere in that box. And how fun, another box inside the first box.. and another box…
There’s a moment of suspense. Will Gretchen be disappointed by the consistently shrinking boxes? I’m holding my breath as she pulls out the ring. If I’m going to watch this crap, I might as well get into it. Thank the Lord, the diamond is still huge and really, really shiny. But more importantly it’s huge.
A new addition to her collection.
We know that Gretchen is a fan of big, especially big and shiny, but, seriously, who would have thunk that she would be surprised into channeling the spirit of Gomer Pyle?
Oh my golly gaw gaw gaw!!
Just like any young newly engaged girl, who received her engagement ring through the mail without her fiancÃ© present because he just happens to be mortally ill in the hospital, Gretchen runs around excitedly showing the ring off to everybody in the house. That group being comprised of Jeff’s kiddies, I can’t help thinking that this is a breach of engagement etiquette, but I suspect that this situation is so far removed from the norm that it hasn’t been covered. So, I’ll just have to go with a breach of common decency.
“The doctors are going to meet with us this afternoon…Look at my ring!!!
I don’t know if anybody else noticed this, but I’m pretty sure that Jeff’s daughters had Gretchen’s face up on their laptop and were morphing it into different shapes, while she was going on about her ring. I’m not completely sure about this, but I did rewind and pause my tape numerous times to check. If I’m right this is my best RHOC moment this season.
Note to editors: I love you.
Over at Lynne’s abode, Alexa is waiting for her off-again-on-again, fashion conscious boyfriend to appear. Alexa has decided to forgo the stripper clothes today, but mom is still sporting the trashy look. Of course, when you’re held upright by two over-inflated helium balloon attached to your ribcage, any hope of understated elegance has pretty much floated away.
Seriously, not elegant.
Alexa seems like a sweet girl, so it doesn’t really matter if her brain seems to process in slow motion. As the seconds, that seem like minutes, tick by, a look of concern settles over Alexa’s face. Lynne is mostly sober today so she notices her daughter’s frown and inquires what’s wrong. As she searches for an answer, Alexa wrinkles her brow in concentration prompting Lynne to leap for her cellphone, where she has her plastic surgeon’s emergency botox number pre-programmed into speed dial. But before Lynne can place the call, Alexa manages to articulate her deep and profound concerns, “It’s like, he’s late.”
Future World Chess Master.
Apparently, Lynne and Frankie haven’t yet had “The Talk” with their daughter. Note to Lynne: smarter girls than your daughter have gotten knocked up without the help of your wardrobe. So, please enlighten this girl about sex, STD’s, pregnancy and chastity belts. Sadly, Lynne appears to be so completely perplexed by her daughter’s developing sexuality that I’m a little worried her own parents never explained the facts of life to her.
In her foggy mind she may really believe that breasts are something that are implanted when a woman meets a wealthy man.
Leaving Lynne to figure out the mysteries of sex ed 101, we get to go visit with Jeana. I’m totally excited. I’m absolutely convinced that this segment is laying the groundwork for a RHOC spinoff show featuring my fav OC housewife. Anyhoo, Jeana is meeting with her ex-husband, Gary, who despite looking like John Goodman’s and Fred Flintstone’s love child, is actually kind of attractive.
Yaba daba doo!!
Sadly, Jeana’s new bed isn’t going to get much of a workout from this meeting. This is purely a business lunch. Like 90 percent of the adults on this show, Gary is in real estate. In fact, he has his own company and, after ten years with Remax, Jeana is looking for a change. With his current fiancÃ©, Cynthia, heading up his escrow department, and his ex-wife coming on board as a sales agent, it’s going to be one big happy family over at Gary’s brokerage firm.
Normally, the editors give us the weekly girl get together in the last segment of the episode, but this week is special. All the girls, minus Vicki, are buying hats for the opening day at the Del Mar racetrack. And this time, they’re shopping in style. The producers have reserved a suite for them at the St Regis Hotel complete with champagne, food and a stylist with lots and lots of hats. I love hats, even if I am way too short to wear them with out looking like a mushroom. Sigh.
Some little birdy must have tipped off the stylist to these shiksas antics, because she’s looking like a nervous nanny who just got coerced into watching the neighbor’s devil children. But not to worry. The feuding blonds, Gretchen and Tamra, have made up, since last week’s spat, via e-mail; Lynne hasn’t yelled “cut” once; and Jeana’s being her normal laid back self, so maybe everybody will play nicely together. Not that any of these ladies are models of decorum, but Lynne does seem a little out of her element both in attitude and wardrobe.
Thanks, I order all my clothes from Frederick’s of Hollywood. They call it stripper couture.
Sadly, it seems that all this bonhomie is only a thin surface veneer and it quickly begins to crack under the pressure of finding just the right hat. Tamra is sadly cursed with a really small head that makes her look like a dork. Personally, I’m glad she pointed this out. I always thought she looked like a dork because her head was on the big side.
Tamra tells us that she’s extremely cautious when it comes to Gretchen because she hasn’t figured her out. I take this as proof that Tamra’s not the sharpest tool in the shed. In my mind Gretchen’s fairly straight forward and uncomplicated. Sort of like a blond Terminator, she’s programmed to acquire what she wants without question or remorse. The bigger, shinier, pinker and more expensive the item is, the more Gretchen is going to want it. Hot pink hats? Oh yeah, Gretchen’s going to want those. All of them. And a little thing like Tamra wanting to wear pink as well isn’t going to stop the Terminator.
The 600 series had rubber skin. We spotted them easy, but these are new. They look human… sweat, bad breath, everything. Very hard to spot. I had to wait till she moved on you before I could zero on her.
Sweeping everbody from her path, Gretchen has no problem grabbing every pink hat in the suite. Poor Tamra. A back-stabbing hangeroner just doesn’t have what it takes to stand up to an unstoppable cyborg narcissist. Sadly, Tamra’s forced to change the outfit she was planning on wearing to the races. I’m guessing that Gretchen wasn’t big on sharing her toys as a child.
Just because Vicki isn’t gracing the women with her stimulating presence, doesn’t mean that she isn’t going to participate. There are some days when even crack hos have to phone it in and this is just one of those days. It seems that Vicki wants the other women to take it upon themselves to purchase her a hat. And you know that crazy bitch is going to hate whatever they get her. BFF though she may be, backstabbing Tamra knows better than to let herself get sucked into Vicki’s whirlpool of discontent, and she says she wants no part in choosing the hat. Gretchen has no interest in helping with hats if they aren’t hot pink and intended for her. Lynne is pretty much wandering around in a valium/champagne haze. So, that leaves Jeana to find a hat for Vicki. Ultimately a hat that bears a strong resemblance to a bullseye is chosen, and the editors promptly treat us to flashbacks of the awesome football moment. You know they’re praying for her to wear it to the races so they can throw a horseshoe at her.
After three seasons, Jeana is wise in the ways of Vicki and calls her to give her a choice between the bullseye hat and a red hat. Oh Lord, Vicki hates red and definitely wants pink. But no, the blond Terminator has grabbed all of the pink hats and is planning on shooting anybody who goes near them. Besides, Gretchen’s planning on wearing pink to the races and anybody else wearing it will be destroyed at the gates.
If I find you another pink hat, you won’t kill me right?
While Vicki’s away from home, her college age son, Michael, who looks more like a chubby prebuscent cherub with his shirt off, decides to have all of his friends over for a beer, pool, grill bash. Woohoo, jumping off rocks holding bottles of beer is just the kind of thing that demonstrates real intelligence.
Darwin awards are something to be proud of, too.
Meanwhile his live-in girlfriend sits and watches with the same blank smile that she’s had since she appeared this season. I’m just betting she has model aspirations and is only shacking up at Vicki’s house for the summer so she gets some camera time. Will Michael get away with his little mombegone party? Hell no. Well, sort of. Noticing extra cars parked outside the house, Jeana calls Vicki to tip her off, and Vicki promptly calls home. Michael is way too busy tending to the grill by leaning his sweaty dripping body over the burgers to answer the phone. Luckily for him, he has a camera loving girlfriend who’s happy to talk to his mom and agree to enforce the Gunvalson house list of rules. My question about all this is, where the hell is Donn? Isn’t Vicki supposed to be at her ‘no husbands allowed/cabana boy only’ insurance conference?
Lauren hangs up the phone and reports that Jeana ratted them out. Michael gives his opinion that Jeana should mind her own business and spend some time selling Vicki’s house instead of just sitting home on her ass. Apparently, the little factor of the housing crash hasn’t really entered Michael’s reality. But reality or not, it’s official ‘let’s bash Jeana’ time and Lauren hops right on that bus. Oh dear, Lauren’s not nearly so pretty when she stops smiling. It’s a good thing that her boyfriend is just pudgly enough to make her look good.
“Hey Jeana, my future ex-wife just called you a bitch.
But back to the groundwork for what I hope will become Jeana’s reality show. Jeana is going out for a drink with her designer and new BFF, Kelli Ellis. Ha! Take that Vicki!! You’ve already been replaced. The owner of the bar comes over to assure Jeana that he’s been looking for her perfect man, and I’m thinking that whole new industry is opening up. Instead of using exclusive matchmaking sites, the wealthy single population is going with private relationship shoppers like the Millionaire Matchmaker. I totally think this is the way to go. I mean how can you not have anxiety about jumping back into the dating pool when you’ve been out of it for a really long time. Especially when you’ve spent the last 20 years with a dirtwad abusive a-hole who barks nasty things at you first thing in the morning. You go, Jeana. You’ve made your love nest and now it’s time to get your own show so we can watch you try and find the perfect man to fill it.
I could do my own show.
For those of us that have missed the sight of Lauri’s oddly restructured face, she’s baaacccckkkk!!! And she’s doing lunch with backstabbing Tamra. First topic of conversation? Tamra’s boobs. Seriously, who starts a luncheon date off by discussing the state of your fellow diner’s breasts. To inflate or reduce where are they now?
A woman who likes her twins to stand at attention when she salutes.
Lauri confesses that she misses hanging out with the girls, but Josh still has some major struggles to overcome. You know, his heroin addiction/stint in jail that was so well publicized last season. Nothing like a mom’s pet projects to catapult your life into the spotlight. But, now that she’s away from the distractions of her home life Lauri wants all of the dirt. Of course, if she can just hold on for a few months she’ll get to see it for herself, but Tamra’s only too happy to repeat the drama and launches into the story of Lake Havasu. Carefully purging the tale of her own testicle groping, water jet grinding escapades, she focuses on Jeana’s nasty perfidity of bringing her own friends into Vicki’s playland. Lauri agrees that Jeana has to have an entourage but then somewhat contradictorily comments that Jeanie must have brought Frankie because she only has one friend and he’s it. Meow!! I think somebody’s feeling a wee bit bitchy after their latest procedure.
Happy to have an appreciative and sympathetic audience, Tamra launches into her rendition of last week’s spat with Gretchen. After going over all the bitchy details she winds up by saying, “I didn’t know whether to feel sorry for her or offer her an Oscar.”
I have no idea what Tamra wrote in her makeup e-mail to Gretchen, but I’m guessing it didn’t mention offering her an Oscar for her acting ability.
Lauri may be acting like she is so over all the drama, but she totally leaves the door open to come back to the show. Maybe she’s just taking some time off to find a new surgeon. It’s kind of refreshing to see one of these woman eat and not feel guilty about it.
I wonder who she’s thinking about?
The final girl gathering of the week has the ladies heading down to the Del Mar race track to flaunt their hats for the first day at the races. Jeana, Tamra, and Vicki are riding in one of the limos with their respective spouses and Jeana’s daughter, Cara. As usual, crack ho Vicki is pretending to be an important business woman and has her laptop open, clacking away with her newly manicured nails. All of her clacking might be impressive, if Jeana didn’t take a moment to tell us that usually Vicky is just answering fun e-mails.
Is that Simon’s myspace page?
Lynne, Frankie, Gretchen and her younger bother, Ethan, have all ridden together in their own Limo and seem to be having a grand ole time. Of course, they don’t have to put up with Vicki’s persistent clacking, so that gives their party a definite advantage. Not to mention that they don’t resemble a group of gangsters heading out to funeral. Jeana, Vicki and Tamra have all opted to wear black dresses and you know all that black in Vicki’s limo has got to be casting some sort of pall over the festivities.
Personally, I’m thinking that a little girl-to-girl strategizing went on in response to the blond terminator’s decree that nobody else can wear pink. After all it’s a fundamental fact of fashion that next to the blond in black, the blond in hot pink just doesn’t look that great. Sneaky, sneaky ladies. But Gretchen’s special cyborg fashion sense is way ahead of them and she’s ditched the hot pink in favor of a hot red/orange dress with a white hat. Another fashion fact according to Cosmo, is that while a man might admire the woman in black, he’ll try to go home with the woman in red/orange. Tamra’s not impressed by Gretchen’s white hat, but that doesn’t bother Gretchen one little bit. Really, why should it? Cyborgs aren’t big on remorse. But, hey, according to Vicki, Del Mar is the place where surf meets the turf and it’s just classy all the way. So we can be sure that our “ladies” are going to behave with the utmost decorum and grace.
The two limo groups converge, nod and separate. Vicky and Tamra, with Simon and Donn meekly in tow, commandeer one table, leaving Gretchen, her brother, Lynne and Frankie to sit at the other. And then promptly ignore Lynne’s presence when her table vacates to place their bets. Now I have some sympathy for being a little reluctant to hang with a woman that looks like this:
What to wear when you audition for The Glass Menagerie.
Common courtesy still dictates the need for polite conversation. Unfortunately, Vicki and Tamra are incapable of common courtesy. Vicki because she’s high and delusional, and Tamra because her social sensitivities never developed beyond the high school cafeteria. Even the blond terminator has a better grasp on the situation when she tells us that she thinks it’s just rude when your supposed to be there as a group and its so obvious that somebodys trying not to include you.
Then, to deliver the final social dis, Vicki’s group vacates to a smaller room, as soon as Lynne’s group returns to their table. Using a tone that probably sounds socially superior to her chemically confused synapses, Vicki explains that she doesn’t know those other people and she wants to sit with people she’s comfortable with. Nodding wisely, she adds that “Girls are hard on girls.” Backstabbing Tamra has an early senior moment and conveniently forgets her ongoing bitch raking commentary to indignantly protest that she’s not hard on other girls. To show her approval, Vicki bestows the most horrific compliment ever on her BFF, “You’re like me.”
Take the Goddamn compliment!
Meanwhile, Jeana having summed up the situation between the two cliques decides to throw her hat in with the newbies. It’s not much of a choice, but I think I’d gave gone with Gretchen and Lynne as well. Stupid and cyborg beats out backstabbing and cracked out crazy any day. Besides, Jeana’s no dummy. She tells us that at her age, if two girls want to go off in a corner she knows they’re talking about her.
Jeana’s defection totally pisses Vicki off. Of course, in her drug induced state of paranoia, she’s absolutely sure that Jeana is only sitting at the other table to irritate her. But Tamra is pretty sure that Jeana’s motive for abandoning them is rooted in her jealousy of Tamra’s new BFF status with Vicki. Sorry, darlings, but I’m pretty sure Jeana is sitting at the other table because you two are a couple of dried-up, nasty, middle-aged meanies, with nothing worth saying about yourselves. I’d say ‘yentas’, but I don’t want to sully my good name.
Tamra might want to get her memory issues checked out by a really good doctor, because she’s already forgotten that statement about not being hard on other women. Or maybe she thinks ‘chubby’ is a compliment? Either way, I’m thinking Tamra might want to jump on the scale for a quick reality check before she throws out anymore weight slurs. Her dress might be a slimming shade of black, but she’s still filling out that waist mighty tightly. Thank God she takes a moment to exclude Lynne from the chubby category. All Lynne needs is for one more ‘mean girl’ to say something about her weight and she’s going to give up eating for good and just float away on those helium balloons.
With nothing better to do, Vicki is free to pursue her favorite hobby of abusing her long suffering spouse, Donn. This time her tactic is to point out how much more important she is than her husband. According to Vicki, in the crack infused delusion that she calls reality, Donn isn’t important enough to warrant his own name, being known as Vicki Gunvalson’s husband is enough. I’m thinking that somebody must have anonymously mailed Donn some self-help books on how to deal with nightmare spouses, because for once he’s not just rolling over waiting for Vicki to pile on more of her crap. Donn interviews that his wife got really disrespectful and he deserves better than that.
Atta boy, Donn, keep repeating that and eventually you’ll be able to tell it to the judge.
Awesome Simon, totally has Donn’s back and snaps at Vicki to apologize, which you know probably gives her a tiny little happy moment. Seriously, how did backstabbing Tamra manage to land and keep this guy.
Meanwhile, the ladies in the newby clique have gone out on the balcony to watch races. And my, oh my, there’s one hot handsome man in the next box with his very own blond. But the blond Terminator only registers hot male candy which makes that party infinitely more fun than her own party. What to do? What to do? Why let’s jump the fence.
I’m thinking that the cute little blond thing can’t be too impressed with the cyborg invasion. Especially, when Gretchen starts humping herself against the hunky guy’s leg. It’s kind of sweet to see how naÃ¯ve Gretchen is when it comes to the finer points of mating etiquette. The concept of not climbing a wall to hump on a strange man who is currently escorting another woman, while your fiancÃ© is lying in the hospital, seems to completely escape her. But these are subtle points of human social interaction, so it’s completely understandable how a non-human machine programmed for destruction might miss them.
Still laboring under the mistaken assumption that Gretchen is in fact human, Tamra offers up a different slightly more Freudian analysis of the situation:
“Gretchen loves to be the center of attention. I don’t know what her problem was, maybe she wasn’t breast fed.”
Vicki and Tamra have had enough of the Gretchen show and depart to place their own bets with husbands in tow. It takes about two minutes of interaction before the gentleman placing their bets is groping around for the security bell and entertaining a fantasy of Vicki’s head being blown off. Some of his irritation must have filtered through Vicki’s delusional haze because she takes a moment to kindly explain that she and her compadres are just a high maintenance bunch of fun loving folks and his job is to deal with them. I would so love to see her take that attitude with a bookie in South Boston.
I am the Queen. Talk to my royal hand
Our editors leave us with some awesome footage of our ladies doing their feeble best to pick their way through the sand in their four inch heels. Nothing says elegant like drunken pelicans tottering around in the sand. But the best shot of all is of Vicki walking away clutching hubby, Donn’s, arm.
From the back, Vicki looks alot like our old cross-dressing friend, Max Clinger, on guard duty.
Next week looks like a doozy of a mess when the blond Terminator aims her cyborg sights at Tamra’s douchebag son. Personally, I’m thinking that there’s not enough painkillers in the world to get me through a Gretchen/Ryan relationship, so I kind of hope that they just seal the deal and move on. But we’ll see next week.
I hope everybody is warm, healthy and happy in the new year.
****Check out Chapter Two of Yenta’s novel, The Traveling Prayer, here!