[image-1]Hey, everybody. This week we’ll be talking about disappointment. I’ll try to make it fun, I guess.

So last night, when it came time to tune the old laptop into Southern Charm, I slowly began to realize that it just wasn’t happening. As the images clipped and glitched by, I was forced to face the sad reality that I wasn’t going to be able to watch the show via my usual set-up, which involves me dressed in tinfoil with my arms stretched to true north in hopes of strengthening my wifi. At this point you should realize that I don’t know how the internet works.

Anyway, I eventually had to do something I never thought would happen — I purchased an episode of Southern Charm. I downloaded it. It lives on my computer now. I can watch it over and over again until the heat death of the universe. So my laptop had let me down, but it also provided the only solution to my dilemma. This is what I kept in mind as I watched this week’s episode, which shows our cast of characters really being put through their paces.

We open with Craig, who is dressed as Rodney Dangerfield from Caddyshack, visiting his former boss. Craig has come looking for some sort of guidance. He’s let down J.D. with the whole bourbon, hotel business, and he’s now looking to return to pursuing a career as a lawyer. What a world that would be. Craig’s face plastered across benches. He maybe gets his own show, a legal drama titled Charleston Law, where he defends golf cart thieves and uncovers the seedy underbelly of counterfeit shrimp and grits. I would watch this.

[image-4]Next in line, we find Shep meeting up with his lady friend, who has some bad news. She wants a commitment, but Shep isn’t ready to settle down. It’s a little uncomfortable watching someone getting broken up with. Also, they ordered an entire bottle of wine. Do they just have to sit there after the break-up and finish it? What’s the etiquette for this situation? I feel like Shep should get a hug and a to-go cup. I know I often make fun of Shep’s name for sounding like a wiping maneuver, but this saddens me. Shep says he’s afraid of commitment, which is an important thing to be able to admit. It’s better that he acknowledges that part of himself rather than try to carry on a relationship out of fear that he’ll disappoint the other person. Maybe one day he’ll be ready to settle down with a Mrs. Shep and have a lot of little Sheps and Shepinas running around, but today is not that day.

Speaking of not being ready for children, Cameran pays her mom a visit. Her mom is drinking a cocktail from a thimble and has the look that I describe as “senator poet.” She seems like the type of woman who would be great at running a book club. She’s a delight. Cameran confesses to her mom that she doesn’t want kids, and her mother is totally fine with it. I’ve had this conversation with my mother, but the news that I will not be siring any grandkids has yet to set in. I assure you that I am not parent material.

“Dad won’t stop talking about how good of a movie Tremors is, but he doesn’t understand how health insurance works. I’ve never been to the dentist, and he mixes cough syrup in with all my food to keep me docile. He was supposed to help me with my science fair project, but instead he just wrote the word ‘futility’ on a poster board and sent me off to school.”

Thanks, unborn son.

Back to Southern Charm, we follow Shep and Cameran as they attempt to sell a home to the Most Interesting Man in the World from those Dos Equis commercials. Within seconds, Shep has mentioned the Civil War and made up 20 random words for house parts. According to Shep, the bathroom was carved from one giant slab of marble and there’s a pool on the roof. The house is actually bigger on the inside like the Baxter Building from the Fantastic Four, and it has the same exact layout as the mansion from the game Clue. Cameran eventually tells Shep — the only name in real estate — that she can no longer work with him. He says now he’ll have more time for naps. Shep’s life is that of a house cat.

[image-3]Later in the evening, Thomas meets up with the rest of the guys to celebrate the birth of his son. They have some odd discussion about the importance of having a male heir because it is 1780, and then the rest of the conversation centers around genitals. At one point, Thomas says something like “Look at those balls” while flipping through pictures on his phone, and I remember why I cry into my pillow at night. After a harrowing conversation about circumcision, we jump to the next scene where Shep is meeting Whitney for lunch.

They have a conversation about relationships, but all I can look at is Shep’s “I Voted” sticker. Shep voted. Or he stole someone’s sticker. But I’m willing to give him the benefit of the doubt. “Is Shep a better citizen than I am?” I ask myself in a moment of chilling introspection. Sometimes when you gaze into the abyss, Shep stares back.
Continuing our emotional rollercoaster ride with Shep, we see the heartbreak kid stopping by to visit Landon, who decides now is a good time to confess her love for him. Shep manages to hold in a spit take before making a hasty exit. Put this behind you Landon, for Lockhart Steele is coming.

[image-2]For those of you who don’t remember, Steele is considering assisting Landon in the publication of her travel-arts-food magazine, which she will also be extending to encompass complete world knowledge. You can tell Lockhart Steele is in town because you can see his helicarrier hovering over the city. If you told me that Lockhart Steele’s business card is a raven trained to say only his name, I would believe it. Just typing the name Lockhart Steele has caused my computer to grow a beard and lease a vintage Trans Am. The kingmaker that he is, Steele says Landon’s magazine/website isn’t progressing fast enough before igniting his jet pack and crashing through the ceiling.
This week’s episode ends with a dinner at Patricia’s. Being one of the unclean, I can’t imagine what it is like to set down to dinner with Patricia. She leads the table like some sort of conversational general. Each question is strategic and precise. They are the cruise missiles of discourse.

Once again, J.D. steers the discussion with Thomas to paternity tests. He says the last results were inconclusive, and everyone latches on. But I understand his reluctance to dig up the truth. These children are already in his life. Either things remain exactly the same or he gets the biggest disappointment of his life. Both Shep and Craig have had to face personal and professional setbacks this week, and maybe Thomas just wants to avoid joining the club. As this season of Southern Charm winds down, a lot of the cast is at a pretty low point. Will they have time to recover? I guess we’ll see.

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