by Guest Contributor Ben C.
It’s here! The first ladies of Potomac have descended upon us. I am totally buying into the hype. Am I alone in this? My body is ready. Three bottles of Andre champagne, one plastic champagne flute, and a pink bedsheet pinned into a dress. I can be a real housewife too, bitches!!
The show opens with a montage of typical rich, suburban, weekend activities. Golf with the husbands, tennis lessons with an instructor, and Charrisse letting her tiny dog outside to pee (Housewives, they’re just like us!) Cut to Gizelle in the kitchen, cooking with her three daughters. Gizelle lets us know right from the start, a person doesn’t just jump up one day and move to Potomac. It takes legacy, or large cashflow, to get in. Gizelle’s father (and legacy) was one of the first African American men to be in the Texas House of Legislature in the 1960s. Originally from Potomac, she was married at one point to well-known pastor Jamal Bryant and moved to Baltimore. They divorced and Gizelle moved back to Potomac. She calls him a ‘cheater, cheater pumpkin eater’ and says he ‘loved to hide the salami’ A LOT of shady business is currently being reported about this man, stay tuned.
We meet Katie, having lunch with her boyfriend. Katie says she loves the white boys. And the jewish boys. I feel you, Katie. AND he gets his eyebrows done?! Amen, and hallelujah! Sign me up. Katie has 3 kids, all under the age of 3. She was 4 months pregnant when she left her first husband. Equates ‘ball and gala season’ to prom, on crack. Katie grew up in Potomac, and claims while growing up she went to an event every single night. In a talking head, Katie says “being a socialite is a full-time job. Being a philanthropist is a full-time job.” Does anyone know where can I apply? She brings up the topic of marriage to her boyfriend and makes it clear she wants to get married again. He looks like a scared little boy and tells her slow and steady always wins the race. Did I mention he gets his brows done?
Next up, we meet Robyn, who is working from her home office. Robyn works in PR. She says she would rather have fun at her job than walk around like a ‘stuffy penguin in a law office.’ Gizelle stops by Robyn’s house to visit. Gizelle comments that people frequently think the pair are sisters. Conveniently, Robyn has her wedding dress out. She says she’s getting ready to sell it. Robyn is divorced from NBA player, Juan Dixon. He was her high school sweetheart, but cheated on her, so they divorced. Robyn says that’s what happens when you marry someone in the NBA instead of without a MBA. They still live together, raise the kids together, and sleep in the same bed together. It’s “for the kids.” Naturally, Robyn puts on the wedding dress. Her ex-husband walks in and sees her, can’t help but laugh at the crazy, and quickly exits. Oh, and tells her to get rid of the dress.
It’s time to officially meet Karen (the new Lea Black) and her husband, who she calls the black Bill Gates. Karen says it’s just as easy to marry a rich man as it is to marry a poor man – it’s a choice. OK then, where’s mine at?!! Karen is the daughter of a farmer. She says she knows and appreciates where she came from, but has “moved forward.” She’s on her way to Gizelle’s house for tea. Karen asks her husband to go pick out a bottle of wine from the wine cellar (basement??) because if she moves to get it herself, she will sweat. Yes, you read that correctly. #lifegoals
At Gizelle’s house, the two women have tea. Karen tells us in a talking head, as one of the few African American women in Potomac, she was happy to welcome Gizelle back after her divorce. They’ve been friends ever since. Karen says she was happy to introduce Gizelle to the ‘Potomac lifestyle’ (even though Gizelle was born and raised there…) Karen is grooming Gizelle to potentially “take the reins” of the high-society African American community in Potomac. Karen says Gizelle might one day, but by then she will already be dead. Finally, one of these women acknowledges her true age! The ladies bring up Gizelle’s ex-husband, Jamal Bryant. Karen asks how he feels about Gizelle dating other men, and them being around his children. Gizelle says Jamal knows she is responsible and trusts her. She says Jamal would probably like her to still be his poundcake. Love you for that, Gizelle. Karen looks alarmed. She attempts to shade Gizelle, and asks her if she’s proud of that label. Karen tells her “that doesn’t fly in Potomac.” If it’s good enough for Beyonce, it’s good enough for Potomac.
Next up, all the ladies (minus Ashley – we haven’t been introduced to her yet) are gathering at a restaurant to celebrate Karen’s birthday. The dinner is hosted by Charrisse. The place they’re eating has burlesque dancers that perform onstage every 20 minutes. Gizelle is first to arrive, followed by Katie. We get a quick shot of Katie treating the sidewalk as her own personal runway, and my love for her is strong. In a talking head, Gizelle explains more about Katie’s background. Her mother does philanthropic work nationally, and gives out millions of dollars all over the place. Gizelle says for a while Katie went off and wanted to become a mini Cindy Crawford or Iman. Gizelle adds Katie only likes white boys, unless your name is Russell Simmons (cut to a photo of Katie and Russell Simmons while they were together.)
Charrisse (the hostess) and Robyn are next to arrive. We find out Robyn and Charrisse met thirteen years ago. All the ladies order drinks and, with the exception of Charrisse, want to start ordering food – without the birthday girl. According to Charrisse, “you don’t order before the guest of honor arrives. That’s just stupid.” She’s right, but being the last to arrive to your own birthday dinner is also pretty stupid. On that note, Karen arrives. She’s upset Gizelle is sitting in the middle of the table, and that she didn’t volunteer the seat up when she arrived. Charrisse tells us in her talking head that when she first met Karen, she introduced herself as ‘the wife of the black Bill Gates.’ I really plan on trying out this line the next time I meet someone. Charrisse’s husband is a basketball coach for Rutgers, so he spends most of his time living and working in New Jersey. She says she’s fine with things the way they are, it’s everyone else who seems to have a problem with it. A few of the ladies think Charrisse is putting up a facade. They each go around one by one and toast to Karen, the birthday girl. Gizelle sips before the toast is over and more comments are made about the all-time universal favorite housewife topic, etiquette.
We’re off to Charrisse’s house as she preps for a crab boil party. She attempts to speak to her housekeeper in Spanish, and fails miserably. Charrisse says at first she wasn’t welcomed to Potomac because people thought she was section 8. She then cracks up laughing. Gizelle arrives to Charrisse’s house early to help her cook. She brings her hairdresser/friend Kal with her. Charrisse was unaware Gizelle was bringing someone and is uncomfortable, but tells him he can do her hair anyway. Sweet lady.
Gizelle and Kal start to prep the crabs, while Charrisse sips champagne. Gizelle comments Charrisse has a valet at the end of her driveway. So necessary these days. Charrisse heads upstairs to get her hair and nails done, while her friends stay downstairs to make the food for her party. She immediately starts complaining about Gizelle bringing someone unannounced and making too much noise in her house. Gizelle is going through the kitchen cabinets and drawers trying to find what she needs to cook with. “People don’t act like this in Potomac. Maybe in the ghetto, but not Potomac.” Charrisse says in the 10 years she’s lived in that house, no one has ever come over and acted like this. OK GURL. I knew she’d be one of the more delusional ones. Gizelle and Kal come upstairs and Charrisse won’t let them in her room. She calls Kal a sous- chef and asks the pair to wait downstairs with the other guests. As they leave, Charrisse says this is the reason she doesn’t go to the ghetto.
The guests start to arrive at the house. Somebody’s drunk aunt lets herself in, and walks around calling (screaming) for Charrisse. No comment on this behavior from the Etiquette Queen. Karen arrives and finds out she has to walk up the driveway from the valet. She lets the valet know she plans on talking to Charrisse about this, it’s unacceptable. Lady, having a valet at your house in general is unacceptable. I’m sure the valet wants to punch this woman. Gizelle immediately sits with Drunk Aunt and Karen, and fills them in on the situation that just went down. Karen sides with Charrisse. In her talking head, Karen asks who walks around with the help at a private event. I had to rewind twice to actually make sure she just said that. Now it’s Karen’s turn. She’s getting onto Gizelle for taking the center seat at the table at her birthday dinner. And also for stealing her pencil and cutting in line for the water fountain. Karen brings Gizelle a gift. It’s a framed, printed list of the ‘Five Rules of Etiquette When Attending a Birthday Party.’ Oh, Karen. Didn’t you know we’ve already seen this?? Circa season one of RHOBH. Camille & Kyle. How to Behave. Do your homework, girl!! It’s in a mirrored frame, so Karen says Gizelle can look at herself while she reads the rules. Ladies, here is an example of an appropriate time to throw a glass or wine and/or wig snatch. Gizelle stands up for herself by calling Karen out for being late. Karen tells her (brace yourselves, this is painful) that being 30 minutes late is “par for the course, if you know anything about etiquette.” I’ll explain this reasoning next time I’m late for work, and let y’all know what my boss says.
The Drunk Aunt runs upstairs to fill Charrisse in on the conversation happening in the backyard. Charrisse is acting as if Gizelle brought a random homeless man to the party. Drunk Aunt says if Gizelle upsets Charrisse tonight they will all “read her quickly.” Charrisse comments that Gizelle should go back to Baltimore. Back outside, Karen and Gizelle are still going at it about literally nothing. Gizelle drops the mic in an epic talking head about Karen, “I have a legacy and a pedigree. You grew up on a farm.” The fight continues, and the screen flashes To Be Continued….but I think we’d all it rather not.
Foolishness. Lots of foolishness.
One of the ladies may only have 25 dollars in the bank.
Ashley’s husband gets caught at a gay bar?!!