Things are already getting out of control on Bravo's latest Housewife iteration (technically, it's imported, but close enough) and as the new episode approaches, I can't be the only one wondering: Was Gamble really attacked on The Real Housewives of Melbourne ? Well... no. But this is The Real Housewives franchise, after all, and whether these glamorous Australian women call each other "darling" every other word or not, they're still of the Universe That Andy Cohen Built. And that means that a simple conversation about how one should approach telling a friend that they've heard a rumor about them can escalate to someone saying that a pool party full of trainers they had wasn't a sex party, and they're not a pole dancer, so why don't you just shove it, Janet!
After a lovely evening of trying to figure out a fake murder, wearing funky witch hats, and navigating Rick's (Gamble's boyfriend-now-fiance) wide-ranging scale of emotions, the seven women of The Real Housewives of Melbourne seemed to be getting along with each other. Could this be? A Real Housewives seven-way peace treaty? No, no it could not be. Because, while at a lovely lunch with Chyka and Gamble, Janet decided it was time to do her friendly duty and let her newest gal pal know that there were some rumors floating around about her. And then Janet rolled them out one by one as though some greater force was pulling each new thing out of her: "I'll tell you what they're saying, that you're a stripper and a call girl... also, there are all these stories going around that there have been, like, these sex parties." To which Gamble reasonably follows up with one of the greatest lines in RHOM's short history, "No, there's no sex parties and that is insulting."
From this exchange it might seem like a simple warning between friends to watch your back in the Melbourne social circle, and not tread to far into sex party gossip, respectively. (You know... how you are with your friends?) Alas, things escalated quickly into an argument where it felt like everyone was in the wrong, and Gamble especially, felt attacked. When Atlanta is over here throwing pocketbooks around every time someone speaks an ill word against them, this isn't really the most dramatic thing in the Real Housewives lexicon right now, but still, as this is the moment that looks to define much of the rest of the season, the three women at the lunch table should be able to look back and know that it could have been prevented.
Gamble repeatedly claims she was attacked, but she should have seen it coming and in return, the ladies should have chilled out. Here’s what went wrong on all of their parts:
Listen Up, Chyka (But Love You Chyka, For Real)
OK, Chyka didn't really do anything wrong per se, but as one of the few Housewives who has the capacity to do anything right in situations like these, she really did a lot of sitting back and letting things escalate. Chyka was the one who opened the door for Janet to come in with the "I think you need to know about this" strategy; and even though they had clearly discussed this plan before, Chyka somehow thought it was best that Janet roll out the sensitive intel. And then went completely silent when Gamble got defensive. Give your girl Janet the slightest assist next time things get heated, Chyka, even if it's just to remind her that you're both supposedly mentioning these sex parties out of the goodness of your heart.
Listen Up, Janet
I can believe that Janet's intentions were to let Gamble know that there were some rumors going around about her, but I fully believe that she was looking for a reaction (and, more likely, a confirmation) too. Why else with all the, "as a job, as a serious job," when it first seems that Gamble is going to shrug the gossip off? Janet, next time you're selflessly presenting a friend with some unfortunate rumors that you want to give her the opportunity to defend herself against, maybe don't tell her that "everybody" is talking about it, and the rumors have "gone viral." Friends don't generally try to make their other friends feel self-conscious and targeted...
Listen Up, Gamble
...which is why it's understandable that Gamble would feel attacked. But it's difficult to really say that Gamble was "ambushed," as she ultimately feels, on account of the multiple warnings she's given by Chyka and Janet before they roll out the information. This is just three women at lunch, and two of those women happen to be telling the other that people are out there talking about her. Gamble, reasonably, is the one who gets defensive almost immediately and escalates the conversation into an argument. Gamble, the next time a new acquaintance is telling you that people are out there talking non-stop crap about you, give them a little time to explain themselves: Why are you telling me this, Janet? What did you hope to achieve and are your motives positive? Do you have any constructive ideas for how to A) get people to stop saying that; B) inform people that I'm not a call girl; or, C) feel anything but bad about this news?
When the answer is inevitably, "no," then get mad and revel in the knowledge that you are fully in the right.
Images: Martin Philbey/Bravo; giphy (4)