Humor by Jen Lancaster

"Why are you watching that garbage again?"

My husband, Fletch, says this every time I tune into anything with "Real" and "Housewives" in the title. As three iterations are currently airing -- Orange County, New York, and New Jersey -- he asks this question a lot.

Each time, my answer's the same: "It's educational." Then he rolls his eyes and heads to his woodshop while I settle into the couch.

The thing is, I'm serious. If it weren't for the ladies of reality TV, I'd miss out on so many meaningful life lessons.

For example, now I know that it's important for us women to have jobs so we can be, like, independent and stuff outside of our ridiculously, ludicrously, disgustingly wealthy husbands. The Housewives teach us the very best careers are, coincidentally, the ones we used to dream about as kids: modeling, designing handbags and jewelry, creating super-clever names for lip gloss colors, and cutting albums despite lacking any discernable ability to read music or carry a tune. Who wants to go to the effort of becoming a systems analyst when we can just slap a hangtag with our names on someone else's dress design? Not me!

Through the Orange County Housewives, I've come to appreciate the "more is more" axiom. They show us that if breast augmentation is good, then bigger implants are even better. I've been taking notes as the Housewives compete with each other over size, engaging in a saline-based arms race that will eventually escalate to the winner losing all her peripheral vision. Ditto on the adage when it comes to hair extensions, since the gal with a ponytail closest to the size of a pony's tail wins!

Because of the Housewives, I know that when I have an issue with Fletch, I should avoid addressing problems with him directly. Instead, it's best to dredge up all the intimate details and share them with the rest of the cast so that they can resolve my dilemma in a series of snarky asides with the Bravo TV producers. Describing my impasse to members of the press will do in a pinch, too.

Should no drama currently exist between me and my significant other, I should definitely plan a bath-a-deux on camera and not bother adding a lot of pesky bubbles to obscure anything. I mean, those flotation devices are like a tree falling in the forest -- if no one sees them, do they even exist?

Without the New York Housewives, I'd never know how to behave when traveling abroad. When visiting a predominantly Muslim country, local custom dictates that one put on a strappy shirt, load up on Pinot Grigio, and stroll the souq. And wearing underpants? Yeah, if you're a sucker! Let's be real here . . . the phrase "ugly American' couldn't apply to anyone wearing these Blahniks.

The gals from New Jersey have shown us that it's never not the right time to flip a table. And that every Italian-American family celebrates Thanksgiving with a mechanical bull ride.

The Housewives have enlightened us on one of the greatest lessons of them all -- that taking care of ourselves is key. Apparently we can accomplish this by hiring domestic help to complete the mundane chores, like doing laundry, cooking, cleaning, grocery shopping, and raising our children.

I mean, if we can't steal away for six hours worth of Pilates, followed by body shots with frenemies and binge shopping, then is life even worth living? I think not. Also? Never, ever worry about price tags -- if we spend all our ridiculously, ludicrously, disgustingly wealthy husband's earnings, he'll just make more!

Clearly, these Housewives are doing their best to instruct the rest of us on how we can be just like them, and I, for one, appreciate the education.

Of course, half of the Orange County Housewives are in the process of getting divorced and the other half are in foreclosure.

But I'm sure that's just a coincidence.

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