"Your mission, Jim, should you choose to accept it [is to play the role of Housewife even though you are no longer one, and do so in an engaging manner while at all times remaining "relevant"]. As always should any member of your IMF force be caught or killed, the secretary will disavow all knowledge of your actions. This tape will self-destruct in five seconds. Good luck, Jim." –Mission Impossible
A friend posted a funny comment on my Facebook wall recently. He said that his favorite part of the show was my non-verbal language, particularly that recurrent look on my face which says, “What the hell am I doing here?” I was a little taken aback. It’s not that I didn’t feel that way; I just didn’t realize it was that obvious! I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again: the camera does not lie. You cannot rationalize behavior that you witness unfolding before your very eyes week after week. I am not calling out anyone in particular. This truth applies across the board to everyone, including me. So if you see me behaving like an insufferable bitch week after week, guess what? Mind you, I’d like to think that I am not “insufferable.”
And since we are on the topic of insufferable, I can’t help but wonder what Lea was thinking when she said, “This is Miami, everybody needs a green card.” Was that yet another poorly timed “joke” courtesy of The Green Card Comic? For someone that touts her charitable nature and reminds you so much about her concern for the plight of others, to make such a blanket statement about the state of immigration in this city says that she is clearly not as sensitive as she professes. Her comment discounts the feelings of people like my parents, who were forced to flee their beloved country to avoid political oppression. More than 50 years later it is still no laughing matter, I suspect it never will be. Bite your tongue, Lea. Perhaps we’ll get lucky and you’ll bite it off. It would certainly spare a lot of feelings.
As you have seen, it can get ugly and even the most restrained person is forced to deploy some fighting words now and again. But the truth is that I accepted this “mission” willingly, with a few caveats: that I would remain true to myself, that I would keep an open mind, that I would try to enjoy the process, and most importantly, that I would not make an ass of myself. Well, 3 out of 4 ain’t bad. (For the spell check police out there, I meant to say “ain’t.”)All kidding aside, I knew that a lot of what we would face each week was standard fare on the Housewife menu. Pretty dresses and pretty shoes worn to pretty parties where pretty people congregate to congratulate each other on being…well, pretty. I told myself I could handle it. Hell, it might even be fun. I was determined to go outside of my comfort zone and just go with it. And so I did. But then, something interesting happened. It turns out this reality thing is pretty damned REAL. Imagine that.
One of the most real moments for me this season was visiting Frankie six months after his accident. I was at the hospital on the night of August 14th, 2011. It was without a doubt the worst day of Alexia’s life. What I saw at that hospital on the night of the accident was a mother, not the beautiful “Cuban Barbie” we all know and love, but rather a mom in such pain that it was palpable. But just as evident was the determination in her eyes and the commitment to seeing her son through what seemed like a hopeless situation. Week after week, and month after month Alexia remained by her son’s side encouraging each step of his rehabilitation and celebrating every small victory like it was a huge milestone. It was awe-inspiring.
Seeing Frankie that afternoon, six long months later, filled me with emotion. I felt gratitude, I felt hope, but I also felt sadness, because as far as he had come, there was a long road ahead. While Alexia had never once faltered, she looked weary. Today I can say I was wrong. Not about it being a long road, but about Alexia’s weariness. She has forged ahead at that same intense pace, day after day, week after week, and what mother and son have managed to accomplish together, a little more than a year later, is nothing short of a miracle.
I enjoyed food shopping with Joanna. It was surprising to see such a beautiful woman with a seemingly perfect life fighting for her relationship. Don’t beautiful people live charmed lives where no one argues or cheats or breaks out or gains five pounds? Apparently not. Joanna was struggling with the possibility that she was losing Romain while facing the realization that she might be responsible for triggering the chain of events that led to this moment. Can a risotto (no matter how perfectly delicious and reminiscent of “ambrosia”) mend a broken heart? Does a home-cooked meal come with a GPS directed at a man’s heart? Maybe not, but the effort Joanna made is a great start, the perfect appetizer if you will, to a successful relationship. I for one believe in them as a couple. Romain and Joanna possess all the attributes necessary to build and maintain a successful relationship. But what lies beneath a perfect exterior may show cracks not visible to the naked eye. Trust me, I know.
Until next time my friends (I will try not to self-destruct),