(May 10, 2012) – Right off the bat I have one serious question: is Slade a dead beat or isn’t he? I ask this because people are regularly jailed for not paying child support. Is he just behind, while making regular payments? Or is California’s justice system just wack-a-doodle-do?
Seriously, I suspect there is something very fishy going on. It’s not like he’s hiding. He’s been filming a very popular, very public television show for years. If Slade hasn’t paid a dime to help raise his son, why isn’t he behind bars?
Now keep in mind, it is not that I like him even slightly. In truth I can think of no other word, other than ‘slimy’ to describe him, but as my imaginary friend and attorney-in-my-head, Phaedra “High Class” Parks has explained many times, the courts know how to deal with dead beat fathers. A judge threatens them with incarceration and unless they go into hiding, they either pay up or they go into lock down. Pardon me about my ignorance, but isn’t that how it works? What is Slade’s story, the real story?
Whoops I am sorry to distract you on this Bravo bus tour through Coto de Cazes, where the network thinks it is far more important to go…
Bra Shopping with Goldilocks
Despite Vicki’s protests, the measuring tape doesn’t lie: she’s a double F. Tamra is a 32 D, even after her implants were removed. Neither woman believes these amped up sizes are possible, but as it turns out, they both like their new super sized bras. Goldilocks Gunvalson turns the eye opening shopping spree into a Three Bears story. She doesn’t like “itty bitty titties” And she warns that “big boobies are not appropriate.” Bur her double F seems to be just right. Thankfully she changes the subject and tells us she will support her daughter’s unexpected wedding because she she could alienate Brianna if she doesn’t.
Easy Riding with Slade & Scott
Slade tells us that he is now super close to Gretchen’s father, who used to liken him to manure. But now they share a love for cycling, the sport that allegedly took Slade to the heights of international athletic competition back when he was an Alaskan teen.
Today Slade is feeling good. He tells Scott that he is no longer overweight or “chubba wubba” to borrow Gretchen’s vernacular. And then, seemingly out of nowhere Slade asks permission to propose to Gretchen, his live-in girlfriend/employer.
Considering his debts, Slade has no idea if Gretchen will say yes. Gretchen’s father, dolled up in a Lance Armstrong get up, can see a marriage much further down the road, but recognizes the world’s negative perception of Slade will be a roadblock better suited to Evel Knievel.
Slade wants to believe his reputation is based upon hearsay. Scott says he thinks Slade’s reputation is based both on reality and lies. Understandably Slade’s fall from the heights of title insurance moguldom to his humble role as Gretchen’s assistant depresses him. Like most men, he wants to an earner and provider. Unfortunately he is neither.
I have so many questions about Slade. I would definitely love to know the truth about his child support issues. I would also like to know why this man doesn’t get a job. I know he claims to be a consultant but I am nearly positive this is not true because if he were, I am sure he’d use that work for more camera time. I say that because I am nearly positive the entire point of asking Scott for permission to marry Gretchen is singularly aimed at filming a scene and keeping himself relevant to the show.
Confiding over Mojitos
Tamra and Gretchen love mojitos. That sugary sweet Cuban cocktail is the lube that helps them glide from arch enemies to contrived confidants. Tamra reveals to Gretchen – the only person other than Eddie that she’s trusted with this scoop – that she is going to open a fitness studio.
I have no doubt whatsoever this is going to be a huge success. Tamra has already told us she was a jock as a child. And she’s recently lost a ton of weight through exercise and careful dieting. People will follow her lead because she is a great testimonial that her weight management scheme does work.
Gretchen reveals she is reluctant to marry Slade. who she tells us is saddled with enormous debt. Tamra agrees that marriage would be a bad move because with California’s community property laws she’d be 50% responsible for any debt. Wow. That is a wild law. I would have thought that would apply only to the debt the couple incurred together – not the debt they brought to the marriage.
This brings up another question for me. How in debt is Slade? I’ve always heard it was in the $125K-$130K range. Of course that is a lot of money, but if I were wildly in love with someone and I truly believed he was the one, for the long term, I would want to help knock off that debt. And if the shoe were on the other foot, I would hope the man who loved me would help me, too. Obvoiusly I could never do this if I didn’t have the money (and I don’t). And I wouldn’t do it casually. And above all else I wouldn’t marry Slade under any circumstances. But I do know people who have tackled debt and other problems together.
Launching Wines and Lovers
Although technically this is the launch of Vicki and Tamra’s new club “Wines by Wives,” like the seasoned Reality TV pro that she is, Vicki hijacks the event and brings the awkward drama Bravo likes.
She’s still visibly upset that her daughter had a quickie wedding without asking for her permission, as Slade thoughtfully did with Gretchen’s father. For Vicki this is still a horribly embarrassing experience that she isn’t sure about how to properly handle. So she invites the Bravo film crew to her house to watch her get styled with an updo, make-up and a glittering sapphire gown. Like mother, like daughter, Brianna is also fretting about her hair, as she gets ready to introduce her new husband to Vicki’s Bravo friends.
Tamra is there with her son Ryan who looks surprisingly good in a black tie and a thick brown beard. She tells us that Eddie couldn’t be there because he’s in Cuba and I cannot help but wonder why and how. Is Eddie American? Is he a teacher or a musician? Is he part of a cultural exchange? I ask because getting permission to travel to Cuba is not that easy for an American. And I must say I am terribly jealous. I would positively love to go to there.
But enough about that! This has to be all about Vicki and her made for TV drama. So she gathers the cameras and the group’s attention for an announcement. One would assume it would relate to the launch of their wine club, until Vicki gets choked and reveals that her daughter got married behind her back.
Some people are happy. Some aren’t. Gretchen knows this must be a problem for controlling Vicki. Heather is “shocked, shocked.” Alexis says Jim would “lose it” if their daughters eloped. Dr. Terry, whom I am beginning to like, would be thrilled if his daughters dashed away for a thrifty wedding because it’d save him a bundle. Mike tells us in his video diary that he found the wedding “disappointing and shocking.” Tamra says that “normally things like that don’t work out.”
I really don’t get these people. Why can’t they just be happy for Brianna? For seven seasons she has been the most rational Housewives cast member in Bravo history. I think it’s just ridiculous. Get over it. She got married. She’s happy.
But that’s not all folks. Our Vicki “Bring It” Gunvalson has something else tucked into her glittering one shoulder gown. She’s now determined to get her suspicious adult children to meet and bond with her boyfriend, whom Brianna thinks may be an opportunist who spends his time cruising around town in Vicki’s car. Mike is also uncomfortable with Brooks. I can’t blame him. Almost sounding like a Dr. Phil impersonator, Brooks strikes a folksy tone as he tries to console Mike about his sister’s surprise wedding. Mike has never spoken to Brooks before and he has no interest whatsoever in hearing what he has to say.
In fact, no one but Vicki is interested in or vulnerable to Brooks’ rap. But Brooks is a relentless flattered. He tells Vicki and Tamra that he likes Mike because he has success in his genes. He raves that Tamra’s son Ryan is “the bomb dot com.” Seriously, who in the hell is this guy and what in the world does he hope to gain from these people? If I were Vicki I’d be far more embarrassed that I was dating a man that says things like “the bomb dot com” than I would be that my always rational daughter got married without telling me.Truth be told, that wouldn’t embarrass me at all.
Thankfully, Bravo gives us a break from Brooks for the time being when we are whisked off to another room where Brianna and her husband have retreated. Brianna looks so pretty. She has a seriously va-va-voom body that’s been hidden in her nursing scrubs all of these years.
And while obviously I don’t know him, I like her husband, Ryan. He seems to genuinely love and like her. He wants to stay married forever and he’s very concerned about how apprehensive she is to meet Brooks. His instinct seems to be to comfort her. I like that.
Ever rational, Brianna points out that if Brooks were dating Gretchen, Vicki would be far more cautious and critical of him. She would would question why no one seems to know where Brooks lives and works. I love Brianna. She loves and supports her mother, but she’s also aware of how odd it is that Vicki kicked Donn to the curb and even before their divorce is finalized is instantly wrapped up in the BS of a very suspicious guy who sort of reminds me of Kim Richards’ creepy boyfriend.
I truly hope Bravo will eventually reveal who Brooks really is. I am positive he has a wild back story. No one on earth could possibly be the folksy, flattering character he is trying to portray. I would say he is a con artist and he may be, but he’s so bad at it that I cannot imagine his rap would work on most people. Still I guess it doesn’t have to. It just has to work on one at a time. Sadly, this is Vicki’s turn.
All photos are courtesy of BravoTV.com, unless otherwise indicated.
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.