Rodger Berman always says that his wife, Rachel Zoe, is in her own little world that leaves little room for anything — or anyone — but her fashion obsession. On last night's episode of The Rachel Zoe Project this was painfully clear, as we learn that Rachel probably hasn't been in a grocery store in ten years. The experience was so exotic to her that it became the subject of an entire episode. Heavens! Rachel has to cook a turkey for her Passover Seder! Call God and tell him something has gone awry! Bravo, actually somewhat ingeniously, treated the spectacle of Rachel going into the grocery store as though a lion with human hands had walked into Whole Foods and was picking things off the shelf, terrifying the rest of the clientèle. Perhaps more human that the grocery trip was Rachel's reaction to her family's pressure for her to have a baby, but the tears she nearly shed at the end of the episode hardly matter when you remember that she told Rodger at the beginning of the episode that when she's in the delivery room, she wants to wear her Chanel cape. Right, and Joey can be in there, too, to touch up her hair and makeup when she's in labor, and maybe Brad can sit next to him to wince when she sweats, and remind her not to do that — sweating isn't IN this season, duh! More of what we learned follows.
Things We Learned About Fashion:
• Get the hair done before the family comes over for Passover Seder. Rachel's is shorter and blonder — she's ready for the glamorous world of food and non-fashion company!
• Clients were made to be flattered. Enter Brad: "[Beau Garrett's], like, drop-dead gorgeous and I think that it’s important that she knows that I think that." If you look closely, do you see dollar signs in his pupils or camera flashbulbs?
• Exercisewear is not Rachel's forte.
• Never assume, when styling a shoot, that what they ask you to bring is what they really want. Brad is told to bring purple to Molly Sims's coconut-water ad campaign shoot (oh, the GLAMOUR!), but when he gets there, Sandro the photographer says he needs white yoga things. So then the intern pulls an outfit and Brad is made to look unprepared. And whether or not he truly was is one of those fashion questions we can debate and philosophize on for ages, perhaps without ever knowing the answer.
• Wear your tranny boots to the grocery store. Also your tranny cape. Rachel's Whole Foods outfit only proves that sweatpants really aren't her thing.
• Joey tells Rachel he's very pro-pregnancy, and encourages her to have a child because "clothes can't love you back." Rachel protests, "They kind of do — my clothes talk to me and so do my bags." Um, creepy? "They don’t hug me back or anything but they give me a lot of pleasure," she adds. Maybe that's why Rodger knew the sex toy anniversary gift was a bad idea.
Things We Learned About Life:
• When a woman says her family is coming in tonight, then asks her husband what's wrong, and he says, without smiling, nothing, and, "I'm excited to see them," it will always sound phony. Rodger could use a few new lines, maybe an acting lesson.
• Rodger: "[Rachel] can’t throw a Seder and have it be a substitute for us having a child." Well, a turkey isn't that unlike a baby. They're both fleshy little bundles, no?
• It's not really cool to keep putting off having a baby when your husband is as hungry for an answer as a typical fashion person faced with mini-burgers they don't want to be seen eating. "Nothing infuriates me more," Rodger says, when Rachel says the timing of her pregnancy is TBD, and she has to get dressed. "It’s not to be determined — we gotta determine it," Rodger says. Rachel only makes it worse when she says she'll be in the delivery room at this time next year, but adds, "Just make sure I'm in Chanel." Even Rodger is in disbelief at Rachel's fundamental misunderstanding of the mechanics of childbirth. Unless, as a professional stylist, she can see in her mind that that black cashmere Chanel vintage cape robe will look great with all those body fluids.
• When people start impersonating you, it's a good thing! Also, embarrassing. Rodger hires expert Zoe impersonator Amy Phillips to appear in a commercial for the daily Zoe Report newsletter, and she does a swell job, hurting the real Rachel's ego in the process. "Is that really what I sound like? Ugh," Rachel frets. Actually, yes, yes it is.
• Don't fight with your husband in front of everyone. Don't you hate when you're out and about and some couple that couldn't wait to be alone is having a fight, and maybe the girl is crying, in the middle of a street or subway? It's the tackiest thing, and all it does is make everyone around feel epically awkward. Maybe Rodger yelling at everyone about focusing while Rachel told everyone to ignore him because he's a mean diva is what drove Brad to BlackBerry. Because he wasn't on the subway and he couldn't hide by putting his shades and iPod headphones on. So in that instance, we side with Brad — neither Rachel nor Rodger — because all they did the entire commercial shoot was make it 5 million times more awkward than it already would have been.
• When you're in the middle of a married couple's fights all the time, try to offer some condolence, rather than ignore it. Brad probably mostly had a heart-to-heart with Rodger after the shoot for the sake of the Bravo cameras, but it was a good way of handling the situation. Rachel is married to Brad more than she is to Rodger, but what can Brad do about it? It's not his fault she's that way, really. So out of the goodness of his heart he asks Rodger if it's hard for him to juggle his work and personal life, being that Rachel is his business partner in addition to his wife. Rodger readily pours his heart out and tells Brad he wants to spend five days in Hawaii with Rachel but that she won't commit. Brad seems to genuinely feel bad for him. "Rodger is almost an afterthought," Brad says, adding that he can't imagine having a relationship with someone he could never be alone with. "I think he’s over it a little bit and I don’t blame him." But Brad is definitely the kind of person who commands attention all the time, while Rodger doesn't unless he's throwing a tantrum.
• It is possible to exist in this world and not have been to a grocery store in ten years.
• It is possible to exist in this world in an apartment with a stove that, over three years, never gets used, which is something Rodger and Rachel achieved.
• Rodger: "I honestly don’t remember Rachel ever cooking a meal. Like an actual dinner? Never."
• It doesn't matter if you haven't cooked ever in your entire life, or been to the grocery store in ten years, if you can hire assistants to cook your twenty-person Passover Seder feast for you. Thank God Rachel employs Marisa.
• Gefilte fish is gross.
• Chopped liver is gross.
• Raw turkey is gross.
• Different kinds of cheeses are just impossible to tell apart.
• When cooking fails, buy the premade version of what you want from Whole Foods. Marisa makes the turkey but Rachel just calls in the brisket. Food and designer clothing have more in common than she thought.
• When serving a family dinner, have your employees bring bowl options. Jordan has the best, most fabulous job in the whole world, doesn't she?
• Rachel doesn't want to carry a child, but it's not because she's afraid of getting fat. "I just wish Rodger would carry it," she explains. "I’m actually not scared of getting fat at all, but am I physically strong enough? I’m not the epitome of strength, exactly." Joey notes that people wake up every day and don't know what to expect, which is a good point. And if, evidently, stylists can go to shoots and not know what to expect, and children and clothes aren't that unlike each other, in Rachel's mind, what's holding her back? Or maybe, if she's the kind of person who can avoid grocery shopping for an entire DECADE, she's the kind of person who can commission a research team to figure out how to turn Rodger into the next pregnant man, and that is a more logical step for her than getting pregnant herself.