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Episode 2: (Not So Happy) Housewarming

Another week in the world of Real Housewives of Orange County (RHOC) and once again, we have much to discuss. Today we are bringing in another professional. She is qualified to illicit insight and advice because she is a wife, stepmom (to a teenager), mom to two littles, and a partner at Griffith, Young, & Lass Family Law Firm. Catie works endlessly to create peace amongst families and brings the same effort to her own family and household. She understands the views of her clients throughout her experience in family law and has the compassion, understanding, and empathy as she co-parents alongside her husband and his former spouse.
Cue…. Catie Young

Catie Young

This episode begins with Kelly Dodd attending tennis lessons with her daughter Jolie. Jolie is a preteen; therefore, she is going through changes, specifically in her skin. It is reasonable for Jolie to have acne breakouts as she is going through puberty. Kelly and Jolie begin having a discussion regarding her acne and Kelly mentions her boyfriend (who is a plastic surgeon) and discusses how they can help poor Jolie with her skin in this time of need.

Cut to; we see a moment earlier in the week in the office of “Orange County’s finest” plastic surgeon, Dr. Brian Reagan. Is this not the best publicity for this man or what? I’m sure he is loving it and I can see why.

“My daughter’s skin gets clear with me and as soon as goes to her dad’s house and she comes back she has all these break outs,” says Kelly to her beau as they come up with a “brilliant” idea.

“There’s a lot of split families and we should design something so that its in a travel kit,” he says. “Yes brilliant.” Dr. Reagan’s eyes light up with glee (insert cringing emoji here).

As a family law attorney, I have heard it all and often parents knit pick at the other’s form of parenting. I found myself laughing at this moment. I saw this as an excuse for Kelly to put down her ex husband by blaming him for her daughter’s acne break outs

Everyone could use a good skin care regimen even children of divorce, but don’t bring this up in Court.
Your ex will never be as good of a parent as you are, but the reality is the Court only cares if your child is safe. They do not care if the other parent supports the nightly skin care routine you’ve implanted for your child.

I have a theory that Dr. Reagan’s intentions aren’t as pure and empathetic as he wants you to believe. He’s excited for the exposure Kelly is bringing to his business and wants to cash in. Good luck with your “Children of Divorce Skincare Line”. The targeted audience is a little too niche if you ask me.

I also find Kelly’s desire to use her daughter as the face of the skincare line IF it launches off putting. Jolie immediately is apprehensive and tells her mom that she is private on social media and would not be able to advertise for the line. Kelly responds by questioning why her daughter is private on Instagram.

As a mother, I would prefer my children to be private on social media. My little ones are 8 months old and three years old which obviously means they do not have social media—and if you are wondering if I have made them a social media account with their very own handle and hashtags, the answer would be no. I do however have a stepson who is 16 years old and my husband and I would never encourage him to be public in order to promote our own agendas. Wait—should we ask him to do a sponsored post for our law firm? Kidding!

This conversation shifts into Jolie saying she has been bullied on social media because, in the previous season, Vickie Gunvalson (who is not a housewife cast this year OMG!) accused Kelly of doing cocaine. Such an accusation will weigh heavy on any parent and especially a parent who is trying their hardest to peacefully co-parent post-divorce. This is and will be a huge story line this season as Kelly is enraged by Vickie’s accusations and blames the former housewife for her problems with her reputation being in question.

My colleague said it best in her recap last week, drugs and alcohol mistakes weigh heavy in Court and a judge does not have the time to go over all the minor details of “he said she said”. They must make sure the child is in the safest place they can always be. I certainly hope Kelly is not using drugs and now my advice for her is to let her daughter stay private on her social media and allow her to be a kid. The exposure is probably a lot of pressure and stress on Jolie who is already going through so many changes within her home and environment. Perhaps this is a reason for her acne breakouts? One of the many at least.

Kelly’s tagline this year says, “If you don’t want me to cross the line, then don’t draw one.”

I must say pushing this business venture with your new boyfriend on your daughter is crossing the line and drawing it at the same time. Kelly should not make Jolie feel that pressure in order to please her. Let the girl be young and carefree, Jolie seems like a great girl and we can only hope to see that remain the same as we watch her on the seasons to come.

Kelly Dodd

Moving over to another housewife with problems that differ from Kelly’s reputation, let’s discuss Emily Simpson. Emily is setting the scene as an overwhelmed mom to three young children. Emily is a married woman, but we question the whereabouts of her husband Shayne. As an attorney and party planner—the woman wears many hats and props to her. Emily’s husband Shayne is studying for the bar exam. As an attorney who has studied for the bar exam, I understand how stressful this can be. If I were studying for the bar exam now as a parent, I would be extremely stressed, but I would not go missing in action on my family. This seems to be Shayne’s way of parenting.  Emily is being left to pick up all the pieces.

“Shayne and I have been married for 10 years and our marriage has been a little rocky,” she says in her testimonial. “He is studying for the bar, so there’s been like no communication between the two of us.”

The last part of what Emily says worries me as I know communication is everything in a marriage. Emily needs her husband and her partner to come back and help her with the children and the day to day responsibilities that come with being a husband.

In this episode, Emily is hosting a birthday party for Shayne’s parents and is hoping Shayne will attend as they are HIS PARENTS. Big shocker, he does not show, and we see his family disappointed at his absence. Emily is always trying to make the best of her situations and decides it would be a nice moment for the family to call him via Facetime. He does not answer and when he finally is reached, he is extremely annoyed.

“I’m getting like hounded by everyone,” Shayne says on the phone. “This is getting to be a degree of harassment.”

Really Shayne? Your family wanting to say hi to you is harassment?

“It’s a lot of work for me, it’s a lot of sacrifice” says Emily with tears in her eyes.

I can’t imagine what Emily is going through, but I have had experience with clients in the past who feel as though they are pulling all the weight. A successful marriage takes two partners who are working together and communicating properly and more importantly, who do not go disappear on each other.

Marriage is hard. Divorce and co-parenting with an ex is harder. There will be times that one party has to pull more weight (i.e. attending to domestic duties), but the bright side is the community will benefit from the other party’s career advancement. I am certainly rooting for Shayne to pass the bar exam, although his behavior is not acceptable.

Emily Simpson

Here is where I will stop this recap as I am a busy momma myself and would like to spend some much needed down time with my husband. The kids are sleeping, and I feel fortunate to have my partner coming through on the bedtime rituals. (Shayne, get with the program). I hope you enjoyed my insights and wish Kelly and Emily a better season in the OC. Although we know this is reality television and its just getting started. More to come soon!

 

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