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Jewish Journal

A Conversation with Brandi Glanville

by Ilana Angel

January 12, 2012 | 6:25 pm

Brandi Glanville, Photo © Bravo

This week I had to mail a couple of packages.  I waited in line at the post office for 15 minutes because it makes perfect sense that such a busy location would only have one employee working. When I finally got my turn, the woman who was “helping” me, was a complete moron.

I spent an additional 10 minutes watching this woman work in slow motion while she stamped my packages.  I am tracking the packages and feel quite confident that they will not arrive to their destination on time, or without damage.  I almost went postal on this postal worker.

As I was leaving the post office my phone rang.  I was irritated beyond measure and wanted to vent about what a horrible experience I just had, but the caller was Brandi Glanville from The Real Housewives of Beverly Hills. We had arranged an interview and she called right on time.

I put on my happy voice and told her I was walking to my car and would do the interview from there.  She politely asked if I needed more time and I assured her we were good to go.  I mentioned I just left the post office and before I could help myself, I dropped the F bomb.

I explained to Brandi that the woman was an idiot, I had to use a few expletives because there was no other way to properly explain how annoying she was.  Before I could be embarrassed by my venting to a stranger, and on a work call, Brandi joined in about her grocery store.

Brandi vented about the grocery bagger at her market who throws her things in a bag like they are garbage, not food for her family.  We compared my postal worker to her bagger and it was absolutely hilarious.  This was my introduction to the fabulous Brandi Glanville.

Brandi is a breath of fresh air in a season of the Real Housewives of Beverly Hills that is suffocating.  With all the crap surrounding Taylor and Kim, and the unattractive behavior of Adrienne and Kyle, Brandi came in and brought some light into a show that is very dark.

Brandi laughs easily and often.  While she does in fact drop the F bomb, it’s not nearly as often as I do so I didn’t really notice.  We spoke for almost an hour and it flew by. She answered all my questions, nothing was off limits, and she was clear and quick with her answers.

She is unguarded and quite open about herself, yet when she talks about her life you can almost hear surprise in her voice.  She is accepting of the path her life has taken, but there is an underlying tone that made me think she cannot believe this is the life she now has.

At 39, with two sons aged 4 and 8, Brandi is building a new life for herself as the one she had, and loved so much, was ripped away from her.  We all know what happened with her marriage as it played out in the tabloids, so we don’t need to hash it all out here.  She’s moved on.

Sidebar: I just want to say that I think Brandi’s ex-husband is a schmuck. He has no respect for the mother of his children and seems to forget that his behavior is being documented publicly for all to see, and those boys will one day know everything he did and didn’t do.

She now finds herself as a single mother, part of a hugely popular television franchise, and finding her way.  Brandi knew Adrienne from some charity events and when each of the housewives was asked to submit a name for a possible new cast member, Adrienne submitted Brandi.

She interviewed with a few people, went through the process and never really heard anything.  They one day out of the blue, she got a call asking if she could shoot.  She had a broken foot, but turned up in her cast, and the rest is history.  We all fell in love with her.

The show came at a good time for her and Brandi enjoys filming. When she found herself alone, with no college education, and having spent the last ten years being a wife and mother, RHOBH seemed like a good idea. It was a way for her to support her kids and build a future.

The great thing about Brandi is that she finds the women as entertaining as we do.  She does not socialize with them outside of shooting, although she has developed a friendship and affection for Lisa Vanderpump.  She is having fun and not getting sucked into the drama.

She shares custody of her kids and it is when we spoke of her children that I got a glimpse into who Brandi really is.  She loves her kids and it breaks her heart that their family is broken.  She puts on a happy face for the kids, even when she is having a low day.

Sidebar:  Single mothers are quite remarkable but for reasons that people don’t always understand.  We are strong in that we raise kids on our own, but it’s not about not having a partner to back you up, or the financial support of a husband.  It’s about love.

The hardest thing that a single mother has to endure is to be away from her children.  When our children go to visit their fathers it is a gut wrenching experience.  For me personally, I used to sit by the front door with the phone in my hand,  and wait incase my son needed me.

We are mothers in our soul and to have them leave us is hard.  When they go to a home that their father shares with another woman, it is confusing.  For us, and our kids.  Who is she?  How is she with my children? Will she comfort them if they are hurt?  Will she try to replace me?

In speaking of these things with Brandi, I was quite impressed by her.  She has come to terms with her life, and knows she has enough love in her heart to ease her pain when they are not with her, but she misses them more than she can bear sometimes.

My divorce was painful, but private.  Brandi’s was public.  It was filled with surprise, embarrassment and humiliation.  It also did not end when she signed her divorce papers.  She continues to deal with the darkness because there are some who don’t want her to be happy.

I find her resilience to be fascinating.  She is not bitter or angry, finds humor in the ridiculous things she is forced to deal with, and embraces the friends who give her strength.  She is surrounded by fiercely loyal and supportive friends, and two divine little boys.

Brandi speaks with strong conviction when she says she will not marry again. Her divorce was so painful she cannot imagine she will do it.  I think we all say that after our divorces and it take time to heal.  She is such a lovely woman that if chicks did it for me, I’d want to marry her.

She explained that she is a mother first, and another relationship will have to wait.  I imagine it is hard to trust after such betrayal, but she is strong, and it would be a true shame of she did not allow herself to find love again. She doesn’t need to marry, but I insist she loves.

I asked Brandi to describe herself in three words and she chose fun, feisty and sensitive.  The fun and feisty are a given, but the sensitive might be surprising.  In speaking with her though, you can feel it.  She’s a very sweet girl and I found myself wanting to protect her.

When she speaks of her divorce and her kids, I wanted to reach through the phone and hug her.  Surprisingly however, she reached through and hugged me.  I asked her what she wanted to say to women who relate to her situation, and her response was really fabulous.

She is aware that people think she is pretty, and that her bum is legendary to those of us who watch RHOBH, but she wanted me to remind women that her husband left her.  We think looking like that would make life easy, but in the end she is just like you and me.

She questioned what was wrong with her.  What she too old?  Too tall?  To skinny?  Not smart enough?  Not sexy enough? What could she have done to save her marriage?  Could she have said anything to keep her family together?  Her vulnerability is what hugged me.

Brandi spent a lot of time in mourning.  She cried too much, slept too much, and drank too much.  Then when she was done, she was done.  Her advice to other women is to get out of the house.  Find a hobby, get a job, see your friends, enjoy your children.  Don’t waste life.

There is power in positive thinking and she wants women to know that they will be okay. She is okay.  She takes great strength from the fans of the show and loves to check messages on Twitter.  She feels empowered by the kindness sent to her by all her fans.

Brandi Glanville is a great girl. She is smart, charming, resilient, honest, vulnerable, and hard as nails.  This is a girlie girl and a broad all rolled up into one fabulous lady.  I ended our chat thinking I would like to talk to her more.  We all need a friend like Brandi Glanville.

I sent Brandi a tweet to thank her for the interview and she wrote back to say that I must now be her friend or she would cut me.  I’m so scared of this very funny girl!  I hope Brandi becomes a regular cast member of RHOBH because she belongs there, and we need her.

Brandi Glanville is my new friend.  Not because she is famous, and in spite of the fact that the bitch is so pretty and skinny.  She will be my friend because she will lift me up when I need it, lean on me when she needs it, and no matter what she says or does, she will always keep it real.

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR

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Ilana Angel writes two blogs for JewishJournal.com. KEEPING THE FAITH is about her worldview as a single Jewish mother, and KEEPING IT REAL is all about reality television....

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