Monday, March 29, 2010

The Real (Toxic) Housewives of NYC...

I gave in. After telling myself, "You do not want to watch these women be mean to each other for another second!", in a moment of weakness, when nothing else was on 900 some-odd channels, I watched it-The Real Housewives of New York City.

It was truly the train wreck you know you shouldn't allow yourself to absorb, but curiosity insists on staring at-with raised eyebrows and open mouth.

First of all, there is no occasion with these women where a confrontation is inappropriate. There is no offense too small to be harbored and held for later--as a weapon of surprise attack. Secondly, there is nothing these women won't say about each other--behind their backs--even though there is (or because there is (?)) a camera stuck in their faces. And, thirdly, their proudest statements are like tossed aside photos of the truth, in favor of the dark confusing negative. (OK, that would have been a really good analogy a few years back before the whole world went, not only are there no negatives lying around in old photo envelopes, but some people don't ever even take their digital pics off the memory one I know personally.)

Here are some of the gems from the show: (not exact exact quotes, because I didn't write it all down, but it is as close as memory will serve-maybe even a little nicer than the actual quotes).

"L"-"I can't believe she said that to her face! I mean who does that? Sure talk to other people...sure subtle whispers...but to say it right to her face?!"

"J" - "I kept her hurtful message so I could play it back to myself whenever I started to feel weak". (as in, I could feel myself just wanting to get over it, but I fed my hurt and rage instead)

And, from the housewife who's being featured in Playboy, as she broaches the subject with her 2 young daughters:

"K" - "Girls, what do you think about mom being in Playboy?"

"Well," the one daughter responds, "with clothes on, yes, without, no. Case closed."
And the other: "You mean showing your weirdness for the camera?"

But later, when asked what her young daughters thought of her posing, she smiled and said:

"Oh, I talked to them about it, they're really excited!"

One of the Playboy mom's friends bragged to the other housewives enthusiastically saying:

"Well, every woman's dream of being in Playboy is actually becoming a reality for Kelly, here!" All smiles and endorsement. But once she's alone and speaking just to the camera...(oh- and the world), she was suddenly conflicted: "I don't know how I feel about her posing for Playboy...I mean she has 2 small children..."

And finally, in her own defense, Kelly, the Playboy mom, explains:

"It's not like I'm being photographed nude...I'm being photographed nude for the most famous book in the world!" (Hello!)

I don't know why my head is still spinning from it. It's reality TV. It's not a self help show, or even a serious documentary. It's art poking and prodding at life until it shows it's most prickliest, ugliest, self-absorbed-survivalist head.

And it's not that these women are the worst women ever. It's that they are like wounded animals--caught in a trap attempting to chew each others legs off in order to hopefully get out alive. (All the while wearing designer clothes, having their roots done, being spray tanned, and smiling like they're having the time of their lives.)

Anyone of us could do what they're doing...think what they're thinking. It's a dog eat dog world out there...if you decide to be one of the dogs. And we've all done it:

  • Talked about somebody who hurt us, instead of going to them in truth and love and letting them know we were hurt.

  • Enjoyed the drama of being wronged, and kept our hurt and anger alive, when we could have just gotten over it.

  • Heard what we wanted to hear--regardless of what was actually said.

  • Publicly acted thrilled for someone and privately criticized them.

  • Redefined our situation with no allegiance whatsoever to reality and truth.

It takes so little to fall into that trap. All you really have to do is forget that there are 2 masters vying for your allegiance. One who has come only to steal, and kill, and destroy. And One who has come to give life, and life to the full. One has the keys to free you from the trap--the other set it for you, and is cheering wildly as you bite and devour one another.

So. It is up to you, and it is up to me. It can only be a dog-eat-dog world, if we decide to be dogs...(females, that goes double for us!). What if we decide to grow up in Christ instead? What if we decide to "do unto others as we would have them do unto us"? What if Love ruled the day?

Now that would be a better day.


  1. What an amazing post! I absolutely loved it. I got so much out of it. This must really be an area where God is speaking directly to me... with a bullhorn!

    Just this morning I read a quote in a book on teaching our children the value of guarding their tongue:

    "There can be restoration with the one who lies and then seeks forgiveness. Likewise, there can be restitution for the one who steals the possessions of another. But the one who steals another man's good reputation by slanderous gossip can never pay back what he has taken. His life must be spent knowing he can never pay back what he has illegally teken and for this he or she will answer to God."

    It made me stop and think of all the reputations I've tarnished over my lifetime. It makes me sad and ashamed. How often I have have pointed a scolding finger at liars and thieves, not realizing that my sin was so much worse.

    Thank you for reinforcing my reading from this morning. I can always tell when God is really trying to tell me something... he tells me over and over and over again!

  2. God's timing is perfect as always. As I read your post so many thoughts flew through my head, and most of them judgmental and spiteful. But...doesn't that make me just as "bad" or "crazy" as those crazy NYC women? There is so much truth in enjoying the drama of being wronged! I know I do!

    In my Monday night life group we just finished Beth Moore's Esther study, "It's Tough Being a Woman". Your post reminded me of scenario #3, "It's tough being a woman in a mean world." Meanness always has a history. Coming in contact with a mean girl raises up the mean girl within. Ain't that the truth? Can I get an Amen?!?

    As I sit here typing this, I am preparing for a journey of healing...acknowledging that I have been wronged in my past and that I'm no longer able to shove it is time to stop "enjoying" the drama of being wronged. I'm terrified of the can of worms that is starting to open, but I am clinging to Ps.91:1 ~ "He who dwells in the shelter of the Most High will rest in the Shadow of the Almighty."

  3. Hey, Lisa, I love this post! YOU WATCH REAL HOUSEWIVES OF ...WHEREVER!?! Just's kind of like driving by a wreck...when you're moving through the channels you can't help but look! :) You're right...if every word we ever uttered was filmed, how many people would come out unscathed? Not me!! I keep reminding myself that it is a perfect (woman) who has given God the reign over her tongue....because that means He has gotten to her heart, because we can't help speaking what is on our hearts! When I'm hateful, it means I have hate in there somewhere. May I not have to face my Heavenly Father with hate tucked away in a dark corner of my heart! Thanks for the reminder!

  4. Hey Lisa...So am I sorry soul if I admit that I too love the drama and outlandish behavior of those "real" housewives? I had no idea I could get a God moment from it all...bonus, thanks for the post!!!