I used to watch Desperate Housewives religiously when it first came on the air in 2004. I had been married for three years and was at home by myself nearly twelve hours a day in a town we had lived in for less than a year with a child who was only eight months old.
Desperate? Yeah, that sounded about right.
I was willing to suspend my disbelief and go with the outrageous plot lines and was even happy to see Teri Hatcher back in prime time, remembering her from her famous Seinfeld episode (they’re real…and they’re fabulous) as well as I-can’t-believe-I’m-admitting-I-liked-it Lois and Clark. It worked for me. I was in.
While I continued to watch over the many seasons, the last two years I’ve had a harder time hanging in there with it. Perhaps my busy schedule is to blame. Maybe it’s that I’m now working from home and have replaced desperate with exhausted. Or maybe I figured out that these women are neither housewives nor desperate so how can I relate? But when I get the chance and remember that it’s on, I still indulge in the guilty pleasure of seeing how the ladies on Wisteria Lane are faring these days.
Last week I watched as Vanessa Williams (Seriously, she’s Vanessa Williams. I’m seeing Miss America and can’t remember the character’s name) told Lynette that twenty years earlier she slept with Lynette’s husband Tom while Tom and Lynette were on a Friends style break.. Not only does Lynette not completely freak out, but she asks that Tom not know that the cat has been let out of the bag. I like Lynette’s character. In fact, from the beginning, her character was the one I most related to. So I was interested to see what would happen next.
Did you see? She handed Tom a hot cup of cocoa and told him that it was cold. He immediately scalded his tongue. Really, Lynette?
The preview for tonight’s episode shows her sabotaging his trip down the steps so that he falls and setting up a variety of other dangerous pranks. And I have to admit that I’m going to watch to see what happens. But I also have to admit that the preview made me wonder what I would do in the same situation. In fact, I’ve joked with my husband from time to time about how I would handle infidelity in our marriage. I tease him playfully that he’s got the golden ticket of great health insurance and a government pension and that I simply couldn’t live without him folding and putting away the laundry. And if I kick him out, who is going to reach the high light bulbs and kill the spiders? Not me! The fact is that I believe I would do anything to keep our marriage together – those were the vows that we took – and I believe…I hope…that there are very few things that would change that decision.
I’m finding that of all the insane things that I’ve seen on the show, this one actually turns my stomach. I feel bad for the man. I relate to his humanness. I want her character to be herself and just confront him. The whole thing has left me feeling less like Lynette and more like Claire Huxtable. Remember how Claire occasionally questioned Heathcliff to see if he remembered an event from their courtship, the name of a song, what she wore to a dance? Now that’s the way to harass your husband…
So what do you think of Lynette torturing her husband for the secret that he kept for twenty years? What would you do if you were in her shoes?