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House Hunting DC Style

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Who says the housing market is tanking? Not so, in the nation’s capital. That news is about the only bright spot in this week’s episode of The Real Housewives of Washington DC with Michaele and Tareq house hunting, and Lynda moving into her new suburban digs. The rest of the show is filled with tears (Cat and Michaele) and motherly rejection (Tareq and Stacie). Wait a minute, this show was supposed to be entertaining, not depressing.

This episode starts in Mary’s kitchen over Chardonnay. Cat and Mary commiserate on the trials and tribulations of raising children. They have one thing in common: they have both been in therapy for seven years! Imagine that coincidence. Cat, in her huskiest voice yet, complains about “the fact that Charles travels and leaves me alone to raise the girls by myself.” (This may be politically incorrect, but the girls have a father, and it’s not Charles!)

Mary, who is seriously territorial when it comes to her clothes, revisits the subject of her closet’s biometric lock, designed solely to keep poor Lolly, her 23 year-old daughter, out and away from the hallowed ground that is Mary’s closet. As she explains, “I was 20 when Lolly was born, so the mother-daughter boundaries are skewed.”

Speaking of skewed boundaries, next we meet up with Stacie who chatting with Michaele on the speaker phone about the Salahi’s house hunting endeavor. Michaele explains they are finally ready to take the plunge. The house hunting was delayed, she explains, while they took care of Tareq’s mother’s pesky lawsuit. You know how moms can be!

Stacie meets the Salahis at their suite and “home away from home” at the Four Seasons Hotel in Georgetown to talk about the search. She greets Tareq with a big hug (last week’s friction apparently forgotten) and gets down to business. “Where is the money coming from?” she asks. “This is ‘Business Stacie.’ I am going to need a letter verifying income.” Tareq’s upper lip gleams with sweat droplets as he explains, “We are funding it through the business.” Stacie is not convinced.

The Salahis go over their wish-list and price range: a house that can entertain 200-250 people, not a condo, not old, “something more modern,” and timeframe: no rush. In the most absurd statement of the night, Michaele says their price range is “anything from $100,000 to $12 million.” Honey, you can even get panels for your living room for $100,000 in DC!

But you could probably get President Obama’s dog trainer for that, which is what Lynda has done. Cut to Lynda’s Georgetown condo where we finally see some “star power”: Dawn, trainer to First Dog “Bo” Obama is there! Lynda needs a German Shepherd puppy trained to be a guard dog. It seems Lynda is nervous about her safety in one of the country’s wealthiest suburbs, McLean, Virginia. I wonder if the guard dog will be scared of Cat?

It’s in this episode that we begin to see a side of Cat we haven’t seen before. One who does dishes, and yes, can shed real tears. Cat has learned of the suicide of one of her dear friends and she is shocked and devastated. She has no one to lean on and it’s worse because “Charles wasn’t here.” Poor Charles when he gets back home.

Friend Mary on speaker tries to cheer up her sad friend, “You are beautiful, strong and gorgeous. You have friends here. I love you.” As Mary explains, “I have seen a side of Cat that is vulnerable and tender.” Knock on wood.

On to Lynda’s new McMansion where she has summoned her designer, her astrologist and everybody’s BFF, Mary. It’s time to cleanse the house by “smudging” with burning sage, an ancient tradition to rid a house of evil and bad karma and “project beautiful energy.” Better save some of that sage for the Salahis.

It wouldn’t be Real Housewives of DC without a white stretch limo … and here it is, just in time for house hunting with “Business Stacie” and the Salahis. Stacie explains the rules: “When we make appointments to see these houses, the agents will prequalify you.” More sweat beads from Tareq.

On to Stacie’s kitchen. Our hero Jason arrives home with an agenda: Stacie’s birth mother. He says, “We’ve known your birth mother for two years. Why don’t we know more?” Stacie says she feels helpless and she wants the name of her father (who doesn’t even know she exists.) Jason has an idea. “How comfortable are you approaching your mother’s son?” he asks. “We can do something on Facebook right now.” This could get interesting.

It wouldn’t be Real Housewives of DC if there weren’t a party. No curling irons at this one, though. It’s the Men Against Breast Cancer Gala complete with a men’s fashion show. Lynda has reached out to Cat and Mary to sit at her table, and unfortunately the mood is not good. More tears from a distraught Cat, who is comforted and “I love you-ed” by Mary over and over again. Does anyone ever laugh or smile in this group?

Mary spots her daughter Lolly at another table wearing one of her dresses. She seems as if she has seen a ghost. “I must have forgotten to lock my closet,” she hisses. Nothing like that mother-daughter connection.

What about that mother-son connection? Tareq and Michaele arrive at Oasis and stroll around the property talking about how they are going to “bring Oasis back to life,” when they hear sirens. Never a good thing when you are a Salahi.

Apparently, Tareq’s mother has called the police and tried to have Tareq removed from the property (again). The scene is so disturbing it is almost hard to watch. It also explains a lot about why Tareq turned out the way he did. The only explanation he can give is that this is “her MO.” Very sad, indeed. The episode concludes with one of Michaele’s keen observations: “Life is short and being cruel and suing your own child is awful. I wasn’t raised that way.”

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