We managed to go a few weeks without seeing big Jim Bellino on The Real Housewives of Orange County, but on the latest episode, the producers trotted him out in all his boorish glory. I had forgotten how repulsive he was, but thanks to an obnoxious weekend trip to San Diego, it was all coming back to me Celine Dion style (ie. I imagined myself trapped in a giant mansion with flowing drapes and ghostly images of Jim Bellino haunting my every moment). Yes, Jim is awful in that old-fashioned, chauvinist way, and what’s worse is that he manages to excuse it all by finding justification in selective Bible references. Actually, what’s truly worse is that Alexis puts up with it.
Then again, for someone like Alexis, it’s easier to blindly hitch her (big bosomed) wagon onto someone else’s ride than focus on the vapidity of her life. With Jim, she’s taken care of. She doesn’t have to think. He makes all her decisions, and she cheerfully goes along with it, investing her energy into him and the kids rather than whatever emptiness has brought her to this place. Naturally, this is conjecture — I’m only reacting to what I see on screen. But what I see is pretty awful.Where to even begin with these two? Well, their whole story this week was that they just needed to get away. From what? I’m not too sure. Nevertheless, they hopped into two cars (TWO CARS — one for Alexis, kids, nanny, luggage, and another for Jim and more luggage) and drove all the way to San Diego for the weekend. Let me alert everyone that driving from their home to SD takes all of about an hour. Plus, even more amusingly, they checked in at the Rancho Bernardo Inn, which is twenty minutes north of the city. This was hardly an epic trip, and yet Alexis still managed to pack TEN BAGS for the family. TEN BAGS!!! With all that luggage, you would have thought the family was embarking on a Griswold-esque trek across the country, not a jaunt down the highway. Alexis justified the excess by saying that people normally bring two bags when they travel anywhere, which is true, but that’s generally for flights across the country. AND for adults. This woman has three toddlers. Just stuff their tiny clothes into one big Dora The Explorer bag and be done with it.
Anyway, the Bellino convey soon headed down to the resort and upon arrival, Jim decided it would be great fun to humiliate his wife for packing so many bags. Against her protests, he made her pose with the mountain of luggage, which notably was missing only one bag: that belonging to the nanny. Way to go, Jim (he was on car-loading duty).
Nevertheless, this whole scene with the photo and the luggage bothered me in many ways:
1) There really was too much luggage.
2) If Jim was embarrassed by his wife’s excess, why didn’t he make her edit prior to departure?
3) What husband humiliates his wife like that?
4) Why didn’t Alexis put her foot down and say “NO, don’t take a photo of me.”
5) Seriously, there was too much luggage.
Well, eventually the Bellino gang moved their baggage into their cottage where Jim made a few random executive orders (ie. demanding the ouster of a chair — wtf?) before going off to play with the kids. This left Alexis alone to unpack all ten bags herself. Maybe next time bitch will consolidate.
Anyway, the general theme of the vacation was “Jim chills, Alexis works.” I felt bad for the girl, but at the same time, it’s a role she’s taken on herself, and quite frankly, I think she enjoys being servile. Again, it seems like it distracts her from actually having to use her brain once in a while.
Eventually the couple escaped to La Jolla where Alexis thought she’d receive a sparkly reward for her dutiful behavior as a wife. Yes, the two marched into a jewelry store, but instead of landing that diamond ring she’d had her eye on, she left with nada. Don’t start applauding Jim for being frugal though. He bought himself two watches for upwards of $27,000. And yet when Alexis tried on a diamond ring, he belittled her and her penchant for jewelry.
This led Alexis to tell us that she was in fact Jim’s greatest accessory. And who wouldn’t look good next to her, she said, gesturing to her hair, face, and boobs. That’s what you call ambition, folks. And yet I’m sure Alexis would balk at the notion of being called a trophy wife (even though she just referred to herself as an accessory). Aside from the way she objectifies herself, the saddest part about Alexis is the way she prioritizes appearance and material objects in her relationship with Jim. Not long after making the “accessory” comment, Alexis clucked that Jim was such a great husband because he told her how hot she was all the time and bought her gifts. There’s nothing wrong with either of those things, but quite frankly, I’d place “emotional connection,” “honesty,” “fun,” “soul mates,” or pretty much any other fundamental attribute higher than “he thinks I’m hot” and “he buys me things.”
The woman, I’m afraid to say, may just be an idiot.
I’m loathe to say this, but perhaps Alexis should take a page from Slade and Gretchen. I still don’t like Slade very much at all, but in the couple’s defense, they do seem to enjoy each other. Gretchen doesn’t praise Slade because he tells her she’s hot and buys her stuff (we all know the latter is most certainly NOT true). She instead talks about how much fun they have together and, well, the great sex. I’m not sure I want to think about Slade “putting it in,” (as they say on Jersey Shore), and I’m not sure Peggy wanted to hear about it either, but she did on a shopping trip with Gretch and Alexis. I sort of enjoyed Peggy this episode, especially her continued rivalry with chronic one-upper Alexis. However, just when I was floating into Team Peggy, the whole homeopathic scene came up with her mother-in-law. You know, vitamins are great. Holographic bracelets that are programmed via computer to reduce aging are not.
Let’s talk about this woman. I forget her name, but she had this remarkable way of spewing nonsense. She compared skin aging to potatoes oxidizing. NOT THE SAME. Then she announced that her own skin was so great because she was being treated with stem cells from an apple in SWITZERLAND. You can’t make this up. Even crazier was that Peggy managed to get through this scene without laughing. Then again, her face is so frozen that I’m not sure such acts are possible.
As for the rest of the gang, Vicki made only a brief appearance to berate a contractor, and Tamra spent the whole episode teasing out her new boyfriend Eddie, who she claimed was the hottest thing ever. I’ll give her credit: he wasn’t ugly, and for a woman her age, she certainly did nicely. But this wasn’t the second coming of Antonio Sabato Jr. or anything.
Oddly enough, the two closed out the episode by having sex in her bathtub. I was kind of surprised at how exhibitionist they were being, but then I remembered that this was Tamra we were talking about. She’d show whatever was necessary if it meant that Simon would get jealous. Nothing better than passive-aggressive bathtub sex revenge.
Here are some pics from the episdoe:
“It’s ME! The Princess! DON’T EVER CALL ME THAT AGAIN, BITCH.”
Peggy: “Uh oh. My full body Botox treatment just seized up. Alexis, would you be a doll and give me a good thwack? Sometimes I just freeze. I call it ‘Mannequinning.'”
Gretchen: “Would you believe that SHE called ME a PRINCESS? What a horrible thing to have said THREE MONTHS AGO.”
“I wonder why I’m the only one who dressed up like Hanukkah gelt.”
Gretchen: “All I’m saying is that I’m not a princess.”
Alexis: “God is good.”
“I mean, I have a tiara, but I’m not a pricess.”
“Jesus loves you.”
“I tried really hard to get away from that princess image, and the fact that you keep bringing it up, even though it’s really ME who keeps bringing it up, is really hurtful.”
“God forgives all.”
“I’m not a princess.”
“Why you staring at my mullet?”
“I’m so impressed with this glass. Normally it just MELTS in my hands on account of how HOT I am. I AM the HOT housewife after all. And now I have a HOT boyfriend. We’re just one ball of CALIENTE-NESS when we’re together.”
“Kids, mommy needs you to behave. Just kidding. You can throw a tantrum if you want. This way I can focus on you rather than the dark emptiness of my life.”
“You know what my face needs? DNA from a peach in Luxembourg.”
“As a businesswoman, I wear MANY hats.”
Slade: “You know, honey, you don’t have to literally wear many hats.”
“Oh look at my husband humiliating me in front of strangers again. Isn’t he great? Hahahhaa.”
“Jim, I can’t believe you forgot the nanny’s bag.”
“She’s a woman. All she needs is a bikini during the day and a blanket at night. Now get me my toast.”
“Oh honey! Hahaha.”
“I can’t tell which watch I want more. Heck, I’ll get them both. $27,000 is no big deal.”
“Jim, maybe I could have a diamond.”
“Okay, dear. Step away from the diamond.”
“It’s only $500.”
“Hey, here’s $3. Go get yourself an ice cream cone.”
“But don’t eat it. You don’t need to gain the weight. Just buy it and then throw it out.”
“That’s a really good plan. What did I do to get such a great husband?”
Alexis: “I really like this diamond.”
“Too bad. I just bought a third watch.”
Jim: “Hey Alexis, what do you think about my age inappropriate outfit? I look pretty cool with my hat backwards, huh?”
Alexis: “You look hot!”
Nanny: “Idiotas, lololol.”
“Now I’m the CALIENTE housewife. They may come younger, but not CALIENTE-ER!”
“Has anyone ever told you you look like a Latin version of David from last season’s Apprentice?“
“Careful, snookums. Don’t want you to burn your lips off on my cheeks. I’m so very CALIENTE. Like TAPATIO but in human form!”
“Slade, you’re getting fat.”
“Whatever you say, princess.”
“Hop in quick. We don’t have much time before all the water evaporates away on account of me being the HOT housewife, WHICH I AM.”
“Oh, Eddie. DID YOU LEARN THOSE MOVES AT BASS LAKE???”
What did you think about the episode? Thoughts on Eddie? Thoughts on Jim?