For as long as I can remember there’s been one evening a week that Scott changes his clothes, packs a big bag and heads off into the night.  To play hockey.  In college I would accompany him – the lone fan sitting in the bleachers of the Bright Hockey Center – with an article from my Government course packet or an early volume of Harry Potter to keep me company.  Later it turned into a night when I would sit at home, lamenting my loneliness and just trying to pass the time until I could go to bed.  Since having a baby and having my senses assaulted throughout the day by  loud toys and loud children’s programs and loud SCREAMS, I’ve come to covet hockey night.

There were weeks in the Fall of ’07 that Hockey night terrified me.  Addison was an infant and I was a fumbling new Mom unsure of every single move I made with my baby.  Don’t get me wrong, I wanted Scott to play hockey because he enjoys it and he’s good at it.  I love that it still holds his interest after more than 15 years.  But at the time, and I never would have admitted this then, I was so nervous taking care of Addison on my own.

Now, especially since Addie hit toddler-hood,  I’ve made an event of it.  It’s the one night a week I allow myself indulge in a few guilty pleasures:  Reality TV and Red Wine.  Sometimes I’ll change it up and add a chick flick and some aged cheese into the mix, but the premise is always the same:  a quiet house, my softest yoga pants and a big glass (or 2) of red wine.

My show of choice (when Top Chef is in the off season) is the Real Housewives of Fill in the City.  The show airs on Bravo on Tuesday nights and if you’ve never seen it, the title can be deceiving.  There’s not a real housewife in the bunch.  Not in Orange County, not in New York or Atlanta and now, apparently, not in New Jersey either.  Some have careers, some have trust funds but not one is the archetypal American housewife.  In fact, one of the “housewives” in New York doesn’t have a house and she’s not even a wife.  She’s got a dog and a sharp wit.  One of the Atlanta “housewives” is actually the very well kept mistress of a wealthy, married man.  There’s nothing wifely about some of these women.  Still, no matter how far from my own reality they are, I can’t look away.  If you can get past all of the products and businesses they’re trying to promote, the show is fascinating.

I really do wish that Bravo would make a show about actual Amerian housewives.  There’s nothing wrong with being a middle class housewife.  I would watch a show about real wives and moms living their lives.  I think there’s a place on TV for true reality television.  I want to see real women juggling work and homelife, heading to playdates, having their dogs crap in the car on the freeway.  I may or may not be speaking from experience.  Ahem.  The distinction here is wealth.  Rich Housewive hire a Top Chef finalist to cater their dinner party while real housewives are in the kitchen making canapes.  Rich housewives have their “gay husband” decorate their home while they’re summering in the Hamptons.  Real Housewives shlep their asses down to the Home Depot for a bucket of paint.  And for the record, Summer is a season to most housewives, not a verb. Not every housewife is perfectly coiffed and dripping in jewels.  But it sure makes for good TV.  Either way, Bravo and it’s housewives will continue to be my standing date on hockey night.