The Real Housewives of Whereevertheheck
Published 1:09 pm Saturday, March 5, 2011
Column: Alexandra Kloster, Pass the Hotdish
I tuned in for the bald Pomeranian, but I stayed for the memories.
Could it be true? Could Gizmo have a doppelganger? I was led to believe that Jiggy, a pampered Pom on “Real Housewives of Beverly Hills,” bore a striking resemblance to my Gizmo. It seems they both suffered from premature hair loss and sad faces. Though I did notice that Gizmo and Jiggy wear the same smoking jackets while having breakfast in bed, Jiggy merely flirts with alopecia. Gizmo has a receding hairline over his entire body. Call me, Jiggy, when you have real problems.
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What I didn’t expect from this introduction to Bravo’s franchise of happy homemakers is the connection I would feel with these ladies. As they bounced from private jet to swanky restaurant to cozy mansion in those hills they call Beverly, I found myself with my face up against the TV screen softly whispering, “Mother? Mother, is that you?”
Not since June Cleaver mopped the linoleum in nylons and pearls has the modern housewife been so authentically portrayed on television. I don’t even know why they bother to include the word “real” in the title of the program. How could we ever think otherwise?
Such nostalgia I felt following the ordinary lives of these six women. It was like watching home movies from my childhood. One woman even had a daughter named Kennedy, which of course made me think of my sisters Taft and Nixon, and just like one of the “Real Housewives of Atlanta” my mother too decided to become a popstar, dropped an album and went on tour. Maybe the public wasn’t ready for a record of Andrew Sisters’ covers set to a house beat, but just wait, it’ll be a cult classic someday.
Mom made sure my childhood was the same as anyone else’s. I had the usual four nannies, two to play my imaginary friends and two stand-ins. At my birthday parties we played pin the tail on the caterers and then we’d beat our professional party planner with a stick until candy fell out of her shirt. She was such a good sport. Mom would get the DNR to airlift moose and bear out of the forest just so I could have a petting zoo. Those sedative darts made them so docile and friendly. One year I really wanted a wolf at my party, but they were endangered or something, so my mom found a Husky and made it wear my vampire teeth from Halloween. She’s such an animal lover.
Normally our chef and the waiter Mom poached from the Big Boy ran our kitchen, but because she was a “real” housewife, occasionally she cooked. No one could pull back her hair extensions and peel foil off a TV dinner like my mom. Sometimes a false eyelash or a fake nail would find its way into the Salisbury steak, and Mom would tell us to think of it as a special ingredient called love.
A few times a week Mom and I would climb into the stretch Oldsmobile Cutlass and meet her friends for lunch. Inevitably I’d fall asleep in the booth. Sometimes I’d wake up to screaming and yelling, but I knew it was only Mom flipping the table over again because Char criticized the hotdish she brought to the neighborhood potluck or the doilies she crocheted for the church bazaar. These things happen.
Mom taught me so many things over the years. For instance, the way you present yourself to the public is very important. Just because it’s a mug shot doesn’t mean it can’t be glamorous. Retouching is key. She taught me about the art of conversation. The more people talking at once, the more meaningful is the dialogue. Also, for extra emphasis, you can’t go wrong with the pop and lock head bob. Hand gestures are more powerful with lots of bracelets, and if all else fails, flip a table. Like I said, Mom was a pro at that last bit.
Fashion was Mom’s passion. Her personal shopper used to come over at least once a week bringing the latest in Carhartt for women. Sometimes we’d even get to see the newest Sorels before they hit the stores. It was important that Mom looked as stylish as the other real housewives when she was shoveling the sidewalk and blowing out the driveway.
Friends, I think we all know my mother’s job description was, like so many other women: mother, wife, accountant, manager, tailor, philosopher, life coach, confessor, social secretary, medic, chef, teacher, confidant, friend and sometimes co-conspirator, and it didn’t end there. It wasn’t a glamorous life, but she tells me it was worth it, and I tend to believe her. She tells me the goings on with The Real Housewives of Whereevertheheck has little to do with making a home. I tend to agree. She tells me that only once in a while did she ever have the urge to flip a table.
Now if you’ll excuse me, I have a bald Pomeranian on the phone trying to dial the Hair Club For Men.
Woodbury resident Alexandra Kloster appears each Sunday. She may be reached at email@example.com, and her blog is Radishes at Dawn at alexandrakloster.com.