Cast Blog: #RHOC

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"I Never Put Out!"

Tamra: Lizzie's Obsessed With Me

Shannon Settles the Score

Lizzie: Tamra Doesn't Fight Fair

Heather: Why Hate?

RHOC Reunion GIFs: The Gloves Come Off

Lizzie on That Kentucky Fried Nickname

Shannon on Heather's Double Standard

RHOC Reunion GIFs: Psychics, Opinions, and Shade

Heather Weighs in on the Dinner Party

The Difference Between Shannon and Heather

Lizzie Forgives Tamra

Vicki Wants the Best for Tamra

GIF Recap: RHOC Season 9 Finale

Vicki: I'm Tired of Tamra Causing Problems

Recap: 13 GIF-able Life Lessons from Bali

Tamra: Lizzie Is the Worst Kind of Person

Lizzie: Tamra Has it Out for Me

Shannon: There's No Hope Tamra and I

Tamra: Lizzie's Out for Blood

Heather: Can't Friends Disagree

Lizzie: What Tamra's Doing Isn't Right

GIF Recap: Kayaks, Crowns, and Elephants

Shannon Was Shocked Tamra Would Betray Her

Tamra: I Was a Fool to Defend Vicki

Heather: Newsflash It's Not All My Fault

Vicki's Warning to Lizzie

Shannon Isn't Putting Emotions onto Tamra

Lizzie: I Thought Tamra Was My Friend

GIF Recap: Lizzie's Lonely Birthday Dance

Tamra: I'm Going to Be a Tam-ma!

Vicki: This Episode Was Hard to Watch

Heather: I Did Owe Shannon an Apology

Shannon: Tamra Is Stirring the Pot

Lizzie: Tamra Is Stirring Up Sh--

GIF Recap: What Does Tamra Remember?

Vicki Is Trying to Stay Neutral

Shannon: Tamra's Lies Are Mind Boggling

GIF Recap: Lizzie's Dinner Party Disaster

Vicki Advises Shannon to Keep Communication Lines Open

Lizzie: "I Take Sun Kitten Swimwear Very Seriously"

"I Never Put Out!"

Tammy Knickerbocker talks Duff, dating, and relationship woes.

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"I NEVER put out!" Ok, I take that statement back. In this week's blog I'm going to put it all out on the table as promised, about Duff, dating and relationships. And by the way, I was never trying to be rude to my blind date at the time with my statement. As might have been perceived by everyone watching, I am not much of a pro at dating! I've been with very few men, and almost exclusively in long-term relationships most of my life. I tend to just pop out with statements like that before even realizing what I am saying. Maybe it is a Leo thing. I think I have a strange combination of modesty and flamboyance within me, and sometimes both sides are present at once.


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In my very short experience with modern-day dating, I was almost shocked to discover that people hardly get to know each other these days before moving right on to sex. Maybe it has something to do with the Internet age. Either that or I am just old-fashioned and don't get it. My blind date was an attractive man, a renowned plastic surgeon in Beverly Hills. We had a great time, but definitely weren't a good match. One of the scenes that didn't make it to broadcast was when he explained to me that he wanted children of his own, and didn't like fake boobs. Well, I have the boobs, and I have children already ...so you can guess how well that was going. As a matter of fact, I was probably worrying more about Ryley than my date. Having a small child makes it very difficult to go out, whether you are married or single. I'm sure most parents have similar issues. I am lucky because I never have to leave Ryley with a babysitter. Lindsey and Megan love watching their brother and it is a good time for them to bond without me being there. The only problem is that when I come home Ryley usually has a new hair-do. It breaks my heart to see any of my children hurt or not feel safe. I do think it is important for them to feel that they will be okay without mommy and that mommy will be back. Besides Ryley, there are many other issues that keep me distracted from the dating scene. I haven't spoken much about my current career or housing situation because I don't want to perpetuate the whole "woe-is-me" theme that seems to be coming up often, nor do I want to take advantage of this forum merely for personal career promotion. But to be brief, for those who are curious, I am very busy working as a loan officer for Barrington Capital and beginning to extend back into my previous field of product development and balancing some additional side projects. My goals have been somewhat on hold though, pending some form of resolve over my home. At the moment I am living in a simple one-bedroom apartment "outside the gates." I am not unhappy living there, however I am still paying two mortgages. Due to ongoing litigation, I cannot elaborate much more at this time. Last week I touched on some of my tumultuous past with my ex-husband, Lou.


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Suffice it to say, coming out of that relationship I felt extremely cautious about entering into another one. As a matter of fact, the last thing I wanted to do was meet another man. However, it was on my first official "girl's night out" that I actually met Duff. He was attending a woman's birthday party with one of his friends and smoking a cigar in my vicinity, which bothered me greatly. Still smarting from my recent break up, I tended to be very short with people at the time. I believe I asked him to move or put out the cigar in no uncertain terms. Shortly after, Jeana called him over to our table, probably to apologize for my rude behavior, and we all ended up in conversation. Jeana encouraged Duff to ask me to dance, to which Duff replied, "With her??" (Implying, "That rude chick?") But we danced and had a good time, regardless. He asked me out, but due to my situation I declined. My good friend Jeana, always wishing to help me out, gave him my phone number though. Duff called and we actually spoke on the phone several months before going out on a date. This later escalated into a great relationship. We felt like rebels, both having come out of unfortunate marriages. My divorce was long and complicated, and more than anything I longed for a normal, loving relationship by then. But I was fearful of marriage and did not want to contemplate doing it again at that time. After eight years together we decided to have a child. We lost our first child, but then we were very fortunate to have Ryley, who is a blessing to all of us. Well, this is where the road got bumpy. I changed the rules on Duff. Officially free from Lou, and now with a child, I wanted to get married.

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Duff had started a business in Palm Springs and was commuting to Orange County by then. I had just started working for RE/MAX Real Estate and it seemed we had everything. I was happy, and financially independent. Everything was good. There are two or more sides to every story of course, and Duff can't really speak his on here. But my side of it is that I wanted to get married, and Duff didn't. We had different views on our future together. I had grown past a role of essentially living one day at a time I suppose. I had been accustomed to being in survival mode for so long that perhaps it became a way of life for me. Now I was ready to think about the future, and I wanted a more solid, committed family unit. We just weren't on the same track. This is not to say that he wasn't a great partner and great father, but yes, I did want that elusive "more," that was mentioned in my lunch out with Duff in an earlier episode. I felt I had proven myself, by putting eight years into the relationship. I didn't want to be just floating, possibly in different directions and never anywhere specific. I wanted more than the just the journey. I wanted a destination, and a new place to discover together.

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It's been mentioned by some viewers that I send mixed signals. The truth is that it has been a very difficult and complex process, so I'm not surprised if it appears that way. After the breakup of any major relationship I think that most couples go through at least a two-year period of floundering, occasionally unsure if the right decision was made and struggling with desires to go back to what is familiar and perhaps safe. You remember all the good times and somehow magically forget the bad -- until you spend too much time with the person again. Then you recall why you aren't together. It's been a tough time for both of us. But I am at peace with my final decision. There is a popular book out now titled It's Called a Breakup Because It's Broken. That title sums it up well. I know many people have urged me to get back together with Duff. Frankly, I cannot understand why anyone would urge someone to go back to a relationship that they are uncomfortable with. I don't want to be stuck in one of those dreadful situations where you break up then get back together again countless times, only to find that the original reason you broke up is still valid. I've done enough of that and I gave it ten years of my life. I've noticed that men who are attracted to me often assume a sort of savior quality in their interactions with me. There can be a level of mild condescension or protectiveness, as if perhaps they know what I need — but of course they think they know it before I even know it. I am not always as assertive as I would like to be at times. I'm an easy-going person. It may seem alluring to be "saved" by someone in a sense, but it becomes tedious quickly. I may struggle at times, or seek counsel, help and opinions, but I like to learn from my experiences and enjoy the rewards of achieving goals on my own — even if the goal is merely survival.
Sometimes I feel that Duff brings up certain issues, like the sacrifices he has made for me and my children, or gazing at old greeting cards from years ago as a method of guilt-tripping me, or at least saying, "See, I am the right one for you!" The truth is that I am sincerely grateful from the bottom of my heart for all the good things he has done, and I won't deny that. I feel for him and don't want to hurt him. But my feelings now have changed, and it would be useless to pretend otherwise. I cannot give back something that is no longer there. I have great respect and love for him, even if friendship is the current manifestation of that sentiment rather than something more passionate. Duff is a wonderful man and father of my child and I hope to always have a good relationship with him. It's taken awhile to reset our parameters. It was portrayed in an earlier episode that I had Duff kicked out of Jeana's BBQ party before I came over. In reality, I never asked Jeana to kick him out. I simply called ahead to advise that I would be arriving in about an hour. Jeana was also aware that I had a date with me at the time (who was not shown on camera). Obviously it would have been a bit awkward for everyone involved had I busted in there with a date when we hadn't really crossed that hurdle yet. I had no intention at all to hurt Duff's feelings.


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But these are some of the growing pains of moving on. I'm sure it is best for both parties to abstain from too much social time together in such a situation. For Ryley's sake we strive to provide a stable environment. Duff and I were having a hard time with Ryley during the typical drop-offs and pick-ups between parents. We did not want to do it at each others homes or at McDonald's because we felt it was too stressful to pull him from an environment where he is happy and having a good time and force him to say goodbye to one parent. We both decided that it would be best to do it at school so he did not feel like he had to pick a parent in a sense and there was a buffer zone of time in between where he was focused on daily activities. In the beginning it was very confusing for him because he was not sure who was picking him up each day. As a result, when we came to pick him up he would cry and say he wanted the other parent, and vice-versa. It was breaking our hearts to see him feel so uncomfortable and unhappy.


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So, we scheduled a meeting with his teacher Ms. Cristal to ask for help in dealing with this issue. She gave us the advice of putting a sticker in his lunch box everyday to show who was picking him up at the end of day. She said it would take away the guessing or anxiety of not knowing. All I have to say is it was the best advice. After four weeks Ryley's stress was pretty much eliminated. He had the tools to understand what was going on and feel more empowered. He even got to the point where in the morning when we put the colored sticker in his lunch box he would say, "Today... Mommy it is a green sticker, right?" (Duff's sticker was orange and mine was green.) It was really cute and now after three months of this we can officially say we are off the sticker program. A big thank you and appreciation to Ms. Cristal and all the wonderful, concerned teachers out there who help guide families like us through these challenges of life. We are truly grateful for the job you do. Now if only stickers worked for my older kids, or full-grown college students like Shane, we might be onto something. Duct tape might be a better tool for Shane, right over his mouth at times. But I think one thing people don't realize is that when they get to the size and age of Shane, and my older children for that matter, even though we think of them as our "kids", they are actually adults. And that's a whole new ballgame that I don't envy Jeana and Matt having to play with Shane. I have my hands full also and most of the time I am just grateful when all is quiet on the domestic front for any amount of time.

Lizzie on That Kentucky Fried Nickname

Lizzie weighs in on Tamra's nickname for her -- and opens up about her body issues.

We have finally made it to the Reunion and I am happy to say I survived my first season of Housewives. . .Well almost. Next week is Part 2 of the Reunion and I have to admit I pretty much left in tears. I am not a large part of this week’s reunion, but I would like to take this week’s blog and focus on female bullying and body image. As women, I think it is our job to build each other up. We are all mothers, sisters, and daughters. There are so many body image issues among young women and I write this blog for any woman who has had insecurities about her body. If it talks to any of you than it will not have been a waste of time.

I am sure everyone is aware of Tamra's nickname for me, "Kentucky Fried Titties." When I first heard her call me this I thought, "Nah, I won’t even give it energy."  It really is trashy and frankly low-class. However, it was a trigger for me and it really touched on something that I had been self conscious of for my entire life. It sounded exactly like the pre-pubescent boys in my middle school P.E. class. "Hey Lizzie, can I get some fries with that shake." The girls would snicker, "Lizzie's sprouting!!" I grew up hearing a lot of derogatory names targeted at my large chest. I was the girl in fourth and fifth grade that cried when friends had pool parties and wore T-shirts over my swimsuit to cover up my chest. My mom's friends would laugh and say, "One day you will love your assets." But I was always self-conscious.

I grew up dancing and cheerleading and finding uniforms and dance recital costumes was always such a struggle for me. I literally thought about quitting just because of my boobs -- I was so self-conscious and embarrassed. Thank goodness I have such a loving mother that made me feel so much more important than that and didn't let me walk away from something I loved because of body image issues. Even when I started competing in beauty pageants the swimsuit competition was a big thing for me to over come. Some mothers assumed my mom bought me implants at 15. My boobs have always been "up for discussion." At Miss Teen USA, I had to have a special seamstress come in and sew cups in my BodyGlove competition suit because I was bouncing all over when I walked. When I competed in Miss USA, I also had to call in a special seamstress to alter my competition bikini top so it fit my little back and large chest. And, as many of you naturally larger chested women know; real boobs do not "stay put." After I moved to Los Angeles to pursue an acting career I found myself victim to my large chest yet again. I would only be called in for "Hot Girl #2" and roles like that. How could anyone take me seriously with these 34DDD natural boobs at age 21? I had a college degree. I graduated top of my class, I was so much more than "Hot Girl #2", or so I thought.

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At age 23, I couldn’t take it anymore, I cried enough over being insecure about my body. It was time to do something about it. I talked to my mom and she took me for my first breast reduction. It was the best thing I ever did. I felt free! It felt so great to go swimsuit shopping and to buy dresses that I didn't have to wear a minimizing bra with! I can honestly say it was the best thing I could have done for myself. I am 5'7" and I always had boobs, so one thing I didn't want to do is get rid of them completely. I still wanted to feel like me and keep some of my natural curves. Perhaps going 34D wasn't small enough or maybe I just have incredible growing breast tissue. Whatever the case, my boobs were huge again six years later. I decided to have another breast reduction right before my wedding. I was the perfect size. Not too big and not too small. . .and then I had kids. So, now I have very large boobs again. I will probably get another reduction when I am done having children, but we want more kids so now is not the time. I guess God wants me to have big boobs! So, excuse me everyone for finally embracing my body.

I know some of you are probably thinking, "Oh poor Lizzie and her big boobs." But it was a real thing to me and I think as women we all struggle with insecurities. We have all struggled with body image issues at least one time in our lives. I have always been a big believer in beauty shining from within. Think about it. How many people do you know that have such beautiful personalities that it shines through and makes me them even more gorgeous human beings? How easy is it to overlook an attractive person who is mean and ugly inside? People start looking like their personalities sooner or later.

How does all this translate into adult female relationships? I think there are many similarities. I think it has a lot to do with self-esteem, acceptance, and respect for others.

I am sure there are tons of people that applaud Tamra for her name calling of me, or of Alexis when Tamra coined the term "Jesus Jugs." I see nothing more than a 47-year-old bully when I see Tamra. I see bullying. Tamra didn't just call me a name in a fit of anger. She made up the name and announced in her interview. Later, she announced on Watch What Happens Live. My question is why? Why is she so proud of this name? (Which, I have to be honest, I have heard before, it’s not even original.) What kind of message does this send to young women? I don't have girls, but I have nieces and I would never want to teach them to be "mean girls." This may seem trite, but I always felt sorry for the bully. Why do they act like that? It always seemed like bullies have a difficult time connecting with people in meaningful ways and thus use relationships for manipulation. Look, if we can put someone on TV and afford them fortune and fame for being a bully, we are exalting that poor behavior, and sadly we as a society give it life.

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