Moms on reality TV put their daughters in check.
Every week I swear I will not watch “Real Housewives of Atlanta.” When it airs, I’m usually tuned into “Boardwalk Empire” to watch Michael K. Williams, one of the best working Black actors, give ‘em hell in Atlantic City. But when I head over to Twitter, I get sucked into whatever drama is on "RHOA" this week.
In case you missed it, Kandi celebrated her 35th birthday on Sunday night’s episode. It was a swank, grown-up affair that was going as normal as possible for this bunch. That is, until dear Phaedra presented Kandi with her birthday present: a male stripper -- and client of Phaedra’s -- named Rid---ulous.
He emerged from a gigantic red box and hopped on the table to twerk, as Kandi’s mother, Joyce Jones, sat beside her. Then he proceeded to… how can I put his nicely on family friendly site? Uh, he appeared to pleasure himself the way Monica Lewinsky did former President Bill Clinton. Yes, yes, you read that right.
That’s just too much. It wasn’t shown on screen -- thank you, Lord, for censors -- but the reactions from the show’s usual cast were priceless. NeNe, who usually appears to have seen it all and done it twice, cringed. Kandi’s mother, who was still present when the stripper emerged from his casing literally and figuratively, went to cursing. She put her daughter in check in front of the crowd and let her know it was unacceptable.
Watching a good and grown woman spit, “that’s some bull----“ and sputter the ‘f word’ was priceless!!! Kandi later noted, “my mama doesn’t even curse like that, it totally caught me off guard.” Then Mama walked out.
Phaedra looked effectively shamed by the drama, but it was Kandi who had to chase down her Mama, who waiting for the valet to pull her car around. Mama hopped in her truck with a terse, “don’t call me” directed at her daughter.
“I’m a little embarrassed,” Kandi confessed in her recap. “It’s my thirty-fifth birthday and I’m feeling like I’m five.”
Your mother is always your mother, and there’s just certain business you don’t need to be doing around her, even if you’re grown folk raising children of your own. When we go too far, we can always count on Mama to rein us back in. And if you need to be told, or reminded of that at 35, then yeah, you need to be embarrassed when your mother has to, as my grandmother would say, “set you right.” Tamar Braxton got a taste of her own Mama’s trump card when she got sassy with her mother over on “Braxton Family Values,” and her mama told her she’d “slap the p---“ out of her. Monday night it was Kandi’s turn. Oops!
If you don’t learn young, you have to learn old: you are the child, and never too grown to be put on blast by your mother. Thank you Mama Jones for restoring some much needed order and decency on RHOA!
Demetria L. Lucas is the author of “A Belle in Brooklyn: The Go-to Girl for Advice on Living Your Best Single Life” (Atria) in stores now. Follow her on Twitter @abelleinbk