Melissa and The Great Walnut Caper
Quick, happy, stylish feet scamper into the SUV for another round of Gal Pal fun. Someone explain Danny’s outfit to me—a vest with an X on the shoulder. Robbie has on a sleek black jacket. Cause he’s The Look. Our four fearless fun-seekers discuss Melissa, a dancer turned eating disorder therapist who has decided to take fate into her own hands by proposing to her boyfriend. Yet she doesn’t know how to propose. Robbie suggests, “I’m going out on a limb here, but what about, “Daniel will you marry me?” She’s a recovering anorexic herself because of the dancing thing. Danny understands. He’s a dancer. He knows the woes of keeping a fit body for dance. Damon loves a woman with a cause. Her boyfriend, Daniel, loves her. Adores her! Then why hasn’t he proposed? Their mission is to prep her for proposing.
Credits. Wow, that animated silhouette can dance!
They arrive at Melissa’s house. She’s wearing a red tee, comfy pants, and a hoodie. She has dirty blonde hair and a bubbly aura about her. Her living room? Not so bubbly. An old gray couch. White walls that border on gray. Robbie plays with a very interesting coffee table. The top is glass but it has a sliding second layer that holds magazines. Robbie calls it “such a curiosity” as he slides the bottom half in and out. Damon exclaims, “It’s crazy! Craziness!” Then Robbie holds up a fuzzy thing and asks, “Is this a purse?” Melissa responds, “No. It’s a pillow my mom made for me.” It looks like something to dust with.
Honey and Danny my love make their way into the kitchen which is countryesque. Honey says it’s “very woody, a wood feel.” Danny calls the kitchen a motor home and is appalled by a leaking cow. He holds it up yelling, “What is this?” I have no idea what it is either. When I moved into my apartment, my one rule was no animal décor. Melissa should also follow this rule.
Robbie finds the closet and exclaims, “I spy with my little Queer Eye… is that Gucci?” and holds up a strappy black heel. Melissa says that she has some nice stuff. Robbie calls it “Cute!” just like himself. Then Robbie comments that they’ve come a long way from New York and The Streets of Phili.
In the bathroom, Honey munches on some strange thing. Then she reads a box that says, “Not for Consumption.” One, why would you eat something in a bathroom? Two, why would you eat something before reading the box? Ew. Honey immediately spits the mystery non-snack into the sink. Nice aim. She washes her tongue off, maniacally wiping it. She then goes through all the products, listing off, “hair removal, hair removal, hair removal.” Those are the only products apparently. Then she asks Melissa if the fly swatter hanging on the wall came with the house. Melissa says that it’s decoration. I think she’s kidding. Please be kidding.
Damon finds a clown lamp in the kitchen. Mommy, I’m scared!
Melissa and Honey talk about Daniel’s family. He has four older sisters who she’s met and gotten along with. She shows Honey some pictures. One big happy.
Meanwhile in the kitchen, the boys want to take the clown lamp to the antique road show.
Robbie finds silver in the kitchen and alerts Damon immediately.
Honey talks to Melissa about recovery. Melissa says she was a ballet dancer since she was three. Three! She said that dancing took away her humanity because she thought about controlling her weight all the time. Eventually, she told her mother she had an eating disorder and recovery began. During this discussion, Danny straps a ballet shoe to her foot.
Back in the kitchen, Robbie calls out, “Damon, distract them!” as he hides some silver in a towel so he can steal it. Robbie is becoming a klepto.
Cut to Danny and Melissa out back, dancing up a storm. They squat and leap and do ballet things. They’re both quite agile.
Meanwhile, Robbie tucks one of Melissa’s purses into his jacket. He takes being The Look one step too far with every episode. He wants it all for himself. Honey sprays some hairspray and gets the aerosol spray stuck so it just keeps spraying. She whisper-yells, “It’s stuck! It’s stuck!”
Robbie suggests to Melissa she get rid of the clothes in her closet she doesn’t wear. That way, she can work with the outfits she really loves and not be distracted by the clutter. She agrees. I’m thinking ulterior motive here. Robbie wants it all to himself.
Danny asks Daniel to describe Melissa in three words. He says, “Hilarious, sincere, and sweet.” Then calls Melissa his soul mate. Danny asks if Daniels sees himself with her forever. He says that he doesn’t know who else he could be with. Basically, Danny’s digging up the dirt to make sure he’ll say yes.
In the living room, Damon asks Melissa what she wants to do with the house. It’s a blank slate for Damon because Melissa and Daniel just moved in from New York. They didn’t bring a lot with them, and the house is stark. Melissa wants color but thinks that it could be claustrophobic. Damon corrects her; he says it would be warm.
Robbie and Danny have found a bunch of scarves and handbags in Melissa’s closet. As Daniel leaves for work, they meet him out on the front lawn swathed in headscarves and holding handbags on their forearms like two little old ladies. Robbie calls out to the neighbors in old lady fashion, “Could you keep it down?!” Then he hits Daniel on the butt while Danny hugs him. Heehee!
The Gal Pals surround Melissa on the couch and now get to talk about the proposal. Melissa wants to wear something classic, like a movie star. Danny asks what she would do if he said no. That’s a great question to ask. Real nice. Instead of hitting him with a pillow, which is what I would have done, Melissa says she’d be okay and would know that Daniel would have a good reason for saying no, but she hopes he says yes. He makes her better and loves her the way she is. For someone with body issues, she needs someone to accept her. Honey agrees that she’s perfect the way she is and offers her “one gay day” to take hold of perfection.
Melissa’s brother says she doesn’t spend time on herself.
Daniel says that her hair has been ten different colors since they’ve met and it’s hard for her to buy clothes for her body type.
In the SUV, Melissa says she’s most nervous about knowing what to say during the proposal and not tripping over words.
Back at the house, Hunky Helpers arrive to move furniture for Damon. Damon is perfectly positioned during the furniture moving—he remains behind the hunks. Up-close and personal butt shot! Wow, they must do deep knee bends daily.
Cut to the SUV, where Robbie suggests Melissa hide the ring in a baked potato at dinner. Daniel would be able to fish around for it in the potato. Um, no. They get out at DKNY, which Robbie says has amazing clothes for real women. Now he’s talking like a print ad. He shops for an outfit for Daniel to wear that night, but winds up shopping for himself, of course. Then he moves on to Melissa.
Outfit #1: A brown skirt and jacket with a deep orange-red color top. Robbie exclaims, “If I was you, I’d never wear pants again!” She’s very well-put-together here. The clothes fit her very well, which is hard when you’ve had recent weight fluctuation.
Outfit #2: A gray skirt with a slit and a flowery pattern. Blue shirt. Strappy metallic heels. Melissa admits that high heels make a difference. As a 4 foot 10 inch woman, I know the power of the pump. Wear them whenever you can!
Robbie asks Melissa if she likes the outfit he picked out for Daniel to wear. He points at himself because he’s wearing the outfit. Melissa nods. Robbie offers himself as a substitute for Daniel and Melissa says sure. See? It’s all about the clothes. Honey notes how she didn’t really hesitate all that much. Melissa and Robbie change back to their original clothes and then it’s bye bye DKNY.
Out in a parking lot somewhere in California, Danny meets Melissa and says, “We’re here at Swork, but I have no idea why.” Neither do I. I don’t know what the heck a Swork is, but it sure is fun to say. They go inside to meet Damon, who explains that they’re going to shop online. Oh! So Swork is an internet café. Gotcha. They choose a round chocolate-brown table with angled legs. Melissa says she really likes the opposing angles. Danny pokes Damon: “She said ‘opposing angles!’” “I know!” Damon responds in awe. They also choose a narrow table and some ottomans for other rooms. The whole time Damon finds new items to add, Danny makes these mmm-hmmming noises that get longer and deeper with every new piece. It’s semi-orgasmic shopping. Damon says the biggest advantage to shopping online is that you can see an entire collection in one glance. Very true.
Everyone clap for IKEA, cause that’s where they’re going. IKEA is like a little town unto itself. It should have its own government. The last time I was at the local IKEA, a huge fight broke out between this twenty-something guy and this forty-something woman in the pillow section. I guess that’s not really relevant. Anyway, Robbie and Honey shop for bathroom accessories and Melissa, Danny, and Damon shop for the kitchen. Danny rides in the cart and finds contemporary spatulas for her new contemporary kitchen. Ah, that reminds me of my college days when we used to go to Wal-Mart at two in the morning and do Shopping Cart Gymnastics. Next, it’s all about plates. Melissa chooses green and orange plates.
Meanwhile, Robbie and Damon stuff a pillow into a pillowcase. Robbie asks if it fits well. Damon says it’s a perfect fit. Robbie asks if it’s good for him. Damon says it sure is. Wow. How to make pillows erotic in three seconds flat. Too bad these guys weren’t in the pillow section of my IKEA when the fight broke out. There may not have even been a fight had they been there.
Back to Honey, who is now in her own shopping cart with Robbie pushing her. Robbie holds up a toilet paper holder that he originally thought was a “love making device.” Well, you never can be too sure. Before leaving, Danny and Melissa play in a tub of blue balls. Man! My sarcastic-comment-nerve just blew a gasket! Sorry.
After IKEA, Honey tells Melissa that every woman has the right to propose. Therefore, she takes her to Tacori, a jewelry store that makes one-of-a-kind platinum rings. They design the rings on a computer and then make them to your liking. They meet Paul, the ring guy, who is wearing a suit very similar to the one Robbie picked out for Daniel that night. Didn’t that happen last time? Paul the ring guy explains that platinum is the perfect symbol for love because it’s enduring, rarer than gold, and naturally white. Yes, love can be reduced to an expensive metal band. That’s exactly what I want to express to my future husband—you are as precious as this very expensive white metal. Melissa chooses her favorite ring and wants to engrave Marry Me and the date on the inside.
Honey then ships her off for a haircut. She needs one. Badly.
Melissa’s brother says her place is make-shift.
Melissa’s step-mom wonders where they eat because they have no table. Usually, here I would make a sarcastic comment about them not eating at all, but in light of the whole eating disorder issue, I’m not making a joke about it. There are plenty of other things to make fun of, I’m sure.
In the SUV, Melissa reveals a straight, angled haircut that works well with her face. Danny says he “loves, loves, loves” her hair. Hey! That’s my thing. I do the triple love love love thing! Oh, we must be made for each other, Danny! Wait, no, we’re not. You’re gay and I’m a lady. Never mind. Then commences the most awesome dance sequence I’ve ever seen in a moving vehicle. They flip through a bunch of stations and find a danceable tune. Danny and Robbie begin shimmying in the back seat. Then Honey busts a move. Melissa joins in with some arm Madonna moves. Then, Danny and Robbie are doing the spanking the dog, wiping the lap move. All in unison. How do they know this dance? Should I know this dance?
They arrive at Melissa’s house and she breaks out in tears. It’s great. The living room walls are now an aqua-mint color. The couch is an ice blue. The focal point is a wall hanging over the couch that has rows of simple flower paintings on frosted glass. The flowers are pink and blue. Damon has saved the coffee table but replaced the magazines with stones. This is the most awesome piece of furniture.
The kitchen is still woody but now has the new table with a vase of flowers on top. Melissa needs to sit down. The walls are a buttery yellow. Danny points out that Damon has put up shelves on the far wall.
Over in the bedroom, Melissa needs to lie down. The colors are no longer red, white, and blue. Instead, it’s all coral and gold and brown and very movie-star-classic-ish. Damon custom-made the headboard.
Damon, Danny, and Honey wait in the living room while Robbie steals Melissa away into the bedroom. They pretend that he’s dragging her away for an intimate moment but we all know that’s not happening. Not if he wants to keep his job. They come back to reveal “The Divine Miss M.” No, not Bette Midler. Melissa! In a sleek black dress, sequined wrap, and strappy heels. The Gal Pals shriek, “Gorgeous!” Danny says that the dress is classic for a classic body, reminding her that the classic movie star shape was curvy.
Robbie now dives into changing her hair color to compliment her new do. Back in her red tee, she sits in the bathroom while Robbie helps her rub dye into her dry roots. He helps her comb it through as well but makes her do most of the work.
She meets Danny in the kitchen in her cape and hair clips. Danny knows that she keeps a healthy diet but since it’s a special occasion, he wants to make something a bit unhealthy. Cleopatra’s Walnuts. Yes, Cleopatra’s Walnuts. They’re an aphrodisiac. Can’t you tell by the name alone? It screams sex! These are walnuts covered in caramel. Mmmmm. Okay, now I’m having a food orgasm. He’s right about that aphrodisiac thing. Basically, they’re little nut sandwiches. Danny asks her how Daniel will take her proposing to him. She says that Daniel knows she’s untraditional so he shouldn’t be too surprised in the end. Danny tells her to let her heart do the talking.
Robbie pulls Melissa out of the kitchen to check her hair. He rinses out the dye until the water is clear. Then adds some highlights and aluminum and sends her back to Danny. Ping-pong between two gay men! Back in the kitchen, they drizzle caramel, which seems dirty but isn’t. What IS disturbing is all the hair-kitchen stuff. Shouldn’t she not be near food with chemicals in her hair? Anyway, they finish making Cleopatra’s Walnuts.
Then Robbie washes out the highlights. Whoa. Her hair is DARK. But it’s still wet, so it probably looks darker than it is.
Honey teaches Melissa how to do make-up for romance. Beginning with plucking. Plucking and romance never go hand-in-hand. Plucking is the bane of my existence and should never be encouraged. Yet Honey encourages it. Then she gives Melissa an eyebrow pencil to fill in her eyebrows. Um, why did she just pluck then? Next she wets the brush and puts it in the eye shadow to use the shade as eyeliner. Okay, Honey, what are you doing? I’m trusting her on this one. A warning: Be careful with shimmer in your creases! Then, after all the make-up, Honey hands her a Wet Wipe and makes her wipe her face off for a clean slate. Then she gives her Crest White Strips. Oh, Come On! These things take a week to work, so why bog her down with this step that won’t make a difference when she needs to propose later?
Melissa tells Honey she can’t believe how much more confident she feels in just a few hours. She feels good because they didn’t focus on what’s wrong with her. Honey says that she didn’t NEED a make-over. Melissa agrees that body image has to do with helping come up with a better version of yourself.
In the living room, Melissa starts crying again because she’s learned to trust people. She learned about style, but also how to share herself. Damon is all weepy and says that she should share herself. Danny makes a toast saying that they all “fell in love” with her as soon as they met her. Cheers! Honey is so proud. On the way out, Danny takes a Buddha bow towards her. I have no idea why.
Hip Tip: Robbie says use a comb accessory on your blow dryer when you blow dry frizzy hair. Or shave your head. Whichever.
Melissa’s step-mom says Daniel is Melissa’s soul mate.
Daniel says Melissa is great.
Gather round the critic couch for some commentary. Honey is wearing a white suit that I would like to own one day but never will because I’m too short and would look horrible! The boys are in all black. How Euro. Damon says that they left her in “great spirits” so she should do a good job. Didn’t they leave her in tears? They watch Melissa in a red cushy robe blow out her hair, which is now brunette and beautiful. I think it’s borderline reddish. It compliments her fair complexion; she’s no longer washed-out. Then she tweezes as previously instructed and then does up her eyes. She dons her black dress and golden sandals. And then she cooks! Yes, she gets all gussied up and THEN cooks. Robbie says that he, too, likes to cook in an evening gown. Danny mentions that he appreciates her cooking efforts but would have liked it better if she cooked before getting dressed up. At least put on an apron.
Melissa goes about making Cleopatra’s Walnuts. She’s very precise. Robbie says that he would have loved playing Operation with her as a kid because she would have kicked that guy’s electrified ass. Suddenly, there’s a knock at the door and Melissa is all a-tizzy because she can’t get her shoes on. Damon notes that now she’s getting nervous. All that preciseness has gone out the window as she can’t find the hole in the strap in her sandal to buckle it shut. Daniel keeps knocking and she yells at her shoes. Then, she gets one on and runs to the door with the other one in hand. “Hang on a minute! I’m coming!” she yells as she hops on her heeled foot. She jams her foot in her shoe, finally gets it on, and opens the door to the waiting Daniel. His face lights up and he thinks she looks awesome. Danny, MY Danny, says that she has the most beautiful smile. Melissa is such a lucky girl to have two Dan’s love her so.
Daniel begins to notice the house. He loves the stones in the coffee table. Robbie said that Damon does a good job of keeping some old stuff and re-making it new. Daniel’s vocabulary has been reduced to “awesome,” “amazing,” “Holy Jeez,” and “Omigod!” That’s all he says over and over as he walks through the house and sees all the pretty things. Because of this overwhelming excitement, Danny says that there’s no way he can say no to the proposal. Honey agrees, saying that Melissa is “stunning and deserving.” Daniel dons the outfit that Danny picked out for him earlier. As they leave, Melissa asks if he minds wearing pink (the shirt is a deep pink, bordering purple—kind of like the HyperColor shirts Damon reminisced about last episode, but in a good way) and the rest of the suit is black. Daniel says that he’s enough of a man to wear pink. Just like Homer Simpson when he was sent to the insane asylum for wearing a pink shirt. Yup, we’ve come a long way.
The two of them take Cleopatra’s Walnuts with them. Just the tray in the car. No container. No Seran Wrap. Honey points, “Look, Danny! Look at him carrying your nuts!” Ha! In between nut bites, which Daniel savors and loves, he gushes over Melissa, “You’re so beautiful. You’re so beautiful.” Robbie turns to Damon and says, “You’re so beautiful, Damon.” Without hesitation, Damon says, “I know” in a dreamy sort of way. Heehee. Oh, long lost brother of Roger Lodge, you floor me.
Before the restaurant, Melissa takes Daniel for a walk near a marina at sunset. It’s so pretty. The wind blows just so. She gushes about loving him and being thankful that they’ve found each other. Gush, gush, gush. She plays with her sequined wrap. They walk. They lean on the railing of the boardwalk marina thingie. Danny says that this is where she plans to propose; she wants to do it at the beginning of the night and get it over with so she can enjoy and celebrate the rest of the night. So where the hell is the proposal? Yeah, she doesn’t do it! She says, “Ready to go eat?” and they walk back from where they started. Danny says she “Chickened out” while Robbie takes the more tactful approach of saying, “She must not have felt the right moment.” Not the right moment? Gushing I love you at a marina during sunset. Definitely not the right moment to propose to anyone. So unromantic.
The couple heads into the restaurant and Danny thinks that dinner may present another opportunity. Maybe Robbie’s baked potato idea wasn’t so bad after all. Now there’s a close up of the couple talking and Honey comments about how they’re meant for each other and Melissa’s finding the courage to propose, but the comment is about ten times louder than the other Gal Pal comments, so it’s obviously voiced over and was probably added in during editing. I hate that. It’s so friggin’ obvious and it distracts from the moment. The waiter comes over for the order and Daniel orders a lot of food for them to share. Melissa can’t even speak at this point, so she can’t ask for a last-ditch-effort-proposal-potato. Damon and Robbie want a “cup of courage” on the side. Then Robbie adds he wants shrimp “with a side of Marry Me.” Heehee. Danny becomes impatient and berates the screen, “PROPOSE!” Now there’s some motivation.
Melissa smiles at Daniel and says, “Now that I look so different, I guess I don’t feel like myself and don’t know how to act.” Seriously, she’s acting like a crazy person. She’s rocking slightly towards and away from the table. She flips her hair behind her ear, in front of her ear, and behind again. She is one big pre-proposal nerve. Danny mentions that she’s nervous because they’ve been dating only a few months. But he moved across the country with her, so she shouldn’t really expect him to say no. Daniel tells her to embrace the new look because it’s her true self or something along those sentimental lines. He really is very supportive, but he has no clue what’s coming. Melissa then starts rambling about love, repeating word for word some of the same stuff she said before at the marina. She says “I love you” about a zillion times and Daniel automatically answers back, “I love you, too,” but I think he’s getting nervous. It’s as if she’s saying it so much that he’s expecting her to say something bad next. As in, I love you so much, BUT I’m not IN love with you. Or as in, I love you so much BUT I’m moving to Uruguay and no one named Daniel is allowed in the country.
Finally, she says, “I couldn’t wish for someone better and I wanted to know if you’ll marry me,” and she expertly slides the ring across to him. His reaction? “Omigod! Holy Jeez! Omigod!” He covers his mouth as if he’s eaten twenty jalapenos. He stares at the ring. She internally dies a thousand deaths. Then, “Sweetie, of course I’ll marry you!” Everyone cheers! Daniel and Melissa can’t keep their hands off each other. They make mad, passionate love on the table and potatoes go flying everywhere. Well, not exactly. They do keep kissing each other. Honey exclaims, “Now we get to be at their wedding!” The Gal Pals toast to Melissa and Daniel. Gush, gush, gush. How romantic.
This week’s tips:
Honey says that a change in hair color means a change in the make-up you wear. Darker hair means brighter make-up.
Damon says that neutral colors lighten up a small bathroom.
Robbie says that you shouldn’t discard old clothes if you change sizes; have them altered.
Danny says that oysters really are an aphrodisiac because they have zinc, which sperm really love. Is there an overnight oyster delivery service that will send some oysters to Danny’s sperm, from me with love?
Melissa wins one for the female team by showing guts and giving a guy ring of platinum, which is the universal symbol for everlasting love. And is really, really expensive!
— Christina M. Rau/ GatsbyGirl
Ever propose with a potato? Email me: Christina@realityshack.com