“The Real Housewives of Beverly Hills”: Money can’t buy you happiness

Watching “The Real Housewives of Beverly Hills” this season, it’s become crystal (or should I say Cristal?) clear to me that the Countess has got it all wrong: Money can buy you class (take some etiquette classes, duh), but what it most certainly cannot buy you is H-A-P-P-I-N-E-S-S.

Fancy, designer gowns aside, you and I have more in common with "The Real Housewives of Beverly Hills" than you probably realize./Photo credit Bravo

Yes, my friends, this Jersey girl is prepared to admit it right now: I’m finding myself relating much more – and feeling gobs more empathy – toward the women of Beverly Hills this season than I do about the women of my home, the Garden State.

And while you may think you have nothing in common with these women, I’m here to tell you you’re wrong. And here’s why:

Kim Richards: Witch Mountain, take me away.

Kim: While it would be cruel to make any assumptions about issues she may or may not be struggling with, I think it is safe to say she at the very least is suffering from empty nest syndrome. With her children either grown or growing increasingly independent, Kim is having to adjust to living alone. Combine that with her desire to have a man in her life (as evidenced by her friends’ attempts last season at setting her up), and it’s pretty plain to see Kim is a very lonely woman. It’s also fair to assume that there is a good bit of sibling rivalry going on between Kim and her younger sister, Kyle, that in all likelihood began way back when they were child actors in Hollywood. And I don’t think it’s a stretch to say that Kim uses humor to mask her insecurities. Is there a woman alive who hasn’t experienced one or all of these issues?

Yo, Adrienne (Maloof)! We can relate!

Adrienne: While it seems she is one of the most level-headed of the Beverly Hills housewives, Adrienne has her own issues to deal with. First and foremost, it’s apparent she struggles in her relationship with her husband, plastic surgeon Paul Nassif. She is a very dominant, decisive woman who grew up in a very successful, business-oriented family, while Paul appears more much more laid back and cautious. It became clear in this week’s episode that Adrienne is slightly embarrassed by Paul’s less-than-buff physique (however real-world realistic it is). Again, what woman hasn’t at one time or another been mortified by something her significant other has said or done?

Kyle Richards: Mothering your kids is hard enough. But your sister? Enough already.

Kyle: The younger sibling of Kim is not just a mother to her four daughters – she’s also a pseudo-mom to Kim. She has said more than once on the show that she promised their late mother she would look after her older sister, and we’ve seen her do that repeatedly. It is second nature for Kyle to either apologize for her sister’s behavior, be embarrassed by it, or make excuses for it. Who can blame Kyle from vacillating between feeling sorry for and guilty about her sister and being angry with her – and yes, maybe even resenting her? Especially when that complicated relationship threatens her marriage to her hot, buff husband, Mauricio Umansky.

Don't judge Camille Grammer until you've walked a mile in her Louboutins.

Camille: The perhaps most-hated housewife of Season 1 has turned over a new leaf, revealing a vulnerable side that’s longing to connect with the other women. Even if you’ve never been betrayed by your husband/lover, you can’t help but feel for Camille as she struggles to deal with Kelsey’s very public infidelity, which was quickly followed by a divorce from Camille and immediate marriage to his latest honey. Add to that her understandably acrimonious feelings toward the father of her children and a rough adjustment to a life as a single parent, and you’ve got a woman you can’t help but empathize with. Who hasn’t imagined what she would do if she was in Camille’s shoes?

Taylor Armstrong: As her last name suggests, she will find the strength to move on with her life.

Taylor: Although we all know what happened once the Bravo cameras stopped rolling on this season, we’ve seen Taylor struggle to come to terms with the fact that her marriage may very well be over. As evidenced by her near breakdown in Colorado, Taylor is having a difficult time imagining her life without her husband (or the support of a spouse) in it. She appears to have an almost paralyzing fear of being alone. And really, who can fault her? Nobody wants to be alone, and raising a young daughter on her own makes that life seem even more daunting. But when it comes to her physical and mental health (not to mention that of her child), is being alone really that terrible of an alternative?

Lisa Vanderpump: Gettin' Giggy with it.

Lisa: While she tends to keep things very close to the vest, it can’t be denied that Lisa is extremely attached to her adorable little Pomeranian, Giggy. He goes everywhere with her, and it’s not unreasonable to say that she treats him like he’s a human child. Perhaps Giggy helps lessen Lisa’s own empty nest syndrome, as her children are out of the house and she’s (thankfully) kicked Cedric to the curb. Although Lisa and her husband, Ken Todd, seem very close, it is apparent that she rules the roost and he’s just along for the ride. I think they would both benefit from some having some grandchildren to dote on and spoil. You hear that, Pandora?


  1. Anonymous said,

    October 28, 2011 at 8:07 pm

    Kyle & Kim should be ashamed of themselves for the way they treated Brandi. The others should also be ashamed for asking Brandi to apologize for something that Kyle and Kim started…Shame, Shame, on you all.

  2. avagacser said,

    October 25, 2011 at 12:17 am

    I totally agree with you. In a weird way it seemed like a bizarre bonding experience between the two sisters, who apparently had been seriously divided. It’s sad that the only way some people feel better about themselves is by tearing others down.

  3. Anonymous said,

    October 24, 2011 at 10:32 pm

    Kyle and Kim were rude to Brandi. Kim’s comments about not wanting her on their team started the issue, then they deliberately left her out of the game. Anyone would have reacted to their negative behavior.

  4. Anonymous said,

    October 20, 2011 at 9:09 pm

    WEll…tonight, the reruns are on from the previous season and it compounded my suspicion of Kyle. Her issues are as deep if not deeper than Kims. She is snooty, a know at all and I hope that
    someone can get thru that thick skull of hers that she is

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