I’ve never wanted to be a “Real Housewife” of anywhere. “Housewife” feels like such a 1950’s term, and not in a good way. Then you’ve got the shows. “The Real Housewives of…wherever.” None of them are really real housewives. Nobody would tune in to Bravo to see women who live in a three room house, haven’t had time to take a shower in two days, clipping coupons, wearing their husband’s T-shirt, carpooling, & vacuuming. (That’s what we have TLC for.) Some of the “Housewives” aren’t even married.
So I never wanted to be a housewife, but I REALLY never wanted to be a “housewife” (why would anybody want cameras following you everywhere?)… until now. And I want to be one “housewife” in particular: Teresa Giudice from New Jersey. I know that sounds strange as she is one of the few “housewives” in the entire franchise who is currently incarcerated. I’m not making light of her sentence for fraud or how horrible it is for her to be away from her family and vise versa. I just can’t help comparing her life to mine: Get the tissues ready.
Teresa is woken up every morning at 6 am. Me too. Even on the weekends because my husband doesn’t know how to stop his phone from beeping. He keeps it next to the bed & has finally gotten it under control enough for me not to jump up out of a sound sleep like I was shot out of a cannon at 3am when his dopy friend notifies the world that he’s eating a gyro, but hasn’t figured out how to keep it from going off at six, seven days a week. Could he turn the phone off altogether on the weekends? Gee, what a concept.
During the week, I get up at six, get dressed, eat breakfast and pack up my food for the day. If it’s a Tuesday, I have to pack up several meals because I work from 8am to 9pm. Then I drive to my job. I work in two different offices. If all of the other motorists in front of me will cooperate and do at least the speed limit, one is a fifteen minute drive, twice a week. The other is a thirty-five minute drive, three times a week. I get there early so I can stretch out and go for a run in the dark before I start working at 8am. (I know you’re wondering about the hygiene factor. I spruce up with various sprays, powders and wipes. Luckily I’m not a “sweater”.) Then I work all day, go home, deal with family and household and squeeze in writing in the evenings, early weekend hours, and any other time I’m awake enough to keep my face above the keyboard.
Then we’ve got Teresa’s life. She gets about forty cents an hour to work in the laundry. It sounds terrible but then again: How much do you get for doing laundry? She also is apparently in the best physical shape of her life because she works out after every meal. There are exercise classes and everything. Yeah, I started running because, well, you know… who could afford the gym? And the rest of the time– hours and hours each day– Teresa spends in her cell… writing her book. Okay, now I’m pissed. That’s jail? That’s an artists’ retreat.
I really need to rethink things. Re-prioritize. All of these years, I’ve lived a good, clean, honest life. I’ve never gotten drunk, done drugs, smoked anything, beaten anyone up, stolen anything (since I was four anyway), carried a concealed anything except feminine products… and where has it gotten me?