Sunday, March 04, 2007


I have a dirty little secret, and it's time to come clean. My name is marshmallowsoup(s) and I watch the Real Housewives of Orange County. There, I said it. I feel much better already.

I have become obsessed with these self-involved, fake, life-preserver breasted women. Clearly, lots of other people have too. If I am going into full disclosure mode, I might as well also come clean about checking Bravo message boards as well. There, I said that too. I feel better again.

This show causes quite a commotion on both the television and computer screens. Soon after I started checking in on how other people felt about these ladies, Bravo revealed that they were getting so many posts (many of which were extremely mean spirited) that they had to start censoring messages for the first time in their web site's history. I also heard rumor that Television Without Pity (another well traveled message board) had to actually shut their entire Real Housewives message board down for good. These women sure do engender a lot of feeling in people--mostly negative it seems.

Which brings me to this question: Why the heck do I like this show so much? If we all hate the Real Housewives so much, why do we spend our time watching and reading about them? If I'm honest, I think it's because I like to feel superior to these women. Yes, they may all drive $75,000 cars, wear outfits that cost more than everything in my closet combined, live in huge houses with pools, and seem to have a lot of time to play tennis and drink cosmos, but they also all seem pretty sad and not that bright. Most of the women are terrible parents, seem to have no clue about how to have a satisfying relationship with anybody, and one of my biggest pet peeves--possess absolutely no self awareness. And this it seems, is exactly why I watch.

I watch because I like to heckle at the screen, sigh loudly when one them does something ridiculous, and cry foul at all their stupid choices. I admit it, I like to watch rich people make fools of themselves. But, I must also admit that I feel a little sorry for them all too. These women have every material want supplied, but they sure don't seem very happy or fulfilled by life.

Whether intended or not, the show highlights the cracks in our country's current obsession with all things luxury and monied. One can have all the money in the world, and it still doesn't guarantee to make you happy. In fact, if one believes the things we see on the Real Housewives, being obsessed with money is more often than not a symptom of some sort of deep seeded psychological problem. Get these women some therapy!

Let's hope that the women of Coto, Orange County can serve as a cautionary tale for the rest of us. Having 15 Louis Vuitton bags and two Mercedes SUVs in your four car garage doesn't solve life's problems. In fact, it may actually cause some of them. Diamond necklaces and designer bags are nice and all, but they don't replace everything else in life. Let's stop obsessing about our own need for more and more luxury items and leave it to the ladies on television. Clearly, it's working out so well for them.


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