It was pretty surprising to hear that Lydia McLaughlin was returning to The Real Housewives Of Orange County for Season 12. She was only on the show for one season previously, and just seemed way too nice to get caught up in any drama. That doesn't seem to be the case this time around, however. Lydia got into it with Shannon Beador as soon as they met... at a child's second birthday, of all places. I didn't expected this to happen, since the two shouldn't have any beef yet. But a controversial topic of conversation — Vicki Gunvalson — may be why Lydia and Shannon are already fighting on RHOC.
Getting into a screaming match with a mutual friend you just met a birthday party may not seem like the usual outcome, but then again the housewives aren't most people. Clearly Lydia is dead set on making herself indispensable this time aroundm and she has taken it upon herself to be the "friendship whisperer" in the cast by reuniting Vicki with Shannon and Tamra Judge. Here's a tip: not going to happen.
Lydia thought that she was just making a logical comparison when she told Shannon and Tamra that they were behaving just like Vicki in their feud. It is true. They're all name-calling, shade-throwing, and back-stabbing each other. All Lydia was saying, in my opinion, is that none of them are completely innocent in this drama.
Shannon took the Vicki comparison as the ultimate insult, because of everything they've been through together. Just as a refresher for anyone who is looking for specifics: the two of them used to be besties. They even went on a trip to Mexico together. Vicki told her sister-in-law about David's affair, which Shannon shared with her in confidence. Around the same time period, Shannon was livid about Vicki's ex-boyfriend Brooks lying about a cancer diagnosis and questioned Vicki's involvement in the whole ordeal. Then last season Kelly Dodd revealed that Vicki spread rumors saying that David "beats the sh*t" out of Shannon, which Shannon denied. So obviously Shannon doesn't want to be friends with Vicki, but they are both contractually obligated to hang out because of this reality show.
Nevertheless, it's clear that Vicki has become the go-to scapegoat for Shannon's problems. Shannon even had the audacity to say "I've gained 40 pounds. This is stress, and that is Vicki Gunvalson." Not only that, but Shannon has been very upfront that she and David have fallen into a rut after they renewed their vows last season, so maybe she was projecting her personal problems onto this conflict. It wouldn't be the first time that a housewife (or even a human being) in general has projected their personal struggles onto another person.
On the other hand, Lydia is really coming in strong for a first meeting, especially since they were all at Tamra's granddaughter's unicorn-themed second birthday party. It was just so inappropriate. Why couldn't Lydia just say that it was nice to meet Shannon instead of randomly bringing up Vicki when she knows that Tamra and Shannon don't like her? This was not the time and place for that conversation. On top of that, Lydia has been out of the loop for so long so it's a little much for her to act like she knows everything about this friend group, without even having met Shannon.
Did Shannon overreact? Probably. Did Lydia do too much too soon? Yes. Does everything revolve around Vicki? Apparently so. These women are either talking about Vicki or just waiting for an excuse to bring her up. She really is the OG of the OC. But at least Lydia has an interesting story line this time around. Since nothing was resolved at that birthday party, it is pretty likely that the Lydia and Shannon discord will continue throughout this season.