Eight minutes. Yes, that is how long it took us to get from the opening of Real U-Hauls of Rent-a-Wreck Center until we got to the first commercial break, and the whole first eight minutes were about the most trivial, everyday, household occurrences that it was like the television equivalent of writing a grocery list. Most of this entire episode was about moving. It was about Kim moving and Kandi moving, which I have vowed that I’m not going to talk about. Now, moving is the worst thing in the world. Well, not as bad as cancer. Probably not as bad as AIDS. But it’s third, right behind cancer and AIDS there is moving and it is the worst thing you will never diagnose yourself with on WebMD. I don’t want to do it in my life and I certainly don’t want to watch that on television. So, sorry everyone, no moving talk today.
This entire episode, actually, was about being a homemaker in one way or another. The other mundane task in the first eight minutes of the show was Phaedra and her husband Apollo taking their young son Aiden to the barbershop for the first time before his second birthday party. Now, according to Phaedra, Apollo is a master barber and before they even get inside the shop, Apollo is showing him his clippers. Now, if this guy is a master barber (is that some sort of extra certification process, like past a bachelors in barber, you have to get a masters hair maintenance?) and has his own clippers and even shears his own son at the barbershop, why are they even taking this kid out in public to begin with? Just sit him down in the bath tub and shave his head! You don’t need a shop for that.
Now that Aiden is gussied up, it is time for his second birthday party at the Atlanta Aquarium. This thing was planned and lorded over by Atlanta’s very own party Willy Wonka, Deeeeee-wight. I don’t know if you know this, but Dwight is actually the Planters’ Peanut man who got sick of shilling for nuts and one day molded his face out of Silly Puddy and walked right out of the nuthouse and into the world. He still uses the cane and monocle, but now he has a whole collection of hats. Last night’s appears to have been made from reclaimed Burmese rickshaws. Dwight, formerly quite a presence on this show, didn’t really have much to do except play Major Domo to Phaedra’s excesses. Yes, after everyone arrives, she, her husband, and her son are lead into the room by a marching band while riding a choo-choo train. Yes, drum corps and locomoties. Of course! These are two things that go together like marshmallows and Frisbee, like beach balls and Abe Lincoln’s Birthday, like hot air balloons and oxen.
The only good part of the Aiden haircut/birthday party was that Aiden, whenever he is sick of something and wants to ignore it and be left alone says, “I’m sleepy.” This is so genius that I just gave it an honorary PhD from Brian Moylan’s Real Housewives Institute and Bagel-Making Academy. Aiden is two years old and already knows how to get out of just about everything: by feigning sleep. I bet he learned this trick from his mother, who probably uses it all the time to turn down sex with his father. “I’m sleepy,” she says and rolls over and everyone just leaves her alone as she snores a deep baritone while her donkey booty props up the blanket. Yes, Aiden, you keep that somnambulesence about you. It’s going to come in handy some day.
Now was have to talk about Kernya Moo-ah and her lack of household skills. Kernya makes me sleepy, so very sleepy, but I can’t ignore her. No, I can not. She is pathological in the most interesting way I have ever seen. It’s like those gold highlights in her hair are made with bat shit, actual real bat shit from a cave in Brazil (do you think that is what they use to do those Brazilian blowouts?). Kernya is trying to make her man Walter marry her, because she wants a baby and because everyone else who she has gotten close to duping into a lifetime commitment has finally seen past the bat shit highlights into her real crazy brain and run off into next Tuesday like their shirt was on fire and there was a sale on asbestos at Home Depot. But before she can marry him, he has to pass the panel of her family. Kernya invites him to dinner with her aunt, uncle, and two cousins and they asked him more questions than the Senate Judiciary Committee asked Sonja Sotomayor before she could be sworn in on the Supreme Court. This thing was intense and awful and if I was Walt I would have got into my tow truck, lit a joint, and forgotten about the entire Moo-ah clan for the rest of eternity.
That was totally stupid, but was even better was the next night (well, let’s pretend it was the next night) when Walt comes over to Kernya’s house and she is going to cook him dinner. The problem is Kernya is either too dumb or untalented to cook a dinner so she puts some salad from a bag on a plate and then microwaves two Lean Cuisines and puts those on individual plates and has it ready right when Walt comes home so he thinks she cooked dinner. OK, whatever. That’s the oldest trick in the book. Who hasn’t bought prepared food and tried to pass it off as maybe your own? You just don’t say anything and hope the person who is eating it doesn’t ask any questions and will just be silently impressed.
This is not what Kernya Moo-ah does. She says to Walt, “This is just a little taste of what it will be like every night if you marry me.” Yes, she is going for the hard sell and is totally swindling him into marriage. “You think you can do this every night?” Walt asks. Then Kernya gets all upset, like how dare he question her cuisine. “You don’t think I can do this every night?” Well, of course you can, Kernya. It is not that hard to follow microwave directions. Even Aiden can do it when he’s not too sleepy. But then the lie gets even worse. “This was so hard to make. First you have to marinate the chicken and then you have to grill it,” and Kernya just goes on and on totally fabricating what she went through to make this dinner. I’m sorry, that is just absolutely bonkers. Like I said, passing off Lean Cuisine as your own and not saying anything about it is like a little white lie. Making up a whole story about how you slaved over a hot stove all day is fraud. It is fraud pure and simple. I don’t understand why people do this, put on some sort of front about how great or smart or awesome they are before marriage, like the person who marries you isn’t going to know as soon as you move in together that it was all a ruse. That is why you should just fart and wear comfy pants and make your crappy pasta and be your lousy damn self. Someone might still want to buy that, for whatever crazy reason. Also, lying is bad, Kernya. Nothing good ever comes from lying.
Now the difference between Kernya and Porsha isn’t that one can cook and the other can’t. No, they’re both shitty cooks but it’s how they approach it. Kernya tries to pretend like she can cook by duping her (hopefully) husband-to-be. Porsha can’t cook and, well, she’s not afraid to burn her biscuits again. Yes, this is not the first time that Porsha has burned the biscuits, and I’m not talking about sitting her ass to close to the fire around Christmas time. No, these are actual biscuits in an oven and they are singed. Porsha is trying. She is trying to make Carvell (her husband who is a walking Cookie Puss) happy and she succeeds. He loves her in spite of her faults, not because she’s trying to cover them up.
The reason Porsha can’t cook is, well, Porsha is kind of an idiot. But she’s a harmless idiot. She’s a fun idiot. She is like a lady Barney Fife, fumbling her way through life with the best of intentions trying not to shoot the people who love her. And you do love her, if only because she’s so incredibly stupid. When she recaps calling Kernya Miss America instead of Miss USA she says it was a “fraudulent slip.” Ha. Oh, Porsha. You just shake your head and smile because she really thinks that is what it is. That is her truth and she is speaking it. You can hate idiots, but you have to love authenticity.
I guess the only thing we have to talk about is Phaedra’s Butt Dial. I just opened up my big sack of groans and they all escaped, spread on the wind like melancholy leaves blowing against your window pane. Groan. This is now a plot point on a reality television program: the butt dial. It’s happened to all of us, but usually in our pocket and you call it a pocket dial. But not Phaedra. Her butt does everything in her life. I’m beginning to think that it is big enough that it has finally gained its own consciousness and is acting independently of the rest of her body. I think it heard Pheadra having a bitching conversation about her fellow Housewives and said, “Ah ha! I am going to call a friend of NeNe’s so when the voicemail picks up, it will record all of this viciousness.” It seems the butt was a little too late and all it recorded was Pheadra saying she didn’t give a fuck is Cynthia came to her son’s birthday party or not.
NeNe plays the tape for Cynthia who books a dinner with Phaedra. Cynthia arrives and is like, “How was the party? I am so good about going to all of Aiden’s events. I’m so sorry I wasn’t there.” This is why Cynthia is a crappy Housewife, the passive aggression. We do not watch the Housewives to watch passive aggression. We watch for aggressive aggression. Sorry, Cynthia, and I’m going to let you finish in a second, but that is why the sadly departed Sheree Whitfield was one of the best Housewives of all time. She was always on the attack, even when she was being defensive. She would come right out with the truth and make an accusation. She would wag her finger in your face and dare you to check her, boo. Not Cynthia. She has to put on a smile and weasel around it.
When she does eventually tell Phaedra about the butt dial, Phaedra just changes the subject and giggles and tries to make it go away. Now, this might not have been the right response, but it worked with Cynthia because she’s way too passive to actually hold Phaedra’s feet to the fire, or her butt in this case. I hope her biscuits don’t get burned.
That’s it. That’s all we have to talk about, all the domestic bliss to look at, all the moving to be done. And as the meals are burned and microwaved, as the children sleep with their hair newly shorn, as Dwight goes back home to the peanut farm, there are houses that stand empty. The big brick monstrosities have the boxes backed up, the brick-a-brac in piles in the middle of the room, the margarita makers and coffee tables sitting hodgepodge waiting to be transported to have some place new. The people who live in these houses have relocated, moved their bodies and their families somewhere else, but it’s just the clutter that remains. The detritus that is so hard to scoop. You can relocate your family, but what about your stuff? What becomes of it when it is forgotten? What becomes of it when it doesn’t have a drawer or cabinet, when it gets shuttled off to storage and forgotten about until one sad day when someone new finally tears through it and discovered it. What about all of our stuff? And it sits their quietly, not even knowing that it should be sad, that life has moved on without it, that everything around it echos with loneliness.
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[Photo Credit: Bravo]