Founders’ Ball spells trouble — again — for Thomas and Kathryn on “Southern Charm”

Kathryn Dennis Calhoun and Thomas Ravenel in a previous episode of bravo TV’s “Southern Charm.”

I will concede that Monday night’s news was much more important and relevant than the latest installment of Bravo’s “Southern Charm,” but as y’all know by now, I watch it so you don’t have to. If you missed the episode, then you surely missed “Watch What Happens Live,” which followed it.

Shep was a guest with some other reality show personalities — I don’t know if they were real housewives or shahs or what, but all you need to know is this: When a caller asked Shep if he would ever date someone 10 years his senior, his response was, “I don’t pause at menopause.” I can’t even.

Monday’s episode was all about Cooper Ray’s Founders’ Ball event ... a celebration of Charleston’s founding fathers with a guest list that includes the wealthy movers and shakers of the Holy City. It may not be the most progressive town, according to Cooper, but it is the most historic. Charleston was an outpost to the aristocracy, he says. He neglected to mention, of course, that Charleston also has a history steeped in alcohol and impropriety. But then again, he did say that the bar was the most important thing for the occasion.

This is one of those super fancy events, where you’re announced when you enter, you must arrive with an escort and there are dogs wearing pearls. You know, just like any other day at Chuck E. Cheese’s for me. Patricia says it’s not like the Black and White Ball that Capote did, but it’s a start. Truman Capote’s party was considered “a pinnacle of New York’s social history,” so of course Patricia would have been there.

Craig and Shep get dressed together and the two couldn’t be more different. Shep takes two minutes, whereas Craig needs to shave, coiffe, manscape, whatever. When they hop in the limo to pick up their dates, Craig is sure to bring the koozies. Sure, because all the women I know that have starved all week to fit into a ball gown can’t wait to bloat themselves up like a balloon with a beverage that is made up of wheat and yeast.

The ladies are also getting ready together. They are having “dressing drinks” and making sure everything is tucked and plucked, while their dates are waiting hopelessly in the parlor.

Thomas arrives early and alone. He’s got to shake some hands and try to get folks to “stroke a check.” There’s no time off during a political campaign, after all. Thomas complains that it’s hard to campaign and mingle when Kathryn is with him. She wants to be on the receiving end of all of his attention, but it has to be directed toward potential voters. Hey kids, welcome back to the Thomas Show.

Cut to Kathryn all dressed up and nowhere to go. Thomas makes it out like he left her because she takes so long to get ready, but as Kathryn puts it, he just left her. Period.

Thomas goes to pick her up and the Passive-Aggressive Ball is back in full swing. You can see that Thomas is uncomfortable trying to work a room and keep Kathryn appeased at the same time. She doesn’t make it easy, though, and she reverts back to the whole teeth-sucking thing. She says it was supposed to be a special evening for them and he ruined it.

Landon, who appears to be a little on the tipsy side, decides to give them advice on how they really need to try to make it work. Bless her heart. But all it does is make Kathryn more passive aggressive and defensive. I bet Thomas would have preferred to just jump out of the window behind him.

Shep has a new date and he’s thinking he may want to “pull into port for a little while.” She’s lovely, of course. She’s petite, yes. She’s young, typical. But she admits she can’t dance. Shep, not suprisingly, is quite an adept shagger and is slinging her all over the dance floor. For a second there, I thought he may actually pull her little arm right out of the socket.

Patricia hosts a dinner party for just the men, thinking there will be less drama than if the ladies are there. Cooper arrives with some “Golden Age of Charleston” book under his arm, Shep thinks the bourbon sauce is chocolate sauce, Craig drops the F-bomb over the fine china, Whitney and Thomas get into a huge argument over campaign tactics and Patricia suggests they all take it to the drawing room before the “bitch-slapping” begins.

Shep’s mom visits and we learn that he thinks she hung the moon and she’s Superwoman to his helpless ways. His other siblings have a spouse, but all he has is a house. He admits that part of his criteria is finding someone who can measure up to his mom. Some people may call him a “mama’s boy” for that comment, but as Whitney is also an example, quintessential Southern men adore their mothers and aren’t ashamed to say it out loud.

Craig’s lawyer boss, Akim Anastopoulo, invites him over for a sit-down. He shows him his Liberace-esque piano and pours him a glass of wine. He tells Craig he has potential and the makings of success, but he’s lost his drive and initiative. Hiring him has become a “disaster” and “wasted time” and then fires him. Pardon me, “terminates” him. That’s the kind of word that people use when they are too cool to take their sunglasses off inside their own house.

Cut now to the present tense and Thomas is none too thrilled about how the whole Founders’ Ball played out on the show. He posted a screed on Facebook saying, “I hereby refuse to do anymore interviews or appear again on the Andy Cohen show.” Similarly, he tweeted, “Since I am so insanely portrayed on SC; never will I work with them again. This is supposed to be reality not fiction.”

Obviously no one filled him in on how “reality” television actually works.

Whitney may or may not ask his lady love to move in with him.

There’s a “new Kathryn” and she isn’t happy.

Craig takes Shep and Whitney to Delaware, so they can “get a better understanding of” and “have more respect” for him. But the fellas may or may not spill the beans to Craig’s parents about his behavior. Y’all. I’m so excited we’re going to see Mr. Delaware in Delaware that I’m just beside my very self.


A SIGN YOU MAY BE SCRAPING THE BOTTLE OF THE BARREL: Your name is Craig and you eat your cereal out of a pot.

HOW BEST TO TREAT A HANGOVER: “Rich people water and a bowl of candy.” — Jenn to Kathryn the morning after Shep’s birthday party

HOW SHEP DESCRIBES HIS NEW HOUSE: “It’s tall and skinny, like me.”

A SURE SIGN THAT YOUR RELATIONSHIP ISN’T WORKING OUT VERY WELL: You speak so little and so quietly to each other that the editors decide to just use subtitles for your conversations. — Thomas and Kathryn

HOW YOU KNOW YOU ARE AT A REALLY FANCY DINNER: “These napkins are nicer than my towels.” — Cooper to Patricia

HOW YOU KNOW YOU NEED A BRIEF TARGET TRIP (OR JUST YOUR MOTHER): You iron your shirt on your bedside table. – Shep

WHITNEY’S BEST TOMKAT OBSERVATION OF THE NIGHT: In comparing Thomas and Kathryn to Elizabeth Taylor and Richard Burton: “They have that alcoholic drive and lust which keeps them going back to this toxic well and drinking the water.”