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On Donn, Jeana, Brooks, and Regrets

The matriarch of RHOC reflects on 100 episodes and thanks those who have stayed with her for all eight seasons.

By Vicki Gunvalson

Wow! To celebrate our 100th episode of The Real Housewives of Orange County with a two-hour special was surreal. Based on my research, we are the only family that has been on the same reality show consistently for 100 episodes. CRAZY HUH?

How to Watch

Watch The Real Housewives of Orange County on  Peacock and the Bravo App.

Watching this has brought back some great memories of what my life was like in my early 40s. I started filming when I was 42, and just recently celebrated my 51st birthday. It's hard to sometimes comprehend that this little "trailer" we did in my backyard one afternoon turned into a reality show and air for 100 episodes! It's truly surreal. Where has the time gone?

The OC Through The Years

The styles have changed, relationships have changed, kids have grown up, and we have lost contact with some of the original Housewives. Kimberly Bryant moved away after a couple of years and I haven't spoken to her in a long time. I know she moved to the Chicago area, but that's about it. I hope she is doing well.

It was nice seeing Jo on this episode and looks like she has moved on and things are good with her. I'm sure it has to be a little difficult for her to see how our show has grown so much, and also to see her and Slade together back then.

I really miss Tammy Knickerbocker and Duff. Tammy was always happy, never let things get to her, and really had a great outlook on this show. Duff actually worked for me for a few years, and he was very instrumental in some of the basics of my business that I still use today -- including the name of my company, the website back end system, and on and on. He was a good guy and I hope they are doing well.

I really liked seeing Jeana and I together, and I feel bad about some of the things I said on camera about the house that she sold to Donn and I. Hindsight, I shouldn't have said what I did about blaming her for the housing market drop and losing over $1 million in money. At the time I felt she should have not encouraged me to buy a second home when our primary home didn't sell, and I trusted her that we were getting a "good deal."  It's hard to comprehend that type of loss without having some of the responsibility fall on the realtor. I'm glad that's behind us now, and we are able to move forward.

I love Jeana and her family and wish her and her children a lifetime of happiness and peace. She still lives a few doors down from me, and from time to time we are able to see one another in the local coffee shop or restaurants. I wish our friendship never had the falling out, as I do miss her. I think I'll extend that olive branch and reach out to her soon, as I do miss her and we do have a lot in common.

Looking at our fashions, our hairstyle and even the color of our hair have really changed through these past eight years. I noticed a huge difference with all of us -- didn't you?

The Sky's the Limit

When I saw the footage of Lauri and I working together and being kind to one another, it made me really sad on where it has gone this year with her. I attended her wedding to George and then had seen her several times after that and we never had any bad words towards each other or ill feelings on my part. I really never knew she was still harboring ill/bad feelings towards me from over seven years ago when the situation happened with George's mother-in-law calling my office. I thought it was done and finished.

When I read in her blog that she felt I was being hypocritical of Gretchen when Tamra and I accused her of cheating on Jeff was shocking. What I want you to know is the difference here is Tamra DID speak to Gretchen's "lover" on the phone, she saw them in public together as a couple while engaged to Jeff while never once had Lauri seen, heard, or even met anyone that she has accused me of being with. There is a big difference there.

Anyone can say anything, but if you don't see it with your own eyes, there is no merit or truth. This is why I never shared to her the information I received about George, but I didn't want to give it life or for it to hurt her. To make my stance on this: I do not condone infidelity, I DO condone and support monogamy in a relationship unless there is a mutual understanding otherwise. That's all I'm going to say on this. The fact is it's wasted energy for Lauri to do what she did because she didn't have anything else to come back to our group with other than garbage talk about me. It's very damaging and hurtful.

Seeing Tamra in her initial casting call was really fun. I had never seen any of their auditions, so to watch it now was fun for me. My family never auditioned, never had a casting call so our initial into to all this was very different.

Seeing Donn and I together and married and me saying I wasn't going to let a reality show destroy our marriage made me sad and cry. The bottom line is we let doing this show influence our relationship; we let it put stress on our relationship without consciously being aware that it was actually happening.


Deal with the Devil

Although Donn and I didn't have a perfect relationship, we loved each other and wanted the best for one another. Even though we are separated now, we still want the best for one another and want each other happy.

And by the way those of you who want to know how he's doing -- he's actually great. He lives in the desert and talks to Briana a lot and sees Troy often.

I wanted to take this time to thank you for allowing us to enter your homes for the past eight years. I appreciate and love all my fans and for people who root for me when I need it. Remember that the reality shows take only a small piece of one's "reality" and it does not show our "normal" off-camera life, as that would be boring now wouldn't it?

My life is pretty normal; I spend a lot of time with Troy and Briana, in my office, and in my personal dating life. I clean my own home, plant my own flowers, cook, grocery shop, and attempt to stay as fit as I can in my private time. I'm a hard working Midwestern girl, with Midwestern values that is trying to find her way in life. . just the way most of you are. I make mistakes, get angry, laugh a lot, and also am very sensitive and emotional. Most of these things you already knew about me from watching. I'll make mistakes. I'll own my mistakes because I'm human and I'll always attempt to never repeat them again.

I know a lot of you have voiced your opinion on Brooks and although I appreciate your opinion, keep in mind I am a smart woman and I know him more (other than his family) than most of you. I don't read the comments people post on the blogs because I have seen the level of anger and meanness there. I do my best to get on Twitter @vgunvalson at least once a day, but sometimes it can even be a week before I can answer some people. So please be patient with me if I don't respond right away.

I have learned a lot about relationships in my lifetime and what I do know is my checkbook is guarded, my heart is guarded, my mind is guarded and it's going to be a very long time before I am walking down that aisle again (if ever).

Thank you for trusting my judgment, supporting me and loving me and I hope you enjoy the rest of Season 8. Also, don't forget to check out my website ( if you are in the need of any insurance needs. We are a full service agency and represent mostly every major company in every state. 

Vicki Gunvalson

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