This week's episode of The Real Housewives of Atlanta was not dissimilar to the plot of Henri Balzac's novel, La Cousine Bette. That's right, I've decided that Joyce is no better than the villain of that great work. Maybe that's giving her brand of 'evil' ways a bit more credit than they are due. Bette's evil comes from a source as true and incomprehensible as Shakespeare's Iago. Whereas, because this is reality T.V., Joyce's singular reason for being so cruel is almost too easy to glean.
I have been speaking ill of Kandi Burruss' mama Joyce a lot lately. I stand by all of it. She is a controlling, manipulative presence in her daughter's life. She's as mean as a viper and just as cunning. She won't rest until she's made sure that she is the only ally her daughter has left. She is greedy and cruel, cruel, cruel. But you know what? This situation could be solved.
More from The Stir: Mama Joyce Gets Low With an Attack on Todd Tucker
All it would take to ensure smoother sailing is for Kandi to realize that standing up to her mother doesn't have to mean speaking disrespectfully to her. She's stagnating in her relationship with her parent. Kandi is a successful adult, who hasn't been 'allowed' to have any functioning relationships outside the familial sphere. And that's happened because she totally engages her mother's inability to let her daughter have any degree of emotional space. That's right y'all. I'm playing arm-chair analyst and saying that Kandi has a raging case of codependency. It's just as bad as crotch rash and there is no easy-to-apply ointment that will heal what ails her.
Sometimes it's hard to explain to people why I watch reality T.V. Every attempt sounds like a defense of a bad habit. Especially when I'm watching some woman fight back tears in a wedding dress while her mother tries to hurl her (ugly) shoes at a woman she perceives (insanely) to be a rival. But these are the moments worth watching -- and not simply for the schadenfreude (you monsters). People are so often a mystery, their motivations complex, layered, and frustrating. On reality T.V. they are very often distilled down to their basic psychology -- and there's something satisfying about the ability to see and easily digest the complexities of man.
Also, Phaedra Parks used to be called "Doctor Head" in high school. Presumably because she did magical things with the penises of her callers.
Do you think Kandi has it in her to ever stand up to her mother?
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