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Dress-up Day – Starting Over, 9/21/04

2.7
Tuesday, 9/21/04

The show opens with Kim, Jennifer and Sinae discussing Deborah’s insensitive dinnertime comments to Jennifer. Jennifer tells the women she just can’t take Deborah anymore. She narrates that it feels the same as when kids picked on her at school.

In the loft, the women are introduced to a photographer who will take publicity photos. They will wear their own clothes but have a makeup artist. Jennifer is shown later telling Sinae she feel swollen from crying but that it might as well show in the photo because she’s cried every day she’s been in the house. The women prep for the shoot and Iyanla narrates that it isn’t as fun for them as she had expected. Actually it is fun for Towanda, who is quite in her element posing for her individual shots. During breaks in the shoot, Deborah stays off by herself and Rhonda narrates that she is missing her opportunity to connect with the other women. Deborah narrates that she’s just not “a group person”. Later in the loft, Rhonda asks each woman to describe why she chose her outfit for the shoot. From there, she asks each for an adjective to describe their nightmare outfit. Jennifer’s would be “frumpy”. Towanda’s is “homely”. Kim’s is “hooker”. Sinae’s is “old”. Deborah’s is “age inappropriate”. Josie’s is a word her grandmother taught her, “blase´”. Then Rhonda tells them they will all be dressing this way, and brings out bags of costume clothes. She tells the women they should also raid each others’ closets if necessary to create their own fashion disaster. Nobody objects, but apparently nobody takes her up on it either. Everyone expresses her nightmare outfit in a silly way except Towanda, whose “homely” suit is not costume-y like the others. She is also the most miserable. She does have fun teaching Kim to walk like a hooker. Kim struts past Deborah, who is crying on the telephone. She is telling “Superman” she wants to go home. Kim and Towanda eavesdrop on the phone call and Kim shakes her head and says “fish out of water.” Towanda relates that she dreamed about a fish last night and that usually means someone is pregnant. they wonder out loud who it could be, while the camera focuses on first Deborah, then Josie who is opening the fridge to drink juice straight out of the bottle. (I am more like Josie than I was willing to admit.)

Deborah, one on one with Rhonda, says she is trying to fit in and doesn’t want to have to lie to do it. Rhonda asks her again if she understands that the reason you think you are in the house may be just a symptom of what’s really wrong. Deborah doesn’t seem to be buying that and says the reason she can’t find a man is that they are lazy and just want sex.

Kim arrives by taxi to meet Iyanla who’s waiting for her near a woods. Iyanla notices that Kim rode in the front seat of the cab and Kim tells her the driver asked her to because the air conditioning in the back seat was “broke” . Iyanla narrates that Kim knows how to get what she wants, even a front seat in a taxicab. They sit and Kim says she’s been in counseling for 30 years to deal with broken relationships and lack of inner joy. For comfort, she draws on control and when that doesn’t work, she runs. Iyanla blindfolds her and tells her she is going to find her way out of the wilderness. They walk hand in hand into the trees.

Back to Deborah, who is telling Rhonda that she always has a plan B as an escape. Rhonda says this is exactly why she should stay. Deborah says that being in perimenopause, she might be hormonal. Rhonda asks if she could be pregnant and Deborah says no. So Rhonda shows her the oft-played tape of Deborah telling someone a condom broke and she will start to show soon. Deborah acknowledges it’s true and says she did not tell anyone because it was one time with a married man, and she still feels she has been celibate for 6 years. Also she did a preganancy test after that phone call and it was negative. Rhonda tells her that because she lied, the Life Coaches will have to decide whether she can stay. (But you just told her she needs to stay! So who’s lying now?) Deborah says she’s relieved and would like to go home but would also like the opportunity to change her life.

Iyanla has now led Kim into the woods. Kim is relieved and feels she has completed a successful task. Iyanla then tells her she’ll have to find her way back out again. She stays close by while Kim, still in her photo outfit with her purse, stumbles around. Finally Iyanla speaks up. “Just say ‘help me’.”
Kim: “Oh. Help me.”
I: “Help you do what.”
K: “Help me… find my way back.”
I: “To…”
K: “You.”
I: “To me, Help you find your way back to me.” Iyanla then gets up and goes over to where Kim can bump into her.
K: “I found you.”
I: “Did you find me? Or did you find something out about yourself?”
K: “I found my way out,”
I: “Of what?”
K: “Of my control.”
I: “What is so scary about trusting yourself?”
K: I don’t know. Cause I’m a bad person?” She cries and Iyanla hugs her. Kim narrates that she learned if she can surrender control and begin to trust, maybe she could actually have fun.

Rhonda is asking Deborah now to think long and hard about whether she wants to stay. Deborah replies that she wants to, but she needs Rhonda to tell her how to stay. Rhonda asks that she share everything from now on but Deborah is quite sure there are things she doesn’t need to tell to a bunch of strangers. Now that she has asked Deborah to stay, Rhonda tells her she will be meeting with Iyanla and Dr. Stan to decide whether she can.

Amy arrives to lead a fashion show in which each woman appears at the top of the stairs in her costume, with an applause track for our own entertainment. Everyone has fun with it except Towanda who can’t stand to look bad even if it’s a game. Rhonda tells them that the way they look affects how they feel, and when they feel bad they should look at their glamour shot from that morning and remember that’s their true self. Then we find out why Amy’s really there: she’s going to babysit while the women go out to a bar in their outfits. They do, and proceed to get stinking drunk in the process. They are shown returning to the house quite tipsy and all getting along, even sitting on Deborah’s bed, while someplace else Rhonda has her meeting with the other two. Iyanla, who has possibly seen the other tapes of Deborah on the phone trying to get Aja to do a stealth mission for her, believes Deborah is trying to scam them. Dr. Stan thinks Deborah’s hormones and psychological problems make it impossible to control her actions. (I love it, a man attributing someone’s reactions to hormones. I’d just tell him it’s HIM and then hit him with something.)

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