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TOP 10 FAN COMMENTS OF THE SEASON
Blogging is one of the most amazing, yet unforeseen benefits of doing Real Housewives. It's so humbling that folks take time out to read about my personal take on the show, or my own beliefs, emotions, etc. And the comments! WOW. At first, I could kind of pretend that maybe people don't watch the show or read the blogs...until it goes up; then right in front of me are people's reactions to MY life! Me a Bravolebrity? I'll take that. A celebrity? Not in D.C. This is a town full of real celebrity divas -– it's called Congress.
More than anything, I want to thank all the fans of Real Housewives of D.C.! You stayed with us week after week and helped the DC show become one of the most watched first seasons in Bravo Housewives history! It's just baffling to think that millions of people are exposed to a seasonal slice of our lives and of our family's lives over only 10 hours of TV (more or less). And from this sliver of edited tape, there are individual perceptions of who I am, who my husband is, where we live, what we believe in. But that's the risk/reward that made this project truly extraordinary for us to do. Jason and I aren't going out scared. Not our style. This is REAL for us folks, as fake as it may seem at times on TV. We promised ourselves we were going keep it authentic. In retrospect, I can honestly say that I own 99% of what is seen on the screen, the good, bad, and the ugly. Whatever happens, or doesn't happen, it's all good!
I LOVE MY FANS!! Honestly -- to say "my fans" is so difficult for me to articulate aloud or to write. Truly, the opportunity to express one's self and share with millions of people was a crazy, scary, unforeseen leap of absolute faith. Reading your questions and comments on Bravotv.com forces me to honestly channel my inner Salahi (see "Salahi-ism") to a level that is, at times, uncomfortably delightful! Over the season, I took notes on some of the questions and comments that struck me most. For your information, I share my TOP 10 FAN COMMENTS OF THE SEASON with you today (in no particular order):
1. Comment: "I'm a real housewife from Kentucky. My husband works in the coal mines, and I'm a homemaker and mom. I know we can't relate to each other's lifestyles but..." RESPONSE: More than anything, Jason and I love to meet new, interesting, and different people, from ALL walks of life. Do you like to cook? Do you have kids? Do you work your butt off everyday like I do? I think we have A LOT to talk about. While I only like what comes OUT of mines, Jason loves that kind of stuff. He would go to work with your husband for a day if the boss allowed! I would like to see us doing more "real life" shots, dealing with real stuff and real people and less fashion shows, etc. Real life is more interesting, in my opinion, and I, much like the fan from Kentucky, have a TON going on daily!
2. Comment: "Thank you for representing a positive image of African Americans on TV..." RESPONSE: Anyone who has seen my blog has read these words in some form, and often. I hate to pull the "race card" as was said during the season, but race matters, especially on TV. For blacks and stereotypes in the media, we run the full gamut from the Cosby Family to the Obama Family, without much remarkably positive in between. Of course, only one of those families is real. Our fears of storyline negativity first made us turn down Half Yard Productions emphatically; in fact I was the last HW to join the cast, months after the others. We changed our minds because we wanted to show our reality, which by the grace of God is (at this time) thankfully positive! The fact that most of my fans say to me, "You represented us so well in the show," is a flattering but sad reality. I know exactly what they mean.
3. Comment: "Stacie you were a rude host by allowing Erika to attack Cat, and especially in front of her children!" RESPONSE: I have two thoughts. First, I agree that adults should mind their behavior if children are in the vicinity. I was handling the other four kids in the house (i.e. mine, Erika's and Mary's) which is why I was not present in the foyer. It was terribly inappropriate for the interaction to play out in front of children. No doubt. HOWEVER, Cat should not have not allowed herself to be emotionally vulnerable in front of her children either; as children react more to the vibes they are getting from their parents than ANY stranger. Further, it's ironic that Cat "attacks" Micheale in the finale (to which many fans cheered). Bottom line: If you can dish it, be prepared to take it. I'm just sayin...
4. Question: "Do you think Cat's racist?" RESPONSE: I am still shocked by how much run that episode had in the minds of the fans! NOBODY called Cat a racist -— yet the question is asked over and over. Honestly (and I know some won't be able to handle this) this season's dialogue and response shows how much more there is to talk about when it comes to race in America. Just because someone may be uncomfortable around a new and unfamiliar environment doesn't mean they are discriminating against them! Case in point: when I go to Nigeria, I promise you I may appear VERY uncomfortable considering everything will be new to me: new food, new customs, new wine, new clothes! Some people in my new family may initially think I am rude, stuck up, or that, "Maybe I have a problem being around Nigerians!" That wouldn't make me a racist; just uncomfortable in new surroundings. Fortunately, I love being in new surroundings -— and it's not likely that I will either leave early or not eat the food.
5. Question: "Why do you not talk about your white birth mother the way you talk about your birth father? Are you ashamed of being white?" RESPONSE: I am PROUD of my entire heritage, which is why I sought it out. At times now when I feel alone from an immediate family perspective (not counting my wonderful in-laws), it's really not hard for me to wonder who out there might care to know that I'm here living and breathing -– and I could care less what they look like, trust me. My birth mother made it crystal clear to me that she wants to keep me and my existence a secret, so I respect her wishes and moved on.
6. Comment: "I liked you Stacie, until I learned about your position regarding gay marriage. Why don't you believe in equality for everyone?" RESPONSE: I DO believe in human equality on everything. All people should have the same right to live life, love, and legally unite in love with the person(s) of their choice, without restriction, differentiation or discrimination. That said, my own definition of marriage remains that of a union of one man and one woman. Another case in point: I have recently learned that my father took two wives in Nigeria. Polygamy is a legally and religiously acceptable practice of marriage for many in Nigeria. This means I will wholeheartedly accept whomever my father would introduce to me as his wife; but Jason better not get any ideas!
7. Question: "Do you one day hope to unite with your birth mom?" RESPONSE: Yes, of course I do. But that ball is entirely in her court. I, like many comments logged by fans, can only imagine the incredible circumstances she undertook to give birth to me, perhaps alone, in 1967 Washington, DC. There may be a lot she would have to atone for in order to have an open relationship with me, and I understand that, especially if she did not want to keep "the secret" with her immediate family any longer. I am at peace either way and respect her desire not to pursue a relationship at this time.
8. Question: "So what was it like when you first spoke to your birth father? Has he been in touch with your birth mother? Did he know you were born? Do you have any brothers and sisters in Nigeria? Are you going to Nigeria?" RESPONSE: Tune into the REUNION show starting this Thursday where I give answers! Again, thanks so much to Bravo fans for rooting me on in this process. Solving my birth puzzle has been the single most rewarding aspect of doing the show. And it was real: when I started taping, I did not know anything. INCREDIBLE, amazing things followed that meeting seen with Stella from the Nigerian Embassy. As I said, she is my angel and my sister. Jason and I now routinely attend functions at the Embassy and in the Nigerian community, where I have been 100% accepted. BIG shout outs to the Nigerian-American community, and to my newly found brothers and sisters both in the U.S. and in Nigeria!
9. Question: "Would you do a Season 2?" RESPONSE: Let's Watch What Happens! It was enjoyable, but Jason and I will cross that bridge if/when we come to it.
10. Question: "Where's the drama? Your show is a snore-fest." RESPONSE: I can think of many adjectives I've read describing other Housewives's and most of those would not apply to us, regardless of our unique choices, some good, some bad. Overall, I think we bring a different type of drama to the Housewives franchise. We buck the expected Bravo system, and I think that's what is cool and good about our show. The numbers suggest it is resonating with our fans, lots of whom are completely new Housewives viewers. I agree with Andy: what's the good of the shows being predictably the same? Now THAT would be boring.
P.S.: Question: "Final thoughts on the Salahis?" RESPONSE: See "Salahi-ism" (in the Episode 6 blog). Enough said.