August 31, 1999
Ruthie Saya "Hasta Pasta"
My dears, all of the plotting in the world didn't help Ruthie's roommates stage a successful intervention. Ruthie beat them to the punch by calling her very own meeting. She informs them in no uncertain terms that she doesn't appreciate being treated like a lush, unless it gets her free happy hour cocktails. Anyway, she does admit that she briefly allowed Demon Liquor to control her life, and that she wants to get straightened out . She doesn't promise to be a teetotaler, but she does plan to party in "a positive way". As in, "I'll positively have another Heineken!"
Colin doesn't think it's fair that he doesn't get to respond to this opening salvo, but there's no way in hell that Ruthie will hand over her show to the Opposition. Ruthie is adamant; this is not a good time to have a conversation about her swilling because, for heaven's sakes, she's entertaining company! Never mind that they've already heard the whole soggy story not two seconds ago. Justin reminds Ruthie that even though she won this battle, the rest of the cast will retaliate with their own meeting. If they can't agree, they'll just bludgeon each other with meetings until only one party is left standing.
Rachel, Ruthie's older sister, broods after this stalemate, while Ruthie trades her alcoholism for an addiction to Chili's "Awesome Blossom". Geez, she just keeps falling lower and lower. Ruthie's friends (read "enablers") reassure her that it's possible to blow brains cells on cheap hooch and fried foods every week and still get a good G.P.A.
Meanwhile, Colin and Amaya have stopped bickering for once so that they can confront Matt. They've figured out that Matt snitched to Ruthie about their secret intervention, allowing her to gain the advantage and stage her own rival meeting. Matt snivells but remains unrepentant. The bags under his eyes threaten to swallow his entire face.
Rachel speaks to her sister's adversaries, I mean roomies, about Ruthie's recent suicide threats. She wants to spirit Ruthie away, but she's also aware that not being on "The Real World" would impose an incredible hardship on her troubled sister. Funny, I'm not on the show, yet I don't feel like I'm suffering a hardship. Do you, mes petites peches? The cast encourage Rachel to do whatever is best for Ruthie's health, even if that means socking her away in a looney bin.
Inspired by the whole looney bin concept, Colin doesn't waste a single moment and calls to get information about placing Ruthie in a treatment facility. These kids are practically drooling to break out the straitjackets and wet sheets, dear hearts! Unfortunately, they learn that no one can be committed involuntarily, not even to boost ratings, unless she poses a danger to herself or others. Finally, they decide to issue an ultimatum, using the house as a key leverage point. Justin turns out to be quite the little hard-ass.
Oh, and by the way, Matt thinks he's cracking. If you ask me, darlings, he's way beyond cracked by now. He babbles about some tears in his gut that threaten to jump out his eyes, feebly wheezes, "As a person, I'm slowly breaking down," and then collapses into a fetal position. Bingo! Kaia finds Matt weeping his gut-juice tears and exhorts him to stay strong. She reminds him that he cannot "carry the brunt of this", and he seems to recover a bit. At least he gets off the darned floor.
Somehow, this piteous young man steels himself enough to elect himself house spokesperson for the meeting with Ruthie. Matt, aka "The Snitch", feels that he is the only one truly trusted by Ruthie. Well, that certainly is what he'd like to believe, anyway. The others express some concern about Matt's stability, but they aren't so concerned that they can't enjoy a juicy piece of gossip when they find one, kids!
So, after trembling a bit and spewing a lot of hooey about his "concern" for Ruthie, Matt issues the following ultimatum. She can enter a treatment facility for 30 days, or she can find somewhere else to live. Ruthie resents her lack of choice; indeed, she feels like she can fix the problem on her own. She promises to inform her housemates of her decision once she meets with her counsellor. The housemates can only respond with an intimidated silence. Obviously, they underestimated Ruthie's stubborn streak. And, silly you, you underestimated the number of meetings that would be in this episode!
Dr. Alethea, Ruthie's counsellor, is looking and sounding even more like Mrs. Garrett nowadays. If we're lucky, we'll see her in the kitchen baking cookies with Tootie before too long. Ruthie expresses her desire to make her own decisions, and the good doctor agrees that treatment won't be effective unless Ruthie wants it to be. We learn that treatment has something to do with "you being you in a very deep way." Zut alors, that does sound scarier than straitjackets and wet sheets!
In "one of the most positive things I've decided to do since I've been here," Ruthie declares herself willing to compromise at the next house meeting. She promises to stay liquor-free and to talk to the folks at the clinic about her drinking. However, she still feels that the housemates were way too extreme in requiring her to go through a 30-day rehab process, so she's unwilling to accept this condition.
When the others refuse to accept this compromise, Ruthie is appalled. "This is not real," she repeats to herself. Well, duh, Ruthie. Ruthie's twin Sara comforts her sister and listens patiently to Ruthie's Scarlett O'Hara impression. I halfway expected her to conclude the tirade with, "As God is my witness, I shall never go hungry again!" But she didn't. Instead, she packs up her stuff, and without a single farewell (except for a brief "Hasta Pasta" in the confessional), she zooms off with her sisters in a red convertible. Matt will just have to find himself a new object of obsession.
Who's Shirtless This Week? No one. Crisis situations require being fully dressed at all times, evidently.
Real World Etiquette Secret of the Week: Teck is becoming quite the little Mr. Manners. This week, he expresses disdain for those people who would air out their dirty laundry in front of company.
Most Annoying Character? No matter how whiny and deluded Ruthie might be about her problem, the sight of Matt crumpled up in a miserable little ball, wallowing in another person's drama is enough to make me wish for an electrical storm every week!
Next Week: Ruthie's gone. So what's the problem?
©1999 by Randy Shandis Enterprises. All rights reserved.