Lydia McLaughlin Is Leaving 'Real Housewives Of Orange County,' But This May Not Be Her Last Hurrah

Charles Sykes/Bravo

For the second time in less than five years, The Real Housewives of Orange County has lost its sparkle. On Friday, Feb. 9, Lydia McLaughlin announced that she left RHOC on her personal website. Yes, again. In a blog post titled “Hanging Up the Orange,” Lydia explained why she ultimately decided her second round of Real Housewives had to come to an end. She wrote,

RHOC has given me a great platform and I’m grateful for that. However, I feel like I can only handle this show one season at a time. I need a break! There is a lot of good that comes from the show, but also a lot of negativity. After a family vote, it was unanimous that I should take a break. Sometimes the people who love us the most see things even we don’t see. I trust my path and I’m excited for what the future holds.”

She’s taking “a break,” huh? That’s interesting. Very, very interesting. “A break” is not the same as severing ties once and for all. It’s not the same as walking away and never looking back. It’s not the same as locking the door and throwing the key down a sinkhole. And it's not the same as presenting her orange to a pack of hungry possums. “A break” suggests there’s some chance of rekindling things. The rekindling is not guaranteed, of course, but it also isn't impossible. As Andy Cohen will tell you, never say never when talking about ex-Real Housewives possibly coming back to the franchise.

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RHOC viewers were first introduced to Lydia and her sparkle when she joined the cast on Season 8. She butted heads with Slade Smiley, organized the ski trip that functioned as the backdrop to one of the most iconic RHOC fights ever, and whooped it up with Vicki Gunvalson and Tamra Judge. All in all, it was a pretty solid Real Housewives debut. However, just two months after the Season 8 reunion aired, Lydia ultimately concluded being on the reality show wasn’t a good fit for her at that moment. On Nov. 4, 2013, Us Weekly revealed that Lydia had returned her orange to Bravo.

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But a few years later, she decided to give RHOC another shot. Before Season 12, Bravo announced that Lydia was coming back to the show. Alas, her homecoming only lasted one season before she decided it was time for a second break. Sure, this could be a never-ending break, but it could also be another break that lasts for three seasons. Hey, if RHOC makes it to Season 16, maybe Lydia will pull a three-peat and come back yet again.

Lydia's blog post comes just a few weeks after another OC Housewife quit the show. On Jan. 23, Meghan King Edmonds announced that she has stepped away from RHOC after three seasons. So, it's official: Neither Meghan nor Lydia will be main Housewives on Season 13.

And what do you know? It looks like Season 13 is currently underway. Last week, Shannon Beador announced on Instagram that RHOC is filming again. "First day back..." Shannon wrote. "@marcymckenna#rhoc#season13#imexcited#goingtobebusy."

Wait a second. Who is Marcy McKenna? Did she take one of the spots vacated by Meghan and Lydia, or is she a Friend of Housewives? According to her website, Marcy is an award-winning inventor and entrepreneur whose creations include a screen protector that turns your phone into a mirror when it's in sleep mode. Again, she could very well be Shannon's QVC pal who pops up on the show from time to time, but she sure would be an intriguing addition to the roster.

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Speaking of the RHOC roster, please raise a glass of glitter in honor of the most recent departure. Thanks for all of the sparkly memories, Lydia. A heartfelt balls voyage to you.