Obviously we aren’t watching TV shows for their accuracy, right? Even reality shows are completely absurd. I’m sorry, but am I really expected to believe that 25 women are all truly enthused to make out with the same clown for three months and actually be in love and get engaged at the end of it? They don’t even know who the Bachelor will be when they sign up to be on the show, for f*ck’s sake! I digress. My point is that television shows are supposed to be a pleasant escape from our own hellish lives, which I appreciate—especially right now. However, some shows completely miss so many cues from real life that I can’t help but wonder how these writers managed to keep their jobs. I’m talking specifically about Desperate Housewives, a show from the early 2000s that I’m rewatching because I just got a Hulu account and all of the seasons just so happen to be available.
It’s one of those shows whose first two or three seasons are absolute fire, but then it goes downhill really fast. However, I’m so far in that I feel like I can’t stop. As Jack Twist would say, “I wish I knew how to quit you!” One of the funniest things of Desperate Housewives, aside from the fact that there is as much murder as there is on The Sopranos, is that it’s just so painfully unrealistic for very specific reasons. And I don’t mean the obvious, like how none of the legit plot points would ever happen IRL. Here are some petty things that have been bothering me about this show.
Sex Always Lasts Five Seconds
The first time I realized this was in the third season premiere, when our favorite Flamin’ Hot Cheeto-haired Christian experienced her first orgasm at 44. Congrats, Bree! Just how far into her and Trey MacDougal’s foreplay did Bree become a woman, you may ask? Approximately five seconds. I’m sorry, but seriously? I know we are watching a television show, which means that there’s a fine line between a steamy sex scene and straight-up porn, but come on, ABC.
Gabrielle, too, always manages to climax in less time that I take to turn my vibrator on. When Carlos is messing with her birth control to try to get her pregnant, ABC plays a cute compilation of them having sex from start to finish (wink, wink), and each time, they’re both orgasming at the exact same time and after a few seconds. The same thing happens with her and the gardener (remember, the one she was statutorily raping?). They’d be doing it in his garage (ew) and she’d finish instantly. Are these dudes just incredible at sex? Probably not.
All of the Housewives are guilty of aggressively short sex sessions, not just Bree and Gabby. Edie, who is perhaps the most experienced in the bedroom, also starts moaning and screaming within seconds of mounting her latest victim. Why, ABC, why?
Trauma Doesn’t Affect Them
As described by Rotten Tomatoes, DH is as follows: “Behind the facade of a postcard-perfect subdivision live four women whose lives are anything but idyllic.” In other words, a lot of f*cked up sh*t happens to this group of seemingly normal women. To be honest, that’s a great plot and leaves a lot of room for some crazy things to happen. I’m in. However, a lot of legit traumatizing events happen to these women who literally do not react at all to said trauma. They kind of just carry on living their suburban lives as if everything is fine. For instance, remember when Susan’s husband was in not one, but three massive car accidents? The first landed him in a coma, the second killed a young mother and her child, and the third was the work of Major Creep Dave Williams. Why do the women not talk about this literally all the time? I got in a fender bender when I was 18 and still have nightmares about it.
Susan isn’t the only one who brushes death under the rug! Let us not forget when Bree’s psycho boyfriend faked his suicide because he expected her to come to his rescue, but instead she just sat there and let him die. Also, remember when her son was in a little hit-and-run that killed Gabby’s mother-in-law? Of course, we can’t forget about that time when she found a bag of her husband’s mistress’s teeth in his ex-wife’s pantry! Ah, just fun, suburban things!
Having Kids Is NBD
If I had a kid, I would turn into Rachel Green in the episode of Friends where she calls her pediatrician every time the baby does anything aside from sleep. The ladies of Wisteria Lane, however, have kids and then just kind of go back to accidentally shooting people (classic Susan!), going to fancy soirees at their country clubs, and plotting against the new neighbor. Guys, no! I know this absurd show isn’t meant to be a really accurate portrayal of the harsh realities of parenting, but come on! They seem to be pregnant for years at a time and then once they pop out the kid, we never see it!
Their lives don’t really seem to change after having children, and we never really see them taking care of said children. Yes, the kiddos are in a scene here and there, but they’re never having a good ol’ family meal, doing their homework or really anything with their parents. Are these kids just really self-sufficient in the face of absentee parenting?
They Never Repeat Outfits
I respect Lizzie McGuire for boldly repeating her middle school graduation outfit, because that is what people do: they buy a shirt knowing that they will wear it more than once. Like, I have a Rent the Runway membership, which essentially means I never have to wear the same thing twice, but I still rewear outfits. That is like, the point? The Desperate Housewives’ clothes are pretty normal, so I’m confused as to why they can’t wear them more than once. Is there something so offensive about Bree donning her magenta sweater set in more than one episode?
Also, Susan is low-key a lingerie queen and she never wears the same bustier twice. I don’t understand this! Lingerie is f*cking expensive and her whole identifier, aside from being a total f*cking idiot, is that she’s broke, so how is she affording all of the matching sets she breaks out literally every time she has sex? I have one piece of lingerie that I purchased at a La Perla sample sale and have lost count of how many times I’ve worn it. That’s normal!
Their Makeup Is Always On Point
Sex and the City is in my top three least relatable shows, but I found myself actually clapping at my tv during a specific Carrie moment that was the truest scene in the whole show. She’s standing over Big in one of her weird little crop top outfits and says, “I don’t wake up looking like this. I actually need stuff to look like this.” Girl, preach. The women in Desperate Housewives, on the other hand, wake up after what I can only imagine was a nine-hour snooze fest with perfectly rouged cheeks, long lashes, and a glossy lip. Wrong! Are they Mrs. Maisel-ing themselves and secretly waking up at an obscene hour to do their faces, so they wake up looking pretty for bae? How is this happening?
There you have it, the most annoying aspects of one of the best shows on television. Even though I love to sh*t on these women, I really do love them. Did I miss anything?
Images: carrie-nelson / Shutterstock.com; Giphy
At 26, I’m the youngest of seven grandchildren on my dad’s side and the oldest of five on my mom’s. I’m also an only child. Besides a 22-year-old cousin, I am the only grandchild on either side to not be married or have kids. Even my cousin’s kid is engaged. Every trip home, my grandma asks when I’m going to bring home a nice man, when am I going to make my parents grandparents. And I finally have an answer.
I’ve decided that if I’m still single in roughly five years, I will proceed with steps to create a family on my own. I’ll be 31 and most likely on the cusp of decreased fertility. It’ll be like Jennifer Aniston in The Switch, minus all the theatrics. The concept of purposely having a child on my own is not a revolutionary one—according to Dr. David Harari, an OB-GYN and president and chief medical officer at the Reproductive Science Medical Center in California, parents on the Donor Sibling Registry are 50% single women—but it’s still one that catches raised eyebrows and dismissive comments. Or, I should say, cliches.
“Please, you’re so young.”
“You’ll meet someone when you least expect it.”
What if I don’t? Or, what if I don’t care to?
Ultimately, I’d rather have a child than a partner. The pros outweigh the cons.
If someone comes along, great! If not, it won’t deter me from having the life I want. I’ve created opportunity in every other area of my life, so why stop here? I can date until I die. But by design, having a child, especially without complications, comes with a time frame. Women are born with 1-2 million eggs, and by the time they hit 37, that number has plummeted to 25,000 eggs. That’s not to say it’s impossible, but it is way less opportunities to get pregnant. And, according to Dr. Harari, the loss of fecundity, or the ability to get pregnant, begins as early as 32 and decreases more quickly after age 37. When many guys, especially in big cities, don’t even think about becoming exclusive with one person until their mid-30s, that doesn’t leave me with a lot of time.
My mom: I want grandchildren
Me: well do you want to give me $20,000 to freeze my eggs?
My mom: well-
Me: and then would it be OK if I spent it on something other than egg freezing?
— Ginny Hogan (@ginnyhogan_) June 1, 2019
When my boyfriend of over six years ended our relationship out of nowhere, I woke up. I was 23. I had invested the majority of my energy into “us”, and in one night, all that vanished. I couldn’t help but think he had wasted my “best” years. Just that thought alone proves the pressure society places on young women. I realized that, if I waited until I found a husband or partner, my romantic life and the hopes of having a family would always be completely out of my control, dependent on someone else deciding I was worthy and not changing their mind.
And it’s not just me who feels that way. Dr. Harari remarks, “More women in their 30’s are recognizing that they want to control and drive their family creation goals proactively.” I wonder why.
Soon after my revelation, I told a pair of girlfriends over four-dollar sangria one night. Though my future is of course my prerogative, it was important to gauge their reaction. I was prepared for backlash or an eye roll, but they loved it. Ironically, my friend had a similar yet reverse dilemma. Should she break up with her boyfriend who she loved very much because he didn’t want kids? She’s 27. We ordered another round.
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A few years ago, I went through the process of donating my eggs (if only they let me freeze some while I was already under, but that’s another article). I was pressed for cash after my living situation suddenly changed because of my breakup, and I loved the idea of helping someone in such an intimate, personal way. The process was an education in fertility and family planning. I was exposed to the lengths people were going in order to become a parent or parents. And it brought my own fate even further into focus. I’m far from alone in this: In one study looking at Assessing Reproductive Choices of Women, the authors found that those women who knew optimal age for successful egg freezing was 20-29 were more likely to freeze their eggs.
At this point, I’m still a few years away from 30. This is a protection plan. A mindset, really. By establishing a timeline and telling friends, I am not only setting up expectations (and getting people off my back), but also affirming the plan to myself. An ironic Plan B. And the longer I sit with it, the more comfortable I am. Empowered. When the time comes, I can either freeze my eggs, or move forward with a sperm donor. And if unexpected difficulties arise, I’ll adopt. I don’t want to make this decision as the last beads of sand fall from the hourglass. For now, I can focus on my career and the present without frantically searching for a baby daddy. I don’t feel the pressure to date like it’s an Olympic sport. With this plan tucked in my purse, alongside my birth control, I’m one step closer to the future I want.
Images: ginnyhogan / Twitter; uuppod / Instagram