The Gal Pals SUV it over to the workplace of Laura Lee who is fab at 40! Everyone loves a rhyming start. Laura is from Minnesota. This fun fact urges Robbie to do his best Minnesota accent, which he doesn’t pull off so well, but he’s so damn cute so it really doesn’t matter what accent he uses. Laura Lee and her husband Paul have moved into a really expensive house. Paul just got laid off—ouch. So now they both work in the deli they own. And that’s how they’re celebrating their 10th wedding anniversary—by cutting meat! No, they’re having a party. LL wants to renew their vows. They can do it on the beach, which Robbie says will be beautiful. The mission is to make “little Miss Laura Lee 40 and free!”
Credits. Damon is wicked with a paintbrush.
The GP hop out of the SUV on what looks like a Hollywood set of a city but really it’s the back alleys of LA. They sniff the air for the scent of ham and find the deli. LL is wearing her hair in a blonde ponytail and has on a gray hoodie and jeans. Everyone grabs bread and meat and they shuffle off to Buffalo. Well, not Buffalo, but to LL’s house where her husband is waiting. Paul is huge. He’s gi-normous. Robbie jumps on him, half humping him. Damon says the place is crazy and starts pounding on some bongos. Robbie? Still humping Paul.
Danny has made his way into the bathroom. He stands there for a second and then starts waving around his arms. “What the hell is that smell?” He’s appalled.
Cut to Damon crawling, literally, around the living room floor and touching all the shelves. “This is just bizarre!” I’m not sure why he finds it bizarre. There’s just a lot of stuff. You know what’s bizarre, Damon? That you look like Roger Lodge!
Honey’s on her knees in the kitchen. The kitchen is very white and tiled. She opens the cupboard to reveal bottles and bottles of cleaning products. She exclaims, “A bunch of cleaning products they obviously never use!” Apparently, the house really smells.
Robbie finds a fur-lined shirt, holds it up to LL, and says that fur is really in. LL takes a moment and then says, “Oh, you’re the style guy?” She laughs. Robbie yells, “Yes! Who did you think I was?” She explains that she didn’t know because no one introduced themselves so she wasn’t sure. Danny comes over and laughs about how Robbie is upset and how LL didn’t know. She looks at Danny, who is clad in a pinstripe vest that shows off his arms but isn’t really my taste, and says, “Well, I knew you weren’t.” Ha!!
Off in the living room, Honey is drilling a power drill into the air. The house is very open and airy and has a spiral staircase in the living room. The walls are pale and there’s a fake palm tree in the living room. It’s rather ugly. Bold blues and reds for the rugs and shelves. Cluttered. And in the middle of it all, Honey still drills.
Danny jumps out in the bedroom doorway with a blonde wig attached to a cowboy hat on his head. “I love your wig collection!” Then he starts singing Oh My Darlin’ Clementine and accuses LL of having a cowboy fetish. Doesn’t everyone?
Next, Honey finds a rubber ball attached to a stick and whirls it around. “Rubber balls!” Then nails herself in the crotch with it. Heehee. LL takes over with a second rubber ball stick and hits Honey in the butt with them. Some sort of weird massage?
Somewhere in the house, the cat keeps vomiting.
Robbie talks to Paul about his wife. Paul says that it was love at first sight. He says she’s perfect.
Honey talks to LL about her husband. She explains that they got married in Minnesota so none of their LA friends were there.
The closet is moldy. The walls are moldy. Everything smells like humid mold and cat excretion. Aww, there’s no place like home.
Paul leaves as Damon continues to try to figure out the “eclectic beach” theme in the living room, which is not to be confused with Electric Beach, a tanning salon near my house. He pulls at a throw on the couch and scrunches up his nose. LL quickly grabs it, saying, “Actually, I think the cat threw up on that.”
Over by the dining table, Robbie finds a massive cat hairball in the kitty tower. He grabs it and threatens to put it on their dinner plates. Gross.
Then Danny and Robbie find a bunch of boas and stringy lingerie. Of course they dress themselves in it. Danny asks LL, “Does Paul like it when you wear this?” She says, “Sure. Who wouldn’t?” Danny and Robbie laugh, meaning they wouldn’t. Nice.
Meanwhile, Honey brings the cat outside. She comes in yelling, “Ew, I’ve got cocky on my fingers.” What the hell is wrong with this cat?
LL laments about her cat hair and mildew problem. Robbie calls her “40 and fabulous and not fatal.” He can add filthy to that list. Aren’t cats supposed to be clean animals? Honey can’t quite get over the smell yet. LL says that she lives there and still can’t get used to it. Honey asks if they partake in “home colonics.” Ha! Ew. Ha! Then Honey sprays herself all over with deodorant to get the smell away from her.
Over at the table, Robbie has grabbed an edge of the tablecloth. He’s going to attempt to pull the cloth out from under the settings on the table. Damon eggs him on, clapping and counting. Three, two, one! Robbie snaps his wrists and pulls the cloth out and everything else stays on the table. Damon says, “Wow, I didn’t know you could do that.” Robbie is silent, staring at the tablecloth in his hands, and then yells, “Oh, My God!” Apparently, he didn’t know it was going to work either. Yet another genuine moment that I love! The two of them half-hug each other and giggle in disbelief. Robbie screeches, “I could be a magician!” Damon wants him to go to Vegas.
Danny takes LL out to the balcony/porch to discuss her lifestyle. She says she has no time for herself. Danny suggests she has an unbalanced life. She say, “See? I’m so unbalanced, I don’t know what to call it.”
Over in the living room, Robbie is destroying a snack table. Honey and Damon are spinning around on chairs. Then they start throwing a stability ball at each other from the spiral staircase. Honey says, “My mom always told me not to play ball in the house!”
Meanwhile, Danny’s finding out a story about how LL and Paul took in a homeless guy as their first employee. She gets all misty-eyed. “Oh, man!” she yells. Obviously, she didn’t plan on crying.
Cut to Robbie and Damon in the living room. Robbie whispers, “It’s like a Barbara Walters Interview with a crazy guy from London!” Damon answers, “Now he’ll ask her what’s next in her life!”
Immediately, we see Danny saying, “So what’s next for you?” Ha! Now that’s comedy, people.
LL wants a better life with more time for herself. She wants balance. She wants to get out of a life that smells like poop and pee and is decorated with shower curtains. How one falls into a life like that in the first place, I have no idea. Maybe it’s a Minnesota thing, but I’ve never been there, so I’m just guessing.
LL’s friend says she doesn’t spend time doing hair and make-up.
Paul says LL wears jeans and t-shirts. As opposed to evening gowns?
In the SUV, Damon and Robbie are asking LL all kinds of questions about the vow renewal and the party. LL doesn’t really have any answers. Robbie asks, “Do you even care about tonight?!”
Cut to the Hunky Helpers! They’re carrying ladders and buckets!
Damon asks LL what she’s going to wear. She doesn’t know. Robbie asks her what type of dress she wants. She doesn’t have an answer. Damon asks, “Do you want lace? Macramé?” Robbie adds, “Tie dye?” She laughs. Damon suggests she buy a “sassy party frock!” Frock is just an awesome word and should be used in all situations it can be.
They pull up to Linder Design for some furniture shopping. Obligatory couch sitting. They find a curved orange couch with a yellow swivel piece where it bends. LL loves the swivel. Robbie swings back and forth on it. LL loves the couch, but Damon suggests that it may not be comfortable for Paul the Gentle Giant. Laura says, “Yeah, he’s six foot four and wears a size 14 shoe!” She says it as if she’s the one with the shoe size. The guys are jealous.
They move to a white couch with orange pillows, which is a better fit for big Paul. Damon then spouts some crap about continuity. LL yeses him and then continues to find swivelly things. Damon gives up his diatribe seeing that she cares more about things that can spin. Kind of like that Seinfeld episode where Elaine is mesmerized by the spinning tires in Puddy’s garage window.
They find a glass-top table for the dining area. Damon asks, “You like it?” LL says, “It’s nice.” But then he reaches over and spins the lazy susan in the middle. She freaks out, all happy and clappy. Damon says, “I knew you’d like that.” Damon continues shopping for round items while LL and Robbie leave.
They meet up with Honey at Sae Young’s Dress Barn. Okay, that’s not the exact name, but I wish it were. Sae Young is a dress designer who Robbie loves. Then we see that Honey is wearing a foot cast. She says she got hurt by “chasing blondes along the boardwalk.” Heehee. Robbie says that they’re here to find an “unwedding” wedding dress. Then he and Honey go into a frenzy, repeating “Sexy, sexy, sexy…” over and over. Robbie pictures LL barefoot on the beach as he tries to find the perfect dress.
She tries on a shimmery gold dress with a halter tie that kind of crosses in front. It’s a long and flow gown at the bottom. LL wears it well but holds her tummy. Robbie suggests cutting the legs off of control-top pantyhose and wearing just the part to tuck her tummy in. LL is like, “Good idea, but how do you know that?” Heehee. He’s The Look. It’s his job to know these things.
Honey asks if she wants to try anything else on. She’s not sure. Robbie reminds her that it’s her day so she can decide. She tries on some more dresses and they all agree that the first one rocks. Fun Fact: Most brides choose the first dress they try on. All the dress needs is some hemming, but no hawing.
Hopping on over to Pier 1, Danny has some gifts in mind for the guests. It’s all about baskets. Green baskets. Orange candles. Luckily, as Danny and LL go tearing through the store, they have Damon in tow as their little servant boy, who gets bogged down with everything they pull off the shelves. It’s kinda funny to watch, even though it’s so scripted. Danny throws in some air freshener. Why would you put that in a gift basket? That’s rude. If anything, LL should buy the air freshener for her own house. I think Danny’s getting confused here. He instructs LL to get cards for a personal touch. And bath salts! They leave it all to Damon to wrap up and take home.
LL and Danny go over to the diamond store to meet up with Honey and get some shiny gems. They want her to get Paul a customized watch. The jeweler asks what Paul looks like so he can get an idea of what to put together. LL answers, “He has big hands. Really big hands. And a big wrist.” So she’s married to a limb. The jeweler deduces that he needs to customize a big watch for the big man. Next, he’ll figure out how to breathe and swallow because he’s a sharp one!
He offers LL a mother-of-pearl face and has her select a band. She automatically chooses black and feels that she has to justify it by saying, “I want to give him something he’ll wear.” Well, yeah, the limb needs an accessory. The jeweler says the watch is “sporty elegant.” He needs to button up his shirt more.
Cut to the Sunset Ranch and Danny and LL in cowboy hats. And who has the cowboy fetish now? Danny tells her that she needs to have fun. LL hasn’t had fun in four years. Well, she hasn’t been horseback riding in four years, which is her favorite kind of fun. They wear their hats. They ride their horses. LL wishes she wore her spurs. I wish Danny would wear spurs.
They talk about her vows. LL plans on telling Paul how lucky she is. Blah blah. Adventure. Love. Blah blah. She thinks Paul might shed a tear or two when she surprises him with her on-the-beach vows. LL is crying again. It’s all Danny’s fault—he really gets to people.
LL’s friend says the house has potential.
Paul is embarrassed about their house.
The gang arrives back at the house. Honey skips along on one foot. HH in slo-mo one more time, but it’s all face shots. Who needs to see their faces? Next they’ll show them reading Milton and discussing politics. So not what they’re there for.
LL enters the house and says it smells better. I should hope so. She opens her eyes and loves it! The couch base is brown with white cushions and aqua throw pillows. There’s a chenille swivel chair there too. The glass-topped table with the swivel and white chairs is also now in the house. Gone is the ugly fake palm tree. Less clutter. Same art, only hung higher. Damon says that he wanted to use a lot of their original art because it was nice.
On the balcony/porch, Damon has set up rattan bar stools and low cushion-backless-armless couches. That’s the only way to explain the furniture. It’s loungy. There are also flags along the edge. Danny says, “All we have to do is add some green and blue and we’ll have a whole gay party!” He’s so into flags! Maybe he has a flag fetish. I mean, every episode, he finds a flag! LL loves the flags because they show the breeze and make her feel all warm inside. Or something like that. I’m too distracted by the obviously added during editing voiceovers to listen right now. Arg. The only show that has worse edited-in voiceovers is Project Runway.
Inside, Honey shows LL how to use Roxio to make a collage of wedding photos for the renewal announcement for the guests. It’s pretty simple. What’s the fun in having a computer make a collage for you?
Damon pulls LL away to talk about “more important things, like hair and dresses and make-up.” The guy from John Frida shows up to teach LL how to do her hair in up-dos and other dos. Robbie, Frida, and LL pile into the bedroom. Robbie calls Danny in to hold the mirror. I’m not sure why it’s easier to get Danny to hold up a mirror rather than doing this in a room where there’s already a mirror. But it sure is nice to see Danny using his biceps. LL says he looks good holding a mirror. Understatement of the year!
Frida does some bobby pin magic and applies some Sheer Blonde product and the hair is perfect. They pop a flower in her hair and call it done. Robbie then shows her two dresses she can choose from to wear for the party before the renewal ceremony.
Outside, Damon has set up two bars with red tablecloths that offset the off-white and rattan furniture. He reveals that she’ll have a bartender and catering. Whoo-hoo! He’s also leaving some orchids for her to put into vases a bit later.
LL’s face starts to morph into a look of panic. Danny to the rescue. “Don’t panic!” he yells at her. “Alright!” she yells back in a British accent that is completely accidental. You know how you get around people with different accents and suddenly you start talking like them because you just can’t help yourself? Well, that’s what happened right there.
Danny shows LL how to set up the gift baskets. He adds some silk flowers to fill in empty spaces. He tells her to fill it with one thing at a time. Then he reminds her to breathe because LL is turning blue.
They gather round the living room for a drink. She’s overwhelmed. She cries again. She’s insecure but she’ll pull it off. Danny says that he hopes she carries what she learned today into the rest of her life. Robbie calls her an angel. They toast to Laura. She toasts to the Gal Pals. Honey says, “There’s no wrong way!” I don’t know what that means. Danny yells, “Fantastic!” No reason for it. They all leave. LL sniffles.
Hip Tip: Damon says that when you go to the store to buy a sofa, test it out by doing on it what you would normally do on your couch at home. You know, like get all naked, scratch yourself, and fall asleep with a bucket of fried chicken next to you. What? That’s just me?
LL’s friend says Laura and Paul compliment each other but have no alone time.
On the Critic Couch, Robbie slouches down and complains, “I’m exhausted!” They toast to Laura Lee! Again.
And what is Laura Lee doing when there’s a party in about an hour? Sleeping. Yes! Atta, girl! She finally gets up, showers, does her make-up (which the GP say she doesn’t really need, which is what they say about everyone so why even go through with the make-up tips?), and she finishes with mascara that thickens and lengthens. Damon says that’s his motto. Heehee. Make me blush.
Robbie is happy that LL is going with the wrap dress with the flowery dots on it for the party. LL goes back to apply lip liner and the nerves come out. Her hand is shaking.
She attempts to do the up-do Frida taught her. Danny says her hair is getting a “little crazy.” She’s got bobby pins and frizz working against her. Robbie says, “She’s making a mullet!” Yes, that’s exactly what she does. Danny yells, “Don’t panic!” but this time she can’t hear him. She pulls out all the bobby pins and goes with a natural down-do. Good call, LL.
Now, she runs around the house, literally, and pushes stuff under the bed. All the tasks she’s supposed to do, pictures, baskets, all go under the bed. She continues to run. Room to room. She’s now a crazy person.
The doorbell rings and she flings it open, yelling, “Thank God you’re here!” It’s the caterers. However, I get the feeling it could have been the paperboy collecting money and she would have exclaimed the same thing. I think she was having “I’m in this alone” anxiety. Robbie and Danny agree that perhaps the caterers should make LL a drink.
Paul comes home and doesn’t seem to notice anything different. He doesn’t notice that the stench is gone. Robbie says, “He doesn’t notice a house full of new furniture?!” LL takes him out to the balcony/porch and finally Paul shows some emotion. It’s a wow reaction. He loves it.
LL is still in panic mode and doesn’t let him enjoy the new digs. She says, “I hope people don’t come yet” because there’s so much to do. Well, it would be finished if you hadn’t pushed it all under the bed, LL! She tells Paul to do the gift baskets. She doesn’t even show him how. She says to just look at the one that’s made and follow it. He shrugs and does it. Damon loves a woman who passes the buck!
Then LL goes into yet another psychotic frenzy, chanting “Damondamondamon” as she shoves flowers into vases. Then she makes Paul jam some more flowers into different vases. They kill the flowers. Damon squeals, “I’m terrified!”
Paul and LL finally settle down on a cushiony seat outside. They kiss. Honey says, “They don’t care about entertaining.” Nope, they care about each other.
People arrive. Everyone loves a moldless house. Honey forgives LL for not doing all the projects because this is what it’s all about. A happy party. Danny says, “Our girl needs a drink!” Because alcohol cures everything.
Cut to LL whispering to her friend, Rosie, that Rosie needs to lead everyone to the beach later. Rosie is her partner in crime and is the only person who knows about the vows. People toast each other. Dad calls LL an angel.
LL pulls Paul into the bedroom. She whips out the watch. He whispers, “Wow.” Danny says the most precious thing Paul has is Laura. Aww.
LL reveals her surprise about the vow renewal. He thinks it’s a great idea. She changes into the gold dress and finally gets the up-do right without making a mullet. Rosie herds everyone onto the beach. Paul’s reaction to LL? “Oh ho baby!” He’s a man of many words.
Danny says, “This is what it’s all about.” Damon loves the sunset. LL and Paul walk onto the beach holding hands. Paul says, “Is this where I propose?” LL says, “No! We did that part already.” They laugh as two people in love do.
The vows. LL is lucky. She wants to continue their journey of surprises together. Paul loves her. Gush gush gush. Danny cries. Damon is on the verge of tears. LL and Paul kiss. And kiss. Damon yells, “I love this man!” Umm, he’s taken. And straight.
Honey claps. Damon blurts out, “This makes me want to be heterosexual.” Robbie makes the face he made when he first smelled the cat-piss house. They all say, “Maybe not.” Heehee. The GP conclude that this was an inspiring experience. They toast to Laura and Paul.
Honey says to be careful when sending flowers because yellow roses mean “let’s just be friends.”
Danny says to pull a buffet table away from the wall so both sides can be utilized.
Damon says to test drive a sofa. As he did just one half hour ago.
Robbie says that your hair is important on your wedding day so get it cut and colored three weeks before in case it turns out badly.
And so the Gentle Giant and the Cat Lady lived happily ever after.
–Christina M. Rau/GatsbyGirl
If you had to choose: mildew or cat vomit?
Email me: Christina@realityshack.com