Dedicated to my Bravo partner-in-crime: Allison Roberts Cruse xx
Fine, okay, I admit it. My name is Robyn Roberts and I'm slightly addicted to Bravo TV. I do, however, have my guilty pleasure limits. I've had to take a breather or two away from The Housewives on either coast, when their catty antics have proved too much for my own everyday dramatics to bare. Also, I'd say my taste in shows is pretty limited to staying loyal to the most glamorous of the bunch. Meaning, you've only reached DVR status if you are indeed a rich housewife, spoiled waitress or southern belle. I tend to pass on the personal trainers and yachties. Like the Soaps of yore, perhaps I prefer my villains to be covered in diamonds and botox or really bad cocktail uniforms over more normcore characters. Which is why my fandom for Lisa Vanderpump should come as no surprise here, nor should my deep admiration for her über successful spinoff, Vanderpump Rules.
If Bravo TV really isn't your thing, well, for starters, I'm sorry. I guess I should understand, I'm really not a fan of any other reality TV network which I've regularly made quite clear to anyone who listens. While I relish in the disturbing dating life of Jax Taylor you'll never catch me pausing even for a second on The Bachelor and his desperate deviants. I don't know, it's really just not the same kind of "TV". Hard to imagine, but one can and does have just a bit more substance than the other. Substance that can actually stick with you too, especially when paired with a medicinal substance of sorts. Scenes and personalities unable to excuse themselves from your thoughts and memory before you try to drift peacefully off to an aided sleep at night...
Very little is more terrifying than a VP Rules dream while under the influence of hardcore NyQuil. A dangerous mixture I carelessly participated in recently during a solo day of DVR binging plagued with seasonal sniffles. As I bid farewell to the latest shenanigans keeping the doors open at SUR I finally migrated off the couch and into bed, but not before slurping the warm licorice goodness down for a peaceful night's sleep. Peace, however, was absolutely absent from everything that would transpire during the 7-8 hours that unfolded once my head hit the pillow. Instead, I'd find myself captive in a Vanderpump Nightmare that would leave me ridden with cold sweats for days and nights to come. Visions so terrifying I awoke literally screaming for my mom and finding my poor perplexed husband staring at me instead. I immediately wrote everything down for reference sake.
I'm back at home in my parents house, far down south with Kristen Doute and Jax Taylor in tow. Like I took a road trip with my new friends to introduce them to my parents, leaving my new husband and friends I've had for years behind. Kristen, Jax and I are now vegged out on my parent's huge Cali King bed watching Beaches while noshing on chips, discussing shampoo and their newfound committed relationships, while my stepdad napped beside us because that's not incredibly weird at all. Next thing I know I'm heading upstairs to look for my new friends who've suddenly disappeared and I find them in my old bedroom working out together. Kristen is standing over Jax like a Drill Sargent yelling "burpies!! burpies!! burpies!!" while he musters up the bro strength to do another set looking pained in the process. I'm standing there watching them but it's as if they don't notice my presence at all. Like I'm peeking through a locked door yet I'm right in front of them. With the blink of an eye (or REM cycle) they start making out, like, totally going at it which takes me by complete, uncomfortable surprise given their new relationships and "solid commitments" to others. These two were supposed to be changed people for the better!! They're not supposed to be f-ing up anymore and cheating on their partners. They've come so far! And yet here we are, back down the despicable, icky rabbit hole once again. Suddenly, as if I was transparent and now whole they stop inhaling each others faces to notice my presence. I turn and run because it's the only move that feels natural in this supremely unnatural setting and hightail it right outta there which immediately proves wise as my new friends are now crazed enemies, shouting for my death while they're hot on my heels. As if my old home were a circle and not the split-level boxy abode I've always known it to be I find myself back in my room but alone so I frantically lock myself in. Through the door I can hear hyped-up Kristen whispering to equally manic Jax that they need to devise a plan to kill me for fear I'll out them as the cheating freaks they still are. I'm terrified and shaking in my fuzzy slippers (???). Kristen is banging on the door trying to force her way in. Jax is trying to calm her down, saying that I "have to come out eventually and it's only a matter of time". I bury myself in my closet, building a wall of stuffed toys and animals I left behind years ago when out of nowhere Scheana Shay appears beside me. She's calm and her disposition is sweet, like an angel sent by the NyQuil gods to relieve the mental effects brought on by over-the-counter psychotics. "Scheana!" I cry out. Staring at me, she vapidly blinks; her massive false lashes moving up and down like large soft plumes. "You've got to help me!" I say. Her body language is relaxed, one leg crossed over the other with her hands gently resting in her lap. The smell of White Rain aerosol hairspray and sugary lipgloss fills the small space around us in the closet. I'm waiting for her to respond, to give me some sort of verbal sign that she's here to help me and not just to make things prettier. She fixes her large brown eyes on mine, tilts her head to the side and casually says, "look, just calm down." "It's not that bad", she adds. Her dialect thick with a valley-girl drawl. She purses her frosty lips and blinks again before I hear Jax beating on the door, this time with a heavy object while Kristen is screaming obscenities and egging him on. Scheana starts to laugh and I feel my insides rising to my throat as I call out loud for my mom. "MOOOOOOOOOOOOOOMMMMMMM!!!" Then I wake up. Utterly terrified. Looking around the darkish room which is my current place--thank Buddha, far away from the south in Brooklyn. I take stock of the things around me. My body's intact---check. My husband is here beside me, not Scheana or a crazed Kristen or Jax---check. No one is beating on our door---check. None of that really went down but was just a dream, yes?-----check. Phew. Okay. All good. I think. I laid back down on my damp pillowcase. Why did I take them home with me? Why didn't we just go to a local bar, take shots and hang out there?...... The mind. It's a funny, fascinating thing. Incredibly so when under the influence of bad/great TV and sleep-aids.
I can forgive you, Kristen, Jax, and Scheana. I can even forgive the ingredients of NyQuil. But I think I'll refrain from medicating myself on the hard stuff before tuning in ever again. After all, wine dreams would at least reward me with an escape route.