Growing up, I was never one for Christmas decoration. It always seemed such a pain in the ass, because, just like winter weight, you put it on, and suddenly you are left with the tedious task of taking it off. However, this being my first Christmas in the Clubhouse, I realize now how rewarding it can be to bring happiness to millions of viewers via sparkling strands of Pier-1 garland and carefully placed Jonathan Adler dreidels littered (and glittered) about the set.
While adorning the Clubhouse with such festive trinkets, I thought of RHOBH’s Yolanda, and what joy she derived from impressing her guests with ornate décor. And there I was, decorating for the entertainment for America. Better step it up, I thought. WWYD?
With the stockings hung high, and the season’s end nigh, I grew sad to see the Clubhouse prepare to go dark for a few weeks until Season 9. Perhaps I have grown intoxicated from the seasonal cheer, if not the seasonal beer, and I try to take values taught to us from each night of the season’s last week. They are values that pertain not only to the holiday spirit, but also to life as we know it (which, if the Mayans and Kirsten Dunst are right, is only on planet earth—and not for long).
The week was fantastic and filled with good energy. Knowing that a whisky-swilling spitfire like Shahs of Sunset’s GG could find love (along with a rock that’s bigger than her switchblade) gave me hope that I might too one day win the heart of another, if not through sincerity then certainly through intimidation. Andy’s face was priceless when she presented him with a brand new knife for the shelf. And if his face was priceless before, then his expression would achieve complete monetary meltdown when good ol’ Sweet Brown burst through the door like a hot chocolate Commendatore, descending toward her Don Giovanni.
Sweet Brown was a true delight and returned Wednesday as our guest bartender. Shemar Moore would later find more than one way to cozy up with Sweet Brown, the shotski moment was just the tip of the iceberg.
Then there was Tuesday Booze day with Bethenny and all things Skinnygirl. Shipments of the beverage had arrived months prior to the evening. Promotional Skinnygirl items littered the bullpen. We had been naïve to the hurricane that was Skinnygirl. It didn’t rain. It poured in rivers from bedazzled Skinnygirl cocktail shakers that had appeared suddenly like phantoms, haunting the glassware in the depths of our IKEA cabinets. She had sent in advance ingredients for two different cocktails that she may or may not have on air. When she arrived, there was no recipe. I made them for her as best I could, and took them for her to sample in her greenroom. I entered.
“Who are you?” a voice asked, turned away from me in a chair, surrounded by an army of thin women adorned in seasonal attire.
“My name is Ryan,” I replied. The chair spun around suddenly. It was Bethenny. She took the first glass and placed her iridescent lips to the Dean & Deluca paper straw. A miniscule drop of the cocktail touched her palette and the glass was quickly discarded.
“I like it,” she said decidedly. “But I want it to be green. It’s supposed to be a light green drink. Earthy. Fresh. Healthy. Light. Make it light green.”
If Bethenny left a light green energy in the clubhouse, it was cleared out by Thursday’s episode with Mama Elsa and Mark Consuelos. Mama Elsa entered the Clubhouse exuding love, light, and ludes. She had so much fun that, at the end of the night, she stood in front of the adoring audience and shouted, “I don’t want to go home! I want to stay!” We didn’t want her to go home either. I contemplated making a little bed for her under on the props shelf next to the Prosthetic Limb Section, but by the time I began to put down the sheets, she was gone.
The week ended with an amazing Secret Santa Christmas party. We dined on lobster rolls and drank Bloody Marys. We exchanged presents, thoughtful and creative as everyone on the team. I received a terrarium in a mason jar, as I enjoy botany and mason jars. With this treasure I was also given a South Carolina-shaped cookie cutter, as I love all things shaped like South Carolina, and lastly, I was also given a beautiful blue kyanite gemstone. I clutch it to my heart, awaiting the return of Mama Elsa. Regresa a mí.
See y’all Sunday for one last episode until we return in the new year for Season 9!