(October 9, 2012) – I always knew this day would come, the day when I’d wake up and have no interest in thinking about, let alone writing about, Housewives. I always figured it would happen inexplicably without warning or provocation.
I’ve said this here before, but at the risk of repeating myself again, I will mention a scene in the movie Adaptation that has always struck me as very true of me.
One of the two main characters, the Orchid Thief, is trying to explain to Meryl Streep’s character why he becomes obsessed with one subject, going to extremes to learn all about it, and then one day he wakes up and says “Fuck Fish!”
Nothing happened to him. Nothing could have possibly signaled that he would no longer be traveling to the depths of the ocean to find just the right representatives of a certain species to join the populations of any one of his 60 home aquariums. He just loses interest on a dime, and moves on to something else: mirrors, fossils, orchids, whatever – anything but fish.
I always figured that would happen to me with Bravo’s Real Housewives. But the truth is, it didn’t go down that way. There was just something about how New Jersey played out that grossed me out, profoundly. It triggered me to realize that I just cannot listen to people getting into death match, family-destroying confrontations about meatball contests, cookbooks, patio furniture, LapBand surgeries and asinine, contrived fashion shows at meaningless boutiques.
I am simply not willing to do what it takes to figure out what is going on over there in Franklin Lakes, where it would take a team of detectives years to sort through all of their secrets. I am fine, and actually prefer, knowing none of them. All kidding aside, no exaggerating at all, I’d rather do sit ups all day long than try to figure out why they’re all so angry and why being on this low brow Reality TV show is so important that they’ll willing watch their own relatives have emotional breakdowns just for the chance to sit on Andy Cohen’s sofa.
Seriously, it makes no sense to me. And I don’t want it to. The day I understand any of this is the day I might as well check myself in as a in-patient in the local hospital’s psyche ward.
I’ll continue to watch New York through the end of the season, but I must admit I don’t care about their squabbles either. Ramona is Ramona. Sonja is insulted. LuAnn is trying to be a better person and does not want her best efforts to go ignored. Heather is sane and rational. I hope she can hang onto both of those admirable qualities. Aviva belongs on a different show. Survivor? Couples Therapy? Dr. Phil? Or more likely she doesn’t belong on television at all. Whatever she decides to do is fine with me.
Carole? I think Carole wants us to believe she’s playing one game, while using the rulebook of another. Full contact, no holds barred baseball is unappealing to me. She can say, as she did on Twitter last night, that saying bad things about others behind their backs is the “conceit” of the genre. I don’t want to have any part of spying in someone’s bedroom. And I especially don’t want to do it with a woman who shields her own life from everyone, including us, and most notably herself.
I don’t care if LuAnn wants to borrow an outfit from Carole’s friend. I know the question is not, as we saw last night, “Is it okay for LuAnn to ask to borrow a dress from a designer? Borrowing clothes from designers happens all day long, all over New York.
I know because I represent two designers. Yes it can be a pain in the ass, as Heather mentioned. If the designer doesn’t think the payoff makes sense, he or she can say no. Saying no is certainly easier and less offensive than making LuAnn look and sound like a freeloader on television later. I have another client who hasn’t bought a stitch of clothing in 20 years. Designers fight to outfit him. And he does not have nearly the audience LuAnn does.
I think Carole likes to influence the public’s judgments with her words. Actually that’s not even strong enough. I think she likes to believe she can control our opinions with her “inner voice” that she unleashes in her video diary and on her blog. She can say she does this to be funny. I don’t think it is funny to tell strangers that one woman had anal sex and that another man must have a “big ego or a big cock.”If this is how these people want to be portrayed, they can say it themselves. They do not need Cool Carole to reduce them to porn stars, or worse, to act like she’s above a low brow Reality TV show, while simultaneously asking on camera “Can you see my tits?”
I think Carole is an odd duck, but not in a good way. She doesn’t eat. She has no food. She doesn’t drink water. She finds other people’s partying “inelegant” in one breath and then proceeds to get hammered in a gay bar the next. No one appreciates the gays or a chance to let her hair down more than I do. My issue is that on one hand she’s judging other people with shame and with the other she’s giving herself a pass to let it rip.
She laughs herself sick when a friend’s husband calls beautiful women “overweight old ladies gone wild” after getting upset that her colleagues do not understand her struggles, coping with the death of friends 12 years earlier.
Don’t even get me started on the subject of Carole’s annoyance with how LuAnn interacted with the jewelry designer Ranjana. People meet friends, boyfriends, colleagues, husbands and wives through other friends. This is all perfectly normal. It’s been going on since cavemen sat around a fire in the earliest days of human socialization. To call LuAnn a “friend jumper” is manipulative. It’s an immature attempt to negatively characterize someone else’s actions in a third person’s eyes.
I don’t know where you grew up and the names ‘tweens called each other for each infraction, but there were lots of names to make someone sound awful for doing something that made you feel bad in my neck of the woods. “Flat Leaver” comes to mind. A “flat leaver,” where I grew up, was someone who went off to do something else, something fun, leaving you feeling angry that they got a better offer. I have zero doubt that I called someone a “flat leaver” when I was six, but decades later I cannot imagine using such asinine phrases to express my negative reaction to what someone else did that had nothing to do with me.
Suggesting that LuAnn was a “friend jumper” when she wanted to buy a pair of Carole’s friend’s earrings is ridiculous, regardless of whether LuAnn was merely paying the wholesale price. The jewelry designer set a price; LuAnn paid it. Had LuAnn purchased them in a retail store, the designer would not necessarily get more; in fact, she’d undoubtedy get less. Ranjana came to an agreement with LuAnn. None of this is Carole’s business. If Ranjana did not like it, I am positive she would not not have done the deal. To suggest LuAnn ripped off Ranjana is to suggest Ranjana is insane, incapable of protecting her own interests even when she is in the power position of having something that someone else wants.
Please indulge me one more instance of explaining what a fraud I know Carole is. I swear, after this, I’ll stop. Somewhere on Twitter or maybe Carole’s blog she wrote something about how down to earth she and Russ are. I think it was in the context of the Hamptons that she expressed her strong preference to stay in a roadside motel in Asbury Park, NJ. That does sound down to earth. Cheap motel. Low brow New Jersey. No celebrities. No glitz and glam. Just a free spirited woman and her rocker boyfriend enjoying the simple life in a bare bones motel near the beach.
I am sure her words, her inner voice, paints a compelling picture to those who have no idea what Asbury Park, New Jersey is. What I see, as someone who grew up around the block, as someone who spends every weekend inches from Asbury Park, is a stone cold, absurd lie. There are no motels in that town that anyone of us, let alone Cool Carole would EVER spend a minute, let alone a weekend.
There is a glitzy, glamorous hotel that was featured in Travel & Leisure. While I do not know this is true, I do not believe that any woman has ever stepped through its doors. It is gay as as get out with glamorous Chelsea boys streaming in and out of it all day long. And it is not a motel by anyone’s definition of the word. It’s a destination hotel and not a cheap one at that.
Yes, there are motels all over Asbury Park. In those, no kidding even slightly, you will find bruised and battered people, who cannot keep their lives together long enough to remain in Section 8 housing. I am not judging them. I am just stating the facts. With precisely zero exceptions, Asbury Park motels are filled with drugs, bed bugs, prostitution, incest, incessant screaming, arrests, domestic abuse incidents and fist fights.I am sure there are also Crips and Bloods, but I refuse to swear to that. I have no proof gangs would be fearless enough to ever walk through the doors of an Asbury Park, NJ motel.
Speaking of swearing, even if Carole swore to it in open court, I know she’s never been inside one of those motels. I know a psychologist who works in that town. No one in his or her own right mind, no matter how “cool” she was, would EVER walk into one of those places for a romantic weekend with her rocker boyfriend. That suggestion is literally absurd.
I’m tired of Carole’s lying and fronting. Andy can ask her “can you believe you’re on this sofa?” as he did last night, like she’s somehow above it all and it’s shocking that Princess Radziwill is slumming on his sofa. She can say she’s happy to be and act like it’s perfectly acceptable to make fun of LuAnn or Sonja or whomever else is that day’s target of her inner voice, because it is the “conceit” of the genre, but I’m no longer willing to listen it.
If her tongue were biting AND we got to see something real about her, as we did with Bethenny, who often used her wit to make fun of others, I could live with it. At least, with Bethenny, I could see the other side. I could see her struggling with dating and running around Manhattan delivering her baked goods, only to collect a bunch of stale muffins a few days later. I could see she was actually vulnerable and sensitive when she would sincerely cry, or try to keep it together, despite a trembling lip, when things weren’t going her way. At least with Bethenny there was an actual human being connected to her forked tongue. With Carole I see nothing but an illusion: an anachronistic amalgamation of 1970s clichés.
Okay enough ranting. I’ve said and seen enough. I’m taking a break from the Housewives. I readily admit, I am thinking about profiling one of the women in a Q&A format. I have no idea why, despite everything I’ve said above, that this appeals to me. But for at least a few weeks I am finished recapping anything or boring anyone with any additional opinions because I’ve shared everything I can possibly say about the casts of New Jersey and New York; and I’m not going to dive into Miami. I just can’t.
If, when Beverly Hills, Atlanta and Orange County return, there is something in any location beyond shouting, character assassinations and trying to embarrass someone else, I’d would LOVE to return to the mindless fun of watching these shows. Until them, I’m going to amuse myself by writing a fictionalized account of my bizarre career, which I know is far more interesting than anything I’ve seen on these shows in years.
I mention this in case you want to read about it here. Or in case you’re wondering why I keep publishing strange chapters in a book that was never written or published.
Before I go, I want to thank you, from the bottom of my heart, for caring, for reading, for listening, for writing, and most of all for making me feel so comfortable in gambling that it may be okay to tell complete strangers what I really think. Writing this blog has taught me more about myself than I learned in the first 40 years of my life. Most of all, thanks to all of the very nice commenters here, it has made me finally realize that I have nothing to fear but facing myself.
And that is why I now have the courage to tell the story of my “strange but true” life. xxoo :D
Category: Real Housewives
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.