It’s Research, I Swear

To the untrained eye, it may have seemed like I was wasting my time watching crap on TV, but really I was conducting a sociological study (that’s my excuse and I’m sticking to it). Recently, the researcher* focused her attention on studying human behavior and interaction via an episode of The Real Housewives of Orange County. In the interest of science, she is pleased to share her observations. 

Subject “Real Housewives” share the following physical attributes: long bleached blonde hair, comprised of both naturally grown hair and not-so-naturally-grown extensions; orange-tinged tanned skin of a color not found in nature; surgically enhanced breasts the size and shape of which suggest that the surgeon, in fact, implanted bowling balls; thin build, with the exception of the aforementioned bowling balls. 

Subjects’ dress differs markedly from the Control Group comprised of random carpool moms. At all times, Subjects were observed wearing tiny tight dresses that strained to contain various parts of Subjects’ anatomy. Additionally, Subjects continually teetered atop stiletto-heeled shoes in an apparent attempt to gain the best vantage point from which to look down upon one another. They were adorned with mascara heavily applied using a secret process that turns ordinary eyelashes into rows of dangerous talon-like appendages, with lips covered in gloss at all times. In contrast, Control Group was most often observed in tee shirts, sweatpants or jeans, flip flops, and an occasional smudge of chapstick. 

Subjects socialized and interacted with one another frequently, but their interactions lacked the characteristic signs of friendship and can more accurately be described as frenemy relationships, characterized by nasty personal attacks, backstabbing, teasing, and a perpetual competition to see who can be the most ridiculous while maintaining perfectly glossed lips. Interactions are markedly dramatic to a degree never observed within the Control Group. 

The dinner party depicted on the episode observed by the researcher illustrates these unusual interactions. (Researcher regrets that she is unable to individually name the Subjects, but she was unable to distinguish one from another.)  Real Housewife (RHW) No. 1 and her husband threw a lovely catered dinner party inviting about a dozen people. RHW No. 1 had gone to a lot of trouble and she damn well wanted everyone to have a good time. 

RHW No. 2 arrived without her husband, claiming that a business obligation prevented him from attending, while confiding (wink, wink) to the TV viewing audience that he refused to come because he can’t stand these people. RHW No. 1 was insulted that No. 2’s husband didn’t show. RHW No. 2 soon became despondent and emotional from the strain of being apart from her loving-husband-who-refused-to-come for a whole two hours and dashed off to the bathroom to weep, sob, and endlessly text said husband for an extended period of time. 

RHW No. 1, in a show of deep concern, issued an ultimatum to RHW No. 2, demanding that she either pull herself together and join the party or get the hell out. 

By contrast, RHW No. 3 is finding No. 2’s distress endlessly amusing. She confides (wink, wink) to the viewing audience, “She can’t be away from her husband to go to dinner?! What is she, f-ing 5 years old?!” 

Clearly, further research is required to begin to interpret the norms of behavior amongthe Subject group. The researcher hopes to collaborate with renowned anthropologist Dr. Jane Goodall, who by this time must surely be sick and tired of watching chimpanzees and would be fascinated to turn her attention to this new hybrid group of primates.

*Talking about myself in the 3rd person makes me sound more official, right?

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24 thoughts on “It’s Research, I Swear

  1. Yes, research…. that must be why I watch Gok Wan’s programmes too…

    At least that’s the excuse I’ll be using from now on! Will report back with findings at a later date.

      • Interesting – I’ve never had to explain him to someone before… actually quite tricky to describe! I guess he’s only big in the UK…

        Anyway, he’s a fashion expert who’s mission is apparently to ‘make women feel good about themselves’ by showing them how to flatter their figuers etc. For me it’s a tricky concept because on one hand, it seems to make the featured ladies more confident, but on the other it’s packaging them into ‘feminine’ boxes and giving them a pat on the head.

        So yeah, bit of a conflict there…

      • Sounds sort of like “What Not to Wear,” where the hosts ambush the fashion victim, humiliate her for her current fashion sins, and then make sure she learns how to buy appropriate clothes. I totally get the conflict thing.

  2. Hi Lisa -

    Oh, you’re wasting your time watching that crap on TV, lol. For me, I can’t watch any of the reality stuff because it’s all produced, edited, and acted. Reality TV is just a less rehearsed & less scripted soap opera at nighttime, made to give the audience the belief that it’s real. It’s so unreal. Whatcha think?

    And for the monster bowling balls on 110 lb female frames, they look quite silly and unattractive to me. I think I’m a pretty good judge of a pretty lady…don’t see much hotness in those babes. Not for me anyway.

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