[If you like this IHTM contest entry, comment to that effect below and that will help the writer win big money. Feel free to critique below too, so we can weigh that in our decision -- Jane]
By Rachel Upshaw
Since my first IHTM: “I’m in an international long-distance relationship,” the Greek guy I met while working in Germany chased me around the world, invited me to spend the summer with him in Berlin, and ended up getting a job in sunny LA.
Ten months after our first date, Spiros and I moved out here together, rented a place in Beverly Hills, and got a puppy. It was one of those years. A perfect, crazy year that started out like a long shot and turned out completely serendipitous.
But after all that, now what? Well, currently I’m a real housewife of Beverly Hills. (Technically I am “Real Unemployed Stay at Home Girlfriend of Beverly Hills” but whatever.)
While I continue looking for a job –- preferably something that will allow me to bring along my new furry side kick Franklin –- I’ve gotten into a guilty habit. Having abstained from crap reality TV for most of 2012, I’ve fallen into a bad way and started justifying the need to learn a few tips from my “peers.” As any of you fellow addicts know, it’s an eye-opening experience.
For starters, it seems it’s crucial to have an alarmingly high sense of self-importance. Since I’m new in town and don’t know enough people to talk shit about or feel superior to, I’ve had to think outside of the box on this one.
Everybody knows extracurricular activities are a good place to start in the “feeling superior to others” department so I signed up for a Greek language class. I know, it’s nothing to throw wine about, but it fills up one day a week, plus it will hopefully give me the ability to communicate with Spiros’s family next summer. (Spiros’s parents live in Athens. As in, they are actual Greeks, not My Big Fat Greek Wedding Greeks. And no, every middle aged person who asks me about Windex. Just no. And, yes, an annual trip to Greece. I hate me too.)
Even though we are still getting settled, living here for the last few months has been great. Going through the process of finding a place together and making it feel like home has been so much fun, especially after being a borderline homeless person living out of a suitcase.
Plus I won’t deny that I’ve loved decorating it. Sure our non-Bravo budget meant most things were diligently purchased on sale, but that probably means our love will last forever. (It’s a fact that the more emphasis on home grandeur, the more delicate the relationship. RIP Adrian and Paul.)
I won’t lie, trying to fit in is hard. My life isn’t fancy -– I sort recyclables and scrub our toilets –- but I’m doing my best. While I don’t drive a Bentley, which shockingly a surprising number of people really do, when I cruise down Robertson on the way to Target in my bird-poop-covered car, I always wear my Elizabeth & James sunglasses. The cat-eye ones that I’m pretty sure Kourtney Kardashian also owns. Maybe she scored her pair off the ground at Coachella too, maybe she didn’t. No one knows for sure!
Contrary to popular opinion, shopping isn’t the only important agenda item on the to-do list of a Real Housewife. Working out is also key.
Anyway, just the other day I watched an episode of RHOBH where Kyle invited over a friend to do yoga while they re-hashed a disastrous dinner party. Spoiler alert: People said things they shouldn’t have and somebody cried! How could they!?! Spoiler alert II: I don’t think they got a very good workout.
While I wait for my drama muscles to develop, I found a newly opened yoga studio down the street from us. The place is great, but I’ve never felt worse about myself, and that’s saying a lot considering I lived in a sorority house for two years. Luckily the clientele has recently begun to diversify. Just yesterday, I stood next to another woman whose thighs touched!
They don’t show it on TV, but if you want to know the truth, real housewives spend a lot of time in pajama pants. But since I’m pretty classy, I change from my “comfy” set to my “nice” set if I leave the house. It’s very Mr. Rogers if Mr. Rogers got an awesome new LuLu Lemon sweatshirt for Christmas instead of wearing one of those hipster sweaters he loved so much. (RIP Mr. Rogers.)
It is also a known fact that most of the housewives are very domestic. Sure, maybe it’s for the cameras, but occasionally you see one of the women instructing the caterer where to put the caviar.
Since I like to cook, I just boss myself around. It’s a little schizophrenic, but still gives me that coveted boost in self-importance. Unfortunately half way through most meals, I have to stop and go rinse dog pee off the regretfully white, over-priced Anthropologie bathmat Franklin thinks is a pee pad. As Fergie once sang, “The glamorous, the glamorous, glamorous, the flossy flossy.” (And no, I don’t know what “flossy” means either, but it probably describes my life.)
None of this is anything I could have imagined. If you would have asked me five years ago where I would be, I’d tell you I would be slaving away at a job in New York, working my way up a corporate ladder. I would have said that because I’d be sitting in an awkward job interview being asked that asinine question. How can a recent college grad accurately know the answer to where life will take her? What fun is that?
Maybe I still have no idea what I should do with my life (that will result in a paycheck), but giving myself the freedom to find out where love can take me was the best decision I’ve ever made. Spiros and I balance each other out perfectly; I am his biggest fan and he’s mine.
Plus, my bed used to be in the living room of a shared East Village studio. Now I own a bread maker AND a KitchenAid Stand Mixer.
I still may be the poorest person in my zip code (which I feel like is a good security measure; don’t rob me, I own Payless shoes!), but I am the happiest. Not to brag. Who am I kidding, that is the essence of being a real housewife. I better start practicing!