I’m embarrassed, no – make that ashamed, to admit that I’ve gotten hooked on The Real Housewives of New Jersey. First, let me say I grew up in New Jersey and knew of no housewives that resembled this collection of over-the-top women in any way, shape or form. The housewives I knew dressed in wrap-around denim skirts, schlepped to carpool and the A&P in aging station wagons, considered themselves presentable if they swiped on a little lipstick, and were generally nice to everyone, including the people they didn’t particularly like.
Apparently, things have changed since I left the Garden State several decades ago. If this show is any indication of reality, today’s Housewives of New Jersey are all about excess. They live in excessively large and ostentatious McMansions; drive enormous SUVs; dress in excessively skimpy cocktail party attire at all times, whether they’re headed to a family cookout or to the dentist for a root canal; and spackle on so much make-up they could easily pass for hookers or Las Vegas showgirls.
Not surprisingly, their behavior is excessive. They fight vehemently with one another over the smallest of perceived slights and spew venomous insults and accusations. They spend an inordinate amount of time in the company of friends and family whom they do not appear to like in the least, sharing meals, large amounts of wine, and nasty nasty conflicts. They chastise each other for getting involved in things that are none of their business, notwithstanding the fact that they choose to display their business on TV for all the world to see. Occasionally, the arguments get a little physical, but as I watch, I’m more concerned that someone is going to scream herself into a heart attack or stroke.
I think it’s fair to say that as a group, these women (and their spouses and sometimes their kids) are the most dysfunctional, selfish, self-involved, insecure, hyper-critical and unhappy people in the lovely Garden State.
So, if ever you feel a little sorry for yourself because your finances are not what you wish they were, if ever you think “why didn’t my husband buy me an $80,000 Jaguar for our anniversary, like Caroline’s husband did?,” take a deep breath and be grateful for what you DON’T have!
(Hey, anyone know of a good Real Housewives detox program?)