Real Housewives of Orange County
Note: The following is a recap of Episode 9 of the Real Housewives of Orange County. This is a public service announcement aimed at those who have watched any of the episodes this season, read recaps, written comments, and/or those who have even thought about the show for more than 2 seconds… ***WARNING*** You may have been unknowingly subjected to brain melting mental stimuli and therefore you must immediately take positive steps to ensure your mental health has not been otherwise permanently damaged. Joining a support group, increasing yoga activities, drinking your favorite alcoholic beverage and eating chocolate are all highly encouraged, if not mandated activities. Okay, you’ve been warned… Brace yourselves… Here we go!
The episode opens with Tamra pouring two glasses of wine (maybe sparkling water…I can’t tell) since of course Heather has come over to her house so they can rehash last week’s episode and trash talk those not in attendance. Heather appropriately ooo’s and ahhh’s over the seemingly new paintjob at Tamra’s house. In case you didn’t know, poor, poor Tamra had been living in a dark cave of a home until she got nice, sparkly, new white molding installed throughout the house. However, I kinda thought it would be appropriate for Tamra, who is certifiably batcrapcrazy, to actually live like a bat in a cave, no? They talk about how rude it was for Gretchen and Slade to be really late to last week’s taping of “Hot in Cleveland.” Then, as if tardiness wasn’t enough, Tamra told Heather they kept getting up and stepping off to the side to talk on the phone about something. Heather blogs about the whole situation in her May 20th blog, wherein she discloses, “I just found it so disappointing especially when I found out later that the calls were about a gift Gretchen was helping me with for Tamra. There was no emergency about it that needed to be taken care of at 7 pm on a Friday night.” Heather thinks Gretchen and Slade are unbelievably rude and said, “I don’t think I’ll be inviting them to the next thing I’m doing!” (Take that, Gretchen… lolol!) Heather tells Tamra that she and Terry haven’t really had time to talk about how wounded Heather is that Terry brought up the “D” word (divorce). Heather says she forgives easily, but doesn’t forget too easily. Sigh.
Oh look, in another surprising pairing, Alexis and Lydia are meeting for coffee probably because we’re down to 2 people who will actually be on camera with Alexis these days. Awww, Lydia is wearing a knit cap on for no apparent reason. The only people who should be wearing knit caps in Southern California are those who are artists, musicians, or those who live in the mountains. It just isn’t that cold here… seriously. They bemoan the fact that they haven’t seen much of each other recently, which I find very amusing. (Remember just a couple of episodes ago – Lydia told Heather and Tamra that she had only known Alexis for like 3-4 months.) Obviously, these best friends are woefully missing each other’s company so much I honestly don’t know how they keep on living. They’re such great buddies that Lydia didn’t even know that the name of Alexis’ new tramp place (indoor trampoline park) is Sky Zone. Lydia, the broken record, once again tells Alexis that she is the one who needs to reach out to the ladies by making “a bold move.” She tells her she needs to forgive Tamra and move on – but she should do so in a place without alcohol or 20 other girls in attendance. It seems to me that Lydia is speaking to Alexis as one Christian to another – to encourage her to forgive and move on. I totally understand that part of things… but in all fairness, Alexis did make a bold move by walking into that den of vipers of a dinner party at Tamra’s new fitness studio. Tamra’s mature response to Alexis was to almost physically throw her out of the building while verbally attacking her. So, I’m kind of with Alexis in her thought about what is going to make another meeting any different – she’s been burned so many times before. Alexis says she’s going to think about it. Alexis also has to S-T-O-P using the “bully” word… seriously.
Vicki and Brooks are meeting for lunch at Brooks’ home which is 5 miles away from where Vicki lives. Wait, did we know that he had a place of his own? Is he paying for it? Hmmm… Vicki says they see each other a couple of times a week. Vicki is still cranky that she made the agreement with Briana that Brooks not be allowed at her house. Vicki expresses that she doesn’t understand why can’t they can’t all just be respectful of everyone’s decisions? Brooks tells Vicki that he wants to take her to a nice hotel this weekend to get away from everything. Vicki tells him she’s already agreed to babysit Troy this weekend while Briana and Ryan go to the Marine Corps Ball (which is a big deal). By the way, Vicki is a workaholic and a scheduling maniac – so what on earth made Brooks think he could pull this off with only a few days’ notice? I mean, Brooks, have you even MET Vicki? Vicki tells Brooks that she’s available the following weekend… but he makes a point to say that he’s flying back to be with his kids that weekend since his daughter is in a play. I’m thinking they made up this whole scenario just to attempt to prove that Brooks isn’t the complete derelict of a dad that we all suspect he really is… Wake up, Vicki! Vicki sweetly asks Brooks for a rain check… He tells her maybe, if she’s nice. Vicki says she’s always nice – as long as you don’t piss her off. Brooks tells Vicki not to piss him off either… I dunno, but there was something really off about this whole lunch. They were both standoffish towards each other – it almost feels like they are in the middle of an argument and they were just filming for the show or something. I think they’ve both pissed each other off – and they haven’t figured things out yet.
Okay, now hold on to your “chonies” – cuz Tamra has been asked to speak at the “Los Angeles Ultimate Women’s Expo” – Yes, I can hardly believe it myself. I actually had to look it up to see what kind of a deeply misguided organization would invite someone like Tamra speak at their event. On this year’s home page it says, “Explore your own personal style, renew your soul and uncover your passions… While you relax and rejuvenate, explore a new interest, purchase a great find, connect with inspiring keynote speakers and re-ignite your inner you.” Oh boy…Tamra is very nervous about her speech because she’s never spoken in front of 1,000 people. Are you kidding? You seem to have no problem acting like a lunatic in front of millions of viewers each week. I understand that public speaking is a fear that of most of the human race shares… but since Tamra isn’t currently a member of the human race (I kid….) I was really surprised she had so much anxiety about this speech. She decided to meet with Gary Hankins who is a “communications expert” who will offer her some practical advice on how to approach her speech. To me, this is a surprisingly smart move. Tamra isn’t sure exactly which direction to take but will probably talk about how to move on with life after divorce. She wants to tell women that no matter how hard that first step is you’ve got to take it because it will make things better… because you will make it better. Gary encourages her to tell parts of her story from which lessons can be learned – because that’s how she will connect with her audience. Tamra’s not sure she’s ready to do that in front of so many people. She doesn’t want to break down. Gary says every time you speak to people it’s an opportunity to impact them in a positive way – and he encourages Tamra that she can help a lot of people. Gary obviously doesn’t know Tamra, does he?
The next scene has Lydia at home in her kitchen stirring the pot again… No really, she is actually stirring the pot because she’s making soup – but the symbolism is not lost on the viewers. Doug comes home and we learn that Lydia has never done a load of laundry since they’ve lived there. Wow… are you kidding me? We’ve heard her say that she doesn’t make dinner – she makes reservations… but really… not one load of laundry? Whoa… She starts to explain to Doug about what transpired when she had the “pot” talk with her mom. She really thinks she’s approaching it from a place of love but her mom thinks she’s just being rigid. Lydia is hurt because it feels to her like her mom is choosing drugs over her and it freaks her out. She wants her mom to respect where she’s coming from – especially regarding her kids. Lydia thinks that she may have communicated to her mom that she didn’t think she was a good mom. Doug responded that if Lydia thinks that’s what came across in the conversation, then she should try to have the conversation again. Gotta admit that’s smart advice. Lydia loves her mom to death… and Lydia tries to explain away her pot addition by saying that her mom was raised in a strict Catholic home and that’s why she smokes pot all the time… Yeah, right – that’s the reason. They agree that no parent is perfect and she’s an incredible grandma…
Gretchen and Slade are in a medical waiting room for some reason – and Gretchen tells Slade that she has worn a skirt, “for easy access.” I’m sure Slade hopes she means for him (and we all throw up a little in our mouth) – but sadly for him, no – it’s for the Fertility Specialist. Evidently, Gretchen is ready to have a baby and wants to know if she’s still fertile myrtle at the ripe old age of 34. I’m not sure why this is Gretchen’s appointment and not Slade’s, since he had a vasectomy about 12 years ago and some unsnipping probably needs to happen. The Fertility Specialist starts to describe the uterus as “Fort Knox” and is the 2nd most protected part of a woman’s body (the brain is the 1st – but in Gretchen’s case…). Fortunately, Gretchen’s ovaries look good – and she has a good number of “pleasantly plump” follicles, etc. Then the Fertility Specialist starts talking about how well Gretchen’s fertility garden is growing nice and lush and I add “with silver bells and cockle shells, and pretty Slades all in a row.” Then he drops the bombshell that the best chance for Gretchen to be successful in getting pregnant is through in vitro fertilization. The explanation for this seems to involve the concept that men who have had a vasectomy for over 10 years don’t produce sperm in the same way that they used to – It may have to do with the actual number of swimmers or maybe the strength of their stroke… Gretchen has a window of opportunity that is starting to close, “tick tock, tick tock” (Yes, the guy actually said “tick tock”). He encourages them to consider in vitro – that it may be an opportunity that they may not have considered. However, on behalf of all of mankind, I would like to hereby plead with Gretchen and Slade to do us all a favor and consider not procreating at all… Truly, it would be your gift to us. Thank you in advance for your cooperation in this matter!
Vicki, Briana, Ryan and Troy are driving to San Diego for the big Marine Corps ball. I’m a little confused, because it’s only an hour and a half away from where they live – and Briana is saying she’s nervous about leaving Troy for the whole night – yet Vicki is in the car with them and is staying at the US Grant hotel with them (in a different room). Briana is afraid that Troy is going to do something miraculous like learn to walk and she’ll miss it. We find out on the car trip that Ryan has 3 months of training to do and then he’s going to be deployed back to Afghanistan for about 11 months. Vicki is freaking out like we all knew she would. Briana thinks this year is going to be “pretty terrible” – and doesn’t know how she’s going to wake up every morning knowing her husband is in Afghanistan and potentially in a war zone. Ryan is sad and says he’s going to miss Troy so much… Briana asks him if she’s chopped liver? What Ryan meant was that he was going to miss out on so many things that will happen during the 11 months of Troy’s life while he’s gone. (By the way…thanks for your service to our country, Ryan! We see in this scene while one person may be serving in the military – but it’s their whole family that shares in their service and sacrifice…) They get to the hotel and get changed for the evening. Everyone is dressed for the Ball, and Vicki tells Troy to tell his mommy that she looks beautiful! Ryan appreciates that Briana said she would go to the Ball so soon after giving being pregnant. In the sad point of the evening, as they’re walking out – Briana has to specifically ask Ryan if she looks nice… he quickly responds that she looks great… Hey Ryan, a general rule of thumb should be that if someone in your life goes out of their way to look nice, tell them for goodness’ sake!
Heather and Terry are going for a formal apology dinner so Terry can grovel at Heather’s feet for the 89th time. Puhleeze. Heather tells Terry that when it’s her moment – don’t take it away. Of course, she orders some “Champs”… oops, “Chumps”… and Terry tells her that he’s been kind of an idiot for the past two weeks… She says, “Perhaps longer than 2…” He was afraid that her going back to work would put additional pressure on him. Heather thinks his behavior looks jealous. Terry says that it might be that Heather is being maybe a little sensitive – but that it’s no reason for him to use the “D” word (divorce). He explains that he used it because it was a situation wherein he wanted to shock her – he didn’t mean it and that he would die before he would let anything happen to their relationship. Heather expresses to him that she thinks he likes to push her buttons and in most cases she tries to laugh it off – but when she doesn’t think it’s funny – then he needs to know it’s time for him to just let it go. Terry has been wracking his brain as to what to do for Heather and he decided to give her a nice card – Heather says that’s what she really needed. In it, he wrote: “Sometimes pretty smart people can say pretty stupid things. I’m sorry and I am as in love with you today as I was when we got married. I know I can be a jerk but it doesn’t mean that I love you any less than ever. Please forgive me and I won’t forget how much this has hurt you. I love you.” He continues with a verbal, “I am sorry, there are just no words.” And the ice queen, aka “Her Royal Heathership’s” heart melted… (Note: Heather read the hand written words on the card very, very smoothly – pausing in just the right places, etc. He does have pretty good handwriting for a doctor, but still… It really felt like she had already read it a bazillion times – but this one was for the cameras… but perhaps I’m just being cynical.)
Since there are no real storylines for Alexis, we again get treated to a close-up of the Sky Zone Indoor Trampoline Park sign. Alexis says that she’s totally bored with all of her work out mechanisms – but fortunately, you can work out at Sky Zone through a class called, “Skyrobics” – I get it – Aerobics + Sky Zone Trampoline Park = New workout! How convenient! Nice product promotion there, Alexis. This answers our question, “Why in the heck did Alexis come back on the show this year?” The trainer is bouncing on the trampolines and flipping from one to the other. Alexis declares she’s “going to boing – not flip.” I dunno, do two mounds of silicone flip well? That could be kinda funny…
Tamra is getting dressed for her big speech and her mom is there as Tamra puts on her makeup. She tries to give Tamra a pep talk. “You’re not nervous, are you? You haven’t been afraid of anything your whole life why would this scare you?” In this week’s installment of, “I kid you not” Tamra says that more than anything she wants to be inspirational to these women. Really Tamra, really? What have you exhibited in your own life that would possibly inspire your audience? Yep, Tamra, you really had to struggle for years and years between your divorce from a semi-financially secure Simon to when you started dating financially secure Eddie. And then you had to hold down three jobs simultaneously just to make ends meet – oh wait, you didn’t? That’s right – you were a “Real Housewife of Orange County” making all kinds of money. While, I’m sure that getting divorced while on a reality show is really, really tough (no, really, I’m actually serious) – I think you have a major disconnect from what most single, divorced moms go through – You’ve had everything handed to you on a silver platter and you don’t even recognize it. You were single for what, like a whole 2 seconds? Grrrr… Tamra’s mom tells her to “Just relax.” Tamra, in her talking head alerts us that her mom is going to hear some things that she may not want to hear in her speech. Holy Blindside, Batman! How nice and grown up of you to blindside your mom in front of a thousand people, Tamra. How totally inspirational! Are you freakin’ kidding me?
Lydia’s mom is over at her house teaching Lydia how to make lasagna and to potentially endure more Judgy McJudgerson’s disapproval about her lifestyle. As they were growing up, Lydia explains that her mom taught her brothers and sisters how to have fun – how to take a flower and pick the petals off and toss them into the air! On the other hand, Doug is the one who taught Lydia the more practical things – like how to cut onions. Lydia tells her mom that she didn’t like how their last talk ended. Her mom said that she almost cried because it felt like Lydia was saying that she wasn’t there for her. Her mom confirms that she never smokes pot around Lydia’s children. Lydia tells her mom that she is the most important person to her beside “her boys” (aka her husband and sons). Lydia tells her mom that she models so much of what she does for the boys after what her mom taught her. Lydia says, “I love you and I think you are a good mom.” She tells us that she hates that her mom smokes pot – but she wants her mom to be in her life and she doesn’t want to push her away. Hopefully, we don’t have to hear about this subject again…
Tamra and her mom are walking through the venue at the “Los Angeles Ultimate Women’s Expo” and they hear the announcement of Tamra’s upcoming speech and Tamra gets absolutely giddy. Tamra wants “to make a positive impact on these women’s lives.” Really? Why don’t you start by using your nice words and your inside voice with those around you? Tamra gets up to speak and starts out with, “You make me seem so important… I don’t know why I’m here… I know somebody’s going to be fired tomorrow.” Nothing but crickets chirping in the background… Well that – and the thud of the person’s head rolling that hired her. She continues to tell them she wants to inspire people to do things they might be otherwise scared of doing – which is also true of her. (Gag) In a lame attempt to provoke sympathy, she tells the audience that she grew up in a “tough” family – where “love was a 4 letter word that you didn’t talk about or think about.” (Okay, keep in mind… this conference is in Los Angeles, one of the most ethnically and socio economically diverse areas of the country – and she’s saying she came from a “tough” family because they didn’t use the word “love.”) Tamra describes herself to her audience as “outspoken” and no one was ever going to tell her what to do. She hides behind sarcasm and humor because she doesn’t know if she’s accepted or liked. (Get out the violins)… She said that she suffers from such low self-esteem that she looked for love in other places (Yes, she should have said that she looked for love in all the wrong places, then we’d actually have a song to sing at this point). She was sexually active at 14, pregnant at 17 and married her high school sweetheart soon thereafter. She was divorced by 21 and then attempted to commit suicide by taking a whole bunch of prescription medication and ended up in a mental hospital. Tamra said that her 20’s were the worst years of her life. Then she got married to a man who told her what to do, what to wear and what to think. She moved out of that relationship 3 years ago and it was the hardest thing for her to do. She then throws out every cliché she can think of (cue cheesy background music): “When bad things come your way, they always say a new door opens.” “It’s never ever too late to follow your dreams.” “Never allow yourself to be a victim – always be a survivor.” And, my personal favorite and one that is soon to be on a T-shirt for your purchasing pleasure, “Strong is the new skinny.” She really came across as inauthentic to me… but then perhaps I know way too much about her. I was surprised to see that she is scheduled to speak at this year’s conference as well. However, it looks like Kyle Richards is also speaking and quite frankly, has a much better billing to be honest. Perhaps Bravo is encouraging this so that they get more viewers… I just don’t get it… I mean of all the housewives in all the land, they chose Tamra? I don’t get it…
After the speech, Tamra asks her mom what she thought about the speech and of course she thought it went well. Her mom asks her, “Do you tell your children you love them all the time?” Tamra confirms that she tells them “I love you” every day. Tamra asks her mom, “How come you didn’t tell me you loved me?” Her mom honestly tells her that when she grew up her mom and dad never said that to her either – and that it was the same situation for Tamra’s dad. In her talking head, Tamra says, “I knew exactly what I was doing when I invited my mom…My mom needed to hear this…and after I knew what direction my speech was going to go in – I thought it was the perfect opportunity to have her listen.” Her mom cries, “You kids knew I love you.” Tamra said that her only memory of someone saying “I love you” was once when her dad told her as she was walking out the door when she was 21 years old – and when she got outside she broke down and cried. Tamra says people think she has this cold, hard, exterior… but it’s because she doesn’t know how to show emotion at all. Tamra thinks that giving this speech made her understand that not knowing how to express emotions brings out the anger in her. Really? This speech did all that? Her mom expresses that she’s sorry – that she didn’t know any better. Tamra says that she’s not blaming her… (cough, cough) Tamra says that it’s hard for her to even tell her own mom she loves her… her mom says that she knows it is. She can make a joke about it – she can get sarcastic about it… but her mom assures Tamra that she knows that Tamra loves her. Tamra says, “I have a hard time controlling my anger – and I want to change it.” Her mom says adoringly, “You are my best work… I love you!” Wait, is it too late to ask her mom to go back to the drawing board? If only…
Happy Birthday WindyCityWondering