Though the first season of Southern Charm, Bravo’s dark horse reality show set in Charleston, S.C., ended this week with an hour of delish, previously unaired vignettes, I can’t seem to get past it.
Lord knows I’ve tried, since this blog was supposed to be my collection of photos I took last September, 2013, when visiting this very city. Comments on the show were only to be a small segue into those. Now in my fifth day of writing, giggling, editing, rewriting, giggling, editing–I give up. I’m had. (The story of my life…with no small irony.)
Dammit. That’s Southern men for you, perfectly depicted in this series: maddeningly oblivious to their infinite immaturity, it’s all about the Cocks of the Walk.
You think this isn’t REAL? So sorry to disabuse you of that notion, but I’ve lived it for 6 decades. IT’S REAL.
The Southern man is all about partying, sports, chasing tail, and staying one step ahead of a shotgun wedding. To wit: Thomas Ravenel [of the Ravenel Bridge Ravenels], Shep [of the State Dog Boykin Boykins] Rose, and Whitney Sudler-Smith [of the Mama's-so-rich-we-don't-even-know Sudler-Smiths]. These particular men are old money wealth, so they can pursue the aforementioned lifestyle unhampered. And uninhibited. Even by cameras.
I am paraphrasing–slightly. If you question the core accuracy of my account, however, compare them to Craig Conover, a transplant from the state of (not Southern) Delaware: Craig has a J O B and is the only central male cast member who did not sleep with the 21 year old, fiery siren Kathryn Dennis. (To be fair, he tried–it’s complicated.)
Yes. It’s like that.
So what of the Southern women in all this folly? Full disclosure: I belong to this sisterhood and I have accepted my fate with defeat. But revenge is sweet, and remember I said it.
This is why I get it and it got me: though we haven’t lived in South Carolina for decades, it is in my and my husband’s DNA. I’ve tried relentlessly to leave it behind, but hubs psychologically clings to it like Mother’s teat. Therefore he drags me to a vacation on its shores every year so he can fish and reminisce about his youthful trips to Myrtle Beach and the drunken debauchery that followed. Like the men of Southern Charm, he sees it as his birthright and duty, though bitterly foiled decades ago due to Biblical temptations he can’t resist–compliments of moi.
When this show is on, I laugh and laugh and laugh and laugh…. At first I thought about having a nervous breakdown, but I don’t have the energy for that anymore, so I’ll do what Pat does: Time for my medicine!
Which brings me to the inarguable highlight of every episode: when Whitney and his mother, Patricia Altschul, appear like a couple of Southern Gothic throwbacks picking over the carcasses of life’s absurdities, it sends shivers through my soul.
If Andy Cohen doesn’t see the STARSTARSTAR factor in the bons mots these two drip, dissecting each other and anyone else who wanders onto the slide of their affected microscope, he’s become more tone deaf to programming than we fear. It’s Southern Lit in the flesh.
Whitney: [That lowly blogger] can say what he wants about me, but when he goes after you…
Pat: I could always just kill him. Where is my pink gun?
I love this show. It’s better than a lifetime of therapy. To give Andy his due, I must say: Thank you for this Charming gift of Southern eccentricity, fallen from the Bravo skies like a blessing.
If you saw on Twitter that I said this blog would be my photos, I tried to make that happen, but this happened. Sorry. It’s too close to home, isn’t it? Like I said, kill me now.
I’ll put the Charleston photos up in my next blog. I’ve gotten them culled down to 50 so far. Charleston is a jewel like none other.
(Click to enlarge.)