Much like any other person who went away to college and spent thousands upon thousands of dollars to sleep in cramped rooms with strangers, exist for months at a time on starch and seasoning packets alone, and broaden my burgeoning intellect, I learned many important life lessons during those four formative years:
• When you live in a dorm, make sure you shower in flip-flops. There is perhaps no fungus on the planet with as much chutzpah as the fungus that lives between the tiles in a communal bathroom and since you will need your extra money to buy chicken wings and ramen, you really don’t want to have to waste your precious funds on spray cans of Tinactin.
• No matter how beautifully your Big Sister decorated the bottle of cheap champagne she bought you with puffy paint and your sorority letters, that bottle of cheap champagne should still be viewed for exactly what it is: a liquid demonic entity. And should you guzzle it, you will be lying facedown in the bushes outside of Sig Ep in no time and it’s a pretty good bet that people have peed in those bushes, so not only will you lose your dignity, but your cheeks will be pressed against remnants of urine. Instead, thank your Big Sister for the lovely bottle, swear that you will keep it atop your armoire forever, take a few sips of the fruity potent evil, and then spill out the rest when nobody is looking. Your liver will thank you.
• When Night You decides it makes total sense to set the alarm for 3:45AM so Morning You can get up and do some last minute studying, recognize immediately that Morning You has absolutely no intention of doing anything besides turning off that alarm and slipping back into a sleep that will then be riddled with hyper-colorful anxiety dreams about trying desperately to locate the room where the exam you haven’t adequately prepared for is being given. (Seriously – I still have this dream and it’s always about my Evolution & Extinction class and it’s frankly insulting that my psyche has not evolved enough at this point for this particular dream to be f*cking extinct.)
• Don’t even bother learning the pretend astrological sign that correlates to your pretend date of birth on your pretend ID. No bouncer will ask you that question as long as you’re wearing something low-cut.
• Go to your professors’ office hours. Not only is it far more difficult for them to fail you if they have some sort of connection with you, but some professors are worldly and fascinating and often quite funny and getting to know them will actually benefit you as a person – and I swear I’m not just saying that because my father was a professor and I’m a Freudian wet dream come true.
• Get rid of that long-distance relationship as quickly as you can. I loved my faraway boyfriend with my entire heart and I’ll easily acknowledge that my devotion to him probably kept me somewhat grounded, but you’ll have your entire life to be grounded. Cut that guy loose and go dive into that sort of “good trouble” a certain Senator often advocates. Your “good trouble” will probably not include a sit-in, but my guess is you’ll be lying down for part of it.
• Make your peace now with the fact that for events like Halloween and Greek Week and some drunken random Tuesday, guys you know will show up at your door and ask to borrow bras and heels because someone once apparently told every single boy as he shot out of the womb that dressing like a girl is hilarious and all kinds of subversive. Allow whatever guy who stands before your full-length mirror while trying to create the illusion of cleavage to enjoy himself, but for the love of all that is holy, do not lend him your good bras because he will stretch them out with the circumference of his back. Also do not even bother to explain that dressing like a woman is not actually all that funny. You’re up against a little thing here called patriarchy here, and to even try to understand why having t*ts is hysterical is a massive waste of time. So just shove the guy into a bustier, tell him to curl his toes so he will walk better in heels, and then send him out the door and wave goodbye to that bustier because you’ll never want to put that thing next to your skin again.
College ended a long time ago, though much of it seems like yesterday, and it’s hard sometimes to fully remember all of the ridiculousness that bracketed the years I spent at an institution of higher learning. But all of those lessons came rushing right back when I saw the preview for this week’s Vanderpump Rules episode, the one that included Schwartz dressing up like a woman for his bachelor party. Listen, should Schwartz have some sort of sexual fetish bubbling up inside of him that causes him to feel turned on and blissfully tweaked and alive whenever he slides a thong between his ass cheeks, I have no problem with that. Should Schwartz have a desire to dress in women’s clothing just so someone in his apartment looks stylish for more than a nanosecond, I don’t have a problem with that either. What I do have a problem with is the juvenile notion still floating about a grown man’s head that a guy dressing up as a girl is just so sidesplittingly funny and, try as I might to be tolerant of their rampant stupidity, these Vanderpumpers are really starting to get on my nerves.
Tonight’s episode kicks off at Katie and Schwartz’s apartment as they sit around and attempt to decipher who is RSVP-ing yes to their wedding based on the scrawled images of d*cks their dear friends sent back in lieu of writing their names. As this is the single most homoerotic group of male friends I have ever witnessed cavorting outside of a porn site, Schwartz is able to determine if it’s Sandoval or Jax’s invite because Schwartz knows that Sandoval likes to draw his balls nice and pointy. (I almost don’t even have the heart to mention that Schwartz announces that he draws his own d*ck representations with no balls whatsoever.) Into this moment of penis translation walks Kristen and she is very pleased to be able to describe how much fun it was to “eat popcorn and watch fireworks” over at James’ show where she showed up to help ruin the pathetic DJ’s life more than she already has. Katie would, of course, be very excited to hear that the guy who’s been calling her tubby for the last year got fired from his newest job and all, but she’s really preoccupied by the fact that Scheana seems to have been distancing herself from the group lately. You don’t say? You mean it’s bothering Katie that Scheana has been trying to gnaw herself free from a group of people who only believe in conditional friendship and plot against her at every turn? How is it in any way surprising that eventually people blessed with more than one brain cell will run fleeing from a coven whose favorite mantra is that everyone “better start falling into line”? The only part of this that is actually shocking is that none of these people have laughed directly into Katie’s face quite yet, but my hopes are high that Ariana will eventually take one for the rational team.
I’m pleased to report that Schwartz managed to briefly get away from the couch upon which his fiancé and her diabolical friend folded invitation dishtowels while plotting the destruction of every person they know. He is out of the house and accompanying Sandoval on his first modeling shoot that’s gone down in a long while. Sandoval’s hoping a major agency will sign him, but he needs to get some pictures to prove he’s still swarthy and all so he arrives at Joe Simpson’s house because that’s where all young men in Los Angeles go when they need to illustrate their virility. Schwartz is kind of excited that he’s at Jessica Simpson’s dad’s house because he used to watch Newlyweds on a loop back in his post-tween years and I’d just like to caution him not to even joke about getting himself a can of Chicken of the Sea in Mr. Simpson’s home because I’m quite certain there’s nothing in Joe Simpson’s house that smells even a bit like fish. Anyhoo, Joe Simpson welcomes them into his bachelor pad – which he actually calls “a bachelor pad” – and Sandoval gets made up while Schwartz implores his buddy to get his girlfriend to be nice to a group of girls who would happily fight with bare f*cking walls if there’s nobody else around for them to yell at. Sandoval rolls his eyes and agrees and then heads upstairs to be shot by a man who was once a very famous manager and now takes pictures of men with frosted hair and gives them helpful instructions like “stomach in, d*ck out.”
Now that we’ve all learned a little something about where to stick our d*cks while posing, it’s time to join James and his girlfriend as they rehash the prior evening. Raquel is all of a sudden concerned that maybe James is not the kind of person she can trust – excuse me while I laugh my entire ass off for a few minutes, please – because she’s not really sure how it’s possible that the girls who accosted her the night before and swore up and down that they’d straddled her boyfriend could have pictures of him sleeping in bed. You guys, if you were worried James wouldn’t have a great reason for the existence of those pictures, allow your concerns to finally be abated because he explains to Raquel that it’s entirely probable that these girls snuck into his home and took pictures of him while he slumbered in the dead of night because that’s what DJ groupies do. Rather than slapping him hard across his face for lying to her so brazenly, Raquel just murmurs that it’s hard not to have a little doubt spinning inside of her about James’ ability to be faithful, but he swears that she can trust him and I feel dirty just watching this scene and I hope beauty pageant winners get health insurance that maybe includes therapy.
Hoping to remove some of his own terrible karma without actually having to change any of his consistent behavior, Jax agrees to go to church with Brittany. He’s feeling a little bit badly about announcing to his girlfriend’s mother that her daughter should just shut her mouth and serve him until the very end of time, so this church visit is meant to show that he’s not a completely repulsive piece of stringy ratsh*t. Jax is wearing a suit and he looks like he’s being strangled from the inside out and I’m not quite sure who this priest is who signed a release to be on Vanderpump Rules, but I’m sure that God forgives him because he was trying to absolve a moron from his sins. Amen.
Over at Stassi’s mother’s house, Stassi is helping to take care of her mother after her hysterectomy but it seems that the loss of a uterus is not the only loss currently occurring in that household. (I do not mean to make light of a hysterectomy, by the way. I remember when my own mother had one and that she was in a lot of pain and I think it’s nice that Stassi showed up to help, even though she showed up wearing a microphone and followed by some cameras.) The other loss – the one that’s not an organ – is the one Stassi’s dealing with after her breakup and Katie arrives to help her friend through the pain. While she’s there, she asks Stassi’s younger brother if he has anything to say about this breakup and this rather adorable kid tells his sister that she has a support system, but her ex is now alone and he would like to talk to the guy. I give Stassi a lot of sh*t because the nonsense she spews on this show qualifies as f*cking insanity, but she legitimately looks broken about the fact that even though she and this guy have a lot of love between them, they cannot make it work. I’ve been there, sister – I think most of us have been there – and I hope she can find someone else to love who will love her back and will bellow loudly with uncontrollable laughter if she ever tries to bully him for sport.
Since James is still on his I’m-not-drinking-alcohol kick, he and Sandoval meet up for a nice cup of tea. Oh, Sandoval. He’s still trying to break through the outer layers of crud that make up this English weenie that sits before him because he’s hoping that something real and true exists underneath. Um, Tom? The only things rotting inside of James are tons more lies and heaps of nonsensical excuses and you are completely wasting your time and your energy on this one. You’d be better off asking Jax for advice about how to best select a priest in L.A. than to spend one more single second trying to be a good friend to a fool like James.
Also: Peter, the Sur manager, is an amateur filmmaker and he cast Sandoval in a short about a post-apocalyptic universe where men with braided hair wear shawls and bungle lines about computer transmissions. It will be coming never to a theatre near you.