Pinkies were firmly down at this Real Housewives Of Orange County birthday party meant to celebrate the not-yet-deceased phony Queen Victoria. Tensions were firmly up instead!
Well, it’s time to celebrate Vicki Gunvalson‘s birthday, which might as well be a national holiday at this point. If anything good can come from long-term exposure to Vicki it should be a paid day off of work. Insurance, if you will, that we can at least get something out of this. But instead, we got tea party thrown by Tamra Judge‘s most juvenile bullying impulses.
“I get to be queen for a day and all of my girlfriends have to bow down to me. I mean it’s like every girl’s wish, right?!” says an enthusiastic Vicki, who has no idea that buried inside Tamra’s hat is a double-bladed invisibility sword for stabbing your friends in the back while you’re smiling to their faces. Satan is confusing!
And this party literally was machiavellian; orchestrated precisely to inflict maximum humiliation on unsuspecting cohorts. First on Vicki, then on Kelly Dodd, who wasn’t even there, but Tamra still managed to reignite the fight between Vicki and Kelly using inferences and accidental revelations. Tamra is so transparent at this point we might as well sell her plastic face as a mask in Gasoline Alley, the costume shop.
Oh yes, of course, there were costumes. For the A-list friends, Tres Amigas, plus their patsy Gina Kirshenheiter. What part of “classy and elegant” equals polyester drag costumes and enormous plastic wigs? On their way to the costume shop Tamra tells Vicki she got a text from her friend “Shelley” who happened to be at a restaurant while Gina and Matt were making out at a bar. Gina was wasted, and calling Matt her husband. This sounds awful like that one time a friend texted Bethenny Frankel a photo of Tom D’Agostino making out at the Regency, and that friend happened to work for Bravo in the capacity of producing a reality show. Anyway, basically Gina’s latest baddest decision is Matt.
Tamra is just filling Shannon Beador in on the details, when Gina walks in. Gina admits that she did touch Matt’s wiener, but swears it didn’t go any further. Shannon warns Gina that this is dangerous territory if she actually wants to move-on. After all, Shannon made the mistake of believing David could ever let go of his love for tortilla chips to save their family, but he made them the third wheel in their second honeymoon hot tub romp. He basically injected fried corn right into Shannon’s heart, and all she got was a toilet in her relationship corner and a soggy reconstituted veggie burger to pedal on QVC. But Gina isn’t ready to accept this reality just yet. She’s still leaving the front door unlocked with a sign that reads “HOME IS WHERE THE HUSBAND AT!”
As punishment for not learning from Shannon’s example, Shannon assigns Gina the Mad Hatter costume. Shannon is relinquishing her crown, and Gina graciously accepts.
Braunwyn Windham-Burke is fixing some sort of vegan, vegetarian, gluten-free, nut-free, flavor-free, air puffed hubristic whatchamacallit with strawberries and hulled arrogance as a topping. Sean is wearing his power medallion to dinner which means he’s ready to fend off any allergen that comes his way. Or he’s storing the aroma of fried food in there? Over dinner, which everyone pushes drearily around their plates, Braunwyn and Sean discuss the Lori Laughlin college admissions scandal. Their kids, of course, do everything on their own merit! Especially apply for colleges and design fashion collections. In fact Rowan is planning to write her very own name on the applications to design school, all the way in NYC. Braunwyn blames Rowan’s issues on NYC and doesn’t want her to leave.
Then to contrast teenage issues with childhood ones, Gina takes her daughter Sienna to be evaluated by an occupational therapist. Gina is dressed like she’s gong to Coachella. You know, a place where they serve alcohol instead of hard truths about how your lack of parenting may have contributed to your kids inability to sit still during circle time. Gina thinks if she gets back with Matt, all of Sienna’s issues will go away. Well, where is Matt for this pivotal eval, I ask?
Apparently Sienna regressed in school and although Gina acknowledges Matt’s absence and the divorce could be a factor, she mostly blames a mysterious processing disorder. So only children with processing disorders are bothered by itchy tags during quiet reading time in pre-k? Mmmkay.
While she’s getting ready for the party, just before Vicki is due to arrive, Tamra calls Kelly, who can’t come because she’s driving to LA to return some dresses. It doesn’t matter anyway, because the next time Kelly plans to celebrate Vicki will be at Vicki’s funeral – and Kelly will make sure to wear a costume! It may be Vicki’s birthday, but Kelly has given Tamra the ultimate gift: ammunition, which is music to Tamra’s ears. She needs it to block out the sound of Shannon’s shrieking.
Kelly makes a fair point though! She can forgive Vicki, and get along with her socially, but they’re not friends and she doesn’t care to pretend like they are. Good for Kelly for having some ethics. Something rarer than class on Bravo.
These so-called historic costumes are basically 80’s bridesmaids’ dresses. And because she loves Vicki so very much, Tamra convinces her makeup artists to hide all the mirrors, then secretly do Vicki up in Elizabeth I makeup: white face, bright pink lips, and cheeks. Tamra and Shannon laugh hysterically, but Vicki looks like a clown laughing through her tears.
No matter how bad Vicki looks, Gina looks worse! Emily Simpson and Braunwyn, who were deemed 4th wheels, did not get the costume memo and wear actual tea clothes. They should be thankful for their “B-List friendship,” cause they would’ve wound up dressed like a headless Marie Antoinette and the March Hare.
Right from the jump, Gina is irritated with everything Braunwyn does, starting with Braunwyn’s litany of food demands: she’s allergic to champagne, wine, dairy, and nuts, but not Tamra’s saliva!
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In an update on the Gina/Matt boondoggle they went on a date and ended up sleeping together. I think it’s because Gina felt bad after learning that Dr. Hottie was not a brain surgeon in OC, but a Nigerian king looking for $3,000 to start his mini-mart in sunny California with a generous donation from his new queen and her ever-loving America citizenship. No one is impressed with Gina’s latest lapse in judgment but all of that is forgotten when the Tres Embarrasigas arrive with bad British accents in a horse-drawn carriage. Vicki is waving like a pageant queen in a parade. Her title will undoubtedly be Rancid Orange Queen.
Shannon and Tamra even roll out a dirty red carpet, which clashes with everything else. Just like Gina!
Over lunch, the ladies discuss the fashion show, and how Kelly called Kathy “ugly.” Kathy is an amazing rare breed, so how dare she!
Braunwyn defends Kelly, who defended Dr. Deb, but there is only so much that can be done in the wake of a salacious new story! Kelly may have fractured another woman’s hand in a bar fight over an argument with Dr. Brian because the woman had her arm around him! Obviously, this revelation came from Tamra, but we learn from Braunwyn that the fight actually started at their mutual friend’s house and involved Brian’s kid, a storm out, and Instagram breakup, an Instagram make-up, finally culminating with the grand finale at the bar with the amputated hand. Now Kelly is back home cuddling Brian on the couch and pretending that her throat scarred from screaming is strep.
In the middle of this convention, Tamra runs to the bathroom to call Kelly, pretending to be a protective friend by telling Kelly everyone was bashing her. She begs Kelly to come to the party to defend herself, but Kelly claims she’s ill. Even though an hour ago she was supposedly in LA… In her faux-distress, Tamra “accidentally” reveals to Shannon that she thinks Kelly is lying about being sick because earlier she said the only time she wants to celebrate Vicki is at her funeral. Shannon is disgusted. First Kelly used the word ugly, now she’s joking about death. Um, didn’t Shannon have a fake funeral for her marriage? Vicki finale storms into the bathroom to remind them that this is Queen Victoria’s day, not Kelly’s. Or Braunwyn’s.
Now comes the stupidest moment, well, ever. Gina gets a call that her daughter needs therapy and as she’s explaining this Braunwyn wonders, rather neutrally, if Gina’s kids are in public school. Braunwyn’s reasoning for asking was because she feels the services are better for kids with needs, and she knows from personal experience with her own family, but Gina takes it as an insult about her socio-economic status. Gina heard, “Oh your kid has problems. Being poor is better. It is such an asshole thing to say!” Gina tells Braunwyn as much, and calls her an egotistical snob. Braunwyn bursts into tears of mommy-shaming hatred. Braunwyn is a selfless goddess mother of 7 who provides endless nourishment and nurturing to her children, and even used cloth diapers!
This escalates into a huge argument about whether or not the charter school Braunwyn‘s three eldest children attend, which they donate heavily to and are on the board for, can actually be considered a public school since the kids had to audition in order to attend. Did the acceptance come before or after the donations? Also, didn’t Braunwyn just move to OC like 5 minutes ago? How much can they LOVE, LOVE, LOVE that school and credit it for “saving” Rowan’s life. Poor Rowan… She’s the new Braunwyn to Braunwyn’s nuevo Dr. Deb!
Braunwyn is crying in defense of how not snobby she is about school, when Gina screams in her face that not everything is about her! Yes, because everything is always about Gina instead! Braunwyn is living out her freaking childhood insecurities in every. single. social. situation, but Gina is an exhausting energy suck who makes less sense than a neon purple wig at a tea party.
Braunwyn runs away from the table in tears. To be fair, I think Gina was more pissed Braunwyn asked for a glass of sparkling water so she didn’t have to teetotal out of a glass bottle like a wishful wino without a bender to be had.
“Why can’t we just sit down and have a nice lunch for my birthday?” bemoans Vicki. Cause this is Real Housewives Of Orange County. And this is the 8th circle of hell that you have created, Queen Vicktim Gunvalson.
Shannon consoles Braunwyn by explaining that Gina has the mentality of a 10-year-old, so apologize but speak in a bright voice and smile a lot, rub her back, and give her a scratch and sniff sticker. Basically, Gina doesn’t want advice she just wants them all to be all “awwww shucks, Gina!” Braunwyn apologizes and Gina rationalizes her behavior as she just needing people to “tip toe around her things,” because she’s a very private person. Which is why she joined a reality show!
The one bright spot – literally – is cake. Everyone takes off their wigs for this, but then no one eats it so Tamra force-feeds Vicki, smashing it all over her face and ruining her makeup. That cake was so pretty!
Alls well that cannot end well on OC. Braunwyn calls a sick (meaning sickened) Kelly to tell her everyone was discussing her fight with Brian. Kelly decides the entire conversation is Vicki’s fault. Ironically I don’t think Vicki said a word while Kelly’s so-called friends Tamra and Shannon were doing all the bashing. Kelly complains to Jolie that her friends should be discussing how to solve world problems instead. Well, they did talk about income inequality in how it pertains to public vs. private education.
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Brian consoles Kelly, by talking to her like a hypnotist about how she feels things very deeply.
And in the car leaving the party, Tamra accidentally shares that Kelly is already planning what she’ll wear to Vicki’s funeral. Vicki tears up, looking so sad like a mishap at the MAC counter, and instead of handling this like a lady of advanced age should, Vick rants that she’s tired of Kelly’s evil words and points out that there’s so many things she could’ve said, but hasn’t, like how Kelly pushed her mother down the stairs. “I never said that!” Vicki rants. “But now you are,” Shannon intones, channeling the patron saint of Housewives revelations everywhere: Camille Grammer. It’s a new reprisal on the old favorite, “Now we said it!”
Shannon decides she and Tamra will talk to Kelly about thinking before she speaks, but Tamra isn’t convinced it will do much good. After all Tamra ALWAYS thinks before she speaks but it causes more problems than not. Plus, her opinion of Kelly, is that, “You can take the girl out of the hood, but you can’t take the hood out of the girls.”
Um, well you can take the girl out of a trailer park and put her in a gated community with a country club, but you can’t take the trailer park out of the middle-aged woman!
TELL US – IS TAMRA STIRRING THE POT? DID GINA OVERREACT TO BRAUNWYN’S COMMENT?
[Photo Credits: Bravo]