What the Real Housewives Taught Me About Forgiveness
I love the Real Housewives. I was introduced to the series a couple of years ago and have been hooked ever since on watching the complicated female friendships depicted on screen.
I was shook when Bethenny and Carol broke up last year, and my heart aches for Luann and Dorinda in this season of RHONY.
Diana asks me all the time on BeaverTalk how I can take such a salacious show seriously but there is something truly electrifying about seeing these women on screen. They are messy and complicated and even manipulative. They are unapologetic with their emotions and aren’t bound to a mainstream script dripping with the male gaze. You think Frank Underwood from House of Cards is manipulative? He doesn’t even come close to cold blooded eyelash batting Ramona Singer. They are dimensional and dark, and as the Bitch Sesh podcast notes, Meryl Streep only wishes she could play these types of characters on screen.
And as often seen on reality TV, the Housewives can hurt each other. Friendships are frayed, fights ensue, dogs are left at the pound. But if I’ve learned anything about the Housewives, it’s that time and time again they will let it go. They will join Andy on that big velvet couch at the end of the season and face the things they have said and done. They will apologize (or not) and then ask the other women in the room to move on. And surprisingly, most of the time they do.
They let it go. They keep it rolling.
And I know behind the curtain most of them are playing nice because they want to stay on the show and it’s probably easier to co-exist with a cast that doesn’t hate you.
But there is something brilliant about it.
In our ever-divided and politically polarized world we’ve become obsessed with things being black and white. You’re either on the right or wrong side of history. And while that might be true in the Trump era, more often than not, relationships tend to exist in the grey. After all, even James Kennedy knows sometimes an argument about penne vodka is actually never about the pasta. And sometimes when someone hurts or betrays your trust, you have to find the strength and courage to let it go and move on.
And although not all friendships on the show adhere to the “move it on” mantra, it’s cathartic to know when people make mistakes, they can be redeemed. Because shit happens. People aren’t perfect and if you open your heart up long enough, you are bound to get hurt. But at the end of the day holding onto the hurt is always more painful than letting it go. And chances are once you give yourself enough space from the fight you might realize you had a hand in the hurt too.
That is of course, unless you’re Lisa Vanderpump.
So what do you think? Are you learning SuperSoul lessons via the Housewives or are we just getting new hair ideas from Dorit? Let me know what you think in the comments below and be sure to let me know who your favorite lady is!
Written by Erin Bagwell
Copy edited by Diana Matthews