Staying Home Sick with the Housewives of Orange County

Kati Heng


I knew the day was going to be a waste anyway. I woke up with a killing migraine, and wasn’t going to work. Opening my computer, I couldn’t even look at the screen for three minutes without making it worse, meaning I couldn’t blog or read blogs or write a Word doc or in any meaningful way work.

I flipped through options on TV, seeing this one channel that offered a full-day’s marathon of The Real Housewives of Orange New Jersey. I was delirious enough that sounded like a totally rad thing to do with my entire day. I didn’t get that specific channel, though, so I had to actually find “The Real Housewives” online, pick the city I found most intriguing (went with Orange County), and start at season one. I’ve never seen an episode of this show in any location, but wanted to start with the basics.

Binge watching trashy shows is fun, right? Sure. You can say that. If you’re going to be lying in bed all day anyway, you might as well do it with some happy housewives, more women who can sympathize with how awful it can be to stay at home all day.

Throughout the marathon, I took notes.


11:40 am: Starting off the marathon, imagining living in an area where it’s $1 million an acre to live. I can’t even fathom an acre [and I went to school in Iowa]. I wonder how many of my studio apartments would fit in an acre. I wonder how many of my apartment complexes would fit inside the first family’s house.


11:49 am: The 16-year-old girl on the show just explained love: “We prove we love each other by buying each other things.”


11:54 am: Fourteen minutes in and explicit talk of breast implants already. Because why warm up to the subject.


12:34 pm: Just realized there are THREE blonde housewives, not two. I literally have not been telling the women apart as separate people until now, in the second episode.


12:41 pm: Just watched one of the husbands do a face chemical peel basically shot for shot like Christian Bale a la “American Psycho.” Chainsaws in 30 minutes or I owe someone bacon.


12:49 pm: First explicitly racist thing said. About Mexicans.


12:57 pm: I’ve always thought I had a pretty cute pouty face. My boyfriend usually can fall for it, unless I’m pouting for something ridiculous like adopting that yellow lab puppy I just met on the street. An hour into watching TRHOC, though, and I’m pretty sure I need more pout practice in front of the mirror.


1:01 pm: Jesus Christ. Mom partying putting “Jersey Shore” to shame.


1:08 pm: …aaaand our first homophobic moment. I didn’t even try to keep track of the misogynistic remarks because, you know.


1:26 pm: I’ve begun to feel oddly sad and compassionate towards the women. Like, this does suck! Haters gonna hate, but the struggle is real.


1:30 pm: Wait. There are TWO blonde teenage girls. I had melded them together in my mind, as I did with the blonde mothers. Jesus, can’t someone be brunette?


1:37 pm: The show drags on as the women shop. I wish they had wrapped this up more nicely, like a shopping montage from an ‘80s movie starring Molly Ringwald.


1:38 pm: I wonder what Molly Ringwald is up to these days.


1:39 pm: Molly Ringwald hasn’t been in any films for awhile.


1:48 pm: Literally watching a woman get botox. This is my day.


2:14 pm: I would like to remind people that monetary abuse is real abuse. Evidence: watch TRHOC.


2:26 pm: I’m at the point where my migraine has faded and now I’m just binge-watching tv for the sake of binge-watching tv.


2:40 pm: I wonder if the ladies of New Jersey stayed home all day, watched similar marathons of this show, decided having their own would be fun, called in, got on air, and then the ladies of every other city did the same until forever.


2:41 pm: Will not rest until there is a “Real Housewives of Dubai.” That would be some good shit.


3:03 pm: Past the point of novelty/compassion. Jesus H Christ women, get your shit together.


3:57 pm: Switching to Season 9 of TRHOC because I cannot watch one more teen in a skin tight Abercrombie top go on a shopping spree.


4:00 pm: DEAR LORD I WAS NOT PREPARED FOR THIS. Drinks being thrown instantly.


4:16 pm: Season 9 features a couple of the women from Season 1, but now, they are both so filled with botox I cannot physically tell them apart.


4:30 pm: Cannot. Cannot. Switching back to Season 1.


4:56 pm: Introduction of the term MILF.


5:23 pm: I have yet to read the September issue of Vogue, mainly because the magazine is too big/heavy to take anywhere. Now, the cover is glaring at me, begging to be read. I think I just saw Karlie Kloss’s mouth move, form the words, “just three pages.”


6:18 pm: One time I ran an actual marathon. After like mile eight, you glide for awhile. It stops hurting, you’re just a machine turning turning turning. At this point of watching the show.


7:12 pm: Beginning to take on these women’s feelings as my own. One is upset her fiancé does not take her seriously. Realizing my boyfriend does not take me seriously. One is upset her husband does not help more with the household chores. Realizing my boyfriend does not help enough with the household chores. Realizing this is stupid, I barely remember the last time I washed the dishes.


7:36 pm: Now what would make this easier? Margaritas. These ladies have been drinking them for hours now. Time for margaritas.


7:40 pm: A huge point of drama in this story at the moment is whether or not this 24-year-old is mature enough to marry a 36-year-old father of two. This is actually a topic of debate.


8:52 pm: Finally Season 2. With a whole new housewife. Whole new MILF. I can almost hear Aladdin singing that now to the tune of “A Whole New World.” “A whole new MILF… A whole new mom I’d like to fuck…”


9:22 pm: Been watching this show so long, I feel that botox is a natural part of aging. Why are people so mean to these women?


9:42 pm: Second margarita gone. I wonder what effect this is having on my empathy.


9:54 pm: I just realized I have been watching this show for ten hours now and have yet to see a black person.


10:26 pm: I forgot what the point of this show is. My brain is mush. I’m just staring at it now.


10:44 pm: I actually feel like a worse person right now. I feel like their choices are my choices and our choices are so bad, I’m just a horrible girl.


Sometime between 11 pm and 12 pm: Fell asleep, fading into sweet dreams of botox-induced heaven.