There are times in your life, like after completing a move from one house to another, or finishing your final college exams, or electing the country's first black president, when you just have to vegetate for a day or two to get your equilibrium back.
I didn't know how tired I'd been, both mentally and physically, until about midnight last night. Because that's when I found myself finally turning the TV off after watching three episodes of The Real Houswives Of Atlanta. After months of watching Campbell Brown, Larry King, Anderson Cooper, Wolf Blizter and Roland Martin seven nights a week, I felt like someone who had quit smoking for an entire year who just had to smoke one cigarette - guilty but relaxed.
Instead of being outraged at Sarah Palin, or the young black woman with the frizzy hair and the big eyes who was a Republican analyst on the CNN panel, I was indignant as NeNe, Sheree, Lisa, DeShawn, the fake-est wannabe black divas you ever want to see, and their white girlfriend Kim, a cheap rendition of "Blonde Ambition", strutted, pranced, primped, and texted their way around Atlanta.
Real Atlanta society women, both black and white, tend to live closer to town. You are more likely to find them in Talbots than Neiman Marcus. And I doubt seriously if there are very many of them who have private chefs or personal hair stylists who come to their homes. Watching these women on a TV show would be like...well, like watching paint dry, because a lot of times, that's exactly what they are doing - watching the paint dry on their latest civic service project.
Which is why the self-proclaimed divas in the picture above are on the show instead.
I started out flipping back and forth between the show, which had back to back episodes on Bravo, and Monday Night Football, at least until I heard DeShawn casually toss off "I think I'd like to raise a million dollars for my charity" while she and her friends sat around drinking wine in her living room.
She had decided, all by herself, to set this as her fundraising goal for a gala she was going to have in less than three weeks. I mean, I know we were breaking through barriers this year, but a newcomer to town getting a million dollars out of the pockets of athletes and celebrities, people who were still trying to stuff their pockets full before they got hurt, cut, or traded - THIS sounded like a train wreck waiting to happen.
I never clicked back to the game.
A fifteen thousand dollar tithe. Six thousand dollars for TWO custom suits for an eighteen year old boy headed to Clark Atlanta University. A five thousand dollar birthday party for a pre-teen girl. More glasses of midday chardonnay than you could keep track of.
I alternately howled and laughed for three hours as these five ditzes reminded me why I didn't miss hanging out in town all that much. Anderson Cooper's face when he was on Jay Leno last week came to mind as I watched NeNe's pendulous breasts just about jump out of her barely there tops every time she moved - Anderson had looked like a kid who had seen his first Playboy spread when he told Jay "I like NeNe. She's my favorite."
I was struggling by eleven thirty to stay up, but paydirt was just up ahead - the charity gala at DeShawn's house that was supposed to raise a million dollars. When the camera panned across the face of Andrew Young, I knew her goose was cooked. Maybe DeShawn thought she was in New York, or Los Angeles - there are very few events in Atlanta that can raise a million dollars in one night, even when Ted Turner, Jane Fonda, Arthur Blank, Anne Cox Chambers, and the rest of the gang whose millions are in the triple digits are in the room.
DeShawn and her husband spent thirty thousand dollars for her extravaganza, and ultimately raised somewhere around ten grand. I almost felt sad for DeShawn, especially when her husband struggled to keep his composure, swallowing mighty, mighty hard when he heard how much money his wife actually raised.
I hadn't thought about that sober minded, well educated, conservatively dressed black couple who would be moving into the White House all night. I'm almost ready, though, to get back to keeping up with the Obamas and their doings.
It just won't be tonight - because the season finale of The Houswives Of Atlanta will be on.
Me and Anderson Cooper will have our popcorn ready.