Last night marked the start of a new season of one of my favorite guilty TV pleasures: The Real Housewives of New York. There has been a shakeup in the cast since the last season, with a couple of the housewives now off the show, and the addition of a few new faces. To be honest, I was less than psyched, especially as it seemed like the network decided to keep the craziest of the bunch (Ramona and LuAnn). I am glad that I decided to watch, as the newbies also bring some new drama and I am excited to see how this season turns out.
NYC has always been my favorite in the Housewives franchise. Not surprisingly, I enjoy gawking over the fabulous clothing and accessories (not to mention the slices of Manhattan real estate) in addition to having a ringside seat to the relationship dramas as they unfold over the course of a season. This season is no exception. In the first frame alone, my attention was immediately drawn to Aviva carrying a dove-gray Birkin bag. Having lived in New York for a few years, I can attest that fashion spotting and celebrity sightings are woven into the fabric of city life. In the midst of the ‘haves’ of NYC, it is easy to feel envious, especially in a city where accomplishments (doing versus being) are so highly prized and outward appearances are cultivated with almost religious fervor.
This season on RHNY, Carole Radziwill particularly seems to embody what I aspire to–city gal about town, A-list socialite, and award-winning journalist and writer. I don’t like envying other people. For one thing, there’s something unworthy about it. If I want something that someone else has, I should figure out how to get it for myself, rather than envying that person. What will envy get me (besides fodder for a blog posting)?
What I envy, of course, is an ideal rather than the actuality. I know perfectly well that every life has its triumphs, as well as its reversals. Writing and cultivating one’s persona is hard work, even when public figures make it look effortless. So, how can I go about adding a bit of Bravo-lebrity style to my life? Apart from working killer heels into my wardrobe rotation, I recognize that I also need to work my social connections and put myself “out there” as it were. Oftentimes, my temptation is to work doggedly at the expense of fun. Tonight, for example, I will be attending the first concert of the season in Faust Park. Getting out of the house goes a long way to lending perspective, and I am looking forward to a change of scenery (just as soon as I figure out what to pack in my picnic).
Readers: How do you deal with envy in your lives? What do you do when you need to step outside of your circumstances and gain perspective on your day-to-day challenges?