I guess that might be an appropriate reference to the end of our season as well as Shakespeare, since both of our productions might be considered a tragedy and a comedy all at once. Being one of the Real Housewives has been quite an experience to say the least. Having a camera follow you around and listening to all of your private conversations has been, well ...not what I expected. I imagined that I would be more cautious or at least have the ability to control things that I said while they were around. In "reality," as farfetched as it seems, I came to a point that I forgot a camera crew was even present. They can be across the room filming you and you hardly see them. It's easy to forget that we have mic's under our clothing too. Very easy. Every little whisper can be picked up. Boy, is that a recipe for trouble! On top of that I noticed that being rigged up in such a way also makes it very difficult to just walk a way from a situation when I am uncomfortable.
For me, that is how I dealt with a lot of my personal issues. I tend to walk away to take a breather and clarify my thoughts, which although easier for me, is not always considerate to the other party. I am also inclined to give my kids "the look," which is not the most productive way to get my point across. My shortcuts and shortcomings have definitely been brought to the forefront. I know many people probably think it was crazy to get involved in a reality show in the first place. I gave it a lot of thought when the idea was presented to me in the first season, but declined initially. In the end I decided to take the chance. Why not take a few chances in life? I'm an easygoing person and I learned long ago not to let the opinions of outsiders get me down. I know who I am and my family and friends know who I am, and that is all that really matters most to me. How often does one get to have their life and family documented by a professional camera crew? It sure beats just having a family photo album. Some day we can all look back on this and laugh.
I think I can also declare that the show has given us all a bit of useful therapy. I believe in Megan's case she learned that she is a bit short with me, which she later apologized for. I admire her courage in being so open and real on camera. Lindsey has changed her attitude about life, as well as her hair color and make-up choices now. I believe we all have changed since the show and I hope it is for the best. However, even when our best sides weren't displayed, I think we stood together as a family and for that I am proud. There have been some questions asked about how Ryley is doing with my dating. I actually only went on one blind date. Since then I have been steadily dating someone new in the last few months. I've kept that part of my life separate from Ryley, usually having our get-togethers only when Ryley is with his father. So I guess I would have to say that my dating has not affected Ryley at all this point. I'm just taking my time for now.
As for the situation with Duff, I think you all have all heard enough about that to last a lifetime now. So no worries, you aren't going to get "Duffed" again this week. All is well, and I'll leave it at that. I will say though, in terms of relationships — wasn't it great to see Donn take Vicki out to Catalina in the season finale? I don't think anyone can complain about that sequence. It was so nice to see her face light up when he told her about the plans he made. We all wanted to be in her shoes.
But to steer our way back to the more turbulent waters of last week's episode, I have been asked what my take is on Lou's "Aqua Air Angels." Well, I can say this much, they are no longer called The Aqua Air Angels. Apparently they have settled as "The OC Energy Girls," or "The Real OC Angels." There is more information about them at www.ocenergydrinks.com. I know that when Lindsey started, one of the goals of being an OC Energy Angel was to support a military charity called T.A.P.S. (Tragedy Assistance Program for Survivors - www.taps.org) They did visit a V.A. Hospital (yes, in the U.S, not Vietnam) and they are supposed to participate in volunteerism on a regular basis. Kara and Briana were originally involved also, but they discontinued for their own reasons.
I have no involvement in Lou's company, but from what I can perceive, it has been continually developing in different directions as far as the marketing plan for the energy drink goes. I'm not really aware of what their plans for the future are. Lindsey will have to decide for herself what her continuing participation level will be. Yes, I am concerned about whether or not it is the right decision for her. But at the same time, I can only give a certain amount of guidance and advice. And her father gives her his advice also, which obviously does not always complement mine. She will have to weigh the choices and decide her future for herself. I will be there to support her as much as possible.
As for Megan's take on the "Angels," well ...if you have been watching, you heard it. She has some definite issues with her father's choices, especially in regards to his choice of executive assistant. Her method of expression may be somewhat explosive at times, but I have to admire her for having the courage to speak her mind. She does unfortunately have a precedent for her distrust of some of her father's choices. But Lou is a very strong-willed man and he's an adult and will do what he will do, whether Megan likes it or not. You might say resistance is futile. I think we have all come to learn that much.
I know that it must be hard to see bits and pieces of us on TV and try to put together this conundrum of personalities and pasts. The main thing I would say that we have in common as "housewives" is that we are all just productive women trying to live our lives and to be happy. The show has been enlightening for all of us. Many of us, after having had opportunity to analyze our lives a little bit on screen have also been inspired to branch out and pursue some of our creative projects and dreams. Lauri has her jewelry, Jeana and Vicki have been making available those shirts that everyone has been requesting and branching out into the travel business part time. Jo has her music of course. I've even had the opportunity recently to hear Slade's son Gavin sing from his MySpace page recording. I am so impressed with his talent! I wish everyone the best with their endeavors.
As for me, being a loan officer is still my bread-and-butter work. I am working my way back into product development, which I've always had a knack for. I really enjoy creating new products and concepts. Recently I have even begun work on a children's book and TV series concept. I am collaborating with a friend of mine, Dominique Mainon, who authored a very interesting book titled The Modern Amazons: Warrior Women On-Screen. She has done extensive studies on current themes of female action heroes in media, including children's programming, which fits in well with my desire to develop very dynamic, original characters for children to relate to. So we shall see what the future holds. I'm excited!
I'd like to offer my heartfelt thanks for all the kind comments and support. This has been a fun experience and I feel lucky to have survived without too many bumps and bruises! If you want to keep up with me in the off season, I invite you to stop and say hi at my own MySpace page also: myspace.com/tammyknickerbocker.
Best wishes to everyone, and thank you for watching.