Ahhhhh, The Real Housewives. Watching them are among my most shameful guilty pleasures. But hey, I'm not the only one. Julia Roberts, Anderson Cooper and Brad Pitt are fans. And for all I know, Jane Goodall, Mike Huckabee, Hillary Clinton and the Pope himself are closet watchers. It's hard to say, because most people who watch aren't as brave as me by admitting they're fans. They keep it to themselves.
The creator, Andy Cohen says that watching their antics should earn us college credits in psychology, sociology and human behavior. I completely agree, and after months and months of donning my lab coat and taking feverish notes, I've learned some things.
Let's just call them "cautionary tales..."
1) When in a conflict, shut your mouth for
once and listen to the other person
2) Don't be a "firestarter"
Oy vey, over the years many, many of these women have gone bankrupt and lost their mansions, which it turns out were way, way beyond their means. Of course, living the "simple life" is not exactly conducive to $100,000 shopping sprees and vacation mansions in East Hampton. And I'm sure living that jet-setting lifestyle is intoxicating and even kick-ass fun a lot of the time. But to get to their top tier world -- and to stay in it -- requires a certain style. Expensive style. And once you're up there on the tightrope, the view is grand, and most people don't want to go back down to be with us minions. So they take out second and third mortgages. They keep up appearances. Until it all inevitably comes crashing down.
4) Crying "I was just being honest!" after saying
something impossibly cruel is not an excuse
5) Don't be a 'record keeper'
6) When you've wronged someone,
take ownership of it right away and sincerely apologize
7) Learn what "age appropriate" dress means
8) Don't constantly correct others and tell them
how they should live their lives
9) Be good to the help
10) If you want a long, happy marriage,
don't go on a reality show
These two actually seemed pretty happy when they first joined the cast. They seemed truly in love. But Simon, introverted by nature, was never comfortable with the cameras. Two years later, we actually saw the moment when the marriage ended with a flurry of curse words in the back of a limo. It was quite sad.
Which leads me to the saddest story of all: Bethenny and Jason. Bethenny Frankel is a strong personality but she let her guard down and fell in love with Jason -- a good man. They married on TV, had a baby on TV, built their new life together on TV.