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'The Real Housewives of O.C.' recap: Making time for the important things in life

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On last night’s episode, Gretchen did the unthinkable. That little minx almost made me like her for a half a second as she sat there with a bemused expression listening to Alexis extol the values of her marriage and her morals. “I’m from the Midwest, I’m very traditional, we’re just both very Christian,” said Alexis, her cantaloupes sitting atop a plate of ceviche. Gretchen gave great non-expression, murmuring “Interesting.” Alexis went on to describe the soul-searching conversation she had with God after she first met Jim in all his stogie and XXL shirt-wearing glory. “Okayyy, God! What are you trying to do right now?! Where are you going with this?!” (God is sooo weird sometimes but he really is my best friend.) Alexis went on to talk about the devil and how the devil can be found on girls’ weekends or in Greece or Tampa or something so she announced that if she was going to go on Vicki’s trip then Jim would be sitting next to her on the plane. As we’ve heard over and over, this couple has only spent one night apart for their entire five years of marriage and they’ve not going to change their values now.

Earlier in the episode Alexis took her almost two-year-old girls to get baby pink mani/pedis. “JUST PAINT!” she hissed at the eye-cocked employees as the girls screamed and wriggled in protest. The girls went baby pink in the face, and Alexis huffed out of the salon with a kid on each hip. “Okay, let’s go find Olga,” she said. If those babies don’t want to sit there nice with Mommy and flip through tabloids and look for split ends in their hair and ask the nice Korean lady to tell them how pretty they are then let the nanny deal with them.

No nanny is going to be raising Simon’s children though. I have reasonably fond memories of this guy from seasons past but he is really chapping my hide lately. Is the tequila business a full-time gig? No. Then watch your own kids, ya bum, while Tamra goes on her real estate showings!  Leave Ryan alo…Okay, Simon is right here. That kid is trouble and Tamra needs to cut him loose until he rights himself. But for the love of, would you let the woman go on a girls’ weekend! Simon had the nerve to take a jab at my beloved Don after the men played a dispiriting game of golf. Jim puffed on his cigar, bragging on his marriage, planning their crash on the Florida weekend. Don wasn’t having any of it, so Simon wagged his eyebrows at Jim, alerting the man that Don’s marriage was a little, you know, different from theirs. Then Simon and Jim ran back onto the golf course and grunted to each other and broke some clubs over their heads and stomped on bugs. Later Don and Vicki, determined to reconnect after their sad, rocky spell, went on a date night. Yes, Vicki was kind of a bummer by telling the waiter to make it snappy because she had boot camp in the morning. But dare I say that Don looked happy. And when he raised his glass in a toast — “well Vicki, nice to see you” — I felt like I was witnessing one of this show’s rare moments of true romance.

The funniest cruelest scenes of the evening belonged to poor Lynne. It was Mommy/Daughter Bonding Day in Orange County and Lynne went under the knife first. She came out of surgery looking like the lost sister in Grey Gardens. She was so stoned and so uncomfortable, barf-vocalizing post-anesthetic nonsense. In the recovery room she sat upright like a scary clown toy, a turkey baster’s worth of drool threatening to spill from her mouth at any second. She mumbled that she was thrilled with the results. Her doctor said she looked perfect. Raquel, wearing a Miss Piggy nose over her rearranged noggin, said she looked like a teenager. “You look unbelievable!” everyone said, as Bravo kept cutting to Lynne’s stunned, slit-eyed mask of tight confusion. If ever we needed a reminder that this is not aspirational TV, this was it.

What did you all think? Don for the Must List? Does anyone out there find Alexis endearing? Was Bravo being too mean to Lynne with all those cuts to her blottoed face?