Real Housewives of the Bravo Variety
Last night, as I sat on my couch with a pint of Ben&Jerry’s watching yet another fight between the ladies of the Real Housewives of New Jersey, I had to stop and ask myself, “Is this what I’m going to be like when I’m in my forties?” The way these ladies behave is both fascinating and disgusting all at the same time. I can’t even imagine dealing with that kind of drama. I’m 20 years younger than most of the women on the show, and my friends and I would never act like that with each other. Yet there I was, eating up the drama as if that was the ice cream I was spooning directly out of the carton.
I so badly want to be a real housewife on Bravo. Not because of the drama and the fighting, of course, but because of all the glamorous parts of their lives. The appeal of the Real Housewives franchise is clear: we get a glimpse into the lives of the elite. Watching these women fly in their private jets and remodel their mansions for an hour each night allows us to pretend, just for a little while, that we lead that life too. And when they get crazy and scream at each other and flip tables at fancy dinner parties, we get to hold our heads high and act like we’re better than them since we could never imagine behaving in such a way. It’s a fine line between love and hate for these women who attract millions of viewers every season. We want all the perks of their lifestyles without having all the drama that goes along with it. As long as I was shopping on 5th Avenue and not arguing with my best friend about whether or not I get paid for being in the tabloids, I would be happy.
I like to think that I wouldn’t be a New Jersey or New York housewife, I like Beverly Hills and the OC better. Being from the east coast, the bleached-blonde, sun-tanned lives of the women out west is more more exotic to me than their pavement pounding counterparts in New York City. I like to think I’d be the down to earth, voice of reason character. I’d get to go to fancy places and have lots of fancy things, but I wouldn’t brag about it or let it go to my head. I’d be more of a Bethenny Frankel than an Alexis Bellino, just on the west coast…right?
I guess you never really can say what you’d be like in a given situation until you’re actually put in those circumstances. As a recent college graduate with lots of student loans trying to make it in the big city and eating Ramen noodles most nights of the week, my life is so far removed from those of the women on the reality TV show that I might as well be on another planet. But who knows, maybe if I finally made it in my dream career and became well established and finally settle down with a rich man, then all the money would actually go to my head and worrying about which designer clutch best matches by designer dress would become a bigger crisis than worrying about where my next rent check is coming from. Just because someone is rich doesn’t mean they don’t have real problems anymore.
The other night I met a woman who reminded me of the housewives I love so much on TV, and so I told her, “You look like you could be a Real Housewife!” She laughed and asked me, “Is that a good thing or a bad thing?” I told her, “Both.” You see, as much as the women can be petty, argumentative, and sometimes downright ridiculous, they still have a certain level of class and that X factor that just draws you in. They’re like the popular girls in high school that you loved to hate, but who you also secretly wanted to be best friends with. I know I dream about being them, and having a life just like theirs. Just as long as I’m not trying to rip off my best friend’s wig when I’m that age, I’ll be happy.
Image from http://www.film.com/tag/real-housewives-of-beverly-hills