Once again, my personal problems are of no concern to you. How bored would you be by the story of my house being flooded by a burst washing machine supply hose? What do you care about my hardwoods and the army of fans deployed throughout my house, making an infernal racket, forcing me to turn up the volume on my TV to watch The Real Housewives of Dallas to the point where my wife had trouble hearing the insurance adjuster on the phone? All you care about is the recap. I understand. I am here to satisfy you — much like the cowboy ecdysiasts at LaBare that we meet in Episode 3, titled “Making Frenemies.”
We open in Brandi’s house. She is perched on her bed with her two cotton ball-sized dogs, talking with her husband, Bryan. She is super sad because Bryan has to go away on a business trip and because it took her three hours to apply her eye shadow. She breathes a heavy sigh. The foreshadowing competes with her eye shadow.
To LeeAnne’s house. Her two dogs are much more blue-collar looking. One of them is a beagle. No way is it purebred. This beagle was surely the result of a unsanctioned back-alley coupling. I’m not even sure the alley was in Preston Hollow. She talks about how handsome her boyfriend Rich is. She tells the interview camera: “I wake up every day and say, ‘Thank you, God. Are you sure I get to keep him? Because I’m kind of cuckoo.’ ” Uh-huh.
Cut to Brandi and Stephanie on the rooftop patio at Bistro 31, in Highland Park Village. It is their “date night,” as they put it. They agree to act like they are 21 and just had their birthdays. Stephanie laughs that laugh. You know the laugh. It’s the laugh that launched a thousand ships. She’s like Helen of Troy. Except, unlike the Greeks on the thousand ships that came to fight for Helen of Troy, the men on Stephanie’s ships sailed off toward the horizon with no other plan but to get out of earshot of that laugh.
Brandi tells the interview camera: “If Stephanie was a lesbian, I’d definitely marry her. We would have a pink house with chandeliers and crystal initials on each potty.” So Brandi’s idea of being a lesbian is that it means you have bad taste in decor.
Then Brandi tells Stephanie: “We should totally call Cary and invite her out with us. Call her and tell her to put her party panties on and come out with us.” They totally call Cary. In fact, Stephanie totally calls Cary on speaker. At the restaurant. Forget everything else that has transpired in the first two episodes. This is the most disgusting thing I’ve yet witnessed on this show. Stephanie deserve to have a ruptured washing machine supply hose. I hope her kitchen floods.
Brandi explains to the interview camera that she doesn’t often go out, so when she does out, she goes out. “Stephanie and I get white-girl wasted,” she says. “Only, I can dance.” I’d never heard that phrase before and was prepared to be really offended. But after a little research, it looks like “white-girl wasted” has nothing to do with race and everything to do with having fun without guys. So it’s a feminist term? I don’t know. The idea that I might have actually learned something from watching this show makes me sad.
Cut to Bistecca, an Italian restaurant in Highland Village, where LeeAnne and Rich are having dinner with Rich’s 17-year-old daughter, Elise. (Note to out-of-town viewers: Highland Village and Highland Park Village should not be confused.) LeeAnne orders a glass of pinot. Rich orders a house chardonnay, which makes me reconsider everything I thought I knew about him. As they talk about Elise’s boyfriend, she looks like she wants to sail away on the ships launched by Stephanie’s laugh. Or just drown herself in Lewisville Lake. Faster.
Back to Bistro 31. Cary arrives. Bubbles are poured. Cary admits that Mark, the plastic surgeon, is her third husband and that one of her previous marriages lasted just three months. At which point Brandi tells the interview camera: “The thought of three husbands makes me want to be a lesbian.” I’m pretty sure Brandi should be in therapy. The girls decide that Cary needs the bachelorette party she claims she never had before any of her three marriages, which is difficult for me to believe.
After another scene at Bistecca that I don’t care to describe because it involves the house chardonnay, we cut to pictures of a flooded Trinity River flowing beneath Large Marge. This really must confuse the rest of the country. I imagine someone in New York City saying, “I never knew Dallas had such an enormous river running through it.” It’s true. We do.
Then we’re at LaBare. Brandi and Stephanie hug the door guy like he’s an old friend. Hmm. They take a table front and center. They transition from Jesus juice to something much harder. Call it Barabbas beverage? (I’m not going to provide a link. If you are a good Christian, like me, and if you read the Bible, then you got the joke. Bless you.) Brandi is invited onstage with the aforementioned cowboy ecdysiasts. She basically has sex with them. There is reverse cowgirl, upside down cowgirl, triple Salcow cowgirl, and some positions they don’t yet have names for. Cary narrates for the interview camera: “Brandi is going balls to the wall. No pun intended.” But I think she is lying. The pun is intended.
After commercials, we find ourselves at LeeAnne’s house, where LeeAnne pours goblets of wine for her and Tiffany before the girls repair to the backyard to enjoy LeeAnne’s privacy fences and talk about how LeeAnne is going to handle the Mad Hatter’s Poop Incident from Episode 2. Something important happens here. LeeAnne appears on camera without any makeup on. Zero. I respect her for that. Unless she was just drunk and forgot to put it on.
LeeAnne tells Tiffany that she is going have brunch with Cary and Stephanie and explain to them that they shouldn’t associate themselves with Brandi — and not because Brandi wants to be a lesbian and have a potty with her initials in it. “I’m not going to have a clear conscience unless I take the information I have and give it to them,” LeeAnne says. “Basically, I’m going to try to explain to them, ‘You are responsible for who you show up with.’ I mean, that’s a part of Society.” Tiffany responds, “If this was LA or New York, women wouldn’t give a shit, literally.” Let us hope this is true, that women in LA or New York, if confronted with a similar Mad Hatter’s transgression, would not give a shit, literally. Because: ick.
LeeAnne, really working herself into a lather, says of Brandi: “I think that she’s just so stupid that she just can’t put 2 and 2 together. I feel sorry for her daughters, seriously. I really do.” She is using a beach towel as a slip cover on her patio furniture. She gets so worked up that she has to adjust the towel. She continues, “Because I don’t know how those girls are going to grow up. It won’t be with class.”
Look. I hate to do this. But remember in Episode 1 when LeeAnne said that she doesn’t judge anyone because that’s God’s job? This feels to me like LeeAnne is doing God’s job.
On to Stephanie’s house, where she and Brandi are sitting on her front steps, watching their children drive one of those battery-powered kid’s cars. Stephanie’s boy tear-asses down the driveway and skids onto a sidewalk just as a car passes and Bravo edits in the sound of a car horn. “It’s a gated community,” Stephanie tells the interview camera. “It’s safe. It’s not like a normal neighborhood.” God doesn’t like Stephanie for saying this.
The ladies talk about the night at LaBare. Brandi says she doesn’t think she did anything wrong and then starts crying. She tells the interview camera: “My husband Bryan and I used to party all the time, and now he gets pissed when I do.” Probably because Bryan is a father now and has adult responsibilities and no time for getting white-boy wasted. Just a guess. Stephanie hugs Brandi and tells her, “I feel like guys don’t understand that guys vs. girls strip clubs are so different. I mean, like, literally, it’s like NSync.” Then she laughs that laugh. More ships weigh anchor. Their captains complain, “She literally doesn’t know what ‘literally’ means.”
Cut to The Aaron Hendra Project in his garage, wearing a black tank top, shorts, and white ankle socks, playing acoustic guitar, his harmonica in a neck holder. His singing is so grating that Tiffany makes drinks, pouring vodka out of a Nebuchadnezzar bottle. She puts straws in the drinks. I guess men in Australia drink vodka drinks through straws. Tiffany tells the interview camera how she feels responsible for making The Aaron Hendra Project, who was a big rockstar in LA, move to Dallas, where he is not.
Then she has an idea. She tells her husband that she wants to put on her own charity event with The Aaron Hendra Project performing. “Oh, my gosh,” she tells him. “Then Dallas would be able to meet The Aaron Hendra Project in a really awesome way, and people maybe would start to respect me.” The Aaron Hendra Project likes the idea, but he suggests that Tiffany needs to find some new friends in Dallas. I have to give it to him. The Aaron Hendra Project knows what he’s talking about. That’s some smart, loving advice for his wife. Maybe he’s not such a bad guy after all.
I’m listening to Pandora as I write this. I just searched for The Aaron Hendra Project and listened to a song called “Alive” from the album Octobersong. I take it back. He’s a bad guy after all.
We go to commercials.
When we return, Tiffany is at Cary and Mark’s house to film a “webisode” for her blog and YouTube channel. They go through clothes in Cary’s closet and Mark talks knowledgeably about her dresses, some of which he himself has purchased. There is an awkward moment where Mark goes on and on about one dress in particular, how it stopped down a restaurant in San Diego (presumably because Cary looked good in it), and The Aaron Hendra Project thinks about fisting dairy cows in Australia.
I couldn’t find this “webisode” on YouTube, but I did find one in which Tiffany demonstrates three ways to wear a black jumpsuit. It has nearly 9,000 views.
Cut to Brandi’s house. Her mom is there. Brandi talks about what a great mother and grandmother she is as her mom pours a handle of Tito’s into a blender. Then they sit down and have a tearful, heart-to-heart conversation about how her mom got pregnant at 15 and how, despite what Brandi has thought all her life, that’s not why Brandi’s mom doesn’t have a relationship with her father. It’s an important, private conversation that has no business being on Bravo except for the fact that Brandi’s mom is wearing only lipstick liner. I spent most of the scene counting the moles on Brandi’s face. I counted three, but I might have overlooked one. Brandi wraps up by telling her mom, “Oh, my goodness. I need a drink after this.” So do I.
Back to Cary’s house. Post webisode shoot. They talk plastic surgery and drink wine. It looks like a good red. Tiffany and The Aaron Hendra Project talk about how they met. They all four agree that everything happens for a reason. I hope the washing machine floods their house for a reason.
Back to LeeAnne’s backyard. Tiffany accidentally touches the penis of one of LeeAnne’s dogs. LeeAnne snort laughs. Tiffany washes her hand in the pool.
Now we’re in LeeAnne’s house. Tiffany is there. LeeAnne tells the interview camera that Cary’s sense of humor is sophomoric, though she doesn’t use that word. LeeAnne suggests that Cary might like fart jokes or a burping contest. This from the same woman who one scene earlier was snort laughing because her friend touched a dog penis. I mean, I’m not pointing out anything that you missed last night, am I? It’s pretty obvious.
To Brandi’s house. She and Bryan are in the kitchen, having a tense whisper conversation. There is residual tension over her behavior at LaBare. Bryan says he has a conference call and leaves. Brandi to the interview camera, tearfully: “It hurts to always feel like you’re giving to someone all of you, and you don’t feel it in return.” One wishes Bravo would here insert footage of Brandi using one of those male strippers like a pommel horse.
And then finally — finally — we come to the big confrontation, the brunch where LeeAnne tells Cary and Stephanie how things work in the Charity World. They are meeting at Bread Winners. As Cary and Stephanie walk up to the restaurant, Cary tells the interview camera: “I’m not necessarily looking forward to this lunch with LeeAnne. I’ve been in surgery for the last five hours, working on boobs. And I’m not exactly excited to see another one.” I like to point out when someone on this show issues a burn. This is a burn.
At this point, my wife hangs up with the insurance adjuster and makes a series of deeply critical remarks about this show. Then she says I can’t put those remarks in the recap. I encourage you to find my wife on Facebook and ask her about these remarks.
At Bread Winners, LeeAnne is breaking it down for the other two ladies. She tells the interview camera: “I’m hoping to explain to them the process of being involved in Charity, the process of earning your wings.” LeeAnne tells them what Mad Hatter’s means to people in the Charity World. She produces printouts of the internet, saying that this is what was written “in the media” about Brandi’s poop hat. It’s from the site Oh So Cynthia, which Stephanie describes as “the TMZ of the Charity World.” This makes me wonder if Stephanie knows what TMZ is. It also makes me wonder if she thinks that the White Rock Lake Weekly is the BBC World Service of East Dallas.
Then LeeAnne produces the fake poop from Mad Hatter’s. At the table. It’s so meta. Because LeeAnne is complaining about how inappropriate the fake poop was at the Mad Hatter’s luncheon, yet here she is waving around that very same fake poop on the patio at Bread Winners.
Cary and LeeAnne get into a heated argument while Stephanie looks on. LeeAnne seems like she genuinely wants to fight at Bread Winners. “For me, it is about being proper,” she tells Cary. “Here’s the thing. You know what? And you probably know my reputation. I’m as fun as the day is long, but if you bow at me, I will bow back.” This is “bow” with a long “o,” not the kind where you bend at the waist. Just in case you were confused. “If I’m being a bitch,” LeeAnne says, “I’m going to sharpen my tongue and put you in a little puddle.” That part — the thing with the puddle produced by her bitch tongue — I can’t explain.
Cary says “good” and raises a coffee mug to toast in defiance. “I don’t back down,” LeeAnne says. “Bow at me. See how it goes. I don’t give a fuck.” LeeAnne is getting all hard at brunch on the patio at Bread Winners. Not sure if that’s proper.
Before I say what I’m going to say next, you should know that LeeAnne is scheduled to be a guest this Thursday on our podcast. Here’s what I want to say: LeeAnne scares me. I would not bow at her. But that’s me. I’m not a fighter. I promise you, though, that if someone punched LeeAnne in the face, she’d buckle. Just once. Right in the nose. The real fighters, the ones who actually are tough and don’t give a fuck, they don’t bluster. They’re quiet. They hit first, without warning, before you see it coming.
Anyway, there is dramatic music. Cary says a dildo on a hat would be inappropriate but not fake poop. A server brings food to the table. Stephanie explains, level-headedly, that if she has a friend who likes to wear poop in her hat, that’s fine. I can’t help but notice an elderly diner sitting behind LeeAnne on the patio at Bread Winners. What’s she thinking?
The fight goes nowhere. Cary says she doesn’t want to fight about it. LeeAnne tells her, “If you think this is a fight, then you don’t even effing know me, bitch.” I’m not sure why she says “effing” here and not the full word. Yet another reason to believe it would take just one punch.
Then LeeAnne says she’s had enough, and she gets up to leave. But — hey, wait — even though the food was delivered earlier, now the menus are still on the table. No empty plates. The waters are still full. I see that, and I begin wonder. Maybe this stuff is all just manufactured and edited to look dramatic. Maybe this isn’t really reality. Because no one from the Charity World waves fake poop around at brunch before trying to provoke a fight on the patio at Bread Winners. Right? RIGHT?
Maybe it’s just the hum of the fans and the humidity. I find it increasingly difficult to think clearly. Pray for me.