11 Life Lessons The 'Real Housewives' Taught Me

It’s hard to believe just how long I've been watching the Real Housewives franchise. What started as just a reality show is now a full-fledged television movement, and Andy Cohen is certainly laughing all the way to the bank. I’m not afraid to admit that I’m a Real Housewives super fan — I’ve seen every season. I even watched Real Housewives Of Washington, D.C., though I’m sure that like many other fans, we’ve all chosen to block out that scary season. We have grown up with many of the Housewives, and, even though many of them haven’t grown up at all, even one bit, I’ve learned a lot from the Real Housewives .

One could argue that the show is basically just a bunch of women flaunting their wealth and screaming at each other, and there is some truth to that. While I love a good shrieking reunion as much as anyone else, I watch Real Housewives to see the relationships between the cast members. I mean, Ramona Singer and Luann de Lesseps have been on camera for almost a decade together. So have Vicki Gunvalson and Tamra Judge. Many of these women are actual friends, and they just have the privilege (or misfortune) of having every little argument documented on television. They mostly always make up — the women of Real Housewives have been there through divorce and illness and more. It’s kind of like being in a war — you may not always get along with your comrades, but you’ll always share something special with them.

That being said, some of the things I’ve seen on Real Housewives have been massively stupid, and I’ve learned a lot about what to do and what not to do in order to be a successful human person.

Tables Should Stay On The Floor… And Upright

I’m still not sure how Teresa Giudice was so enraged by Danielle Staub that she had to flip a table over to convey her point. Danielle is scary and all that — don’t get me wrong — but I think the table flipping reaction did not fit the scene.

Listen To Your Friends About Your Man

When you’re in love, you get stuck in this cloud of, “Oh, we’re going to be together forever and ever!” That’s fine, but when your friends have serious doubts about your man, you should at least listen to them. Remember Vicki and Brooks? Luann and her fiancé? Your friends want to help you, so listen.

Want To Design Your Own Fashion Line? Don’t

She by Sheree? Gretchen Christine handbags? Sonja Morgan New York? Need I say more? If you’re not a designer, don’t be a designer. Just focus on wearing the clothes instead of making them. You don’t want to have to file bankruptcy like Sonja. (I love you though, girl.)

Don’t Copy Your Friends

Don’t date the same people, don’t name your company something that’s very similar to their very successful company — just don’t do it. There are so many men and so many business names in the world. Get your own.

Fighting In A Ballgown Is Hard

So many of the big screaming matches on Real Housewives take place at galas and fashion shows and the like — it seems really difficult to shriek obscenities at each other when you’re wearing that much silk chiffon. Best to save it for the dress-down days.

Speak Up In Your Relationships

One of the relationships on Real Housewives that I still think about is Slade and Jo de la Rosa from Real Housewives Of Orange County. She was so young (only 24 at the time), Slade was trying to keep her, and so much of the season was her trying to figure out how to get out of it. We’ve seen so many Housewives get divorced and split up that it leads me to say — if you think there’s something wrong in your relationship, address it before it's too late.

St. Barths Is Great In The Off Season

That’s what Alex and Simon always said, and who am I to judge? I’ve never been to St. Barths, but it looks lovely.

Don’t Run In The Middle Of 5th Avenue

Kelly Bensimon liked to go for jogs in the middle of 5th Avenue during rush hour, and I’m always surprised a cab didn’t hit her.

Vacations Can Be A Real Trip

The best series of episodes on Real Housewives ever is when the New York women went to Scary Island for Ramona’s celebration and Kelly Bensimon absolutely lost it. That was when vacations started turning ugly for the Housewives, and when I locked down into my sofa forever.

Bad Stuff Can Really Bond You Together

Another Real Housewives moment I’ll always remember is Dorinda and Carole Radziwill going to London to get Carole’s husband’s ashes. They were not really that close on the season, but their bond tripled because they had so many shared experiences. It was really a touching moment.

Dating A Dry Cleaner Isn’t A Bad Deal

Dorinda Medley is dating Madame Paulette owner John Mahdessian, and can you imagine the discounts on dry cleaning she gets? With all of those fine clothes, I think it would be worth staying with him just for that.

Embarrassing Your Kids Is Easy

Case in point? Avery Singer. Ramona has embarrassed her enough for years and years worth of television-induced therapy. I’m also sure that Johan and François van Kempen will look back on their parents’ time on RHONY and really make them pay.

Embrace The Spinoff... But Don't Beg For It

Both Lisa Vanderpump and Bethenny Frankel got their own shows on Bravo, and they went well (I'm especially partial to Bethenny Ever After). They got these shows because they proved they could do well in the ratings, but it really hurt some of their relationships with the other women. Don't let something stupid like a television show come between you and your best friend, and don't look desperate doing it.

See, who needs a fancy private education when you can just watch the Real Housewives?

Images: Greg Endries/Bravo; Giphy (11)