(November 19, 2011) – Was that something else to watch Taylor Armstrong flip out on Lisa Vanderpump during her ladies tea party? It seems that all Taylor needed to go bananas was to hear Lisa honestly express that she was upset about being the only cast member excluded from Taylor’s luncheon. And ultimately we heard it all like a popular song about a teenager who clawed her way out of her hometown to make something of herself and is now confronted with deciding whether or not she has the courage to accept who she is on a very fundamental level.
Sure Lisa did technically “confront” Taylor, but she did it so politely that it seemed strange that it would trigger a tsunami of emotion that literally startled us and every lady in the room. It was stranger still as Taylor continued to shriek that she does not want Lisa to talk behind her back. Here Lisa was speaking directly to Taylor, rather than whispering in the shadows, and Taylor was set off like a Roman candle that spontaneously combusted in a garden shed, explosively ricocheting off of its tin walls.
We’ve watched this episode of the Real Housewives of Beverly Hills several times with hopes of figuring out what went so horribly wrong when Lisa said her feelings were hurt by Taylor’s actions. We still do not understand much, but what have drawn a number of conclusions:
1. Taylor could not allow Lisa to be the owner of the most important hurt feelings in the room. She simply had to dismiss that Lisa was upset and she had to cast herself in the role of the primary victim of an unfair world. Taylor literally went temporarily crazy when she believed Lisa would gain anyone’s sympathy.
2. Taylor thinks she is entitled to Lisa’s friendship. She sobbed “I kissed your ass for a year, trying to make you like me,” and then complained that her efforts were unfairly rejected by Lisa, as though Lisa owes her friendship. Lisa does not have to like Taylor. Lisa does not have to offer her friendship. She certainly does not have to offer her free room and board while Taylor and her daughter escape the abuse Russell was allegedly dishing out back home. But Lisa did open her home to Taylor and Kennedy because she is a nice person. And Taylor met that kind of extraordinary kindness with a blistering attack at Pinky’s girly tea party. The most puzzling part of the attack is that she is sobbing that Lisa has not accepted her or offered her friendship, when in fact Lisa opened her home up to her. What more does Taylor want? Marriage? Her first born? A blood transfusion?
3. Taylor isn’t satisfied that Lisa has said during many, many replays that while she is not Taylor’s BEST friend, she will help her. Is that not enough? Must Lisa pledge allegiance to Taylor before Taylor will acknowledge, appreciate or accept Lisa’s generosity? Earlier Taylor said she is scared of Lisa because she knows what Lisa did to Cedric. What exactly was that? Did Lisa do something more heinous to Cedric than allow him to live the life of a man of leisure, sunning by the pool with a bottle of wine, without having to work? Was it outrageous that Lisa mentioned Cedric trash talked her and Ken after his free ride came to a screeching halt?
4. Taylor believes that if she is struggling to find self esteem and doesn’t know who she is, Lisa owes her more than extraordinary kindness. Camille correctly says in her video diary that Taylor “seemed like she was going in for the kill.” But truthfully it was much worse than that. Taylor was going for a drive-by shooting/mass murder at that tea party. She was enraged at Lisa and went so far as to say – irrationally, we might add – that Lisa is “obnoxious” because her Ipad screensaver is a photo of herself and her dog, Jiggy. We beg to differ.
5. Most importantly, it’s obvious Taylor is a scared, lonely woman, who hates herself and is trying to be the Barbie doll of Beverly Hills. Yes, she looks like less than like the girl next door, with all of that plastic surgery, but she’s playing out a very human story. On Beaver Creek she told us she’s scared about going back to her life of poverty in Oklahoma where she grew up. It’s a very relatable story that’s been written about a thousand times, including in songs like Bruce Springsteen’s Born to Run and Gladys Knight’s Midnight Train to Georgia.
And viewers are irritated at her because she is a big phony, sobbing at rich people and saying, “I just want to be like you.” But her falsified background, appearance, bank account, and child’s godmother is never going to change the fact that she is never going to be like Lisa, Adrienne and her other cast mates. Taylor is not like them and she never will be. She is more like the average Bravo viewer: she’s intelligent; she knows how to put on a dress and she has dreams she may or may not be able to realize.
For viewers to get on board and care about Taylor, she has to make peace with who she is, whenever it is that she figures that out. She has to reconcile with her painful upbringing, as Springsteen did, or she has to catch the Midnight Train to Georgia and figure out how to accept the world she left behind.
We say that because no matter much Taylor lies, and no matter how much success she achieves, she is never going to make herself an heiress, like Adrienne, Paris or a Ford.
About the Author (Author Profile)
I am a New York City publicist who specializes in promoting luxury products and experiences and occasionally moonlight as a journalist.
Relatively new to the world of blogging, I have watched and enjoyed Bravo’s Housewives shows since the first season of the Real Housewives of Orange County. I created this blog over the 4th of July holiday of 2011 because I enjoy writing and love to figure out how to blend images and words to create something that is both visually compelling and interesting to read.