The Real Life

14 Apr

Have you seen the sneak preview of The Real Housewives of New Jersey? And if you have, then you will understand when I say: WOW.

I’ll admit that while I don’t care for The Real Housewives of Orange County, I do catch the Real ones of New York and Atlanta. I don’t know why I like those ones better than Orange County – it’s not like the women are any more interesting or the subject matter any more scintillating. It’s all pretty much the same, save for the location: We are women, we have lots of money, and other people knowing we have lots of money is very important to us. Depending on the city, the topic of having money and making sure everyone knows it is covered on a boat (Orange County), in the Hamptons/at a rooftop cocktail party (New York), or at a fundraiser hosted at a McMansion (Atlanta).

There is nothing “real” about these women, and it’s all ridiculous, yes I know that. These people are the epitome of ridiculous. If your life is one where you place the utmost importance on “being seen,” anywhere, but especially in an atmosphere that strives to be the upper echelon of society but really is little more than high school + 20 years, I’m going to call it right now: You! You are ridiculous! So don’t mind me while I sit on my couch and giggle at you, hausfraus. (Especially you, Alex and Simon, in your unabashed determination to be climb the social ladder. I’m honestly curious as to why this is appealing, what you think it will get you in the long run, and how achieving this success will sustain you and bring you contentment in your life? I find you both very strange creatures.)

BUT! The New Jersey hausfraus! New Jersey! Robin Givhan of the Washington Post had a great column about this on Sunday. And from what I saw in the sneak preview, these women are….I’m just not sure what words to use to best describe their train wreckiness. Delusional seems too light and quippy of a word, and self-involved is a given. (These are, after all, women who go on TV so they can extol how great their lives are because they have oodles of money.) Perhaps megalomaniacal? Though no more, I guess, than the other hausfraus who appear any of the other incarnations of the Real Housewives. God knows they all certainly suffer from bubble syndrome.* The New Jersey Housewives are…well, they are one-of-a-kind. And I do not mean that in a good way.

I wonder if this franchise is going to be like MTV’s Real World and just start going around to any city where it can find 5-7 women who are not a little full of themselves, more than a bit fame-seeking, and a tad skewed in the head when it comes to the thrill of money. Will we soon be seeing The Real Housewives of Dallas? The Real Housewives of Charleston? The Real Housewives of Phoenix? The Real Housewives of Boston? The Real Housewives of Virginia? (And why do I think The Real Housewives of Chicago would be pretty boring? Though I think the Real Housewives of DC could be interesting, particularly if they were wives – or husbands! – of high-ranking political figures.) Could they make a series The Real Housewives of Boca or Palm Beach, pitched as what Real Housewives do when they retire? (Is it any different than what they do now? Maybe their sunglasses get bigger as they age to more fully-protect their eyes while lunching on patios?)

Side note: I’m always curious about one thing when I watch these shows—how much debt – bad debt – do these hausfraus and family have? I’d bet you anything that at least some of them have some pretty hefty chunks from trying to keep up with the Joneses. But that’s another story altogether.

For now, though, we are left with peering in on what “life” is like for “housewives” in New Jersey for our next installment of reality TV, which, the way Bravo cuts it, involves a plethora of loud voices, fake nails, semi-big hair, vague insinuations of mob ties, and enormous, sparkling SUVs and jewelry – sometimes simultaneously.

Oh, Jersey. How does your garden state grow?

*Bubble syndrome – n., from the human MVS (1) a deterioration of the mind and thought process when you live in a bubble and have no idea how life outside of the bubble, i.e. Actual Life, operates. (2) Completely out of touch with reality and/or the majority of people in the world.


2 Responses to “The Real Life”

  1. mary April 14, 2009 at 3:15 PM #

    Oh just you wait for…HouseHusbands, coming soon to the FOX station near you. That’s what my bro is working on in L.A. It is the exact same premise, but with the men that stay home to “raise the kids” and have lunch and bitch about the one man that isn’t there that day. Fun!


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